Standing at 1339m, Black Bluff is one of the highest mountains in Northern Tasmania. Leaving from the edge of River Leven, the relentless 950m ascent makes for a breath-taking day walk through dry eucalyptus forest and across alpine tundra. At the summit, rewarding views south across the Cradle Mountain National Park and to the north-western coastline are achieved.
View Google Map Directions
|From Devonport, head west on Don Road and continue through Forth on Stony Rise Road B19 for 7.6km. After exiting the Forth township, turn right onto Kindred Road B16 and drive for 10km before turning left onto Swamp Road. After 5.3km, turn left onto Castra Road B15 and follow it for 17km to Nietta before turning right onto Loongana Road C128. Follow this road for 15km before turning right on Penguin Cradle Trail. The trailhead for Black Bluff begins 400m further at the Taylors Flats carpark area.|
Leaving from the pleasant Taylors Flats day-use area on the edge of the River Leven, the Black Bluff trail skirts the river’s edge and quickly enters dense dry eucalyptus forest. The track remains primarily flat for the first 1km before starting the gruelling 950m ascent up Brookes Track over 5km.
The track is easy to follow, and well-graded stone steps will guide your way through the thick forest for the next 1-2 hours. As you climb, glimpses of Black Bluff high above encourage you to continue. Eventually, the trees open up to the sensational view of the mountain, and rocky platforms provide a great place to stop, rest and admire.
Continuing for another 1km, the track quickly reaches Paddys Lake, hemmed by stunning King Billy and pencil pines. The delicate beauty of the tarn area, juxtaposed by the sturdy form of Black Bluff behind, makes for another fantastic view.
The trail skirts the lake’s edge across a thin pad and finds its way uphill again to the saddle below the summit. Once on the saddle, take the sign-posted right-hand track towards Black Bluff rather than continuing onto the Penguin to Cradle Trail. The trail climbs the final 600m along the southern side of the ridge and gradually scales through boulders to the summit trig point.
On top, panoramic views are achieved, including stunning vistas south beyond Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff. Return to the trailhead via the same route.
Map for illustrative purposes only. Base map supplied by Land Information System Tasmania