A 16.5km overnight mission up the Queen of the Southwest, Mt Anne, will leave you in awe of Tasmania’s seemingly endless peaks.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Palawa people of Lutruwita who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • Having Shelf Camp to ourselves
  • Summiting the tallest mountain in the Southwest National Park
  • A seemingly endless sunset over Scotts Peak

Climbing Mt Anne

Hiking Mount Anne is at the top of many people’s Tasmanian bucket lists after it was closed for over two years from bushfires. As the tallest mountain in Southwest National Park, climbing this stunning mountain isn’t just a walk in the park. With boulder hopping, scrambling, and significant height exposure in some areas to access the summit, this walk deserves an extra ode of caution.



With incredible views of the south-western part of Tassie, there’s no doubt why so many people want to explore this area. But it’s important to ensure your skill level aligns with the walk’s demands – many rescues and fatalities have happened, both while accessing the summit and continuing along the circuit.

After being closed for many years, a booking system has been put in place to limit the number of walkers to just 12 starters per day, whether you decide to camp at Shelf Camp (just below Mt Anne) or at Lonely Tarns (along the circuit).

For more information on if you need to book, be sure to thoroughly read the ‘Walkers’ section of the Mount Anne track notes from Tasmania Parks & Wildlife. The booking system is currently free and voluntary, but the aim is to help ensure walkers are prepared, self-sufficient, and reduce erosion from overconsumption when undertaking this demanding walk. Whenever you head out, it’s important to follow the Leave No Trace Principles too.

Day 1 – Our Plan to Complete The Mt Anne Circuit (And Our Backup Plan!)

Completing the Mt Anne circuit after summiting was our hopeful intention, but we knew we’d settle for any time spent with packs on our backs and a tent to sleep in for the night. Despite our plan to complete the 33km circuit on an overnight hike, we made sure to pack food for two nights and three days, in case we had to spend longer in this rugged part of Tasmania.

In the car park, we met a ranger who, through a 15 minute conversation, was trying to gauge our skill level and preparedness. She reinforced that Mt Anne can often be stuck in clouds and is incredibly unsafe to climb in low visibility and with any moisture on the rocks.

After reaffirming that we were very willing to change our plans based on the weather and confirming we each had a PLB, we filled out the walker log book and set off up the abruptly steep steps towards Mt Anne, knowing we’d keep our egos out of this decision and make our choices based on the weather.


Map of Mt Anne Track


The climb towards Mt Eliza is incredibly well-crafted, with a combination of steps and duckboard the entire way up, but don’t be fooled after you reach the High Camp Memorial Hut. If you’re wanting the expansive views of Lake Gordon, making the trek to High Camp Hut and then turning around is a great day walk for beginners.

After this section, plenty of maneuvering over boulders is required before reaching Mt Eliza. From here, follow the well-defined pad to the next boulder section before reaching the junction for Mt Anne or the Shelf Camp campsite.

Once we got over Mt Eliza our visibility was next to zero. Little wind, but fully immersed in clouds, we followed the pad towards Mt Anne, unsure whether we’d be able to summit on the first day of our trip.

Important Note: I’d definitely avoid anything beyond the Mount Eliza campsite in poor weather. The boulders will be slick, visibility can be low and without experience in these remote areas, this could be the recipe for not only a miserable trip, but also an unsafe one.

Taking Refuge at Shelf Camp

As we neared the second boulder section closer to Mt Anne, we again were unsure what our afternoon would entail. At the junction we made the decision to head down to Shelf Camp, set up our tent, have some lunch and then reevaluate our plans. By 12pm we’d enjoyed our lunches while carefully watching the clouds swoop in and around Mt Anne. They cleared only for a quick glimpse before engulfing her majesty once again.


Shelf Camp


With a weather forecast showing no cloud for the following morning (checked on my Garmin Inreach Mini), we decided to hold off on summiting that afternoon and wait until the following morning to give it a go. Though we knew the rock would potentially be wet due to the cloud cover, we were hopeful the following day would bring clear skies and the expansive view that Mt Anne is known for.

