April 6, 2006

Arm River Track to Pelion Plains and Mt Ossa

Two Senior Walkers Posted on 2006-04-06

The Approach

It was a the spur of the moment - day before - decision to go. The weather forecast for the north was good. Our goal was to climb Mt Ossa and return in one day. In and out along the Arm River Track, a distance of 38 kilometers.
At 7:40pm the night before, we packed and left Hobart. We drove north, non-stop, to Mole Creek. From here we followed the signs and arrived at the Arm River Track car park at about 11pm.
Sleeping in the back of the station wagon we had a surprisingly good sleep under a brilliant starry night.

Arm River Track to Pelion Hut

Day break saw the skies clear and the temperature a cool 3°. We started walking at 7.30am. At the start, the track climbs steeply for about 40 minutes. The rest of the walk to Pelion Plains is relatively flat. The scenery and terrain is varying, making for a pleasant walk.
There has been quite a bit of work done on the track. Raised long timber boards have been installed over long sections of the track. They are easy to walk on. The track was fairly dry, but in wetter seasons these walkways would be especially welcome.
An hour and a half into the walk, good views of Mt Pelion East and Mt Ossa where found in an open section of the track. After this the track took a gradual descent for close to half an hour, till it meets Lake Ayr.
Mt Oakleigh looked striking as we came across Pelion plains as did Pelion West and further into the distance Barn Bluff. Approaching Douglas Creek we could see Pelion Hut, a welcome sight. It sleeps 60, has separate sleeping alcoves and rooms, and verandas all around. We heard that it is regularly full and that sometimes people even sleep on the veranda because the hut is full. Just behind the hut we found a double composting toilet, which is very comfortable to sit on.

Pelion Hut to summit of Mt Ossa

It was only 10.35am. We had expected to take 4 1/2 hours according to information we had read. However it took only a bit over 3 hours. Mt Ossa looked promising! We did not know, however, that the same information was wrong on the Mt Ossa climb too and that it took a good hour longer than it said.
From the hut we walked up to Pelion Gap, stopping for lunch on the way. By now it was getting warm and the skies were still very clear. We arrived at the start of the Mt Ossa track at about 12.10pm. There were backpacks, left behind by walkers doing the ascent, on a raised wooden platform.
The ascent was managable in the heat as long as short rests were taken on the way up, especially when it came to the steep ascents towards the end. We reached the summit at about 1.40 pm. The views were stunning - not a cloud - it was just peak after peak in all directions. There were about 15 people up there enjoying the views.

Return trip

We left the summit at 2.10pm, arrived back to Pelion Gap at 3:40pm and Pelion Hut at 5 pm. The late afternoon had perfect conditions for walkin. The sun was on our backs and by then not so hot. The scenery was lovely. We certainly appreciated the track improvements. We were very pleased to get to the car at about 8.15pm, still in daylight. A long but very satisfying day.


  • The full walk including stops was 12 hr 45 min.
  • The distance travelled was 37.8km.
  • Car park to Pelion Hut 3 hr 15 min, Pelion Hut to Pelion Gap 1 hr 15 min
  • Ossa: up 1 hr 15 min, down 1 hr 25 min,
  • Pelion Gap to Pelion Hut 1 hr 25 min.
  • Pelion Hut to Car Park 3 hr 15 min.
  • Start 7.30 am - Finish 8.15pm 


  1. Hi - I was wondering if you could provide directions as to how to get to the Arm RIver tack from the parking lot. I was literally there yesterday and didn't see any sign for the track. Additionally I walked around the periphery of the Arm Track parking lot and didn't see any tracks nor any signs.
    Any help is greatly apprecaited.

  2. Just a note to anyone finding this post; I just completed the same walk and we did it over 3 days: Day 1 car park to New Pelion Hut 4 hours, Day 2 Pelion Hut to Mt Ossa and back to Pelion Hut 8 hours, Day 3 Pelion Hut to car park 4 hours, total 16 hours. If you can do it in 12:45 then great but this is going at a cracking speed so you would have to be a really fit person.


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