Hiking Mount Eliza For The Best Views Of Lake Pedder

The hike to Mount Eliza is one that will be left imprinted in your mind for years to come. The vast and barren mountainside offers views of the larger network of jagged and precipitous peaks surrounding Lake Pedder. 

The Southwest National Park is Tasmania’s largest, grandest and most inhospitable of all the national parks in the state. But the Mount Eliza hike differs from the rest in the fact it is quite accessible while still showcasing the unmatched beauty and ruggedness of southwest Tasmania.

We’ve spent a great deal of time in our hiking boots trudging among the many mountainous peaks of west Tasmania. But none of the day hikes has held us quite so captivated with the landscape as Mount Eliza. The burnt and barren ridgeline that leads to the dolerite peak provides an uninterrupted vista of the colossal mountain ranges surrounding. 

If you’re searching for incomparable views over what can only be described as an inland fjord, combined with a healthy dose of rock scrambling, then the hike to Mount Eliza in Tasmania is your answer. In this guide, you’ll find inspiring images of the incredible hike plus all the information needed to experience Mount Eliza for yourself.

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Hiking along a rocky ridge on one of the best day hikes in West Tasmania, Eliza Bluff

Mount Eliza Hike Overview

10 km return

Grade 4 – Experience recommended 

4 – 6 hrs

Elevation Gain
946 m

Highest Elevation
1,284 m

Drop toilets at condominium creek car park and at High Camp Memorial Hut near the peak

Getting To Mount Eliza

Mount Eliza is located in the Southwest National Park, looking down on the sprawling Lake Pedder. The hike begins at Condominium Creek car park, 2 hrs west of Hobart and 3 hrs 35 mins south of Launceston. 

Scotts Peak Dam Rd, an unsealed road, leads south off Gordon River Rd (B61) and stretches for approximately 20 km to the beginning of the Mount Eliza trail. This road is well maintained and easily accessible for all vehicles. 

The car park is reasonably large, accommodating up to approximately 30 vehicles, and provides a toilet and an information board. However, there are no rubbish bins or drinking water so don’t forget to pack out what you pack in and fill your reusable water bottles in the closest town, Maydena, which is located 50 minutes northeast of the Mount Eliza trailhead.

Mount Eliza Trail Notes

An angry wildfire ravaged parts of the Southwest National Park in 2018, leaving many of the mountains bare and closed off to the public. It wasn’t until the summer of 2022 that the Mount Anne Circuit (which starts with the summit of Mount Eliza) re-opened. 

As a result, the trail that leads to the Eliza Plateau consists of a brand new snaking staircase that is there to help regeneration of the soil beneath and allow ease of access along the burnt ridgeline. 

But don’t let that deter you, as with almost every mountain in Tasmania, the views are worth every step.

Condominium Creek Car Park to High Camp Memorial Hut

4 km | 1.5 – 2 hrs | 694 m elevation | 1,044 m highest elevation

Hiking up the well groomed trail of Mount Eliza Tasmania

A weaving boardwalk will lead you from the Condominium Creek car park to the foothills beneath Mount Eliza, where the longest staircase I have ever seen begins. You can see the light shale line snake along the ridgeline to the bouldered peak, leaving little to the imagination! 

But a silver lining has presented itself from the devastating fires, with the barren landscape allowing unobstructed views of the expansive Lake Pedder below. As you climb higher, hidden mountain peaks reveal themselves adding to the seemingly never-ending collection. 

While the trail is steep towards High Camp Memorial Hut, the stairs help you to obtain a steady pace that allows you to cover this section of the trail in no time.

Watching the sunset over Lake Pedder from the Rest stop on Mt Eliza hike

A handy seat has been built a third of the way to the peak for a rest and a moment to absorb the silence and natural wonders that surround you. 

After approximately 2 km, the trail drops off the south side of a rise and climbs a neighbouring ridge to reveal your first unobstructed glimpse of the Western Arthurs range in the distance.

The Western Arthurs range is a wonder to behold. The pointed peaks cut the horizon like a giant serrated knife, making you wonder how anyone could navigate this incredible range.

