Mt Ossa, TAS
THE CRAGGY SUMMIT of Tasmania’s highest and most formidable peak, Mt Ossa (1617m), has a 360-degree view of Tasmania’s north-west, with visibility of nearly 30km on a clear day.
Although it is part of the Overland Track, a week-long hike through some of Tasmania’s most beautiful wilderness, Mt Ossa can also be reached along the Arm River Track.
The 36km round trip from the Arm River car park takes you across the Pelion plains and to the Mt Ossa track. The climb involves scaling rocks resembling large razors and park officials discourage attempting the ascent in wet or snowy conditions.
Hiking: The Overland Track takes about six days to complete. You start at Ronny Creek, walk through the spectacular landscape of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, and finish at Australia’s deepest lake, St Claire Lake. Mt Ossa is reached on an offshoot half-way along the track.
You can also get to Mt Ossa via the Arm River Track. This 36km round-trip hike should take about 1-2 days.
For the Overland Track, you will need to pay a fee (peak season only) and an entrance fee for the park (all year). Day walks are also available. Check with the visitor centres at Lake St Clair or Cradle Mountain for more information.
Flora/Fauna: You’ll pass a glorious variety of scenery: eucalyptus trees, moss-covered moors, buttongrass plains and green forests. At the top of Mount Ossa, you’ll have a spectacular view over the southern section of this World Heritage area.
Location: The Arm River Track can be reached by following the Cradle Mountain signs from Mole Creek, about 75km south of Devonport, Tasmania.
Accommodation: There are six overnight nodes with basic facilities and huts at key points along the Overland Track. You cannot book these – the bookings system manages departures only. You don’t have a guaranteed space, so bring a tent.
Food/drink: All food/drink must be brought in and all rubbish must be carried out of the park.
When to go: Peak season is 1 October to 31 May on the Overland Track – you need to book and must walk north to south. Outside of these dates, you can walk in either direction. December to April is recommended for those with less experience as conditions are better. And be sure to pack for all weather conditions!
More info: www.parks.tas.gov.au