There's no debating that Hobart, the south coast capital of the Australian island of Tasmania, is a fantastic city to visit. After you've done the requisite sightseeing as most visitors do, it'll be time to put your best foot forward and try out some of the best hikes in Hobart.
You don't need to go very far south to explore some of the wilder parts of Greater Hobart, the Hobart bushlands, or take in the views from the top of Mount Wellington.
Hobart is surrounded by incredible volcanic landscapes where there are rock formations that will take your breath away. They make hiking in and around Hobart one of the most exciting things to do. Admittedly, not all of the best hiking trails in Hobart are easy by any means. There are some, though, that don't require too much effort but are still rewarding.
You can't go hiking in Hobart if you have your suitcase with you. That's just asking to ruin your day and make your life difficult. The best thing to do with your surplus baggage is to leave it at a Bounce luggage storage facility in Hobart. It'll be safely stored in a secure luggage locker that's tagged and insured so the only thing you'll have to worry about is not getting lost on the bushland trails.
Top Hiking Trails In and Around Hobart
It's not always possible that you'll have the time or opportunity to head into the hinterlands of Tasmania to go hiking in national parks, like Mount Field National Park or Tasman National Park, and you don’t need to either. There are some great hiking trails, both easy and challenging, in and around Hobart that are easily accessible and definitely worth putting your hiking boots on for.
Best Trails In Hobart City
Hiking is undoubtedly one of the best free things to do in Hobart, but you don't have to turn it into a marathon-style expedition to make it a great experience. There are trails in and around the city that will show you its historic as well as its scenic side and more besides. Whatever level of hiker you are, be it a gentle ambler or full-on peak bagger, there are trails that will deliver beautiful surprises around every corner.
Easy Hiking Trails In Hobart
Battery Point Sculpture Trail - If you enjoy urban hiking and combining exercise with a cultural activity, you'll enjoy doing the Battery Point Sculpture Trail.
Battery Point is one of Hobart's older districts and steeped in history. The nine pieces of artwork you'll encounter on this two-kilometer walk each denote an important moment in the city's history. The entire trail takes between an hour to an hour and a half to complete depending on how long you linger at each sculpture or spend staring at the waterfront.
If you'd like to know more about the relation of each piece to a historic event, you can download an informative brochure from the Greater Hobart Trails website.
Hobart Rivulet Park Trail - Another way to take in some Hobart history while enjoying a walk through the pretty countryside is to do the Hobart Rivulet Park Track. The three-kilometer out and back track is rated as easy though it does involve a slight climb towards the end.
The track starts from the parking lot on Moelle Street which is right by Hobart Rivulet Park. The walk mirrors the route of the Hobart Rivulet where it runs through the park winding past a UNESCO World Heritage-listed building historically used as a detention center for women and children. The track ends at the foot of Mount Wellington.
Cornelian Bay Trail - The Cornelian Bay Trail is an easy three-kilometer stroll alongside the River Derwent from Cornelian Bay Point to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and one of the great walks within Hobart itself. It's not testing so great if you're looking for a family hike to do with the kids.
There are plenty of things to see along the route of this walk too. You'll pass old boathouses, the Tasman Bridge, and encounter some fantastic spots to sit down and watch the boat traffic on the river or eat a picnic. You can join the trail in Cornelian Bay on the Intercity Cycleway or at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.
Intercity Cycleway - The Intercity Cycleway is a 15-kilometer-long paved multi-use hiking and cycling trail running through Hobart, alongside the River Derwent in parts, that continues all the way to Claremont.
The trail is classified as easy. If you want to do a shorter walk, you can join it at a variety of locations in the city like Mawson Place or by the Tasman Bridge. If you decide to do the entire trail, be prepared for a full day of walking so take snacks and drinks with you to keep your energy levels stable.
Intermediate Hikes In Hobart
The Cascade Walking Track - This short but relatively challenging two-and-a-half kilometer-long out and back walk starts by the Cascade Brewery on Cascade Road.
While the track is close to the city it's quite isolated where it winds through the wooded bush and along a gully. Top sights on this trail are the Peter Degraves stone bridge, dense ferns, and the occasional wallaby that appears out of the trees. This trail links to the Myrtle Gully Trail on Mount Wellington so you can extend your walk if you want to.
O'Grady Falls Trail - Do this short, but moderately rated trail in the Fern Tree district of the city and you'll feel as though you've been transported to a secret fairy dell.
The trailhead to the O'Grady Falls Trail is near the junction of Bracken Lane with Pinnacle Road. The initial stage of this two-kilometer trail is a fire track so not so easy on the feet. If you do it out and back you can expect it to take about two hours altogether.
If you want a longer hike, take the Woods Track followed by the Fern Glade Track on the way back. They'll take you by Rocky Whelans Cave and the Radfords Monument before you reach Pinnacle Road again.
Difficult Hikes In Hobart
Pinnacle Trail - This trail may seem like a breeze when you first set out as it begins in an urban area, but once you leave that behind the landscape changes and is definitely challenging.
You can join the trailhead in the parking lot on Moelle Street. From there it follows the route of the Hobart Rivulet Trail until it reaches Cascade Gardens. From there you'll be on the Cascade Trail followed by the Myrtle Gully Trail which joins onto the Pinnacle Trail that climbs 1,200 meters to the Summit Tower viewing point.
