The foothills of kunanyi

We’ve been in Tasmania more than a month now and have yet to do the number one attraction in Hobart….climb Mount Wellington, or kunanyi as it’s known in the Aboriginal language. The mountain towers over Hobart and as I write this is coated in a beautiful layer of snow which only adds to its majesty. We recently attempted to climb Mount Wellington from the small village of Fern Tree near its base and just up the road from the Cascade Brewery. However we grossly underestimated the length of time it takes to climb a 1,271m mountain and didn’t quite make it to the top. I think sometimes that end goal is the only thing you see, people will post their photos from the top but often overlook the beauty that’s all around on the journey to get there. You can drive to the top but that means you don’t get to experience everything this mountain has to offer and that’s why I’m glad we decided to try it and didn’t just get the tour bus to the top.

Our attempted hike was not without reward however (no hike ever is) as we saw some truly beautiful natural sights on the foothills of kunanyi. We began our climb in Fern Tree where you have a choice of three tracks; Pipeline, Middle and Fern Glade. We decided to go theย Fern Gladeย Track route and climbed as far as Radford’s Monument before joining back up with Pinnacle Road via the somewhat steep and difficult Fingerpost Track. The route up to that point was a beautiful walk through the fern covered forests above the aptly named Fern Tree. Towering ferns and a dense covering of moss and lichen made for a really pleasant hike, despite the cold. You think of jungle environments as being hot and sticky but this wasn’t like that at all. Sure it was definitely damp but the cold air blowing through the trees took a bit of getting used to. Upon arriving at the viewpoint at the Springs we realised we had a LONG way to go and with a quick calculation that we couldn’t possibly reach the top and descend again before darkness fell. We cut our losses and made our way back down towards Silver Falls.

After checking out the falls we found a really easy and wide path back down to the village where we got the heat back into us beside the fire in the Fern Tree Tavern and enjoyed a nice pint of Guinness and some lovely fish and chips.

See here for a map of the hiking trails on Mount Wellington.

See below for some photos from our mini-hike up part of Mount Wellington and if you’re looking for a tour with a difference check out Trowunna Tours who recently started taking people up kunanyi to experience the mountain’s significant aboriginal history.

Life is everywhere along the trail, in every nook and cranny.
Life is everywhere along the trail, in every nook and cranny.
The beautiful greenery on display near Fern Tree is a sight to behold.
The beautiful greenery on display near Fern Tree is a sight to behold.
Okay there's really only one quote that can go with this image. "Clever Girl".
Okay there’s really only one quote that can go with this image. “Clever Girl”.
Close up detail of that lovely green foliage that carpets the fallen trees.
Close up detail of that lovely green foliage that carpets the fallen trees.
Another clearing reveals more downed trees covered in green.
There’s downed trees throughout the foothills, all covered in a carpet of green moss.
There's downed trees throughout the area providing new homes for both plants and animals.
Another tree is recycled by the plants and animals around it.
The lovely Silver Falls won't give Niagara a run for their money any time soon but it's still a pretty sight amidst the hiking trails and damp forests.
The lovely Silver Falls won’t give Niagara a run for their money any time soon but it’s still a pretty sight amidst the hiking trails and damp forests.
The path back to civilisation from Silver Falls was a welcome sight after the claustrophobic hike up and down the mountainside.
The path back to civilisation from Silver Falls was a welcome sight after the claustrophobic hike up and down the mountainside.
A tiny waterfall runs down a man-made run off channel .
A tiny waterfall runs down a man-made run off channel .
The thick canopy which makes the kaleidoscopic effect of the sunlight on the forest floor.
The thick canopy which makes the kaleidoscopic effect of the sunlight on the forest floor.
Bless this fern in particular. The dappled sunlight pouring through the canopy creates these passing moments of beauty.
Bless this fern in particular. The dappled sunlight pouring through the canopy creates these passing moments of beauty.
A pump house is barely visible behind a wall of ferns. Looks like the kind of place Samuel L. Jackson shouldn't go to in an effort to get the power back on.
A pump house is barely visible behind a wall of ferns. Looks like the kind of place Samuel L. Jackson shouldn’t go to in an effort to get the power back on.
Nature doesn't care for man's constructions, it simply keeps growing and takes back its territory.
Nature doesn’t care for man’s constructions, it simply keeps growing and takes back its territory.
Th spiral twisting you often see on ferns.
Th spiral twisting you often see on ferns.
Too much dynamic range for poor Frank to resolve but you get the sense of scale.
Too much dynamic range for poor Frank to resolve but you get the sense of scale.
The towering Eucalyptus trees on the path up to Silver Falls.
The towering Eucalyptus trees on the path back from Silver Falls.
This glorious orange glow greeted us upon stepping off the bus on Macquarie Street.
This glorious orange glow greeted us upon stepping off the bus on Macquarie Street.
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