The Walls of Jerusalem deliver rugged, biblical views that live up to the park’s name. Emily hit up the region with her motley crew to bring you the lowdown on four of the best hikes from the area.
The Walls of Jerusalem are part of the spectacular Tasmanian highlands, east of the famous Cradle Mountain-Lake-St-Clair NP. Arriving in the height of summer, the carpark may well be full, but don’t let this put you off. There’s a reason solo hikers, couples and families alike enter the Walls of Jerusalem playground to explore for 1 to 6 days. You can only access the park by foot, and there are plenty of walks to take to view the many clear lakes, rocky cliffs and unique wildlife within the Walls, without feeling crowded.
Walks, Walks And More Walks
My group of four (recommended size is no larger than six) completed a 3-day circuit track of the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, starting at the carpark, camping two nights at Dixon’s Kingdom and then hiking out via Lake Adelaide back to the carpark.
In between our two night’s stay, we completed a few day walks that tested the knees a little, but really displayed the uniqueness of the Tasmanian alpine landscape.
# 1 Mount Jerusalem
The Mount Jerusalem walk is a beautiful hike up the park’s key feature. At 1459m in elevation e we felt as though a landscape architect had intentionally plotted out the blooming scoparia, mountain rocket and the twisted lakes. Most of the track is a steady ascent while the final stretch is a steeper rocky climb.
On a clear day you’ll get views all the way into Cradle Mountain NP and its labyrinth lakes. This hike normally takes about 2 hours return from Dixons Kingdom, but allow plenty of time should you want to photograph every second reflective pool and wildflower you come across. We partially climbed up again at dusk to watch the sunset, waiting to be immersed in Tasmania’s spectacular starry sky.
# 2 The Temple
At the saddle of Damascus Gate, follow the east track to The Temple. A fairly quick but steeper climb than Mount Jerusalem, The Temple walk reveals a stunning view of the valley in front of the mountain, including Zion Hill and Pools of Bethesda. Approximately 1 hour return from Damascus Gate saddle.
# 3 Solomon’s Throne
Perhaps the most spectacular, but as is always the case, the most challenging climb in the Walls of Jerusalem, is the hike up to Solomon’s Throne. Take the west track from the Damascus Gate junction and follow. Quite quickly the track becomes a series of stepping stones and boulders to the top, where a short almost-vertical climb between the dolerite columns takes you to a surreal view of life beyond the Walls. Pray you don’t get vertigo.
Please note: you must stay on the formed tracks to these spots. It is not permitted to climb Solomon’s Throne or onto the West Wall by any other route due to regeneration needs.
# 4 Lake Adelaide
From Dixons Kingdom to Lake Adelaide, you have to find your way through muddy, low shrubbery, however Lake Ball is easy to see ahead so don’t be put off. Once you hit Lake Ball, follow its bouldered outline until reaching more myrtle forest. There’s a tiny wooden hut built by bushranger Ray ‘Boy’ Miles back in the 60s, a Prisoner of War survivor and ambassador to the rare beauty of this park.
From here the track undulates between more scoparia flower gardens, luminous cushion plants and a fair bit of mud. Once you hit Lake Adelaide you’re about 4 hours from Trappers Hut. Allow the full day to get back to the carpark from Dixons Kingdom, or set up camp by the lake.
Basecamp: Dixon’s Kingdom
Camping at Wild Dog Creek is currently encouraged, with wooden tent platforms to set up on, better drainage and permanent toilets available. The site is located 2-3 hours from the carpark after hiking a relatively steep but steady climb through gum forest via Trapper’s Hut.
Dixon’s Kingdom was our choice for a more beautiful and remote basecamp for setting out for day hikes to Mount Jerusalem and Solomon’s Throne. It’s located approximately another 4km past Wild Dog Creek – following a track that takes you past the Central Walls and Damascus Gate to an enchanting Pencil Pine valley.
Walkers are asked to not camp beneath or on the Pencil Pines, but you can find yourself a tranquil spot between the bushes, feeling far removed from anyone despite how busy the park might be. Here you are protected from the wind, and surrounded by the beauty of the pines and lake views beyond the valley.
Water trickles from the small natural bubbling creeks nearby so be sure to pack purification tablets or boil your water before drinking. At all sites hot water and a scourer should be used for washing, never soap. Keep in mind anything that enters the park must be taken out, and no fires are allowed under any circumstances. Want to learn how to best prepare?
Camping is discouraged anywhere else in the park, except for Lake Adelaide, due to regeneration needs and drainage issues. There are two huts within the park in which walkers are permitted to sleep in – Lake Meston and Junction Lake.
- Overnight walkers must carry a tent
- Warm waterproof clothing – even in summer the temperature drops to below 8 degrees and you must expect rapid changing weather conditions at all times of year
- 2-3L of water per person to carry
- Water purification tablets
- Portable fuel stove
- Trowel for burying your number twos
- Energy-rich food
- Map of the park
How To Get There
The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is for experienced hikers only, and can only be explored by foot. According to the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania, access is via the carpark, which is reached from Deloraine by following the B12 through Mole Creek and taking Mersey Forest Road (C138 then C171) to Lake Rowallan. A gravel road approximately 4.8km past the Lake Rowallan dam wall on the left just after the Fish River leads to the car park.
If overnight hiking’s your jam, read on