How To Conquer The Walls Of Jerusalem The Right Way

There’s a different kind of beauty, deep in the heart of West Tasmania. One of wild green forests, almost untouched by humans. Of country roads leading to quaint rural towns. A region consisting of more protected land than not. Boasting of world-class national parks such as Cradle Mountain and the Walls of Jerusalem.

But to receive such beauty requires immense amounts of rain. So, unsurprisingly, rain was forecasted for most of our two weeks in the West of Tasmania.

This caused a slight issue as we had planned countless hikes throughout the ancient and rugged Tasmanian national parks. And each peak gave the same view… a blanket of grey mist.

Did this deter us? 

Not even slightly. The journey is as much a part of the adventure as reaching the summit. If not the most important part.

So, we waterproofed EVERYTHING and set out in the mist to conquer what would become our most entertaining and wonderful multi-day hike in Tasmania

An Overview Of The Walls Of Jerusalem Circuit

Distance: 34km circuit

Grade: Grade 4 – Experience Recommended

Time: 12 hrs over two days

Highest Elevation: 1,438 m

Lowest Elevation: 719 m

Elevation Gain: 1,306 m

Entrance Fee: National Parks Pass, $16.50 per person for a day or $60 per vehicle for 2 months. Visit Parks Tas to view your options. Day passes are available from the Cradle Mountain Visitors Centre.

Facilities: Toilets, Carpark, Map and Walker’s Log Book 

Beautiful sunset in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park while hiking the walls of Jerusalem trail

The Walls of Jerusalem was named by a party of early Europeans, who found a resemblance in the band of dolerite cliffs to the original city walls. This alpine region is a national park of intense and unique beauty.

A labyrinth of alpine tarns, lakes and streams provide fuel for the densely green highlands. Perhaps too much in some sections, where the trail is almost lost in the tangle of trees and shrubs. 

The mountains of towering dolerite peaks and moraines, the effect of glaciation, confine and protect one of nature’s most beautiful gardens. 

Many days could easily be lost wandering through the Walls of Jerusalem – a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area – but if you don’t have long, try for at least two.

A circuit can be conquered within the Walls of Jerusalem. One that skims Lake Adelaide and Lake Ball before entering the dolerite garden from the south. 

Lake ball in the green contrast on the walls of Jerusalem hike in Tasmania

The Walls of Jerusalem circuit is 34 km long and can be done in two or three days. The circuit provides a little extra entertainment and navigation is vital as you scuttle your way carefully along the not so popular Junction Lake track.

We chose to complete this hike in two days, walking for approximately 6 hours each day. We suggest you follow in our tracks and complete the circuit anti-clockwise, saving the best till last.

This is by the the best way to experience all that the Walls Of Jerusalem has to offer. Trust us! 

But for now, learn why the Walls of Jerusalem became our favourite multi-day hike in Tasmania…

Walking the muddy trail on the Walls of Jerusalem hike in Tasmania

The Journey To The Walls Of Jerusalem

Walls of Jerusalem Car Park to Trappers Hut

Saying good-bye to our beloved home on wheels, we shouldered our packs, signed our names in the walkers’ logbook and set off from the Walls of Jerusalem car park on Mersey Forest road. 

Rain had engulfed the entire west of Tasmania for the last week and mist settled on our shoulders as we began the initial 500 m climb. Clambering over slippery roots and hopping from rock to rock – avoiding the temporary waterfalls that covered the track – provided enough entertainment for us to forget about our burning legs.

Man we were out of shape!

A wall of green closed us off from the world below as we trudged deeper in the sclerophyll forest, arriving at our first respite 2.7km in – Trappers Hut. 

We timed it perfectly, rain began to fall softly as we ducked into Trappers Hut for lunch and took the welcomed rest to read the hut’s history hanging on the walls.

The rain lasted only a few minutes – we somehow got lucky with the weather on our first day… very unlike us!

Pushing through thick shrubs while walking the Walls of Jerusalem Hike in Tasmania

Trappers Hut to Lake Adelaide

A small vertical push for 300 m landed us at the intersection for Lake Adelaide and The Walls. Choosing to save the best to last, we veered right and began along the Junction Lake track. 

From the moment we stepped off the Mount Jerusalem trail, we realised we had indeed taken the track less travelled this time. Low lying heath covered a muddy and raw trail that snaked its way through the alpine.

Speaking of snakes, those sneaky devils love the warm rocks and scaring the bejesus out of you. So tread carefully to avoid an undesirable collision… I speak from experience!

