Length: 5 kilometres
Grade: 3 (suitable for most with 280 metres of elevation gain)
Distance from: Hobart - 43 km, Launceston - 243 km, Devonport - 325 km
The Huon River Valley is full of lush land, rolling hills and beautiful rivers. It's responsible for much of Tasmania's apple and fruit cultivation, and it's where you'll find delicious boutique cider makers. The verdant land has given Tasmania the name "Apple Isle."
The Mount Misery Trail belies its name. It's a great way to explore this lush landscape after a drive through the beautiful valley. It will take you through dry sclerophyll forest to heathland, while giving you glimpses of the immaculate Southwest National Park and pristine Bruny Island to the south. And it's all contained within the Huon Bush Retreat -- a 14 square kilometre area set aside for preservation. Yet another example of Tasmania's commitment to nature.
This is a private track on a mixture of public and private lands. The trail is privately maintained and donations at the trailhead go towards its upkeep.
Take the Channel Highway south from Hobart towards Huonville. Take a right onto Lollara Road (C619) and follow it for 3.6 kilometres where you'll take another right onto Agnes Street. Take yet another right onto Browns Road after 2.6 kilometres to ascend its bumpy gravel track. You'll find the trailhead at the Huon Bush Retreats picnic facility.
The drive from Hobart is a quick 43 minutes over 43 kilometres. Launceston is 3 hours away sitting 243 kilometres to the north. Devonport is the furthest major city. Sitting 325 kilometres away, the drive should take nearly 4 hours.
Massive rainforest trees line the beginning of the path. You'll stroll through these giants on a well-maintained boardwalk and you'll be educated along the way by interpretive signs. In about 15 minutes, you'll begin making the climb up to the 700-metre summit of Mount Misery.
The trail begins to switchback through dry sclerophyll forest before bursting out onto heathlands. You'll be greeted by Flat Rock which gives you the best views of your surrounds. It's time to take a rest, drink in the views and have a nibble. The mountains to your south are within Southwest National Park; the largest, wildest and most rugged swath of protected Tasmanian land. Bruny Island, home of the white wallaby, sits off in the distance.
Tea trees are scattered about the heathland as you ascend to the summit. At the top, look north and you may be able to see Hobart. After conquering Mount Misery, it's time to come back down the same trail. But, once back down to the rainforest, it's recommended to take the short side trail to Hidden Falls and the taller rainforest trees that surround it.
As with all densely vegetated Tasmanian hikes, mud may be an issue. Wear shoes or boots you don't mind mucking up.
Weather can change dramatically at elevation. Always pack plenty of food, water and a warm coat that is resistant to precipitation.