Looking for a great short walk near Hobart? Only minutes away from the buzzing CBD is the The Lost World trail, one of the most unusual and best Mount Wellington walks!
Hobart is a gorgeous little city nestled between the deep blue waters of the River Derwent and the imposing escarpments and forests of Mt Wellington (Kunanyi). At 1,271m it is a landmark visible across much of southern Tasmania, and is used by many a befuddled tourist to gain their bearings when exploring this beautiful part of the state.
When looking up at Mt Wellington, you can’t help but notice the towering columns known as the ‘Organ Pipes’ (you can read about the Organ Pipes and Mt Wellington loop walk here).
If you turn your gaze to the right you’ll see a smaller set of dolerite cliffs jutting out from the side of the mountain. Strictly speaking this is the eastern face of Mt Arthur, but to the innocent observer it would appear as if it is simply an extension of the face of Mt Wellington. At the foot of those cliffs is the enticingly named ‘Lost World’!
How to Get to the Lost World on Mount Wellington
Finding the start of the Lost World walking trail is easy. From the central Hobart take one-way Davey Street south, following the clearly marked signs to Mt Wellington. We recommend staying in the right-hand lane so that you don’t get forced onto the Channel Highway – a very long highway with little chance to do a U-turn.
Turning right at Fern Tree, the road winds its way up the mountain through a series of switchbacks. Only a couple of kilometres from the peak, the road turns back on itself to the left in a large hairpin known as Big Bend. There is a small car park here on the left hand side, and a large one further up the road, at which you should park.
Walk back down the road to the small car park, passing the dirt fire trail on your left – this fire trail links up with the Collins Bonnet walking trail which is also a really interesting day walk from Hobart. About 30 metres ahead you’ll see a sign in the scrub marking the start of the Lost World bushwalking trail.
The Lost World Walking Trail
The start of the hike is flat-ish, occasionally dipping and rising, with the odd minor rock scramble as it passes through the gnarled Tasmanian snow gums. The twisted trees and dolerite boulders strewn across the landscape make for some really interesting photos.
After 15-20 minutes the track emerges from the vegetation and you are presented with a great view over Hobart and back along the face of the mini-organ pipes, with Mt Wellington providing an imposing backdrop to the panorama.
If you’re short on time, dexterity or stamina, then this is the perfect place to turn back, because it gets a lot tougher from this point on – although it’s a lot more interesting as well!
As the track descends you get a taste of what’s to come, with large boulders forming walls and precipices over which you are forced to resort to both hands and feet in an effort to reach the rocky plateau of the Lost World.
The Lost World is a fascinating little ecosystem, consisting of a jumbled, sprawling obstacle course of rocks varying in size from that of a pebble up to monoliths as big as a house! On a sunny day you could easily lose yourself in exploration for hours, with nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury of time, and had to admire in passing as we followed the trail further down the mountainside.
For the next hour and a half we got a right royal workout, levering ourselves down, between, under and over dozens of boulders. Occasional views of Hobart revealed themselves to us, but eventually the canopy closed in around us and we continued on through the trees.
As the trail eventually flattened out and changed from rock to dirt we were pleasantly surprised by a waterfall along the New Town Rivulet cascading over the track. A great place to stop and refill the water bottle!
We joined the Old Hobartian track – it starts from Lenah Valley further down the mountain – and then a little further on came to a fork in the path, taking the right hand option back up the very steep Hunters Track to The Chalet on the main road.
Unless you’ve arranged for someone to pick you up, you’ll need to walk back up the road for about 1km to the Big Bend car park. Watch out for cars, as the road is only narrow.
Final thoughts on the Lost World walking trail
The walk into The Lost World would take most people around 30 minutes and it’s well worth the effort. We found the rock formations fascinating, and would love to return one day with a bit more time on our hands – and a big hamper full of food and wine 😀 – to explore it more thoroughly and to get some more photos.
Continuing down the mountainside wasn’t as much fun, but may be of interest if you’re keen on doing a loop walk, or if you’re planning on linking up with one of the other tracks in Wellington Park.
In total we took around 3 hours to complete the loop walk, but as we tend to take rock scrambling quite slowly, I’d say most could do it in 2-2.5hrs.
As with all of Tasmania’s peaks, keep an eye on the weather. The cliff tops are extremely exposed and are extremely dangerous during high winds or icy conditions. Make sure you take enough water with you, as we encountered none until New Town Rivulet.
If you’d like to view a more comprehensive map of the area, showing not only this walk but many of the other tracks criss-crossing Wellington Park, then click here: Wellington Park Walking Trails Map
Reward-to-effort ratio to the Lost World = 7/10
Reward-to-effort ratio for the remainder = 3/10
Snake count = 0
Leech count = 0
Are you looking for more walks near Mount Wellington or Hobart?
These three are fantastic, and well worth a look:
- Collins Bonnet – As we mention above, you can access this trail from Big Bend – but we think it’s a lot more fun to experience the Collins Bonnet walking trail from Myrtle Forest in Collinsvale. It’s a good all-rounder, providing an alternative perspective on Mt Wellington, Sleeping Beauty, and the Huon Valley to the south.
- Cathedral Rock – This one is for the hardcore hikers and bushwalkers! It’s a tough loop walk on the southern side of Mount Wellington, but when you step onto the wind-swept spire of Cathedral Rock you’ll realise the effort was well worth it.
- Mount Wellington loop hike via the Organ Pipes – Hands down, one of the best Mount Wellington walks. This trail is a loop, taking you around, up, over and back down the summit of Mt Wellington. It’s takes some effort, but you’ll love it!
Happy hiking and bushwalking!
Andrew and Karen.