The track to the summit of Mount Stronach is not really spectacular. But this is a great little walk if you have a few hours, want to get your heart rate up and be rewarded with views out to the ocean.
Where is Mount Stronach?
From Tin Dragon Cottages, you turn left and drive towards Scottsdale on the A3 Tasman Highway. You drive through the Ling Siding, where the industrial businesses and United Fuel are. Now, look for Buckneys Road on the right-hand-side.
The car park for the start of the walking track is at the end of Buckneys Road.
Lying 4 kilometres east of Scottsdale, the mountain rises from 130 metres above sea level to 465 metres at the summit and covers an area of over 1000 hectares.
Mt. Stronach is described as a ‘monadnock’ which is a prominent rounded mountain-sized landform rising from the surrounding plain. It is actually a large mass of erosion formed from granite between 350 and 400 million years ago.
Do you need a 4WD vehicle?
Buckneys Road is a well-maintained unsealed road. Historically, this was not the case. In the past, the road was not always accessible, because of locked gates and bad road conditions. So, although we drove our 4WD, we didn’t need it! We could easily have driven our family sedan.
Because we drove our 4WD vehicle, I had an elevated view of the scenery on our way home. So I was dismayed to see the collection of rubbish beside the road–with so many drink bottles and coffee cups! And, I thought Tasmania was introducing a container refund scheme in 2022?
A family-friendly walk
Our family has walked to the summit of Mount Stronach many times over the years. I love the photo of young James walking the track in 2005 (below).
The track is an easy grade. However, you still need to take care by wearing sturdy walking shoes and taking a windproof jacket. You should allow about 2.5 hours for this walk. Last Sunday we walked about one hour to reach the Lookout. But, because it was starting to rain we didn’t walk the extra 20 minutes or so (return) to the actual summit.
Mount Stronach Walking Track
The track was originally contructed by local volunteers and is now maintained by Forestry Tasmania. In 1903 community members erected a rock cairn on the summit to commemorate Federation.
The lower slopes of the Mount Stronach walk
At the base of the mountain, the track winds through wet bushland. After recent rains, the understory was green with ferns. You can still see large tree stumps in the re-growth bush. I was also delighted to see a rough tree fern.
Water features and gardening?
Because of our older age and my interest in photography 😉 , we walked slowly and stopped occasionally. We heard a mysterious gurgling sound in a burnt-out tree stump. It was fascinating. When we hit the stump, the sound was louder. Then we noticed water streaming out of the ground a short distance away. We thought it could be a natural spring.
So, on our way back from the Lookout, we kept an eye out for the magic stump. This time, we also heard a sharp swishing sound parallel to the track above the magic stump. Investigation revealed a poly irrigation pipe not far from the track. The pipe had neatly drilled holes watering the ground.
OK. We can speculate. But I did hear from a friend-of-a-friend that they had found a gardener’s table littered with gardening tools in the bush on the lower slopes of Mount Stronach.
It pays to be observant
There is plenty of interest in the understory.
The upper slopes of the Mount Stronach walk
As you walk uphill, the bushland opens up with less understory. Here there are dry forests of peppermint and stringy bark eucalyptus with white gum and dry white top stringy bark around the rocky knolls along the ridgeline. There is evidence of past hot fires, too. Because Mount Stronach is subject to frequent fires causing damage and soil loss.
In the poorly-drained areas tea tree bush takes over and the exposed granite slabs are often covered in Kunzea scrub.
The summit Lookout is the reward!
Stay a while to enjoy the view and a cuppa!
Mount Stronach history
The Northeast tribe, known as Pyemmairrener, are the orignal inhabitants of this region. Aboriginal artifacts found at the summit indicate that the mountain was used by the aboriginal population.
Following European settlement, Mount Stronach was prospected for tin. But very little was found except in some of the streams flowing out from the lower slopes. Some water races were constructed to collect water for hydraulic mining of alluvial tin.
Early settlers cut the better stands of forest for saw logs and fencing material in the early part of the 20 century. Horses or bullocks pulled the trees downhill on rough logging tracks.
The severely eroded logging tacks are now popular for mountain-biking and four-wheel driving.