Are you looking for the best hikes in Tasmania? Mt Wellington is a hiking paradise, and tucked away on its western side is the fantastic Collins Bonnet walking trail. It’s a lovely Hobart day walk, taking you up through temperate rainforest to the windswept alpine zone high above!
Getting to the Collins Bonnet walking trail
The Collins Bonnet walking trail starts at Myrtle Forest Creek, about 4.5km from Collinsvale in Tasmania’s south.
To get there, turn left onto Springdale Road as you exit Collinsvale to the west. Follow Springdale Road for about 5 minutes, making sure you turn left onto Myrtle Forest Road for the last couple of kilometres. There’s a car park at the start of the track with great picnic and toilet facilities.
Tackling the Collins Bonnet walking trail
From the car park (1) the Collins Bonnet walking trail runs parallel to the bubbling creek for a few hundred metres, crossing it a couple of times and passing by some lovely waterfalls.
As you walk through some incredibly lush sections of temperate rainforest you’ll find the terrain starting out flat, but steepening as you get closer to the junction (2). At the fork in the trail (~800m from the start) you’ve got the option of taking either the left hand track south towards Collins Bonnet, or west towards Collins Cap (notice the subtle difference in title). As it’s a loop walk it doesn’t matter which path you take, however the left hand track (which we took) is a little rougher and harder to climb than the right hand track.
Taking the left-hand trail you’ll find it rising sharply for the next 1.2km. The track a little overgrown but easily climbable, with fantastic views to the north and east as you approach the alpine plateau. As the terrain flattens the walking trail becomes harder to follow and you’ll need to keep an eye out for rock cairns to mark the way in places.
The track eventually emerges from the bush to join the East-West fire trail.
At this point you should also see a walker’s hut (3) in which can take shelter from the elements if needed. Follow the fire trail for another 300m or so and you’ll find the walking trail continuing south, while the fire trail – which you don’t want to take, unless you plan on walking to Big Bend and/or Mt Wellington – diverges to the east.
This next section is marked by poles and rises steadily, passing through boulder fields that require a lot of rock hopping. Although easy in the dry this could be quite dangerous in wet or icy conditions. Head towards the trig point and you’ll eventually find yourself scrambling to the top of Collins Bonnet!
The views from the peak are incredible, looking west towards Trestle Mountain and south towards Cathedral Rock [hiking notes], Mt Montagu and Bruny Island.
Take the same track back to the fire trail and return to where you first emerged from the bush. Continue along the fire trail to the north and then south west. Eventually you’ll come to a junction where you need to leave the East-West trail and turn sharp-right onto the Collins Cap fire trail.
After another 1.4km you will come across a sign (5) marking the point at which you can either turn left and take the track up to Collins Cap, or turn right and take the track back down to the car park.
The walking trail to the right descends steeply for the next 600m, again taking you through some beautiful green temperate rainforest until you eventually arrive at the junction that you passed through earlier in the day.
Turning left, take the track back along the creek to the car park and crack a cold one. You’ve done it!
Final thoughts on the Collins Bonnet walking trail?
It’s a fantastic trail, and as an added bonus it’s not only a loop but is also easily accessible from Hobart, making it an excellent day walk option.
Overall this loop walk climbs from 600m to just over 1200m altitude. Due to the variability in the Tasmanian weather we strongly advise you to be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and the possibility of rainfall. It can get mighty cold up there on the plateau, with snow and sleet not uncommon in winter. Layers are your best option, and always pack a waterproof jacket.
The track also takes you through some fairly dense bush where you may get scratched by stray branches and it’s also possible you’ll encounter a snake or two. Andrew detests snakes and always enters the bush with his gaiters fastened firmly 😀 If that sounds like you then it’s definitely worth considering investing in a solid pair for yourself. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt will be enough to prevent scratches, but they aren’t absolutely necessary.
There are options to extend the walk to both Trestle Mountain and Collins Cap if you’re keen. It took us about 5hrs to climb Collins Bonnet and return, so expect to be walking for between 6-8 hours if you want to cover two or three of the peaks.
If you have any questions at all, let us know in the comments below!
Reward-to-effort ratio = 7/10
Leech count = 0
Snake count = 1 (but it was only tiny :D)
Are you looking for other Tasmanian walks like Collins Bonnet walking trail? Check out these three sensational options:
- Mt Wellington Walk – This loop walk takes you past the soaring ‘Organ Pipes’, up the Zig-Zag track for some of the best views of Hobart, onto the iconic summit and then back down again. It’s another awesome Tasmanian short walk.
- The Needles – This walk is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets – and it’s only an hour’s drive from Hobart!
- Mt Maria – If you’ve got a few days up your sleeve and want to escape the rat-race – take the ferry to Maria Island and spend a day saying g’day to wombats and walking up Mt Maria. The views from the top are incredible! <– If that’s not enough, there’s also a great hike to ‘Bishop and Clerk‘ on Maria Island!
Happy hiking folks!
Andrew and Karen.