Hiking Mt Tyndall, Tasmania’s Best Kept Secret

Nestled closely against the dolerite boulders of our favourite hike in Tasmania’s west, Mt Murchison, I point into the far distance and ask Dylan what that endless mountain range dominating the south is. With neither of us knowing, we continued to soak in the surroundings and all but forgot about the distant folded peaks. 

Months later, we decided it was time for another west coast Tasmania trip and we began our search for new adventures. We came across the Tyndall Range and realised this was the exact mountain range we had been admiring at the summit of Mt Murchison. 

We eagerly added Mt Tyndall to our list of Tasmanian hikes to conquer on our west coast Tasmania road trip, along with Mt Farrell and Mt Eliza, in the hopes of spending the night in the plateau. With somewhat of a plan settled, we packed our bags and hit the road.

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Standing on the Mount Tyndall Plateau, admiring the mountainous view of Cradle Mountain National Park


7 km Return (9km to Lake Tyndall return)

Grade 4 – Experience Recommended 

4 – 5 hrs

Elevation Gain
709 m (763 m for Lake Tyndall return)

Highest Elevation
1,179 m

Entrance Fees


The Tyndall Range is largely untouched by human labour, the trails weaving tightly throughout the wilderness are made solely from the embedded footsteps of previous wanderers. 

A rich history of glaciation is etched into the sprawling plateau, with alpine tarns and obscure peaks spread throughout the rambling range. Among the many peaks to wander, Mt Tyndall is the most popular and can easily be done in a day. 

But if you have the time, equipment, and knowledge of remote camping, Mt Tyndall should merely be the beginning. The alpine ridgeline connecting many of the mountains within the range is the perfect destination for a little off-track exploration. 

I’m getting ahead of myself, however. Let’s first step back to the beginning and get you stoked to summit Mt Tyndall. But before we do, I must point out – this trail is mostly unmarked with only a few rock cairns in the alpine keeping you on course. So proceed at your own risk and please, bring a form of navigation with the skills to match on this adventure.

Sitting on a rock slab of the Mount Tyndall Hike

Getting to the Mount Tyndall Trail Head

Anthony Road, a winding single-lane highway that snakes between Mt Murchison and Queenstown, is enough to get your feet itching to wander among the many mountain peaks rising from deep blue lakes and valleys so far below. 

Turning east off Anthony Rd, an overgrown track guides you to an open space used as a car park for those entering the Tyndall Range. With no facilities and no sign indicating you’re at the right location, Wikicamps or Alltrails can be used to instill confidence. 

The dusty road continues past the basic car park and is the unofficial beginning of the hike to Mt Tyndall. Sliding through a rusted boom gate a little further along, the road continues for 300 m before reaching an intersection. Turning left will lead you towards the official trailhead in another 300 m off to the right, where the real adventure begins.

Signing the hiking register at the base of Mount Tyndall in West Tasmania

The Climb To Mt Tyndall’s Summit

In true Tasmanian fashion, you’re met with deep mud at the beginning of the trailhead and a walkers registration book. Hiking boots, long pants, and/or gaiters are all beneficial items for this adventure, where mud and rivulets fill the track for the first 30 minutes or more.

Banksias and stringybark trees hug the muddy trail, creating a tight canopy as you climb ever higher, using the branches to haul yourself up the loose soil and precarious tree roots. Each gap in the wall of green offers glimpses of the elusive mountainous range ahead, encouraging your legs to continue pushing forward for the ultimate reveal.

Eventually, after squeezing through the thick vegetation covering the steep western face for over an hour, the trees recede to unveil the extraordinary west coast wilderness. Layer upon layer of mountains dance on the horizon, dressed in multiple shades of misty blue before dropping dramatically into the Indian Ocean. 

Hiking through thick vegetation at the start of the Mt Tyndall Hike
Rock Cairn along the Mount Tyndall hike
Hiking up the steep rock slabs found on the Mount Tyndall summit hike

 A perfectly flat boulder with front row seats to the Whitham Bluff spectacle screams to be used for a snack break and well-deserved rest. It’s not often you can sit deep in a dense mountain range and look out beyond the many peaks to the vast ocean shimmering on the horizon.

