Roaming Down Under

An alpine stroll at Pine Lake

A very accessible lake with unique trees on Tasmania's central plateau

The last ice age left behind hundreds of alpine lakes on Tasmania's central plateau. Pine Lake is a picturesque example which boasts a collection of Tasmania's rare pencil pine trees. It is also a very accessible lake for anyone using the high road between Deloraine and Miena.

Pencil pine reflections, Pine Lake, Tasmania

Pencil pine reflections

The drive from Deloraine up the side of the central plateau is pleasant; I've written a separate page for that. Pine Lake is at the top of the ascent, on the undulating ground just back from the edge of the plateau.

A flat area at the side of the road provides parking for a few vehicles. From there a boardwalk extends about 400 metres to the edge of the lake. Apart from that there are no facilities.

The first thing you might notice when arriving at Pine Lake is the temperature - it can be rather chilly! At an altitude of around 1200 metres it's almost as high as Mt Wellington near Hobart, and if you've been there you'll know how much cooler it can be than down below.

It's an easy flat walk along the boardwalk, with frost, snow or rain being the only potential hazards. Each of my visits to Pine Lake have been in winter or spring, with frost or a light dusting of fresh snow making the boardwalk picturesque but just a little slippery. Most of the year that would not be the case, and even the frost melts quickly in the morning sun.

Frost on the boardwalk, Pine Lake, Tasmania

Frost on the boardwalk

Pine Lake, Tasmania

The walk to the lake edge is short and gentle, so no need to rush. The main point of the walk is to showcase the alpine vegetation - as well as the lake - and this is best appreciated by strolling slowly. Information signs provide some details of the plants, many of which are unique to Tasmania and provide the alpine areas with much of their distinctive character.

Most noteworthy are the pencil pines. These are a type of conifer found only in the higher parts of Tasmania, and Pine Lake has some of the most easily accessible examples. Nowhere else is it so convenient to meander right past some of them, growing wild and free in their natural habitat.

At the end of the path is a platform right on the edge of the lake. In gentle weather this is a lovely spot for quiet contemplation. Sometimes parts of the lake surface may be frozen, sometimes still and reflective, and other times windswept and bumpy. But whatever the conditions, Pine Lake is an easy way to experience an alpine lake and some unique Tasmanian trees.

Lightly frozen lake surface, Pine Lake, Tasmania

Lightly frozen lake surface

Panorama of Pine Lake from the side of the road

Panorama of Pine Lake from the side of the road

More information

Pine Lake (Tas Parks & Wildlife)