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Lake Osborne

A pleasant short walk to an attractive alpine lake across a glacial landscape.

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Alpine lake, glacier-formed landscape, interesting alpine vegetation







Gear Code


850m - 910m


30-45 min


Access from


Distance from

26/90/47 km

Road Directions

Travel to Geeveston, and upon entering the township (travelling from Hobart) immediately turn right (West) into Arve Road, heading for the Tahune Airwalk. Shortly after passing the Arve River picnic area, turn left uphill on a dirt road, Hartz Mts Rd, clearly signed as the route to the Hartz Mts National Park. Drive to the end of this road, avoiding turnoffs and spur roads (all signed properly). Park in the circular parking area at the road-end. A visitor/registration shelter is here, and has water, toilets, visitor information, tables and chairs, and walker registration facilities.

Road Types

Sealed to bottom of Hartz Mts Rd, then moderate dirt roads for bulk of remainder. Some rough/soft patches, care required. Some narrow sections, and sharp, unexpected corners. Look out for other vehicles, especially log trucks. There is new forestry activity up Hartz Mountains Road, so large vehicles may be encountered. Sharp dolerite pebbles can cause punctures on these roads.


The well-signed track leaves from the northern end of the carpark and winds gradually up through pleasant sub-alpine bush. Interpretive signs describe many of the features of the vegetation and landforms. The track emerges from the bush into a more open area of lower shrubs with good views, and passes easily across the moor and then slightly downhill to Lake Perry. There is a seat at the lake which is a good place for a snack. The lake is in a delightful setting nestled against the base of the Devils Backbone. Walkers can loiter as long as they like before returning via the same route.


The Hartz Mountains are subject to sudden changes of weather - even in summer a sunny day can change to fog, rain, icy wind and even snow. However, this walk is quite short, and consists of well-made, levelled tracks and boardwalk for its entire length. It is recommended that walkers carry their coat and jumper, as this will ensure comfort should the wind be cooler than expected or rain develop while at the lake. Sign the logbook.


1:25,000 Waterloo (4821) sheet; Hartz Mt National Park Map 1;50,000; 1:100,000 Huon (8211) sheet


Large visitor shelter with composting toilets, water, seats etc, spacious barbecue shelter hut with free gas barbecue, fireplace, composting toilet, seats and tables (Waratah shelter).

Nearby items of interest

In the park: Arve Falls, Lake Esperance, Lake Perry, Waratah Lookout, Mt Snowy, Arthur and Emily Tarns, Ladies Tarn, Hartz Peak and Lake.


The Hartz mountains was one of the first popular bushwalking areas in Tasmania, already attracting people from Hobart in the 1920s.

In the 1820s however, it was valued for timber by carpenters and ship-builders. Timber-getters cut tracks westward from the Huon valley into the mountains in search of both timber and minerals. Others reached the Hartz Mountains from Macquarie Harbour on the west coast, cutting tracks along the Huon River.

The Geeves family, who founded Geeveston, cut the first track to the Hartz Mountains from that town, and then extended it westward to the base of Federation Peak. On November 27, 1897, Osborne Geeves, his three sons and his nephew were returning from a prospecting expedition, and were overtaken by a severe snow storm while crossing the Hartz range. One son and his nephew died of exposure, the nephew doing so minutes after reaching Hartz Hut. A memorial is located near where they perished, and can be seen by walkers.

In the early 1900s, an industry sprang up around the extraction of eucalyptus oil from the varnished gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa), the smallest eucalypt in Australia.

The Hartz mountains were set aside as a scenic reserve in 1939, however some parts have been revoked for logging. In 1989, the 7226ha of the Hartz Mountains National Park was included in the Tasmanian World Heritage Area.

(ref. Hartz Mountains National Park Day Walk Map. TASMAP. 1992)