Location: Alum Cliffs State Reserve, Chudleigh
Distance: 1.6 kilometres return
Grade: 2 (dry track suitable for most with some uphill bits)
Distance from: Hobart - 251 km, Launceston - 73 km, Devonport - 67 km
You'll be rewarded with a lookout high above the Mersey River as it carves deeper and deeper into the Alum Cliffs Gorge below. After only 800 metres on a flat all-weather track, you'll be able to take your time to drink in the wild views from a sturdy platform. This quick, 40-minute return walk is recommended along with a visit to the Mole Creek Caves. What better way to spend a day? Half of it marvelling at Tasmania's underground geological formations, and the other half high in the sky breathing in fresh air atop the Gog Range.
The carpark and trailhead for this easy, beautiful walk sits just a few minutes from the town of Mole Creek. Take Mole Creek Road (B12) east out of town and then just follow the signs to the carpark.
Devonport is the closest major city just 50 minutes away. Launceston is a little over an hour's drive sitting 73 kilometres to the east. The drive from Hobart takes about 3 hours over 251 kilometres.
There is a steep section of stairs at the outset that bring you up to a forest clearing. If you're physically capable of the first climb, then you're golden the rest of the way. You'll be greeted by an enormous sculpture by David Jones at the top of the steps. It celebrates the confluence of the Quamby Bluff, Alum Cliffs Gorge and the Western Bluff right at that point. It was commissioned as a part of the Great Western Tiers Sculpture Trail.
The all-weather track then ascends upon a forested ridge to the lookout. There are some steep drop-offs and exposed parts of the trail, so take caution as you walk up the ridge. But, once at the lookout, you'll be on a safe platform with an uninterrupted view of the vast wilderness beyond.
The Alum Cliffs were known as Tulampanga to Aboriginals in the area. The tribes date back 10,000 years and they considered this a sacred place of celebration. From the lookout, you'll be able to see the Great Western Tiers, which was known as Kooparoona Niara, which means the Mountains of the Spirits. It is where three different Aboriginal tribes used to meet over the last 10 millennia.
The trail is firm, dry and features great grip, but it does expose itself to cliffs. Stay on the trail and keep a watch on children.