Bright green cushion plants alon the walls of Jerusalem walk in Tasmania

Rounding a small tarn marks the beginning of the vibrant green cushion plants. While they look like the perfect stepping stones to avoid the swampy alpine heath, they’re very fragile plants – mostly endemic to Tasmania – and a vital part of the alpine’s ecosystem. 

Lake Adelaide appears shimmering on the horizon as the shrubs become taller and spikier. Navigation became a difficult task as we chose to avoid the pink tagged trail, which had torrents of water hiding beneath the trees.

Lake Adelaide glistening in the distance of green plants on the Walls of Jerusalem hike in Tasmania

Lake Adelaide to Dixon’s Kingdom Campsite

The first climb after the intersection to Lake Adelaide is surprisingly welcomed as it brings respite from the wet trail and a terrain shift into giant trees and boulders. 

But before long, the trees fade and another alpine lake – Lake Ball – emerges. The track follows the water’s edge, dipping into the flooded network of streams connected to the lake, until the trail leads to higher ground, traversing in and out of boulders before delivering us to Lake Ball Hut. 

The edge of the lake marks another section of wetlands. Hopping over streams as deep as rivers – giggling and trying our hardest not to topple over – while trying to follow the sometimes elusive pink tags made for slow progress.

We reached the ancient pencil pine forest as the sun began its slow descent. The light rays filtered through the warped branches, providing a magnificent show by our beloved mother nature. 

Rocky trail in thick forest on the Walls of Jerusalem Hike

As we climbed higher through the thousand-year-old trees, the first glimpses of the iconic Walls appeared. Walking into an amphitheatre of ancient dolerite rock surrounding you is something I cannot put into words. The grandness of the park humbles us in a way only untouched landscapes can. 

The trail becomes tricky to follow as you leave the thick forest and wander through fields of lush grass and wildflowers. We eventually found the main track leading from the north and entered a beautiful clearing with a Hut, toilets, a bubbling creek and the most magnificent view of Mt Jerusalem. 

Finding a dry patch beneath a low lying pine, we set up camp just in time to sit and enjoy the sun setting over the walls. That is what I call living your best life!

At least until we realised the tent we borrowed was ACTUALLY made for one person! It was barely big enough to squeeze one of our butts in, let alone both. We were in for a very cosy night… lucky the temperate was dropping rapidly! 

Or maybe that’s still unlucky?

Tent set up under a tree at Dixons Kingdom Campsite while hiking the Walls of Jerusalem track

The Summits – Mt Jerusalem, Solomons Peak and The Temple

We woke frozen and numb to a wall of mist and low lying clouds hiding the towering Walls. The temperature couldn’t have been more than -1 and it was the middle of summer!

Kicking ourselves for not summiting at least one peak last night while the sun was shining, we lazily packed up and made our way along the boardwalk to Mt Jerusalem.

Most would not bother climbing a peak when the chance of a view is highly unlikely. But climb we did… and no, we didn’t get lucky this time. We reached what we guessed was the summit of Mt Jerusalem in 45 minutes, spending some time blindly climbing over rocks and naively waiting for the sun to poke its head through, before finally giving up and making the descent. 

Pathetic view from top of Mt Jerusalem in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tasmania

Backtracking past Dixon’s Kingdom and following the much-welcomed boardwalk that makes up the majority of the ‘popular’ northern side of the Walls, we arrived at Damascus Gates – an intersection leading to the car park, Solomon’s Peak, The Temple and Dixon’s Kingdom – and chose to stop for a snack.

At that moment, the sun peaked through the relentless clouds. Thank the lord! That was enough motivation for us to drop our bags and make for Solomon’s Peak, the higher of the two closest summits at 1,469 m. 

Walking on makeshift stairs made out of the crumbling dolerite boulders littering the peak, we traversed around the south side of Solomon’s Peak before entering a tremendous rock chute.

Climbing through the rock chute on Solomons Peak mountain in the Walls Of Jerusalem National Park

With towering cliffs on either side, we scrambled higher, emerging from the chute to an awe-inspiring view.

Our first view of the entire inner world of the Walls of Jerusalem. Alpine lakes, tarns and streams litter the lush swampy heath, glittering with wildflowers. The walls seem to act as protection for natures playground below. 

Our luck ended not five minutes after we reached the summit. Angry dark clouds settled in once more as we wound our way down to Damascus Gate. We chose to miss The Temple – this time – giving us even more reason to return one day.

