5 Peaks to Conquer in the Western Wilds

Federation Peak / Jason Charles Hill

Lace up your hiking boots and be prepared for rugged mountain climbs and breathtaking views as you conquer some of the peaks of the Western Wilds.

1. Frenchmans Cap

Looking towards Frenchmans Cap from Donaghys Lookout / Geoffrey Lea

Frenchmans Cap is the most prominent peak in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and home to some of the oldest exposed rock in Australia. At 1,446 metres, weather conditions are highly unpredictable, reserving this 46-kilometre four-day hike for experienced, well-equipped hikers. Expect to find valleys carved by glaciers and hauntingly beautiful alpine lakes with Huon pine growing alongside ancient King Billy pine.

2. Cradle Mountain

Summit of Cradle Mountain / Tim Hughes, Tas Walking co.

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the jagged contours of Cradle Mountain. Its 20 self-guided walks treat you to ancient rainforests and alpine heathlands, mountain huts and their ghosts, Huon pines and glacial lakes. It’s also a natural habitat for wombats, the Tasmanian devil, platypus and echidna, so keep an eye out.

3. Mount Murchison

Driving towards Mount Murchison / Flow Mountain Bike

Setting off from the tiny hydro settlement of Tullah, it takes 2.5 hours to reach the summit of this 1,275-metre high mountain. The walk is steep and rocky however the precipitous cliffs and crags open up to an amazing crater-like horizon populated by peaks and alpine lakes. From the top you can see other popular peaks to climb in the region, including Mount Read, known for its abundance of Huon pines.

4. Mount Farrell

View of the Western Wilds from Mount Farrell / Jess Bonde

While in Tullah, take the short walk to the button grass-clad ridge of Mount Farrell. Stop by the glassy Lake Herbert and see Mount Murchison from another angle. But please stick to the track (as with all trails), button grass is very delicate.

5. Mount Donaldson

View of mountain across lake
Mount Donaldson / Peter Kilpatrick

Buttongrass-topped Mount Donaldson rises 400 metres above sea level on the Pieman River in the north-west and offers breathtaking panoramic views of takayna / The Tarkine to the Southern Ocean in the west. Access to the four-hour return track is via the Western Explorer road from Corinna. A carpark and trailhead is located just after the Savage River Bridge.

For more on walking in Tasmania see Plan, prepare, walk safely on the Discover Tasmania website.