Mount Wellington, Tasmania
It's cold on top, but the scenery is beautiful.
We're Off Together!
Come with me to Mount Wellington in Tasmania!
The last time I visited there, I was on a lovely cruise from Melbourne, across to western Tasmania and then back east and around to Hobart. The ship stayed tied up in the port for a couple of nights, so some Wycliffe friends came and picked me up, took me home for dinner and I stayed the night.
It was a lovely time of catching up. During my stay there, we went for a drive up Mount Wellington and, although this happened a while back, it was so lovely I thought I'd like to share it with you.
By the way, please do click on the 'Satellite' version of the map above, as it gives a much better idea of the area.
Recently, I wrote about Flinders on http://blossomsb.hubpages.com/hub/Flinders-Victoria. If you read it, you may remember that Flinders and Bass were some of the first Europeans to explore around Victoria and Tasmania in their small open whale boat.
Well, guess what? George Bass was the first to climb Mount Wellington - on Christmas Day, 1798! It's not recorded that he reached the top, so he might have only gone partway up to walk off his Christmas dinner!
The Road to the Top
The road to the top of Mount Wellington was commenced early in the 1930s to provide work for those affected by the Great Depression. At that time there had been much logging and the mountain was fairly bare.
The twenty-two kilometre long, rather narrow road from Hobart was completed around 1937. Fortunately, the trees have grown again and now add to the lovely scenery on the drive to the summit. At the top it remains bare and exposed to the elements, although there is interesting low lying flora there.
Have you ever been to Mount Wellington, Tasmania?
Names for Mount Wellington
I don't think I know of any other mountain that has had so many names! To begin with, it had three aboriginal names: Unghbanyahletta, Poorawetter and Kunanyi.
With the arrival of Europeans, the variety of names grew even larger:
- In 1791: Table Mountain, named by Bligh and Bond, and Flinders was with them. It was because it reminded them of Table Mountain in South Africa.
- In 1793: In January, Montagne du Plateau, named by Frenchman, Antoine d'Entrecasteaux (who by the way, also named the group of islands where we lived in PNG after himself).
- In 1793: Skiddaw, named by Commodore John Hayes, after a mountain in England's Lake District.
- In 1832: Mount Wellington, renamed for the Duke of Wellington after the Battle of Waterloo when he defeated Napoleon in 1815.
The river looks so blue on a sunny day. It was named the Derwent in 1793, again after Commodore John Hayes' favourite area. It probably reminded him of in England, the Lake District.
Tips for Visitors
Take your camera - the views are lovely.
Take a picnic and make a day of it.
Take strong shoes as it's not easy walking with all those rocks.
Take warm coats as it can be freezing up there, even in summer.
If you have time, park in the car park and take one of the several walking trails that lead to interesting spots like the Organ Pipes, the Springs or Rocky Whelan's Cave.
Rocky Whelan was a notorious bushranger who, in the early 1800s, lived in the cave and had a nasty habit of murdering bushwalkers on the Mount.
At the Summit
At the summit of Mount Wellington there are the inevitable radio and television transmitters, but I was able to get my photos without them. There is also a lookout and this affords some lovely views - and also some shelter from the biting winds that seem to come straight from the South Pole.
In fact, there is usually plenty of snow there in the winter and sometimes there is even snow on the 4,170 feet high summit in the summer, making it a great place to visit on a hot day in Hobart.
I hope you have enjoyed the armchair tour as much as I have.
© 2014 Bronwen Scott-Branagan