Both The Temple and Solomon’s Peak are small, half-hour climbs at most. 

Beautiful view from Solomons peak while Hiking the Walls of Jerusalem track in Tasmania

Damascus Gate to The Car Park

We shouldered our packs, saying goodbye to the wonderful walls as we made tracks to the car park. The long West Walls kept our gaze wandering as the scenery changed each time the low clouds move on. 

A boardwalk leads the way out of Herod’s Gate, which signals the end – or beginning – of The Walls. Not long after, we came upon Wild Dog Campsite, the most popular of the two designated campsites in the Walls of Jerusalem. 

We quickly noticed why as each tent site has a raised wooden platform to sleep on, keeping you warmer and drier than Dixon’s Kingdom. However, the views at Dixon’s Kingdom far outdo those at Wild Dog… and that’s a deciding factor for us. 

Continuing on, the path meanders past some beautifully clear alpine lakes and tarns before beginning its descent. Man-made stairs and boulders aid the descent before Trappers Hut is reached, signalling 2.7 km to go.

The Walls of Jerusalem will forever be high on our list of most entertaining and wonderful hikes we’ve accomplished. We were far from well equipped, leading to some entertaining circumstances, but the awe that the Walls bring is second to none. An incredible feeling that cannot be properly explained in words… You just have to get out there and experience this phenomenon for yourself!

Board walks through the Walls of Jerusalem hike in the walls of Jerusalem national park

Suggested Gear and Tips

We had a little run-in with some local wildlife living at Dixon’s Kingdom… The possums seem to rule the land and weren’t phased by yelling or a soft kick when they attempted to steal our food… which was in our backpack inside our tent! So make sure to keep all your belongings inside your tent, inside your backpack.

The first thing you need to know about the Walls of Jerusalem is the weather can change on a dime. A few days after we finished the hike, it snowed… in the middle of summer! We were slightly unprepared so here is a list of the gear we took, as well as gear we wished we had…

We suggest to have most of this gear with you even if you’re only hiking for the day, you never know what could happen!

  • Compass and some sort of map ** – The trail is a little tricky to follow and harsh weather could cause you to lose your bearings.
  • Head Torch – It’s always better to be over-prepared in case your hike runs into dark.
  • Sturdy hiking shoes – Our favourites are Salomon XA Discovery Trail Runners.
  • Extra warm clothes – Snow is not uncommon in the middle of summer. Check out our post How To Stay Warm While Hiking for all our tips on the clothing.
  • Rain Jacket – High winds and sudden rainfalls are quite common in Tasmania.
  • Sunscreen – Quite the contrary to a rain jacket, but you never know what to expect.
  • Water Bottles – Preferably VERY hard plastic or metal, the chances of dropping it are high.
  • Sunglasses – Those rocks can be mightily reflective.
  • Small Backpack for day hikers – A hike is never complete without snacks. 
  • SNACKS – The highlight of our lives.
  • Tent, Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Mat – Make sure to bring warm camping gear, the nights get FREEZING.
  • Camera – DER… If it’s not documented, did it really happen!?
  • First Aid Kit – Unbeknown to Dylan, I always put this in our pack. He’s clumsy on a good day!

** – You can purchase a topographic map from most Visitors Centres in the area. Or, our favourite app to use is Gaia GPS. It has a huge range of walking trails added to its offline settings and tracks your location if you load the map before leaving reception. It even tells you which direction you’re going with its arrow.

For a full list of what to take on an overnight hike, subscribe to our newsletters to receive a PDF list and information on all of the items.

Making the rock scramble up to Solomons Peak in the Walls of Jerusalem national Park in Tasmania

When To Visit the Walls of Jerusalem

The Walls of Jerusalem offers a new experience each season for hikers. Snow covers the majority of the alpine in winter and the wildflowers bloom in spring.

If you choose to embark on the hike in winter, you may need snowshoes and certainly need experience navigating in the snow, where everything seems to look the same.

Summer and Spring would be my suggestion, as the weather will be warmer and usually the rainfall is slightly less. 

Cosy hut called Lake Ball Hut along the Walls of Jerusalem walk in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tasmania

Getting There

The Walls of Jerusalem is accessed by the car park on Mersey Forest Rd, 120 km west of Launceston. 

We hope this post helps to inspire and plan your trip to the Walls of Jerusalem, we promise you won’t regret it! If you have any questions regarding the hike, please don’t hesitate to ask… that’s what we’re here for!

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