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Mt. Wellington

Mount Wellington is the mountain on whose foothills is built much of the city of Hobart, Australia. It is approximately 1270 metres (4170 feet) high, and frequently snow covered.

The lower slopes are thickly forested, but criss-crossed by many walking tracks and a few fire trails. There is also a sealed but narrow road to the summit, about 22 km (14 miles) travel from the city. Halfway up this road is a picnic area called "The Springs", near the site of a chalet/health spa that was destroyed by bushfire in 1967. An enclosed lookout near the summit provides spectacular views of the city below and to the east, the Derwent estuary, and also glimpses of the World Heritage Area nearly 100 km (60 miles) to the west.

From Hobart, the most distinctive feature of Mt. Wellington is the cliff of dolerite columns known as the Organ Pipes.

The mountain significantly influences the city's weather, and intending visitors to the summit are advised to dress warmly against the often icy winds at the summit, which have been recorded at up to 135 km/h (84 mph).

In February 1836, Charles Darwin, visited Hobart Town and climbed Mt. Wellington. In his book "The Voyage of the Beagle", Darwin described the mountain thus; "... In many parts the Eucalypti grew to a great size, and composed a noble forest. In some of the dampest ravines, tree-ferns flourished in an extraordinary manner; I saw one which must have been at least twenty feet high to the base of the fronds, and was in girth exactly six feet. The fronds forming the most elegant parasols, produced a gloomy shade, like that of the first hour of the night. The summit of the mountain is broad and flat, and is composed of huge angular masses of naked greenstone. Its elevation is 3100 feet above the level of the sea. The day was splendidly clear, and we enjoyed a most extensive view; to the north, the country appeared a mass of wooded mountains, of about the same height with that on which we were standing, and with an equally tame outline: to the south the broken land and water, forming many intricate bays, was mapped with clearness before us. ..."