Lookouts and Vistas

Mt Wellington

No other Australian capital city has a lookout like Mt. Wellington. Towering 1270 metres behind the city, it is high enough to not only give views across Hobart and the upper and lower River Derwent, but Storm Bay in the east. Even the southern section of the vast World Heritage Tasmanian Wilderness areas is visible from its peak. A road leads to a lookout at the summit. In good weather the Mt. Wellington lookout is less than a half-hour leisurely drive from Hobart city centre. When bad weather closes in, fog or ice and snow on the road make the journey slow and hazardous. At the best of times, it is nearly always windy, so make sure you are wear warm clothes for when you leave your car at the lookout, even if the weather down in Hobart is warm and pleasant.

Mount Stuart

Mount Stuart is a suburb of Hobart that lies on a ridge that extends from a foothill of Mount Wellington, known as Knocklofty. The original occupiers of the land, upon which Mount Stuart is built, were known as Mouheneenner band of the South East tribe of Tasmanian aborigines. The suburb of Mount Stuart is a predominantly residential. There is a local park with barbecues at the end of Benjafield Terrace, beneath the Mount Stuart Lookout, which has views of the city, Mount Dromedary, and the northern suburbs. The playground features a rock-climbing wall.

Truganinni Memorial Lookout

Bruny Island is in fact two separate islands that are connected by a sandy spit. Truganinni Memorial Lookout, located at the highest point of the spit, offers panoramic views across Adventure Bay on the west side and D'Entrecasteaux Channel on the east. At the base of the steps are boardwalks and viewing platforms where you can observe the short-tailed shearwaters and the little (fairy) penguins. The lookout honours the Nuenonne people and Truganinni, a famous Aboriginal woman, who inhabited Lunnawannalonna (Bruny Island) before the European settlement of Bruny.

Mt Nelson

Though not as well known or frequented as often as Mt. Wellington, its higher and more famous neighbour, Mt. Nelson is the perfect place to get an alternate bird's eye of Hobart and surrounds, particularly on the days when Mt. Wellington is shrouded and mist or snow, which is quite often. This lookout provides a dramatic panorama of the city even on days with relatively poor visibility. During the day a visitor can experience the beauty of the city, river and harbour and at night the city is studded with twinkling lights. Lunch or teas can be taken at the restaurant. Location: Nelson Road, Mt. Nelson. How to get there: by car, travel south out of Hobart via Davey St and the Southern Outlet, take the Mt. Nelson exit at Tolmans Hill along Olinda Grove and on to the lookout at the end of Nelson Rd. As an alterative return route, return down Nelson Rd, ignoring Olinda Grove, making the zig zag descent down Nelson Rd.

Mt Mangana, Bruny Island

Being the highest peak on Bruny Island (571m), Mt. Mangana is the perfect spot to take in the panoramic views such a location affords. The lookout is on the road between Adventure Bay and Lunawanna and can be reached by car or on foot. The walk commences from Coolongatta Road outside the National Park, 5kms inland from Adventure Bay. Mt Mangana is the highest peak on Bruny Island at 571 metres.

Derwent Valley

If you are in Hobart and intend visiting the village of New Norfolk, the best time to make the 35 km journey is early in the morning. After passing Granton, Lyell Highway follows the River Derwent on its southern bank to New Norfolk. In the morning the river beside this strech of road is often perfectly still, and the ever changing mirror image on the water as you drive alongside the river is a beautiful sight to behold. Photographs of this serene view do not do it justice.

Taroona Shot Tower

Used in the manufacture of lead shot for muskets, the tower was built in 1870, at which time it was the tallest man made structure in Australia. One of three surviving in Australia, it is a remarkable tapered structure 48 metres tall and features an internal spiral staircase of pit-sawn timber and an external gallery at its top which was probably used to store firewood for the upper cauldron. The gallery is now a viewing platform and offers views across the lower River Derwent. Location: 234 Channel Hwy, Taroona. Entry fees apply.

South Arm

Rarely seen by most visitors to Hobart because it is somewhat out of the way, a drive along the peninsula on the eastern side of the Derwent River via Rokeby gives interesting views of the river's lower reaches as well as access to some of Hobart's best beaches. The views across Frederick Henry Bay to the east, Ralphs Bay to the west and Storm Bay to the south render different perspectives of the area from those more commonly seen.

Huon River

As well as its orchards, boutique wineries, farms and villages, the Huon valley is known for its scenic beauty. The lower reaches of the river are picturesque and the drive between Franklin and Dover in particular has some great locations for photographers looking for a classic still-water landscape shot to mount on the wall at home. If you are after a good shot of the whole valley, there are some good vantage points like the one below on the road between Cygnet and Wattle Grove.

D'Entrecasteaux Channel

There are some great photographic vantage points along the coast between Blackmans Bay and Gordon if you want a good shot of the channel. Piersons Point is a great for shots of the mouth of the River Derwent and the Iron Pot Light (you'll need a telephoto lens for a sharp shot of this historic light). Tinderbox is the pick of the locations for shots down the channel or across it to Bruny Island.