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.
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Sitting in Hobart's backyard a couple of minutes walk from the city suburbs of West Hobart and Mt Stuart is an area of native bushland that spreads across the slopes and peak of Knocklofty. Knocklofty s bushland reserve sits in , just 3 km from the city centre. From its network of walking tracks there are wonderful views over the city, down the Derwent estuary and up to Mount Wellington.
Used by early settlers as a source of firewood, quarry stone and for rough grazing land, Knocklofty has changed little, and its heathland and open woodland flora and fauna communities thrive in the rough, steep terrain.
Facilities here are limited; a fire trail threads its way to the 375m summit, and there s a network of fire trails and walking tracks linking West Hobart to Mount Stuart. There are picnic spots on the West Hobart fringe of the reserve, and the extensive views from the top of the hill over the city, harbour and mountain are well worth the walk. Great views can also be had from the Mount Stuart Lookout.
As you walk on Knocklofty, you ll discover traces of its past; borrow pits, quarries, and stone walls. Early settlers grazed cattle here, cut firewood and quarried the sandstone for many of Hobart's first buildings. Colonial artist John Glover lived nearby and painted Salvator Rosa Glen with vistas of Hobart Town and the River Derwent. One of the walks retraces his steps to the painting's vantage point. More >>
The Summit Track links the Mt Stuart Track with the summit of Knocklofty and to fire trails beyond and provides users of the track with wonderful views of the River Derwent, Hobart and Mt Wellington. The Track was built as a replacement for the previous track to the summit due to significant erosion problems and user safety concerns.
The Track has been designed in accordance with the requirements of a Class 3 Track in the Australian Standards for Track Classification and Signage (AS 2156.1-2001). This class of track is designed as an easy to medium grade track and is accessible for people with an average level of fitness. There are no steep or slippery sections on the track and the maximum width of the track is one metre.
The name Mount Stuart comes indirectly from a Governor of Bombay (Mumbai) in India, Mountstuart Elphinstone. Mountstuart was the fourth son of the eleventh Lord Elphinstone, and was born in Dunbartonshire, Scotland. A ship, the Mountstuart Elphinstone, was named in honour of the Governor, and in 1836, this ship visited Hobart town. The Mountstuart Elphinstone brought the news that the unpopular Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur, was ordered to return to London. This allowed reversal of some of his unpopular Laws. To celebrate, locals named two roads to the north west of the town -Mount Stuart Road and Elphinstone Road.
Over time the area around Mount Stuart Road became known as Mount Stuart. After a while an area outside Hobart Town (including much of West Hobart) was designated Mount Stuart Town. Knocklofty (hill) was also known as Mount Stuart or Paraclete. Mount Stuart Town was absorbed into Hobart around 1908. West Hobart gradually developed as a separate suburb, and the hill of Knocklofty progressively became a reserve. Just next to the Knocklofty Reserve is a huge water reservoir, on which you can walk upon and enjoy the magnificent views of Hobart.