To pass the many hours until dinner time, we wandered Shelf Camp, played cards, and listened to podcasts. I’d like to note, this is the first and last time I take off on a hike without a book. But nonetheless, as a somewhat acceptable dinner time finally arrived, we cooked, enjoyed our meals, cleaned our dishes, and crawled into our sleeping bags feeling we’d made the right (and safe) decision.


View of Mt Anne

Day 2 – (Eventually) Time to Summit

Come the next morning, the sun was shining, and low and behold… Mt Anne was still covered in clouds… as was the valley we were in. Feeling slightly defeated, we nixed our plan to complete the circuit, hoping that we could summit Mt Anne later that day and return the way we came in, back to the Condominium car park.

9am passed, as did 10am (feat. pancakes to boost morale). 11am quickly came and went. By 12pm cloud was finally starting to lift from Mt Anne and had enough sun beaming down to be drying off any potentially wet rock. We quickly packed up, headed towards the junction and dropped our overnight packs – switching to day packs filled with the essentials (extra layers, snacks, water, PLB, and a first aid kit).

Within an hour and 20 minutes from the junction, we reached the top of Mt Anne.


Mt Anne Summit!


The ascent includes another boulder field to reach the base, followed by a climb. The route is fully cairned, but it’s not always obvious and zig zags across the face before weaving around the back of the mountain on a very exposed section. This isn’t a summit I’d ever tackle alone. There were a few sections where having someone to see where you could place a hand or a foot was incredibly helpful and reassuring.

After a few quick photos and waving hello to a friend conveniently on Mt Sarah Jane directly across from us at the same time, we made our way back down to the junction, cautiously following the cairns, in about 40 minutes. These times shouldn’t be used as a guide as some groups we spoke to didn’t end up summiting, or turned around part way, while others took closer to two hours to reach the summit and similar to get back down.


More epic views!


The variation is dependent on your comfort and experience in this type of terrain, in addition to the weather. Getting down from the summit is often much more difficult than up and many people get caught out when aiming for the summit of Mt Anne as they’re not prepared for the exposed rock scramble.

After a very late lunch (or early dinner), we headed back across the boulder field towards Mt Eliza and then back down to the car just as the light finally faded from the day.

Essential Gear

  • A Tasmanian National Parks pass
  • Tent
  • Sleeping mat
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp Stove
  • Food + all the snackssssss
  • Extra day of food (you never know when you might exert more energy and being hangry in the mountains is never fun)
  • Water (bladder or drink bottles)
  • Water treatment options – always recommended in Tassie to avoid gastro – or boil all water on a running boil for 3 minutes
  • Warm clothing + extra layers
  • Waterproof jacket + pants
  • Hiking shoes/ boots
  • Daypack (to summit Mt Anne with)
  • First aid kit
  • Personal Locator Beacon
  • Head torch + spare batteries
  • Toilet kit (trowel, toilet paper, hand sanitiser)
  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen)
  • Physical Map – TASMAP 1:40,000 Mt Anne
  • Digital Map – Avenza Maps (4424 – Anne version)

Read more: Navigating With a Map & Compass

How To Get There

From Hobart, the 2.5 hour drive takes you north along the Brooker Highway (A10), past New Norfolk, Mount Field National Park, and Maydena. An hours’ drive past Maydena, take a left for the signposted Scott’s Peak Dam Road and follow the gravel road until reaching the Condominium car park.

Mt Anne can be completed as an out and back trip from the Condominium car park or as a circuit and ending at the Lake Judd car park, where you then need to car shuffle the 8km back to the Condominium car park. It’s been heard that people will often stash a bike in the bushes rather than doing a car shuffle, but this is at your own risk!

Skill Level


Although not particularly long, the elevation and exposure associated with this hike requires experience, reliable gear, and preparedness to change plans.

Distance / Duration / Elevation Gain –  (16.52km walk / 9 hours 45mins / 1467m )

All up, my Garmin Fenix 6s tracked us doing 16.52km and 1,467m of elevation from the Condominium Carpark → Shelf Camp → Mount Anne → Condominium Carpark over 9 hours and 45 minutes. Full disclosure, we did do a bit of a trail run to end the night back to the car park – our late Mt Anne Summit meant fading daylight hours, I highly recommend leaving more time!