The 9km medium graded Ice House loop track is perhaps the best day walk available on the southern side of Mount Wellington (Kunanyi). Incorporating charming views of Hobart, multiple terrain types and occasional challenging conditions there is enough to keep walkers of all levels excited. Leaving from The Springs, the trail climbs the Zig Zag Track to the summit of Mount Wellington before descending the southern face via the Ice House Track.
No matter what time of year, warm and waterproof clothing is recommended for this walk as weather towards the summit is known to change quickly.
View Google Map Directions
|From Hobart head west via Davey Street (A6). Keep in the right lane and continue past the turnoff to the southern outlet. After 6km turn right onto Pinnacle Road and continue to The Springs. The Ice House Loop begins from the upper section of The Springs.|
Leaving from the upper area of The Springs picnic area this loop trail can be walked in either direction. The following guide suggests walking in an anti-clockwise direction, reaching the pinnacle via the steepest route and returning via the gentler downhill.
From The Springs the trail climbs towards Mount Wellington’s summit along the lower section of the Zig Zag Track. This initial section of track is well constructed and walking is easy through impressive bushland. After 2km of gradual climbing the alternate route to the Organ Pipes is passed and the trail continues uphill via the left hand fork. For the next 45 minutes, the aptly named Zig Zag Track scrambles towards the summit with incredible views of Hobart and the eastern shore becoming more apparent with each step. Once at Mount Wellington’s pinnacle, a short detour past the broadcast tower to the observation area is recommended to enjoy sweeping views of the Derwent River south past Burny Island and north beyond Bridgewater.
Continuing along the loop from the top of the Zig Zag Track, the trail crosses the alpine plateau along the South Wellington Track. For 500 meters the trail meanders through brilliant dolerite boulder fields before descending onto the Ice House Track. Here a short detour to Smiths Monument can be taken to the right. Dedicated to John Smith, a leading surgeon who died on the mountain in 1858, the short walk to the monument passes through impressive snowgun via a poorly marked trail.
Continuing on the Ice House Track the trail gently weaves through boulder fields and snow gum forests. After 30 minutes a large rock spree is passed before the Mills Track fire trail is then reached. Following this track to the left The Springs is then met again soon after.
Map for illustrative purposes only. Base map supplied by Land Information System Tasmania