Cathedral Rock is a challenging 9km, 4-hour walk on the southern outskirts of Wellington Park. Starting by the picturesque North West Bay River, the track quickly climbs 600 meters, zig-zagging its way up to the jagged dolerite peak at 880 meters above sea level. The final 400m of this walk is steep and difficult. Fantastic views of Southern Tasmania reward you at the summit.
View Google Map Directions
|From Hobart, head west via Davey Street (A6). Keep in the right lane and continue past the turn-off to the southern outlet. Continue on this road 9km past Fern Tree and turn onto Betts Road. Follow this gravel road for 1km, crossing a small bridge directly before the car park.
From the car park you are presented with two initial routes, the first and official route takes you inland along a private road for a few hundred meters before skirting the North West Bay River through beautiful forests. The other option is to head directly onto the river itself, following it for 500m before heading back onto the track. Cairns and tape markers clearly mark the exit from the river. It should be noted that through this section, some dead ends trails are present. The official route is well-signposted with orange arrow track markers.
Soon after leaving the river, the track joins onto a fire trail which will be followed for the majority of the remaining walk. For the next 3.5km, the trail climbs steeply, zig-zagging its way up Betts Hill before reaching a saddle at the base of Cathedral Rock.
For the final 400m, the track returns to a rugged trail, climbing even more steeply along the back face of Cathedral Rock. When nearing the top, the trail opens up onto rocky footing. Once at the top after the short gruelling climb, you are welcomed by great views towards North West Bay and back over Mount Wellington towards Collins Bonnet. Return via the same route.
Cathedral Rock is one of the steeper Welling Park walks, and although the climb is strenuous, the beautiful river and mountain views make it an extremely worthwhile walk.
Hazards and Warnings
The top section of the walk enters a sub-alpine area, be sure to take appropriate clothing. There is also a chance of high winds at the top, so be careful near the cliff edges.