If you still want a spectacular view over Hobart when the weather’s not playing nice enough for Mount Wellington, maybe try the Mount Nelson Lookout. It’s just a short 10-minute drive from the CBD and we think it has quite a lot to boast about.
Signal Station: Mount Nelson Lookout
We took the beautifully-bendy Nelson Road from Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Sandy Bay to the Mount Nelson Lookout recently. We were rewarded with lovely views over the city of Hobart and the Derwent River, despite the cloudy conditions.
We’ve talked about the Signal Station Brasserie previously, and that’s always an option for hungry or thirsty travellers. Otherwise, for dining with a magnificent view, consider packing a picnic and lazing on the expanse of grass. I’m almost certain there’s a bbq or two nearby (maybe someone could confirm in the comments). There are definitely toilets adjacent to the car park. I know this because we did several laps of said car park looking for somewhere to alight from our vehicle. It was a busy day!
Of course, Tasmania’s first Signal Station (circa 1811) is worthy of attention, offering lots in the way of historic photos and information. If nothing else takes your fancy, the panorama or “layout of the land” is highly useful. It’s an easy way to determine which part of southern Tasmania you’re looking at through the windows.
Walking: Mount Nelson to Hobart CBD
Like Mount Wellington, Mount Nelson also offers extensive walking trails. Truganini Conservation Area (130 hectares of protected native bushland) adjoins the Signal Station Lookout precinct. The reserve includes the Truganini memorial, a dedication to indigenous Tasmanians; a descent alongside Cartwright Creek to the Channel Highway at Taroona also begins from the reserve.
A gully of sheltered rainforest vegetation, wildflowers in spring and chance encounters with the endangered swift parrot make this 90-minute return walk another challenge for our bucket list. The descent part might be easy enough, but I’m not confident with the “return” (ie uphill) section as yet.
While we’re contemplating that bushwalk, we might visit the Signal Station restaurant and order another Devonshire Tea. As we gaze over Storm Bay and take in the vista of Bruny Island, we may summon the courage to head down, down, down into the wilds of Hobart suburbia.
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