A detailed hiking guide to the Quamby Bluff walk in Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers. Find out how to get to the trailhead, what to expect on the hike and read about my experience.
Quamby Bluff is a 1227 metre peak north of the main escarpment of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers range. It’s a very prominent mountain and can be seen from the Bass Highway connecting Launceston and Devonport. It’s also one of the easiest mountains to summit in the Great Western Tiers.
In this guide, I’ll detail everything you need to know about the Quamby Bluff walk to the summit. I’ll also include some of my photography and a little insight into my experience to help you better prepare for this great day walk in Tasmania!
- Where is Quamby Bluff?
- The Quamby Bluff Walk
- View From Quamby Bluff
- Where to Stay Near Quamby Bluff
- More Hikes & Adventures in Tasmania
Where is Quamby Bluff?
Quamby Bluff is located in the Quamby Bluff Forest Reserve in Northern Tasmania, just near Golden Valley. It neighbours the Fairy Glade State reserve and the trailhead is accessed via the Highlands Lake Road. The trailhead is approximately 21 kilometres from Deloraine and 63 kilometres from Launceston.
The map below shows the location of the bluff but I've also included the trailhead coordinates below to help you find your way.
- Trailhead Coordinates: 41°39'37.1"S 146°43'19.2"E
How to Get to the TrailheaD
The Quamby Bluff walk begins next to a small gravel car park in a pull-over area just off of Highlands Lake Road (coordinates pinned above). The best way to navigate here is to enter in the coordinates above and follow the steep and winding Highlands Lake Road to the trailhead. This road is quite steep in some sections and can be slippery. However, it is sealed for the entire stretch so most vehicles shouldn't have a problem. We made it here easily in our big van.
The car park looks like a driveway and is easy to miss, so keep your eye out. There is space for approximately 4 vehicles but you need to do your best not to park across the gate. This gate is privately owned by the Bodhicitta Dakini Monastery.
Car Rentals in Tasmania
Unfortunately, the cost of bringing your own car on the Spirit of Tasmania has skyrocketed in recent years.
Now, it is usually cheaper to rent a car on arrival. I recommend using RentalCars.com in Tasmania to compare rates for different vehicles across dealerships.
(Rentals are limited in Tasmania so it's a good idea to book in advance).
If you don't have your own car or transport, then there aren't many options for getting here as it is not served by any public transport. If you are visiting this beautiful part of Tasmania and looking for things to do, check out some other must-do attractions pinned below.
The Quamby Bluff Walk
- Hiking Distance: 7 kilometres return
- Duration: 3-5 hours
- Elevation: Total elevation gain: 523 metres |
Quamby Bluff height: 1227 metres
- Difficulty: Moderate - Hard
The Quamby Bluff walk is considered by TasParks as a Grade 3 walk in Tasmania. This means that it is rated as quite difficult. However, I'd say that it's more of a moderate trail. While it is steep in some sections, anyone with a decent level of fitness and a bit of bushwalking experience shouldn't have much trouble. While there is a bit of scrambling involved, this is quite easy and doesn't require any real technical experience.
The Quamby Bluff walk begins by gently ascending through beautiful myrtle forests. The track gets steeper as you progress and eventually the track opens up to a wide, open boulder field. Finally, the track reenters the dense forest to climb the final section to the top of the bluff.
The track is well-maintained throughout but it can be difficult to stay on the track due to the lack of frequent markers. Make sure that you keep an eye out for ribbons in the trees. I lost the track in the boulder scree section and ended up scrambling up a lot further than I needed to.
RELATED POST: Hiking Guide to Hartz Peak
The Ultimate Tasmania Travel Resource
Looking for more Tasmania travel guides & adventure inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.
Quamby Bluff Map
Below I've included a map for illustrative purposes from TasTrails.
You can also see my route by visiting my Strava. Note that on the ascent I took the wrong route which forced me to boulder scramble much further than is required.
The First Section: Passing the Monastery
The track begins by entering the large gate with the monastery sign. I believe this first section is a private road linking to the monastery but you are allowed to walk down it to get to the Quamby Bluff track.
I couldn't find too much-updated information about the monastery online as it seems that they haven't updated their website in a while. The place also seemed empty when I walked past.
Soon after passing the prayer flags hikers will enter into dense Myrtle Forest.
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The Warm-up: Gentle Forest Climbing
The beginning of the track climbs gently and is fairly easy to follow. Some sections were a little overgrown but maintained enough to easily make your way through the ferns and dense trees. Unfortunately, as soon as I began the walk rain clouds gathered, making the track quite wet and muddy.
This first stretch is a good warm-up for the steep climb to come. As you progress, you'll realise that the track gets steeper and steeper until you reach the boulder field.
The Scramble: Boulder Field
After about 1.4 kilometres, the track opens up to reveal a wide and steep boulder scree field. You'll need to scramble your way up this to regain the forest path about 150 vertical metres above. It looks a little daunting from the images but it really isn't difficult in good conditions. Of course, ice and snow might make this challenging.
What is slightly challenging is following the correct route. There are cairns that mark the best way up but I made the mistake of losing the track and ended up scrambling to the very top of the boulder field. You can see this on my Strava. Try your best to follow the cairns to avoid this though.
The Final Push: Last Stretch to Quamby Bluff
About halfway up the boulder field, you'll see a marker in a tree to re-enter the forest. This track then loops around to the right to skip the last bit of the boulder field. Once you're back in the forest, it's quite easy to follow.
The last stretch climbs steeply before gaining the bluff. Once at the top, you'll follow bright post markers to the trig point, where you'll officially be at the highest point of Quamby Bluff. You'll also get great views from here.
View From Quamby Bluff
As you can see from my photos, I wasn't rewarded with the best conditions after making it to the top. Rain clouds were getting denser but I was still able to scramble up to the boulders visible from the trig point. Luckily, I did get some brief moments of cloud clearing where I could enjoy the epic views.
On a clear day, I've heard that you can see all the way out to the Bass Strait from the top of the Quamby Bluff walk!
Once you've admired the view, you can return to the car park on the same track.
Where to Stay Near Quamby Bluff
For those of you travelling around in Tasmania, here are a few nearby places to stay that I can recommend.
Due to the location, visitors will have a few options for where to stay near Quamby Bluff. You can either stay in Deloraine, Devonport or Launceston. All are within an hour's drive (Deloraine is the closest).
For the best places to stay in Deloraine and the area surrounding Quamby Bluff, check out these options:
If you're in a campervan or caravan, I highly recommend checking out Quamby Corner, which is just 15 minutes away. This place was one of my favourites in Tasmania!
More Hikes & Adventures in Tasmania
I really hope that you have found this quick guide to hiking the Quamby Bluff walk in Tasmania useful. I've spent a fair amount of time exploring and documenting some of the best things to do in Tasmania so make sure to check out some of my other guides too!
Below are a few of my favourites in the surrounding area.