Before long, you’ll reach the end of the giant staircase and find yourself at the High Camp Memorial Hut. The hut thankfully survived the forest fires that ravaged the mountain range and provides a cosy snack spot when the weather is misbehaving. 

Memorial Hut on the Mount Eliza Hike

You are allowed to camp at the High Camp Memorial Hut, where there is an upstairs platform to sleep and a toilet nearby. Most would use this camp as a stopover before taking on a sunrise mission of either Mount Eliza or Mount Anne further along the track. 

High Camp Memorial Hut to Mount Eliza Plateau 

1 km | 30 – 60 mins | 250 m elevation gain | 1,284 m highest elevation 

Wandering the massive plateau of Mount Eliza in Tasmania's South West National Park

Once you leave the comfort of the hut, the real fun begins. From this point, the stairs are left behind and a goat track leading to a mess of dolerite boulders takes its place. Markers in the form of rock cairns will guide you along the easiest route – most of the time. 

Unfortunately, some silly hikers choose to add extra rock cairns that are less than helpful when you’re trying to stay on course. But on a clear day, the way forward is relatively simple to follow and the threat of getting lost is very low. 

I’m going to make a bold statement that may not be completely reciprocated… but I believe this rock hopping session is even more entertaining and challenging than the climb to the Cradle Mountain Summit!

Climbing to the precarious peak of Mount Eliza on the fallen dolerite rock trail

This may have something to do with the time of day we chose to climb – before sunrise in a cloak of white mist – but even when the visibility was clear, some interesting manoeuvres along a precipitous peak made the Eliza Plateau a surprising challenge to reach.

All the hard work you’ve just endured is forgotten the moment you reach the Mount Eliza plateau. If you’re lucky to catch a clear day, your eyes will rove from the shimmering green waters of Lake Judd below to the imposing peak of Mount Anne in the northeast and across the giant expanse of Lake Pedder in the west. 

The rolling plateau invites you to wander among the small goat tracks and bouldered high points to gain ever-changing viewpoints of the magnificent Southwest National Park. A game of name the distant peaks could swallow up a fair chunk of time as you explore the vast beauty that is the Mount Eliza Plateau. 

Moody view of Lake Pedder from the Mount Eliza Walk

Returning To Condominium Creek Car Park

The return scramble from the summit of Mount Eliza to the High Camp Memorial Hut can be an arduous task as the force of gravity works against you. Take your time climbing down the dolerite boulders and remember to spot the next marker before moving on! 

We’ve found on many occasions it can be easier to lose the trail on the return trip rather than the way forward. 

Scarpa Delta Hiking Boots on a cold morning hiking in Tasmanian's South West National Park

Additional Information For Hiking Mount Eliza

Best Time To Hike Mount Eliza

Due to the exposed nature of the Mount Eliza hike, the beating sun can cause the strenuous effort to be doubled with no respite. On the contrary, this ridgeline is also unprotected from high winds and frigid weather.

For these reasons, we recommend hiking Mount Eliza from November to January and March to June. While you may still receive extreme weather conditions through these months, it is much less common when compared with the height of winter.

Snow is quite a common occurrence through the winter months, which can be an alluring factor for the more adventurous. But if you choose to hike in these conditions, make sure you have all the essential hiking gear and skills before taking on the challenge. 

Beautiful Sunrise over Lake Pedder from the peak of Mt Eliza Plateau

Leave No Trace

The Southwest National Park is the largest in Tasmania and forms part of the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. This pocket of Tasmania is crucial for many endemic species of flora and fauna and needs our help to protect it. 

When you’re visiting Mount Eliza, or any outdoor destination for that matter, be sure to follow the 7 Leave No Trace Principles. These principles include:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly 
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimise campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of others

It’s important to ensure you follow the path at all times, and when that becomes impossible stay on rocks or dirt as much as possible. The cushion plants and many other alpine vegetation are fragile and will suffer from our footprints. 

