I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published April 12th 2021
I hadn't heard of the Blue Tier Giant Tree walk until my recent trip back home to Tasmania. I was staying with my sister at her beach house at Scamander on the East Coast. Her daughter, Rebecca, came up from Hobart and suggested we do a few bushwalks around the area. I had climbed St Patrick's Head with her two years before on my last visit. I wrote about that one here.
We had already done the Apsley Gorge walk a few days before luckily in fine weather. I described that walk here.
The rain had come, so we decided to go for a walk in the rainforest to the Blue Tier Giant Tree. The Blue Tier plateau is an exposed sub-alpine plate, 600 metres above sea level. During the late 1800s, tin was discovered on Blue Tier and the area has been mined and logged. Now, there are groups, such as "Friends of Blue Tier" who are fighting hard to get this lovely area protected.
We drove from Scamander through St Helens on the Tasman Highway towards Weldborough. The turn-off to the Blue Tier Giant Walk and Lottah Road is 7 kilometres before Weldborough. There is a sign on the right coming from St Helens, or on the left if you are coming from Weldborough. The turn-off is about 38 kilometres from St Helens past Goshen and Pyengana. Approximately 1.2 km along Lottah Road, turn right at the unofficial signpost and follow the Lehners Ridge road approximately 1.7 km to the trailhead car park, which is clearly marked.
There are other turn-offs along the way to the Blue Tier area but Becca had been there before, so she knew the way. A few other cars had stopped at the start of the trace but I don't think they did the walk because we never saw anyone else on our whole walk. Maybe the rain put them off.
The track is well marked and in very good condition. It was upgraded through project work by Environment Tasmania in partnership with Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania. There are interesting, information boards along the track.
The circuit was a gorgeous short 3.2 kilometre walk through the beautiful temperate rainforest with large ferns, mossy trees and ancient giant trees. We walked past a stone arch bridge over an agricultural water race to the Cradle Tree, and then onto the Giant Tree on the hand made track. Locals call the Cradle Tree "the tree that hugs you".
The Giant Tree is the widest living tree in Australia with a chest-high girth of 19.4 metres. I read it takes fifteen people to wrap their arms around the tree. This massive Eucalyptus regnans tree, commonly known as a swamp gum or giant ash tree, is 60 metres high.
Unfortunately, we couldn't stay too long at the tree and I only got a couple of photos because leeches were trying to eat us. They were crawling up our legs. The leeches were smaller than the ones I'm used to in Queensland rainforests and harder to see. Maybe they just needed a good feed.
After getting back to the car and picking off all the leeches, we drove onto Welborough to the pub for a drink. The owner even gave us a free bottle of Lime Sparkling non-alcoholic wine from a local Tasmanian Chilli Beer Company. It was delicious. The pub is very popular with visiting mountain bike riders.
Derby is the next town along the highway 21.2 kilometres from Weldborough. It has become famous over the last six years because of its internationally famous mountain bike tracks. I remember Derby as a tiny rural bush town. I had been there years ago fossicking for gemstones in the rivers near there.