The Walls of Jerusalem offers hikers the opportunity to explore a spectacular mountain region that is little touched by the modern world. Located in the Central Plateau region of Tasmania Wilderness Heritage Area, the Walls of Jerusalem National Park or “The Walls” as it is called for short, is remote high country, sculpted by glaciers thousands of years ago.
The constantly changing landscape is as unpredictable as it is beautiful and you should come prepared. As we experienced, the weather can shift from one hour to the next going from heat wave conditions to below zero in a short period of time.
If you are considering the Walls of Jerusalem Tasmania Hike, you will not be disappointed. We had a varied couple of days in the park and couldn’t help but be enchanted by its raw and remote beauty.
Read on to get our thoughts on the circuit hike which might help with your own planning.
Distance: 35 km approx including side trips
Duration: 3 days (Possible to do in 2 days as variation)
Start / Finish: Walls of Jerusalem car park
Direction of Travel: Circuit
Elevation Gain: 1,117m
Max Elevation: 1,459 (Mount Jerusalem)
Difficulty: Moderate (Known for harsh weather conditions, otherwise fairly straight forward)
Our Plan for The Walls of Jerusalem Tasmania Hike
With only around 7 days in total in Tasmania, we had a fairly tight schedule to pack in as much hiking as we could. This trip was planned without much notice, and as much as we would have liked to do the Overland Track, it was booked out.
On top of that, it was the first week of January so it was sure to be quite busy everywhere.
In the end we decided to take on two multi day hikes; Walls of Jerusalem over 3 days and the Freycinet National Park circuit, also over 3 days.
Flying into Launceston, we spent one night there before driving early the next morning to the Walls of Jerusalem. The main access track to the Walls is reached by car travelling to Lake Rowallan, via Mole Creek, on the Mersey Forest Road.
We had decided to hike the route as a circuit, hiking through the Walls on the first day to camp at Dixon’s Kingdom. We planned to explore a number of side trips the next day (Mount Jerusalem and King Solomon’s Throne) and then to camp on the southern branch of the circuit for the second night and complete the hike out on day 3.
Trip Notes – Walls of Jerusalem Guide
Day 1: Car park to the Walls & Dixon’s Kingdom (4-5 hours)
Setting off from the car park, the track is immediately quite steep and within 10 minutes the giddy rush of starting a couple of days hiking was replaced with heavy breathing and a dose of the reality of lugging a heavy pack uphill :).
After approximately 1 hour we reached the top of this section arriving at an old Trappers Hut.
From here, the trail is much easier going however it just so happened a heatwave was rolling through and temperatures of 33-34 degrees celsius even at this altitude – it was bloody hot! We’d later find out that the Freysinet National Park had been closed off due to fire risks, so we had made the right choice coming to the Walls first. As the track leveled out here we soon came to open fields where we could really feel the heat. Stopping for a snack, we were harassed by persistent flies wherever we stood.
The area is dotted with small lakes and the idea of a swim became more and more appealing. Eventually we could see the campsite of Wild Dog Creek which is the only formal campsite, with camping platforms.
We carried on up past the camp and through Herods Gate into the interior of The Walls.
This was quite a spectacular sight, and a rather big shift from the outlook to that point. The track itself through here is a timber boardwalk. This is to lessen the walkers’ impact on the environment here, but it also makes for much easier walking.
We passed only a few people on the trail to this point and the area had a very peaceful feeling about it. I really felt like I was far away from everything. As we got further through the Walls we noted a few small lakes which we wanted to closer investigate.
We found one and jumped in to cool off, which was a welcome relief!
From here it was a relatively short 45 mins up and down into the next valley and the Dixon’s Kingdom camp area.
Arriving at Dixons we found several parties already setup, running water in a nearby creek through the centre of the valley and found a suitable place to setup our tents. In the end it turned out to be a hot spot for mosquitos which were absolutely everywhere, and a bit of a pain in the ass. It forced us to be on the move at all times.
After setting up camp and a look around the camp area, we had our dinner and turned in to escape the flies and mosquitos.
It was an incredible turn of events as the weather systems changed over – As the evening went on from around 8pm to 10pm the temperature completely dropped and dipped below 0 to approx -2 degrees celsius over night. Luckily enough, I’d got my hands on a new sleeping bag before this trip and was super toasty.
