There are many amazing mountain hikes in the Dial Ranges which are located just 10km from Penguin, it is a small mountain range in the central north coast of Tasmania. It has amazing Hiking trails and Mountain bike tracks. There are 4 mountains to Hike all with breathtaking views looking out to Northern Tasmania. The 4 Mountains you can hike are Mt Dial, Mt Montgomery, Mt Gnomon and Mt Duncan (which is the tallest). The day we visited we hiked to the peak of Mt Gnomon and went to Ferndene state Reserve. Where we walked to Throsby Tunnel. Check out this blog when we Mountain biked along the trails and hiked to Mt Montgomery and Mt Dial. If your in the area of Penguin and looking for a spectacular hike. A day in the Dial Ranges is totally worth it.
How To Get There
From Penguin drive up Ironcliffe Rd for 10km you will pass Mt Gnomon farm and the Ferndene picnic area. The road will become a dirt road, and you will reach the Dial range carpark. This is where the walks begin the area is well signposted. From here you will have 4 walk options. The walk to Mt dial via Mt Gnomon which is a 4.7km and 2 hour return walk. The walk straight up to Mt Gnomon which is 1.5 hour return, there is also an option to walk along the Tall tree track and then up to Mt gnomon this is a 2.6km 2 hour return walk. The walk to Mt Duncan via Tall Trees track which is 9km 3 and half hours return.
We Hiked to Mt Gnomon Via the tall trees track. The beginning of the track was along an old 4WD track before you reach a sign to your left directing you up the hill to Mt Gnomon. From here it is a fairly steep climb and along the way you will notice large boulders which poke out over the path. You will then reach another intersection pointing back to the path or to Mt gnomon or Mt dial. You will continue climbing up the hill, over the walk the elevation is 200 meters so it is a fairly steep climb. As you near the top you will notice your first lookout where you will get your first glimpse of the views. Continue along the path to the second lookout this is where you will get magnificent views looking out to Mt Roland, Mt Duncan to the right and The Ocean to the left. As you head back down you will have an option to either return to the carpark or continue to Mt dial which is another 1km. We choose to head back to the carpark as we had already been to Mt dial.
Throsby Tunnel Via Browning Tunnel
Located just 5 minutes from Dial Range carpark, as your heading back towards Penguin is Ferndene State Reserve. This was an amazing walk through the rainforest. It was quit muddy walking on the track so make sure you wear sturdy shoes. The walk to Throsby Tunnel Via Browning’s tunnel is a 1.6km and 1 hour return walk. It has a couple of steep sections and is rated Moderate. The track begins by crossing over a small bridge across McBride’s Creek. The track then follows the creek past the gigantic tree ferns covered in moss. Heading away from the creek the track slightly climbs up and then back down to the creek. This is where you will discover the first tunnel. Browning’s tunnel an old silver mine. This tunnel looks like it goes into nothingness but as you shine a torch it doesn’t go very far maybe 10 meters in. If you are brave you are able to walk in, the track is very muddy but it is well worth the look inside.
The amazing Throsby Tunnel
Continue along the path for another 10 minutes following along the creek you will come across the second mining tunnel, Throsby Tunnel. This tunnel has a steep and very slippery entrance. But you are able to walk in it. As we got inside the tunnel you will notice many cave crickets, make sure to use a flash light. The tunnel goes for about 20 meters and then you will reach a bar fence for good reason as there is a massive mine shaft straight down. Be carefully when walking in the tunnels but have fun and explore. We loved walking and exploring this reserve it was a beautiful walk to these amazing old mine tunnels. If you are in the area and looking for a short walk, I highly recommend it!