The Hobart

Exploring the New Zig Zag Track

by Elizabeth Osborne
Exploring the New Zig Zag Track

On kunanyi / Mount Wellington is a network of bush tracks and trails in Hobart’s backyard. We walked the 100 year old Zig Zag Track to the summit of kunanyi / Mount Wellington on the day it reopened after several years of reconstruction. The track is a short but challenging walk, with spectacular views over the city, the Derwent Estuary, Bruny Island in the south and the Tasman Peninsula in the east.

We drove the 14.8km from the city to The Springs, on the mountain. The track starts at 966 metres above sea level. Stone steps lead from the carpark to the Zig Zag Track via the Pinnacle Track. Warning signs alert walkers to be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions, and explain the dangers of walking in alpine regions. When we started the walk, it was 30 degrees celsius in the carpark, but the air cooled rapidly as we climbed.

We walked through tunnels of trees on the Pinnacle Track, before turning uphill to the Zig Zag Track. The newly renovated stone work, using local stone, is a work of art in its own right. This track passes through exposed alpine heathlands and forests, amazing natural rock sculptures, dramatic cliff faces, and – always – spectacular views. As we neared the summit, we quickly put on our jackets as chilly winds buffeted us. We were 1257 metres above sea level. We had a natural high from completing the climb, filled with wonder at the vast panorama spread beneath us.

Returning by the same track reverses the perspective of the view, with the chance to focus on details we had missed as we climbed. When we reached The Springs, we noticed the heat of the day, in contrast to the cool summit. A coffee at Lost Freight at The Springs refreshed us before we headed home.

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May 2024

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