Location: Wellington Park
Length: 5 kilometres return
Grade: 3 (suitable for most, but some bushwalking experience recommended for steep sections)
Distance from: Hobart - 20 km, Launceston - 221 km, Devonport - 302 km
Collins Cap Trail is the perfect way for the whole family to escape the hustle and bustle of Hobart. Conveniently located in Wellington Park, this 5-kilometre return nature walk is well marked and well constructed although a bit steep. It'll take you through dense myrtle forest before ascending through regrowth forest to give you an idea of how vegetation grows on the Tasmanian island. And once at the summit, towering at 1,098 metres, you'll get breathtaking views of the Derwent Valley and the entirety of the Mount Wellington plateau.
From Hobart, head into the suburb of Collinsville on Collinsville Road. You should pass the general store just before taking a left onto Springdale Road. Head down Springdale Road for 1.8 kilometres to find Myrtle Forest Road. Here you'll find the carpark to the Collins Cap Trail, but you'll have to hike a half-kilometre up the trail to find toilet and picnic facilities.
Wellington Park is easily accessible from Hobart sitting just a half-hour's drive away. Launceston, Tasmania's biggest inland city, is 221 kilometres from Wellington Park which takes about 3 hours by car. Devonport, the Spirit of Tasmania's north coast port city, is a little more than 300 kilometres away which is a 5-hour drive.
Walk the 500 metres from the carpark to the Myrtle Forest Picnic campground where you'll find toilets, picnic facilities and the trailhead. You'll cross a bridge and walk along a well-laid stone path alongside Myrtle Forest Creek. The forest here is rather dense with plenty of Tasmanian flora and fauna. After about 15 minutes walking uphill, you'll run into the diminutive but beautiful Myrtle Creek Falls. The falls seem to gush out of the thick forest with fallen trees crisscrossing over it. Stop for a picture and enjoy the scenery with your family.
The next section of the climb is rather steep but features great traction on a well-constructed path. During this 40-minute section, the forest begins to thin before you reach a junction. Bear right to keep towards Collins Cap through a forest recovery area. A 2013 bushfire devastated the forest here and it is now regrowing. It's quite educational to see what an infant forest looks like after you just walk through one of Tasmania's most dense growth areas.
You'll cross two four-wheel-drive firetrail roads before the real climb begins. You'll have to haul yourself up the flank of Collins Cap to be rewarded with incredible views from atop. The final section is a bit overgrown and gets a little more difficult, but the track is still easy to spot. Once at the top, the Mount Wellington Plateau is to your south while the Derwent River Valley is off to your north. It's time to take a few minutes to catch your breath, drink in the beauty and to snap a few pics for social media. After all, what's all the effort without a little online bragging?
The weather can change dramatically in Wellington Park and it is especially volatile at the high elevations of Collins Cap. Always tell somebody of your plans to hike before taking the adventure and make sure to pack something warm to protect yourself against precipitation.
Snakes have been spotted in Wellington Park. Most snakes don't want to bother but stay clear of any that you see as Tasmanian snakes are venomous. Seek immediate medical attention if bitten.