What’s not to love about lutruwita/ Tasmania? Mild climate, wild landscapes, endless mountains, remarkable forests, wonderful rivers. If you love the higher alpine country, and rocky peaks, there is so much to do, and so many places to visit.
But compared with the high country of NSW and Victoria, you generally need to do some work to get into the alpine zones. There are few easy 2WD roads to get up high, like the tourist road up kunanyi/ Mt Wellington, the road over the Central Plateau past yingina/ the Great Lake, the Ben Lomond plateau, the road to Lake Mackenzie and so on.
But in most places you do need to walk and climb to get to treeline and above. That’s one of the things that makes these places so special. I recently had the chance to get back to Mt Rufus, a peak in the south of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair national park, which has an elegant long alpine ridge that leads to incredible views of the west, south west and central mountains.
There are two standard ways in – accessed from the park and a loop track from Cynthia Bay, or from the Lyall Highway to the south and the Gingerbread hut, which sits just below the summit. This hut and the lower Joe Slatter hut are maintained by volunteers from the Wellington Ski and Outdoor Club.
ABOVE: looking towards the King William range
Either approach is through varied and beautiful forests before reaching the alpine zone. The ridgeline stretches for several kilometres, with a wonderful collection of monolithic sandstone outcrops on the northern end of the range.
Mt Rufus gives you such a great alpine fix, in a good day walk (allow 6 or 7 hours to walk from Cynthia Bay at Lake St Clair) and seemingly endless mountains to gaze at and day dream about visiting on your next trip.