From Bushwalk Australia
The wellington range is a very popular destination for Hobartians, and its attractions are described below.
Accessed from the marked track at the end of Betts Road off Huon road. 8km return, steep gradient most of the way. 4-5hrs return. Continuing the traverse over the Thumbs is very scenic as cathedral rock pokes up at the end of the when looking back. Add an extra hour and a half or so return to reach the highpoint. This is very up and down with a little scrambling, but nothing major or exposed.
A choice of routes can be taken here. It is best done in the wellington falls circuit which also encompasses cathedral rock.
- a) Thark ridge. Start from the Big Bend carpark on the road to the Wellington Summit. This is the large one next to the last snowgate. Pick up rough pads from the top of the carpark. If this is causing difficulties walk to the near boulder scree and follow its base towards the summit, picking up the track. The track is cairned and very muddy. Make sure to turn sharply right at the corner closer to the ridge. This is obvious because a large cairn marks it. In other words head up the ridge instead of straight. The cairned track soon turns into a very well marked, well made track as progress is made towards the bottom end. Follow this until you reach Montagu fire trail. Continue to pick up the unmarked track on the right. Wellington park maps show this and it is obvious when you are loocking for it (cairn). Follow this to the top. It is relatively easy to follow.
- b) Betts Road. Follow route as for cathedral rock, then over the thumbs to meet the fire trail. 10 or so mins along here the cairned track is encountered on the left. There are two of these, probably best to follow the closer one as not to back track but both are very straight forward.
- c) The falls. This route is hardest to pick up but arguably the most scenic.
- 1) Drive to Neika, then walk the repetitive 8km length of the pipeline track to meet the well signed track to the falls. Follow this, then once you reach the lookout sign continue straight instead. Traverse a small scree slope, neither rising nor falling to meet the top of the falls. Cross the Northwest bay river to pick up tags on the other side. Follow this track (moderately easy to follow) to meet the fire trail route described above.
- 2) Drive to Betts road. Get on the cathedral rock track, walk for about a half hour until tags are encountered on left. Follow these to meet the river, crossing the river in a diagonal up stream direction. Tags will once again be encountered, leading to a fire trail up the steep pipeline. Follow this, ignoring a left turn that appears to lead onto a flatish road. This will spit you out across from the falls track, meeting other routes. This is quicker than route 1, but harder and more scenic.
- d) The circuit. This is the best walk in the park. Follow route C to the falls, then walking to the top of the fall. Pick up the obvious tags on the other side, following these to the fire trail. Traverse below Montagu, climbing to the summit if wanted, until you reach the thumbs track. This will appear obviously on the left of the fire trail. It is marked well by arrows on poles. Follow this to Cathedral rock, descending off the sharp little summit to pick up the fairly obvous track. Rock slabs show the way from the summit coming in this direction. Once down the rock track, turn left once at the junction, following the collection of obvious tracks and fire trails with no turn offs back to Betts Road. This is about 17km and well worth the effort from fit parties with some previous experience.
- a) Drive to Big Bend, the bend itself, not the snow agte carpark. Follow Big bend fire trail until turning onto the marked collins bonnet track. This crosses a pleasant moor, then Mt. connection. This is a 10min return off track side trip from the the track. This track will then spit you out on east west trail, which can be followed to pick up the marked and obvious summit track on the left.
- b) Drive to Myrtle Forest, Collinsvale. Use the obvious track to access the fire tril system, cross once agin to use the Collins Bonnet track to reduce fire trail walking. Once again on fire roads below collins bonnet turn left and then pick up the before mentioned track on the right. The track is of easy standard to the summit.
Access east west fire trail once again, and follow it to the base of the mountain. Pick up the trestle mountain track from the little loop road. This is not too obvious so keep your eyes out. There is a sign back 200m or so at the end of the loop road that is closer to the track start. None at the actual start from the lop road though. Some scrambling and a fair bit of boulder hopping required.
These are the most remote and least visited. Tracks are short but very rough and sometimes hard to follow, no real risk of getting lost easily though. Follow the east west fire trail north and locate cairns/ tags in appropriate seeming places below each peak. These are not entirely need, particularly not for charles, being only 15mins from the fire trail. Charles is the most scenic, followed by Marian. Views are incredibly limited from Patrick, which is really only one for the peak baggers. This is also the hardest summit to attain of the three with a little thick scrub here and there.
Red Paint Track
This was a direct route to the wellington summit before the fire but now needs some route finding and is not entirely tracked. Walk up the climbers track from between the spring and chalet (climbers carpark) to meet the base of the pipes. Contour right and follow the best looking pads to find a route up through the cliff lines (small at the correct point). This is steep but straight forward except for one awkward ledge which could put some people off.
From Junction cabin pick up the lenah valley firee trail. Follow this for only about 200m before picking up pads on the left. 10mins up here an interesting overhang with an inbuilt chimney is encountered.