Frenchmans Cap

2 days to 4 days

44.2 km
return

↑ 3215 m
↓ -3215 m

Very challenging
Starting from the Frenchmans Cap Carpark on the Lyell Highway, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, this walk leads to the summit of Frenchmans Cap and back via the Frenchmans Cap Track. This strenuous hike takes you to one of the most remarkable mountain peaks in South-West Tasmania. From the top, the view is nothing short of incredible, with Tasmania’s rugged Wilderness World Heritage Area stretching as far as you can see. The journey to the summit includes a wonderfully varied mix of landscapes – golden-hued button grass moorlands, fragrant Eucalypt forests, moss-strewn rainforests, and the resilient wonders of the alpine flora. There are two huts, Lake Vera Hut and Lake Tahune Hut, along the track as well as several designated campsites. Climbing the summit requires some rock scrambling, and this final ascent should only be attempted if the weather is clear enough. The weather at Frenchmans Cap is highly unpredictable, and the trail will be wet, muddy and demandingly steep at times. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Warning
This journey requires significant bushwalking experience, specialised equipment and navigation skills.
Please ensure you and your group well prepared and equiped for this journey.

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Lyell Highway & Frenchmans Cap Track (-42.2085187,145.9809506)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Brooker Highway, 1
  • Turn on to Brooker Highway, 1 then drive for 115 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Lyell Highway, A10 and drive for another 15.3 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Montagu Crescent, A10 and drive for another 1.1 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 3 onto Lyell Highway, A10 and drive for another 400 m
  • Turn left onto Hamilton Road, A10 and drive for another 168.2 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
The Frenchmans Cap trailhead and car park is located on the Lyell Highway (A10) 55km before Queenstown, roughly 200km from Hobart. From Hobart, head north on Brooker Avenue, taking the first exit just before the Bridgewater Bridge onto the Lyell Highway, continue along for 170km. The car park is signposted on the lefthand side of the road, 55km before Queenstown....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Lyell Highway & Frenchmans Cap Track Start heading along Frenchmans Cap Track (a walking track).
Find the Frenchmans Cap Carpark at the start.
After another 560 m come to the camp site (6 m on your right).
Then cross the bridge (about 30 m long)
After another 6.1 km cross the bridge (about 35 m long)
Then come to the camp site (15 m on your left).
After another 100 m come to the camp site (20 m on your right).
After another 8.5 km pass the toilet (5 m on your right).
After another 75 m come to the camp site (30 m on your right).
Continue straight, to head along Frenchmans Cap Track.
After another 10 m come to the "Vera Hut" (6 m on your right).
After another 185 m come to the camp site (20 m on your left).
After another 2.7 km continue straight, to head along Frenchmans Cap Track.
After another 2.5 km come to the camp site (25 m on your right).
Continue straight, to head along Frenchmans Cap Track.
After another 5 m turn right, to head along Frenchmans Cap Track.
After another 35 m come to the "Tahune Hut" (10 m on your right).
After another 870 m (at the intersection of Irenabyss Track & Frenchmans Cap Track) turn left, to head along Frenchmans Cap Track.
Continue another 650 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 22.1 km to get back to the start.
"Frenchmans Cap".
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Frenchmans Cap


Grading
Class 5/6
Very challenging
Length 44.2 km
Time 2 days to 4 days
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep and difficult rock scrambles (5/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Forecasted & unexpected severe weather likely to have an impact on your navigation and safety (5/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There are 6 on route, on average they are 6.3 km apart with the largest gap of 23.6 km.

Hut: There are 2 on route, on average they are 14.7 km apart with the largest gap of 23.6 km.

Toilet: There is one 15.1 km from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Camp site
580 m[camp site]
Camp site
6.5 km[camp site]
Camp site
6.6 km[camp site]
Toilet
15.1 km[toilet]
Hut
15.2 kmVera Hut
Camp site
15.2 km[camp site]
Camp site
15.3 km[camp site]
Camp site
20.5 km[camp site]
Hut
20.6 kmTahune Hut
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Articles
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Weather & Alerts
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