The Snowy South walk is a demanding and captivating 7-hour climb through changing landscapes. Leaving dense rainforest, the trail skirts beautiful Lake Skinner before traversing across exposed alpine plateaus. This difficult walk climbs 780m to the summit of Snowy South (1398m), where panoramic views of the rugged Southwest peaks reward your effort.
As with many alpine walks in Tasmania, weather can change for the worse quickly, and hikers should be well prepared if attempting this walk.
|<View Google Map Directions||From Hobart, head south along the Southern Outlet (A6) for 10km. Take the right-hand lane at the Kingston Bypass and continue for 2km before taking the 4th exit to Channel Highway (B68) at the roundabout. Continue 22km towards Huonville and turn right onto Lollara Road (C619). Follow this road for 3.6km before turning right onto Agnes Street and continuing on C619. Follow for 10.4km as the road changes to Lonnavale Road and continue for 6.5km further before continuing on Denison Road for 4.6km. Turn right, staying on Denison Road after After 5.5km. After 6.3km, turn right onto McDougalls Road and follow the signs to the carpark, turning left then right as you pass through the clear-felled forest section.|
Note – the following information on the alpine section of this walk only gives an impression of the environment and trail. Further research and planning are encouraged, and hikers may want to source gpx directions before undertaking this walk.
From the moment you enter the forest at the start of the Snowy South walk, a lush green rainforest packed with teatree, myrtle, pandanis, and ferns welcomes you. Light filters through the dense canopy, fragmenting the forest in shadows.
At the right time of day, this dramatic effect is sustained for the next hour as the trail climbs 300m through the forest. Although the forest is rampant with life, the track is well-constructed and easily followed via boardwalks, stones, and buttress root steps.
Eventually, the trail passes through a drier eucalypt forest before opening onto the subalpine base below Lake Skinner. From here, a short and gradual climb will find you at the lake’s edge. Lake Skinner’s brilliant blue waters, hemming by pencil and king billy pines, make a great rest stop before continuing to Snowy South.
From the opposite side of Falls Rivulet, just before Lake Skinner, the trail becomes steeper, more technically challenging and far more exposed. Stunning vegetation, including Waratahs and Pandani, crowd the track as it zigzags steeply 200m above the lake. A large rocky outcrop represents the end of the steepest section, with views of Snowy South’s summit presenting themselves across the plateau to the west.
Once on the alpine plateau below the summit, the trail is marked with cairns and pink tape. The pad is often hard to follow, and care should be taken to stay on track as it heads westward to the summit. If hiking during summer, Richea Scoparia, pineapple grass, and Mountain Rocket are among the stunning vegetation putting on a show. For the next hour, the track slowly climbs across the boulder field guided by the cairn and pink tape markers. Nearing the top, the boulders get bigger, and the climbing is occasionally more challenging.
Eventually, after a bit of scrambling, the summit is reached, and spectacular panoramic views of over 100 km are offered in every direction. Views span north past Mount Field and Denison Range, east to kunanyi and Wellington Range, south to Hartz Mountain, the Arthurs Range and Southern Ranges and west beyond Mount Anne and Dohertys Range.
Return to the trailhead via the same track.
Map for illustrative purposes only. Basemap supplied by Land Information System Tasmania.
Hazards and Warnings
It can get extremely windy and cold on the exposed alpine sections of Snowy South, so be sure to pack appropriately and only attempt this walk in good weather. The track is difficult to follow in some sections. Viability can also be drastically reduced in thick fog.