Arguably the greatest running trail in Hobart, most people start the Pipeline track directly across from the Ferntree tavern.
Location: Fern Tree
Access: Follow Davey St towards the mountain, along Huon Rd – going past the Mt Wellington turn off
Parking: Park across from the start at the Fern Tree Tavern or on the road. If the car park is full, there’s additional parking a few hundred metres back towards Hobart,
Distance: 24km return
Terrain: Gravel road
Slope: Gradual uphill on the way out
After a few hundred metres the track turns to the south (the right hand turn at the junction takes you up to Silver Falls), and then travels along the contour of the mountain – past houses, and ferny gullies of Neika. At approximately the 4km, the track opens up to a beautiful view of the Derwent River (see pic) looking over Mt Nelson. After Neika the track winds in and out of a series of gullies above North West Bay River. A little past this, the track turns to the right (left takes you back down to Huon Rd – which can be an alternate starting point) and continues through sheltered forest. It passes an old gate before the 7km mark, and a tin shed at the 9km mark. Just past the shed is the St Crispin’s Well trail (a short track leading up to the ‘well’), but the Pipeline track continues along past this, where you’ll see spectacular views of Cathedral Rock across the valley (pic). The last track marker is at 12km, where you’ll come to a closed gate. Past this (not advised) it stretches about 13km to Wellington Falls weir.
The Pipeline Track is generally good in most weather conditions; shaded on hot days, sheltered on windy/rainy days. Garmin has trouble finding satellites, but there are wooden distance markers on the left hand side of the track (some are missing; see pic). There’s the odd tiger snake or two in summer.
There are a number of tracks that you can veer off on along the way (probably more for walking – e.g.
Wellington Falls). There are toilets and a tap at the start, another tap at about 500m (hidden in bush across from the old hut) and fresh creeks flowing at a couple of points throughout (not in the height of Summer though).
There’s rumoured to be a group of avid runners about most Sunday mornings usually offering coffee to tired runners, the odd batch of home-made scones or freshly cooked pancakes, and, of course, quite a lot of running banter…
References/ more information:
- http://www.greaterhobarttrails.com.au/track/fern-tree-to-wellington-falls/ (Fern tree to Wellington Falls map)