A shoe washing station has been set up at the beginning of the Mount Eliza hike for you to clean your shoes as instructed to avoid the spread of root rot. 

Let’s all work together to keep our wild places wild!

Hiking with my Osprey Aether 85L pack in misty weather on the peak of Mt Eliza Plateau

Fees And Registrations

The Mount Eliza walk is located within the Southwest National Park, which means a Tasmanian National Parks Pass is needed to enter. You can purchase these online or from any visitors centre in Tasmania. 

There is no registration needed for the Mount Eliza day hike, however, if you plan to continue on and complete the Mount Anne circuit then you will need to register here. There are limited spaces for this 2-3 day circuit so it’s best to book in advance. 

The registration system has been having trouble with hikers booking multiple trails and choosing one when the time comes, without cancelling their other bookings. Please don’t do this, it causes other hikers to miss out on doing a hike that they very well could have gone on!

What To Bring For The Mount Eliza Hike

While Mount Eliza is a day hike, it’s still a hike into the alpine where the weather can be vastly different than below. It is also a challenging hike in some sections without reception.

It is good practice to bring extra warm layers, an emergency shelter and an emergency beacon when hiking Mount Eliza. Below is a list of the essentials we take with us on every hike – excluding the overnight camping gear for day hikes of course! 

Essential Hiking Packing List

  • Topographic Map and Compass – It’s best to avoid relying solely on your phone, which can run out of battery. 
  • Digital Map – In addition to a paper map, you can use AllTrails to download the route and follow along with the inbuilt GPS.
  • First Aid Kit – You can visit this post if you’re unsure what should go into a first aid kit for hiking.
  • Emergency Beacon – Our emergency beacon lives in our hiking packs permanently.
  • Reusable Water Bottles Avoid taking plastic water bottles that can break easily and add to the overwhelming amount of plastic pollution. We also suggest bringing a water filtration system to treat river water.
  • Head Torch Don’t forget the spare batteries! Look for a headtorch with a minimum of 100 lumens. 
  • Sturdy Hiking Shoes We recommend hiking boots over trail runners for longer hikes, where the trail is unstable and can become very muddy. 
  • Long pants or gaiters Tasmania has a thriving population of leeches.
  • Down Jacket and Thermals Staying warm while hiking is extremely important and these items play a key role, the mountains are unpredictable, best be prepared.
  • Rain Jacket and Rain Pants Rain pants are optional but can provide an extra layer of warmth in miserable conditions. 
  • Sun Protection – The UV rays are stronger at higher altitudes.
  • Sleeping Gear – Make sure to pack a tent, a warm sleeping bag and an inflatable mat for overnight hikes. The mountains can get very cold at night, even in summer.
  • Cooking Stove Nothing beats a warm, satisfying meal after a big day of hiking.
  • Emergency Snacks – You can never have too much food and who doesn’t love snacks!
  • Camera Gear – We never travel anywhere without our camera, tripod or drone!

Check The Weather

The alpine can change very quickly in Tasmania and especially the southwest. It’s quite common to experience intense heat followed by bitingly cold winds on the same day. When checking the weather for your hike, don’t forget to look at the wind speed as well. 

Our favourite website to use is Mountain Forecast because you can choose the mountain you’re planning to climb and get the relevant weather prediction for the peak as well as the base. Sometimes the exact mountain isn’t available but there is usually one close by to choose from.  

Cooking breakfast behind a rock used for wind break on Mt Eliza

Where To Stay Near Mount Eliza

Mount Eliza is located to the east of Lake Pedder along Scotts Peak Dam Rd. Along that road, there are two free campsites to stay at before and after your hike. These are called Edgar Dam Campground and Huon Campground and can be found on the Wikicamps app. 

The closest towns to Mount Eliza are Strathgordon, 50 minutes northwest, and Maydena, 50 minutes northeast. Due to the remoteness of Mount Eliza, you’ll most likely require a hire car and to stay somewhere close before or after the hike. 

Accommodation options in Maydena

Accommodation options in Strathgordon

Camping near Mount Eliza

Mount Eliza Pinterest Pin