Hobart’s Great Short Walk

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Hobart's Great Short Walk, the Organ Pipes Walk, is the ideal starting point for anyone who wants to explore walking tracks on Hobart’s iconic mountain, kunanyi/Mt Wellington. 

The Organ Pipes Walk encompasses the Pinnacle and Organ Pipes tracks, which wind through sub-alpine forest and across huge bolder fields. Built more than 100 years ago, these two tracks were recently restored by the City of Hobart, making them more accessible to walkers of all abilities.  

There are several routes that can be taken to experience the walk, ranging from a gentle stroll to half day walks and more challenging options. All of the walks include spectacular views of Hobart, the Derwent River and out to the Tasman Peninsula.

The highlight of each route is the Organ Pipes: huge, fluted columns of dolerite rock that rise above Hobart and attract climbers from around the world. 

The Springs is the best starting point for enjoying the Organ Pipes Walk. 

 Walk options

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Organ Pipes Circuit (9.5km): Starting from The Springs, follow Lenah Valley Track past Sphinx Rock with its large sandstone lookout. Continue on to Junction Cabin before climbing uphill towards The Chalet on Hunters Track. From The Chalet you’ll wander past the base of the spectacular Organ Pipes. During early summer, bright red waratah flowers light up the bush. The steady downhill path on Pinnacle Track returns you to The Springs.

Return Walk (8.2km): Starting from The Springs follow the Pinnacle Track past the turn-off to the Zig Zag Track and along the Organ Pipes Track towards The Chalet. You will pass beneath the Organ Pipes before arriving at The Chalet. Return the same way.

Short Loop (5km): For a shorter loop walk that takes in the Organ Pipes, start at The Springs and follow Lenah Valley Track. Visit Sphinx Rock then take Sawmill Track (a rough, steep climb) up across Pinnacle Road, and on to where the track meets the Organ Pipes Track. Return via Pinnacle Track to The Springs.

The Chalet Walk (2km return): The easiest of the Organ Pipes walks is a gentle stroll from The Chalet. Wander along the Organ Pipes Track and enjoy spectacular views of the dolerite columns above and the city spread out below. Turn around whenever you feel like it. There is limited parking near The Chalet but this walk is suitable for people of all walking abilities.

Summit Circuit (12.3km): For a real challenge follow Pinnacle Track from The Springs, then head up the Zig Zag Track to the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington. Return back down the Zig Zag Track and on to the Organ Pipes Track. Once you reach The Chalet, take Hunters Track down to Junction Cabin, and return to The Springs along Lenah Valley Track. Be sure to start this circuit early, you’ll need a full day to complete it (4-6hrs).

You can enjoy the Great Short Walk from either The Springs or The Chalet, but The Springs offers the best range of walk options, and has parking, toilets and a cafe. 

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Background

Pinnacle Track in 1907.jpgThe earliest written record of the Pinnacle Track dates back to 1903 and indicates that the track itself was created around the turn of the century. 

The Organ Pipes Track was built in 1931 as a Depression-era relief scheme. Four hundred men from the ranks of the unemployed worked on the project. The Mercury listed them as 'skilled bushmen, navvies, artisans, clerks and drapers’ assistants'. But time takes its toll on all things, including walking tracks. Over the course of a century sections of track were obliterated by boulders and water carved its way through surface gravel, eroding the original track work.

In 2017 the City of Hobart began the painstaking work of restoring these two tracks, which wind through sub-alpine forest and across huge boulder fields, to their former glory.

The project took two years and involved overcoming some enormous challenges. More than 60 hazardous rocks had to be stabilised, including one giant that would easily outweigh most African elephants, coming in at an estimated ten tonnes. 

Countless hours were spent fitting every single individual rock of the restored track into place. Some of these efforts will be seen by visitors but much of the detail  is now covered with surface gravel,obscured from view. These tracks are now accessible to all. They are designed to blend into the natural landscape and look like they have always been there.

 

 

Location

Pinnacle Road, kunanyi / Mt Wellington 7000  View Map

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