June 13, 2003

Mecca for peak baggers

"Tasmania has real mountains"

 Tashi Tenzing - grandson of climber Tenzing Norgay, the first person to conquer Mt Everest, with Sir Edmund Hilary in 1953 - knows his mountains. So when the accomplished climber says "Tasmania has real mountains", people take notice.

 Tasmania is Australia's most mountainous region, with 1144 named mountains that include the nation's toughest climb, the daunting Federation Peak in the south-west wilderness. Tasmania's rugged mountains are a mecca for bushwalkers and 'peak baggers' from around the world.

 At the same time, the mountain grandeur has strong appeal for visitors, with road access and gentle walking trails making it easy to access many of the summits, including Mt Wellington - only 10 minutes from the centre of Hobart. Local folklore has it that Tasmania's mountains, if flattened out, would cover a quarter of mainland Australia.

Written by Renee Pearce

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