The Hazards – Scrambling up to prehistorical views

The Hazards – Scrambling up to prehistorical views

At just over 450 metres, the Tasmanian ‘devil’ Mount Amos in The Hazards mountain range isn’t really that high, but its inclination gets rather steep & challenging. Once you’ve tackled this part of the hike, you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views over Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.

You’ll have to scramble your way up (and down again!) over several huge granite boulders on the upper parts to reach the top. My trusty Wilderness Coffee flask suffered a couple of dents as I clambered along that track… 😉

Steep granite rocks, Mount Amos, The Hazards, Tasmania, Australia.
It’s a bit of a scramble over steep granite rocks, but the views are worth it!

The upper part of the Mount Amos track, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania.
The upper part of the Mount Amos track. Note the painted triangles on the rocks and the red ribbons on tree branches to guide your way up.

The Hazards and Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park is on the east coast of Tasmania, roughly halfway between Launceston and Hobart. It’s a stunning peninsula full of dramatic & colourful granite peaks, fringed by rocky bays and white sandy beaches.

Coles Bay, gateway to The Hazards

The village of Coles Bay offers great views towards the Hazards mountain range and is the gateway to Freycinet National Park and its many walking tracks. It sits on a beautiful bay on the edge of the National Park. The Freycinet Visitor Centre is just outside Coles Bay.

Coles Bay, Tasmania, Australia.
The beach and colourful rocks at Coles Bay.

Mount Amos hike

The track up to Mount Amos starts from the Wineglass Bay car park, at the end of the road from Coles Bay towards Freycinet. You’ll see an information board with various walks to choose from in this area. Wineglass Bay itself is only accessible on foot, by a different track. It takes about an hour to walk straight to the beach from the car park.

How hazardous are The Hazards?

The Mount Amos hike is classified as difficult and steep. The granite rocks you need to conquer become very slippery after rain and in damp conditions. This is definitely a dry weather-only track. Count on at least 3 hours for the round trip to the top, and another 2 hours to go down to Wineglass Bay and back again to the car park.

But if you’re up to it and the weather is good, it’s well worth it!

View to Wineglass Bay from Mount Amos, The Hazards, Tasmania, Australia.
The iconic view from Mount Amos over Wineglass Bay.

The top of Mount Amos, Tasmania, Australia.
The top of Mount Amos.

What to expect on the Mount Amos hike

The track starts off gently through a forest and scrub area, with the intimidating peak looming in the distance. There’s a sign with general warnings, advising to allow 5 hours to complete the walk in daylight hours. It also mentions that the Mount Amos track is arduous and difficult to follow, and that it should not be attempted in wet conditions.

The steep boulder slope

Triangles are painted on rocks along the way, and sometimes you’ll also see red ribbons on tree branches to guide your way up. The track soon becomes rockier, exposed and steeper as you reach the granite boulder slope. This is still fairly easy to scramble up to.

But beyond it looms the tricky part, the steep scrambling section below the top. Going down there again is the most challenging part – you’ll need to literally bumslide your way down the gutter between the rocks. Further on in this article you can see the dizzifying view from above. If you have any fear of heights whatsoever, don’t even try and attempt this…

Balancing boulder on the Mount Amos track, Tasmania, Australia.
A balancing boulder on the track.

Granite boulder slope on Mount Amos, Tasmania, Australia.
The notorious granite boulder slope on Mount Amos.

Colourful monolith on the Mount Amos track, Tasmania, Australia.
Another colourful egg-shaped monolith along the track.

Awe-inspiring views over Wineglass Bay

Once you’ve braved the hardcore scrambling bit up the pink granite boulders of Mount Amos, you will be rewarded with some truly awe-inspiring views over Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula. When you’ve made your way back down again, enjoy a refreshing swim and a rest on the spectacular white sands of Wineglass Beach.

Squeaky beach with turqoise water

After I scrambled up and down Mount Amos in the blazing heat, it was pure bliss to cool off in those enticing turquoise waters I’d seen from above, and just bumble around on that beautiful squeaky white sand beach.

The beach at Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia.
The sqeaky white beach at Wineglass Bay, with The Hazards as a backdrop. Mount Amos is the triangular one on the right.

Mount Amos versus Wineglass Bay Lookout views

The Wineglass Bay track is a separate path at the bottom of the mountain near the car park. It takes another hour to walk to the fabled beach from there. About halfway there’s a little sidetrack veering off to the left and going up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout.

It’s worth the detour, especially if you haven’t climbed Mount Amos. But it’s not as spectaculair as the uninterrupted view from the top of the mountain itself.

Wineglass Bay Lookout, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia.
Wineglass Bay Lookout.

Mount Amos hike summary

Distance: 4 kilometres return from the Wineglass Bay carpark.
Time: About 3 to 5 hours.
Mount Amos summit: 454 metres above sea level.
Difficulty: Challenging. Boulder scrambling required and some very steep sections.

You can find more information about the Mount Amos track (and the necessary preparations) on the Tasmania Parks website. Or you can choose one of the many shorter walks around Wineglass Bay itself.

The scary bit when you’re going down the track again. You wouldn’t want to even try this when it’s wet…!

The scrambling slope down on the Mount Amos track, Tasmania, Australia.

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Freycinet & The Hazards map

This handy interactive map shows the locations in the pictures above and around the area. You can also zoom in for more details of the walking track itself.

Tasmanian heat wave

Tasmania has a much milder climate than the rest of Australia. Due to its location south of the mainland it’s tempered by the cooler currents from the Tasman Sea and the Roaring Forties. In the Australian summer (between December and March) it’s usually between 17 and 23 degrees on average. The east coast and Freycinet National Park is warmer and dryer than the notoriously rainy southwest part of the island.

But every once in a while, an unusual heat wave comes blasting over Tasmania from the north. On the day I climbed Mount Amos, the temperature reached a scorching 37 degrees Celcius. It was one of the hottest days on record in Tasmania. On days like that, it’s a good idea to go for the hills & cool off in the fresh mountain air. And I was just in time.

The next day, Freycinet National Park was closed because of extreme fire hazard. It was the day when devastating bushfires raged through the nearby Tasman Peninsula.

Wispy clouds and eucalypt trees, Mount Amos track, Tasmania, Australia.
Wispy clouds and eucalypt trees on the Mount Amos track.

Mountains & Volcanoes – Mount Amos (The Hazards), Tasmania

This article was originally published as a NaturePic Challenge: pictures of epic nature with a specific theme, and places that will trigger a natural high.

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Wineglass Bay, The Hazards, Tasmania, Australia.
There’s nothing quite like a Wilderness Coffee with a view!

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Tongariro – The track across Middle Earth

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First published: 23 February 2017

One thought on “The Hazards – Scrambling up to prehistorical views

  1. Pingback: by Here Goes Kate @ Best places to visit in Australia - 'Hike the Hazards mountain range. The views of the surrounding region are spectacular from the high vantage point that is sure one of the best places to visit in Australia.'

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