I am going to take the risk of covering old ground today, and commit a bit of self-plagiarism, because I’ve walked some of this path before.
Fern Tree is the lustrous forested home of Hobart’s Pinnacle Road, which leads to the summit of Mount Wellington. It’s also the site of a dozen myriad tracks that start most treks into Wellington Park and the eponymous mountain.
I caught the bus into Fern Tree from the Hobart CBD, getting off at Fern Tree’s tavern and wandering into the forest. The first segment of the Pipeline Track heads towards the modest Silver Falls.
The trail is interrupted by thick water pipes and pumping stations, disrupting the serene forest surroundings. The path is fairly level and wide here, suitable for walkers of any age. At the Fern Tree Bower, signs beside the decaying remains of a building depict the location as a once popular picnic location for genteel folk, when Hobart was still a young British colony.
A shallow incline led further through the forest to Silver Falls. A steel bridge crosses a pool in front of a modest waterfall, the scene a clash of man-made trappings versus tumultuous forest surroundings. Signs and a locked gate interrupt a small path by the top of the waterfall, declaring it a restricted area for city water collection.
The Pipeline Track diverts east onto Silver Falls Track. Skipping the advertised route, I headed north taking a steep climb on Reids Track (as opposed to the Middle Island trail) to meet Radfords track, and onwards to The Springs.
The Springs is a parking and rest area a short distance up the mountain featuring access to many walking tracks which cross the mountain, toilets, and the site of The Springs Hotel which was destroyed in the Hobart bushfires of 1967. I thought I might head a little further into the site and inspect the remains.
After taking a coffee with Meg at her Bentwood Coffee caravan (expensive, but decent!) I wandered back down Radfords track towards Fern Tree, to head home.
Fern Tree sits on the old road to Kingston, from Hobart. It’s a 15 minute drive by car, alternatively public bus services (Metro Tasmania) pass through every 20 minutes to an hour, dawn to dusk. For more information on Wellington Park, including maps of the various walking tracks, I recommend the official Wellington Park website.