Day 2: Morning side trips Mount Jerusalem and King Solomon’s Throne (half day)
We awoke to a chilly morning and were in for a day that maxed out at around 10-14 degrees, a massive shit from the day before at temperatures in the mid 30’s. From the camp site we had 2 side trips to take on this morning.
After a quick breakfast we took off to our first – Mount Jerusalem. In the cool weather I started with a few layers (pants and jacket) and as the day went on I would continue to change up my layers as we went from cold windy patches to feeling pretty warm from the exertion.
The trip was a fairly easy few km and only a gradual incline. Reaching the summit views opened up in all directions and down towards the Walls of Jerusalem. It was pretty cool.
Back to to the camp site for a short break and we were on to the next one.
Retracing our steps slightly for the previous day, back up towards the Walls we then began the ascent of Solomon’s Chair. Quite a bit steeper than the morning’s previous side trip, up the rocky side of the wall and around through a deep cut in the rock. The views from the top were amazing and looked back on our previous days timber trail through the interior of the Walls. It was pretty neat to get all these different vantage points. After some photos and a snack break, it was back the way we had come to the Dixon’s Kingdom.
Packing up our gear and tents, we made our way to the south, over a unclear trail and towards Lake Bell.
Passing some hikers camping on a nice spot directly beside Lake Bell, we continued our way along what was now a well trodden trail around the Lake.
We didn’t pass anyone along this trail and it would seem that most hike in and out through the Walls. Eventually getting tired and searching for a site that would hopefully be less intensive with the mosquitos, we eventually settled on a spot next with an outlook to the water.
Sure enough, the mosquitos returned in ernest and it was straight into the tent again after dinner.
Hike Out to Car Park
Back on the trail on day 3 and after missing a turn in the track we followed what seemed to be a well used trail that ended up leading us into thick undergrowth. We could see on the GPS that we were off the trail somewhat but couldn’t work out where we’d gone wrong. After battling our way through vines and undergrowth attempting to bush bash our way to the trail we thought there must be an easier way.
Retracing our footsteps for 15 minutes we ended up back at a fairly obvious fork in the trail in retrospect, that someone had piled up sticks to indicate an arrow. It would seem many people had made our same mistake so be warned.
On we went through the plains which sit on the other side of the walls and provide a very different outlook to the previous day. It’s definitely not as impressive on this side as the Walls but it is nice nonetheless. There were a couple of muddy sections although nothing serious, however following substantial rainfall this area would no doubt be more difficult to get through.
We then connected with our path from day 1, at the top of the first incline from the car park and made our way (much easier this time round) down to the car park.
All in all, despite the mosquitos, this was a great couple of days hiking in a unique and peaceful area of Tasmania. Highly recommended.
Key Things to know about the Walls of Jerusalem Tasmania Hike
1. Getting There
The boundary of the Walls of Jerusalem National Park is 1km from the road end carpark. Hikers must enter the park from this carpark located off the gravel Mersey Forest Road near Lake Rowallan. The car park is reached from the town of Deloraine by following the B12 through Mole Creek and taking Mersey Forest Road (C138 then C171) to Lake Rowallan. A gravel road on the left just after the Fish River leads to the car park.
There is no public transport to this area. The park boundary is reached after 30 minutes to an hour on foot following the track uphill.
Walks within the Walls of Jerusalem National Park can be challenging, particularly due to the unpredictability of weather in this region. The park can experience harsh weather conditions at any time of the year. There are limited walker’s huts within the park – walkers must carry a tent. The summits within the park are quite exposed and should not be attempted in adverse weather. Walkers must be fully self-sufficient, well-equipped and experienced.
3. How difficult is the Walls of Jersualem Tasmania hike?
We found the hike to be relatively easy. There are no real technical sections on the main circuit trail or the side trips however, we had clear weather without rain and none in the lead up to the hike, so the trails did not present any real obstacles.
However, as noted previously the weather in the high country and can change rapidly. We did experience the pace at which weather can change, and although there was not a great deal of impact from going from extremely hot to quite cool – we were prepared for that – it did reinforce the idea that conditions can change in an instant. Therefore, I would suggest being well aware of the likely weather conditions but also coming prepared for any potential weather scenario.
4. What Permits are needed for the Walls of Jerusalem Tasmania.
National Park Passes can be purchased from Visitor Centres in the larger national parks and Service Tasmania Shops. For the full range of passes including Annual and Two Yearly visit any Service Tasmanian Shop (the closest are Sheffield or Deloraine) or a National Park Visitor Centre.