Roaming Down Under

The overlooked Mt King William, Tasmania

Its shape resembles Cradle Mountain, but most visitors drive past without stopping

Do you recognise the Tasmanian mountain in this photo? Most non-Tasmanians would either have no idea which it is, or else confuse it with the more famous Cradle Mountain, which is similar. If you recognised it as Mt King William 1 (without needing to read the text) ... congratulations, you're one of the few.

Mt King William 1, Tasmania

Mt King William 1

The first of three main peaks in the King William Range shares much with Cradle Mountain. Both are part of Tasmania's central highlands, of comparable height, similar geology, and are regularly snowcapped in winter. Most notable is the strikingly similar shape, at least at first glance. However that's where the similarities end. Cradle Mountain is a Tasmanian icon which every visitor travels far to get a glimpse of, whereas most of those same visitors drive right past Mt King William 1 without even stopping.

This overlooked and under-appreciated mountain is located near the middle of Tasmania - just south of the Lyell Highway which connects Hobart with the west coast. It's only about 10km west of Derwent Bridge (the turn-off to Lake St Clair), and can be viewed from a small roadside rest area right on the divide between west- and east-flowing rivers. Being near the highway's highest point (981m), the area can sometimes be in cloud ... which could account for some not realising the mountain is there.

Mt King William 1 and roadside rest area, Tasmania

The rest area beside Lyell Highway

If Mt King William 1 is visible, I can recommend a rest stop to "smell the roses" and absorb the views. A little cloud can be a good thing, as varying light can quickly change the mood. Some small ponds also provide photo opportunities, and the fresh highland air can be invigorating after sitting in a car.

Virtually every visitor to Tasmania passes along this road. All it takes to enjoy a mountain which most barely notice is the decision to stop (weather permitting) and enjoy more of the journey, instead of pressing on to the destination.

Mt King William 1, Tasmania