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10 Things You Need to Know About Ben Lomond

Discover Ben Lomond the ultimate alpine adventure

Reaching the base of Ben Lomond is an easy 40 minute drive from Launceston through picturesque landscapes. As you draw closer you will see the mountain rising up from the rolling hills below a majestic site that holds promise of adventure.

This stunning alpine destination is well known as the only commercial ski resort in Tasmania, a regular 'go to' for locals keen to hit the slopes but there is so much more to this spectacular place - read on to find out 10 things you need to know about Ben Lomond.

Jacobs Ladder mandatory credit Melissa Findley

1. Ben Lomond has five of the top 10 highest peaks in Tasmania.

2. You can reach the highest peak at Ben Lomond with a 30 minute hike from the alpine plateau, and this peak, Legges Tor, is the second highest in Tasmania.

3. Ben Lomond is home to Australia's largest boulder field.

4. Reaching the alpine plateau involves navigating Jacobs Ladder, a gravel road with six switchbacks - not for the fainthearted!

5. In summer the environment springs to life with an incredible array of alpine wildflowers.

6. During the Pleistocene Ice-Age a small ice cap existed on Ben Lomond making it the only place in the North East of Tasmania to be glaciated.

7. Paradise for the adrenaline junkie - test your skills and nerve with the Ben Lomond Descent, a world renowned gravel cycle tour.

8. The ideal place for a bit of wild life spotting - Ben Lomond is home to Bennett's wallabies, wombats, Eastern Quolls, echidnas, platypus, potoroos, pademelons, Forester kangaroos, wedge-tailed eagles and so much more.

9. On a clear day you can see all the way to kunyani/Mount Wellington in Hobart.

10. It is the ideal spot if you are chasing waterfalls or want to spend the night gazing in wonder at the starlit sky above.

Ben Lomond National Park mandatory credit Melissa Findley
Things to do at Ben Lomond

1. Conquer Jacobs Ladder by car, by foot or by cycle.

2. Go hiking - there's lots of short walks in and around the alpine plateau.

3. Rock climbing - there's plenty of places to climb or scramble here.

4. Explore the flora and fauna - especially the alpine wildflowers in summer and year round the abundant wildlife.

5. Enjoy a real winter - ski, snowboard, toboggan or just have some snowplay.

6. Climb to the second highest peak in Tasmania, Legges Tor.

7. Test your cycling skills with the Ben Lomond Descent, a massive drop of 1050 vertical metres and a 25km ride from an alpine plateau down through eucalypt bushlands.

8. Stay overnight (during winter) at the ski resort.

9. Chill before or after your day on the mountain in the relaxed atmosphere of Ben Lomond Base, the licensed cafe is open year round and serves barista brewed coffee, and a variety of hot and cold food.

10. Enter Ben Lomonds 'King and Queen of the Mountain Event' held every February - a thrilling 17.7km gravel road ascent covering an impressive 1,050 meters of elevation gain along Ben Lomond Road, taking in Jacobs Ladder - you will need legs of steel!

Watchtower Lookout Ben Lomond mandatory credit Simon Sturzaker
A visit to Ben Lomond makes for the perfect day trip from Launceston.

Start out in the morning to make the most of your day. Grab some breakfast in the city or stop by Apricus, a short deviation en-route to Ben Lomond. It takes about 40 minutes by car from Launceston to Ben Lomond, first stop is Ben Lomond Base. If you haven't got a National Park Pass yet, you can purchase one here and if you are travelling in winter this is the spot to get snow chains for your vehicle (a requirement for entering the park during winter), snow gear and a hot drink before heading up the mountain.

The drive from base to the start of Jacobs Ladder will take approximately 26 minutes and is on a gravel road through eucalypt bushland - keep a keen eye out for wildlife crossing and travel at a safe speed for the conditions.

As you enter into the first of 6 switchbacks (or hairpins) you will be in awe of the incredible views down and across to the landscape below and equally as you look up to see sheer dolerite cliff faces and the start of the boulder field becomes evident.

First stop after you have conquered Jacobs Ladder is Watchtower Lookout. Standing on the edge of this lookout you will be rewarded with spectacular vistas and a birds eye view of the road you have just navigated.

Depending on whether you go in winter or in summer will influence the activities you choose. In winter take your pick from cross-country skiing, tobogganing, skiing or snowboarding or simply take time out with a hot chocolate and enjoy the alpine village atmosphere. Summer, spring and autumn are the perfect time to explore the walking tracks and check out some more lookouts. There are plenty of short walks from easier such as the Ben Lomond Summit Link Track 30minutes Grade 2 to the more challenging Carr Villa to Alpine Village Track 2-3 Hours Grade 3. Take a look at the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife website for more information about walks in the area.

After an invigorating day on the mountain stop by Ben Lomond Base for a bite to eat, a hot or cold drink and the opportunity to reflect on your day before heading back to Launceston.

Jacobs Ladder mandatory credit Tim Whybrow

Image credits in order of appearance:

Fiona Sturman | Melissa Findley | Simon Sturzaker | Tim Whybrow