Buttongrass and conglomerate rock slabs engulf the subalpine trail, providing a welcomed relief from tight trees and ongoing views of the West Coast Range at your back. Unfortunately, the change in terrain offers no break from the steep climb and many boulder clusters sneakily give the illusion you’ve reached the peak. 

But after many false summits and the true peak just out of reach, you’ll finally crest the ridgeline hiding the eastern landscape and all but forget about your burning legs. To say you will be blown away by what lies beyond the ridge is a strong understatement… 

Walking the beautiful ridge line along the Mount Tyndall Range with Cradle Mountain National Park in the backdrop

Mt Tyndall Summit

Laid out before you is a panorama you’ll likely never forget. The Tyndall Range extends along rocky ridge-lines dotted with strikingly blue alpine tarns, and the peaks of Mt Geikie, The Bastion, and Whitlam Bluff all wait to be explored. And beyond, in the hazy distance, an endless stretch of obscure mountains envelop the horizon.

On a clear day, the eye can see as far east as Eldon Peak and the many mountains included in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Not a single town or human structure can be seen, creating a sense of complete and utter freedom. It’s just you, the intoxicating scenery, and a couple of friendly lizards. 

To the west, beyond Whitham Bluff and the rolling hills hugging the coastline, the iconic west coast fjord, Macquarie Harbour, takes shape beside Strahan. The north and south vistas are filled with the remaining peaks and rocky ridgelines of the Tyndall Range. It’s hard to decide which way to turn, your mind filling with the endless beauty of Tasmania’s west coast. 

In the immediate surroundings, wildflowers, scoparia bushes, and fragile cushion plants cover what the boulders don’t, creating a game of hopscotch as you try to avoid stomping on the precious flora.

After wandering along the ridge, and finally summiting Mt Tyndall, you may choose to wander down to Lake Tyndall – approximately a kilometre south of the peak. From the lake, you’ll be blessed with a stunning view of Lake Huntley below and a potential dip in the fresh alpine waters – if the chilly Tasmanian weather permits! 

Watching an epic sunset light up the West Coast of Tasmania from the peak of Mount Tyndall

Spending The Night Remote Camping On Mt Tyndall

If you have chosen to end your journey at the peak or Lake Tyndall, simply follow your tracks back the way you came. But if you’ve decided to extend your stay with a night in the alpine, you’ll be spoiled for choice of where to pitch your tent.

While the rock slabs aren’t completely smooth, they make for a perfect viewing platform for sunrise or sunset and the wild landscape beyond. However, it is wise to check the winds and choose a spot nestled beneath a natural wind buffer… 

We speak from experience!

Alternatively, wandering to the edge of Lake Tyndall – south of Mt Tyndall’s summit – will offer a myriad of camping options close to the refreshing alpine lake – without the need to camp on top of a rock slab.

The vast and open alpine plateau of the Tyndall Ranges is the perfect playground for those adventurers wanting to explore deeper and forge their own paths through the rocky expanse. Mt Geikie – the highest mountain in the range – can be added as a day trip from Mt Tyndall, along with a visit to Lake Huntley to admire the conglomerate cliff – a rock climbers heaven.

If you’re planning to move off-track and explore deeper into the Tyndall Ranges, ensure you have a strong understanding of which plants are fragile and need to be avoided. As with any adventure into the wilderness, follow the 7 leave no trace principles, and respect the wild and its inhabitants. It’s up to all of us to protect the places we love so much. 

Watching the sunset from inside our backcountry tent in Tasmania

A Little Piece of Advice From Our Misadventure For Your Mt Tyndall Trip

Sadly, our journey ended for Mt Tyndall quite abruptly without the chance to even visit Lake Tyndall. We set up camp in the ‘perfect’ position to catch the sunset, enjoying a wondrous evening with calm weather as we watched the natural show from our tent. But as soon as the sun dipped down below the horizon and we happily fell asleep, the weather turned on us and conjured up a tremendous amount of wind.

