The 28km overnight hike to Lake Rhona lands you on a sandy beach between the lake and towering mountains of Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which this adventure takes place who have occupied and cared for this land for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
- Crossing the wild Gordon River balancing on a huge fallen tree
- Pitching your tent on a pure pink and white granite beach
- Taking a dip in a glacial hung lake
- Bagging nearby peaks for endless views of the Denison Range and surrounding south west mountains
Finding The Secluded Bush Beach
Summer in Australia means one thing… heading to the beach. Sure, you could fight the tanned crowds at Bondi for a small piece of sand to lay your towel.
Or, you could head into the remote Tasmanian bush, traversing through button grass plains before ascending ancient conglomerate mountains to find a magical hidden lake, contained within a cirque of jagged peaks, complete with its own pristine white granite beach. Pitch your tent, take a dip, and exhale.
Welcome to Lake Rhona.
Only recently reopened after the bushfires of 2019, the track to Lake Rhona begins with a leisurely stroll through a section of rejuvenating myrtle and eucalypt forest for approximately 30 minutes before you reach the Gordon River.
At this point the river can be tackled in one of two ways, the most popular being balancing on top of a large fallen tree, which has become unofficially known as the log bridge to Lake Rhona.
The other option is to wade the river slightly upstream.
Please note! The river regularly floods after heavy rainfall and a river crossing should not be attempted at high flow. A camp on the opposite of the river serves as a refuge for stranded hikers and weather forecasts for the duration of your planned hike should be consulted prior to heading off.
After crossing the Gordon, trek through the button grass plains of the Vale of Rasselas, tackling sections of knee-deep squelchy mud. Sporadically, small creek crossings appear which allow for water replenishment, or a quick face splash during warm summer months.
Hiking Past History
After about 3km you’ll reach the lush grassy patch of forest known as Gordonvale. In the mid-1900s a bloke called Ernie Bond lived in a homestead in the area, and extended his hospitality to folks passing through.
Whilst nature has reclaimed most of the area which was once the site of various buildings, you can still see some remnants of this bygone era.
Over the next 4km or so you’ll gradually gain some altitude, all whilst Reid’s Peak – the backdrop to your final destination – keeps a watchful eye over you in the distance. And then, with legs already fatigued from the long mud flats, the real climbing begins…
The last few kilometres of the hike sees you gaining 400 metres of elevation, over a number of false summits. A final physical test before you reach your reward!
Welcome to Lake Rhona
As you ascend the final ridge, Lake Rhona finally reveals itself to you, a surreal watery oasis which looks out of place in such a rugged location.
Devastation from the recent bushfires is evident in the area prior to reaching the lake, however, thanks to an initiative by Parks and Wildlife services, sprinklers placed in sensitive areas closer to the lake saved some of the native flora as the fire passed through. It’s so important to stay on the track whilst this area is rejuvenating.
The track follows the northern shore of the lake before you finally step out onto the granite sand beach. There’s a campsite and an open-air composting toilet located in the dunes, but most hikers choose to pitch their tent on the sand beside the lake.
Read more: How To Poo in The Bush
On the opposite side of the lake a track navigates the ridges above you, allowing for further hiking for the keen peak-bagger. Accessing Great Dome, Reid’s Peak, and Bonds Craig, this circuit lends itself to sensational sunrise views across the Denison Range.
For a less strenuous start to the day, crawl out of your tent to watch the wall of Reid’s Peak glow orange and reflect in the lake in front of you, all from the comfort of the beach with a cuppa in hand. When it’s time to pull yourself away from this magical escape, return to the car park via the same track.
Read more: Remember to leave no trace!
- A Tasmanian National Parks pass
- Warm clothing
- Sun protection – the track is very exposed and subject to whatever wild weather the southwest is throwing about at any given time!
- Water treatment options – it’s suggested to treat water from the lake prior to drinking as incidents of gastro have been reported in the past
How To Get There
The car park for Lake Rhona is situated at the end of a labyrinth of forestry roads, around 2.5 hours from Hobart. Heading north on the Brooker Highway (A10), follow directions to New Norfolk and then on to Mount Field National Park (all well signposted).
Continue past Mount Field and Maydena before turning right into Florentine Road, around 2km out of Maydena. Follow this gravel road for about 27km before it forks to the left and becomes Tiger Road.
In 3.5km turn left onto Range Road and then follow this for approximately 3.5km before turning left again into Terry Walch Road. In 3km take the G03 spur to the right, which leads to the car park.
Please note! Not all of the forestry roads are marked/signposted so it pays to keep an eye on the odometer.
Google Maps also generates the incorrect route. We inadvertently made an early left turn onto an unmarked road at one point and had to backtrack when the road conditions got hairy.
The correct route is accessible by 2WD the whole way so if it’s starting to get too adventurous you’ve probably made a wrong turn!
Whilst the hike itself is mainly flat with a final ascent, track conditions and exposure to the elements can make this a strenuous walk. Appropriate gear, and some experience, is required.
Distance Covered / Elevation Gained / Duration
28km / 550m / 2 days