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Travel ian 2/6/2014

Mt WellingtonHobart’s Mount Wellington is also known as 'kunanyi' to indigenous Tasmanians and to locals simply as ‘the Mountain’.

The mountain got it’s colonial name from the Duke of Wellington after he defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Prior to that it was known as Table Mountain, the term Mathhew Flinders used to describe it because it looked like Table Mountain in South Africa.

The Mountain dominates the city from its 1270 metres. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the top from the city centre. Once up there you get the most glorious views of Hobart and beyond. The weather can be wild, especially if the wind is blowing hard and pushing temperatures down.

In February 1836, Charles Darwin visited Hobart Town and climbed Mount Wellington and enjoyed pleasant weather. In his book "The Voyage of the Beagle", Darwin described the mountain:

"... In many parts the Eucalypti grew to a great size, and composed a noble forest. In some of the dampest ravines, tree-ferns flourished in an extraordinary manner; I saw one which must have been at least twenty feet high to the base of the fronds, and was in girth exactly six feet. The fronds forming the most elegant parasols, produced a gloomy shade, like that of the first hour of the night. The summit of the mountain is broad and flat… The day was splendidly clear, and we enjoyed a most extensive view; to the north, the country appeared a mass of wooded mountains, of about the same height with that on which we were standing, and with an equally tame outline: to the south the broken land and water, forming many intricate bays, was mapped with clearness before us. ..."

The Mountain has a dark historical side as well. It was home to the notorious bushranger 'Rocky' Whelan, who murdered several bushwalkers. The cave where he lived in the early 19th Century was creatively dubbed 'Rocky Whelan's Cave' and can still be visited today.

The photos here were taken by Hobart photographer, Loic Le Guilly and he does amazing 360 degree shots of the starry skies over Hobart (top).

There's much more info here on Wellington Park and Mount Wellington. And, if you are visiting the Tasmanian capital, Rydges Hobart will give you a warm welcome and a rewarding stay.

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