The wind, unfaithful to a specific direction, whipped around our perfect campsite that was unintelligently set on an exposed rock slab. We attempted to endure the wrath for a few hours before fearing for our tent’s life and calling it quits. 

With our tail between our legs, and a lot of frantic work trying to get our tent safely into our packs, we began the 2-hour trek back to our van at 1 am, with a fleeting hope we would find a sheltered spot to re-pitch our camp instead.

But it wasn’t meant to be and with a few wrong turns in the dense vegetation – that looks all too similar in the torchlight – we finally made it back to our van by 3 am. Falling into bed, we vowed never to choose an exposed campsite in the alpine again. 

So the moral to this story, friends, is to never trust the weather forecast or the false sense of security a calm afternoon can create. As we should well and truly know from previously wild weather adventures such as Stacks Bluff – where it snowed in the middle of November – always expect the worst weather!

Moody Sunset overlooking Strahan and the West Coast of Tasmania from the peak of Mount Tyndall

When To Visit Mount Tyndall

Mt Tyndall is still one of the few tracks less travelled in Tasmania and avoids heavy crowds year-round. With that being said, during summer the intense sun on the exposed climb can create a struggle, with no option for shade after the trees. And in winter, the steep slabs of rock can become treacherous with ice and snow. 

However, the alpine tarns are more alluring in summer and the snow-capped mountains in winter create a magical scene. If you’re after the easiest climb and the most predictable weather, Autumn is the best time to visit the Tyndall Ranges. 

Quick Tips and Suggested Gear

Mt Tyndall is a remote and lightly trafficked trail. With no fixed markers or signs on the entire trail, a strong knowledge of navigation is recommended. The hike is relatively short and easily done in a day, yet the climb is long and exposed so try to take on that challenge in the morning before the heat.

I recommend at the very least knowing how to read a map and a compass, carrying an adequate first aid kit and an emergency beacon, and being comfortable with hiking on rough and exposed terrain.

Now that the serious talk is out of the way, this is the list of gear we took with us and would highly recommend:

  • Compass and some sort of map **-  This trail is relatively easy to follow if you concentrate, though in the unfortunate event of getting lost, a map is always worth carrying. This can be paper or electronic. If you don’t own a GPS, download Gaia GPS and preload the map before leaving. This app will track your location, even telling you which direction you’re facing with its arrow.
  • Head Torch – Don’t forget the spare batteries!
  • Sturdy hiking shoes – Our pick for the Mt Tyndall hike are the Scarpa Delta Hiking Boot.
  • Long pants or gaiters – The first part of the hike is extremely muddy.
  • Extra warm clothes – The wind can whip like crazy through these mountains and snow storms are not uncommon throughout the year.
  • Rain Jacket – High winds and sudden rainfalls are more than common!
  • Sunscreen – Quite the contrary to a rain jacket, but it’s Australia… that sun is fierce and the entire plateau is exposed.
  • Water Bottles – Preferably hard plastic or metal.
  • Sunglasses – The rocks can be mighty reflective.
  • Camera – If it’s not documented, did it really happen!?
  • Camping equipment – Make sure to pack a tent, warm sleeping bag and a mat. Even in summer It can get cold at night.
  • Cooking equipment – Again, if it’s cold nothing will beat a warm cuppa.
  • First Aid Kit – Unbeknown to Dylan, I always put this in our pack. He’s clumsy on a good day!
  • Emergency Beacon – There is no reception for most of this hike and with the remote nature, help could be a long way away without an emergency beacon.

** – 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. It even tells you which direction you’re travelling with its arrow.

How To Get To Mount Tyndall

The Tyndall Ranges sits between Rosebery and Queenstown and is 4 hrs 10 mins northwest of Hobart and 2 hrs and 50 mins west of Launceston. The trailhead is accessed via Anthony Rd, though google will generally take you to the wrong turn-off. The pin on the map below will take you to the correct location. If you’re travelling from Hobart or any other destination, type in these coordinates into your map search to access the right location: -41.93411876866409, 145.56277557497188.

Mt Tyndall Pinterest Pin