The final part of this hiking trail is over rocky ground which can often be icy so take care as you hike the last few meters to the tower.
Lenah Valley Trail - By the time you've completed the 17 kilometers of the Lenah Valley Trail, you'll have forgotten humanity exists. This loop trail is pretty much bush all the way and includes several steep climbs that are hard work.
The reward on this trail is that it takes you to the summit of Mount Wellington in a roundabout way so once you get to the top, the panoramic views will compensate for the leg aches. The trail also crosses the New Town Rivulet at the New Town Falls which is a perfect and very picturesque rest stop.
The trailhead is located on Lenah Valley Road in the Lenah Valley suburb of Hobart. You can get to Lenah Valley easily enough by public transport which is one of the best ways of getting around Hobart.
Truganini Track - What you see from the Mount Nelson Signal Station at the end of this difficult two-kilometer-long hike will make you forget the pain you endured to get there.
The Truganini Track trailhead is at the picnic area on Sandy Bay Road from where it follows the course of Cartwright Creek until it veers off through the Truganini Conservation Area.
As you're getting to the end of the trail and nearing the summit of Mount Nelson, you'll find the Truganini Memorial which has been placed there in honor of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The signal box is open to the public and from there you'll see Storm Bay and the Tasman Peninsula
The Truganini Track may only be two kilometers, but expect it to take you around two hours minimum to get there and back. The bonus with this trail is when you come back down you’ll be in the right place to get the best brunch in Hobart which is perfect as you’ll more than likely be ready for it.
Hiking Trails In Greater Hobart
You can see Mount Wellington from Hobart and while it may look like a daunting mountain to climb, don't let that put you off. There are trails of all levels on Mount Wellington, many of which lead to the area's most famous feature, the Organ Pipes, and offer spectacular views of Hobart, the Tasman Peninsula, and the River Derwent.
Mount Wellington Park Hikes
Easy Mount Wellington Hikes
Chalet Walk - When you want to see the Organ Pipes but don't want to spend all day doing it or expend too much energy, try the two-kilometer-long Chalet Walk. This part of the Organ Pipes hiking trail starts at a point called The Chalet where there is a small parking lot. It's an easy walk, but you'll still get to see the grandeur of the natural rock formation in its entirety.
Intermediate Mount Wellington Park Hikes
Organ Pipes Circuit -To test yourself a little more, one of the best trails is the Organ Pipes Circuit. You can join the trailhead to this nine-and-a-half-kilometer loop trail at The Springs. Be ready for some gentle uphill and downhill slopes that will test your thigh and calf muscles. A great spot for a rest is the Sphinx Rock lookout point where you can sit and contemplate the views.
Wellington Falls Trail -The Wellington Falls Trail is one of the area's great walks. It starts out in the Fern Tree neighborhood of Hobart and is a moderate out and back hike twelve kilometers in length.
Initially, the trail winds through partially forested bushland, which is sparsely inhabited, then turns into a 4WD dust track where you're rewarded with vistas of the North West Bay River. The trail tapers from wide and even to narrow and rocky in places so sturdy shoes are a must. There's a slight climb up the last stretch of the trail that ends at the viewing point for Wellington Falls.
Snowfall is not uncommon on this trail, no matter what time of the year it is. If that happens, be prepared for slippery ground underfoot.
Difficult Mount Wellington Hikes
Summit Circuit Trail - If you're looking for a challenging hike, the Summit Circuit Trail on Mount Wellington is the one to go for. This trail is just over 12 kilometers long and depending on your level of fitness can take anywhere between four to six hours to complete. To make sure you stay on the right track, you need to change trails several times, download the trail map from the official Hobart City website before you set off or you could find yourself stuck on a mountainside viewing Hobart by night.
It's probably not a hiking trip in Hobart if you don't visit Cradle Mountain. One of the great walks in the wilderness in the area is the Dove Lake Circuit hiking trail. With scenic views of Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain, this six-kilometer overland track walk is nothing short of spectacular. Plan for this hike to take you about two hours, but rest assured, the time spent on the Dove Lake Circuit will fly by.
For something a little easier, try the Enchanted Walk that spans just over one kilometer. The hiking track is a compacted surface with only slight hills and a few steps. This hike is only a 15-minute car ride from Dove Lake, so these hikes are best combined if you can do it.
Also located in the Central Highlands, Lake St. Clair is a popular destination for hikers. You'll find Lake St. Clair at the southern boundary of Cradle Mountain National Park.
The great thing about hiking in Hobart is you don't need to travel 150 kilometers or make an hour's drive to somewhere like the Tasman National Park with picturesque Fortescue Bay views and Waterfall Bay or the Freycinet National Park to have some amazing hiking experiences. Although, if you can make it to these national parks or even Freycinet National Park, you should. The stunning views of Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park are certainly worth some gas money. The park stretches to both the west and east coast of the island state. To venture even further afield, Maria Island National Park off the east coast is nothing short of memorable.
Some of the best hikes in Tasmania for novice and experienced hikers alike are in the south coast city of Hobart itself. Whether you want to do a short hike that's fairly easy or be more adventurous, you'll find plenty of ideal trails to suit your level of hiking experience. There are great walks where you can explore the city on urban trails, climb a mountain, or trek along bush tracks where you never know if some of the native wildlife like a Tasmanian devil is going to leap out of the undergrowth. If that doesn’t make hiking in Hobart fun, nothing will.