Less-frequented than the nearby Cradle Mountain bushwalks, the steep track to the summit of Mount Roland (1,234m) provides just as stunning 360-degree views.
Standing at 1,234 metres above sea level in the Kentish Municipality in northern Tasmania, Mount Roland sits in the middle of the Fossey Mountains. The area around Mount Roland was declared the Mt Roland Regional Reserve in December 2000. Two tracks provide access to Mount Roland’s summit: the longer, but much easier, of two tracks to the summit starts at Gowrie Park, about half an hour’s drive from Cradle Mountain where we are staying. (The alternative is the Face Track, a very steep route from Kings Road, accessed via Claude Road / C136.) The path from Gowrie Park starts as a rough 4WD track, which ascends constantly – but never very steeply – through tall forest.
Fortunately I have some help navigating with my daughter… but she’s also decided to collect a few sticks along the way, so our progress is a little slower than usual!
The track passes a couple of waterfalls and creeks, before reaching an unmarked viewpoint (called Misty Rise on some maps), from which you can see the rocky summit plateau of Mount Roland to the left.
After about 4.4km, the track crosses O’Neill’s Creek via a log bridge, and becomes a much narrower and steeper track as it continues up to a saddle. The track now heads north and is fairly flat. The landscape is also very different changing to low grasses and shrubs.
There’s a final steep scramble up to the summit – you can just make out the trig point on the left-hand outcrop of rocks.
We finally make it to the summit trig point at 1,234m, an almost 1000m climb from our starting point.
The summit provides spectacular 360 degree views: to the west is the Pelion Range (left) and Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff (on the right).
To the north-east is Sheffield and the Face Track, which descends to King Road.
It’s then back the same way – although it’s possible to return via Mount Vandyke (1,084m) to create a slightly longer loop (this route is described on the Hiking Scenery blog.) It’s a nce half-day walk, with some fantastic views from the summit – and unlike Cradle Mountain, there’s almost no-one on the trail!
|Location||Turn off Claude Road (C136) at Gowrie Park onto O’Neills Rd|
|Distance||17.5km return (5-7 hours)|
|Grade||Moderate. 970m total ascent.|
|Season/s||All year round|
|Maps||Interactive topographical map [AllTrails]
Fossey Mountains 1:50000 Topographic Map – TasMap
Cethana 1:25000 Topographic/Cadastral Map – TasMap – older map
|GPS Route||Gaia GPS with option to download GPX / KML file|