Kunanyi/Mount Wellington: Devil’s Throne
Devil’s Throne, Satan’s Couch, Lucifer’s Lounger, Beelzebub’s Settee, Mephistophele’s Armchair, I have no idea how this place got its name and an exhaustive period of 3 minutes of researching it has turned up nothing 🙂 Devil’s Throne can be found “down the back” of Kunanyi/Mount Wellington, that big beautiful lump of rock that overlooks Hobart and can be seen from all around. I’ve done many walks on “The Mountain” as it’s affectionately known, and have always had an intrigue with what lies beyond the car park at the top, what’s it like to walk out there along the rolling rocky outcrops you see, stretching out into the distance towards the Southwest and its impressive peaks?
Yesterday, at the third time of asking we got to find the answers to that question. We tried this walk in the Winter but turned back due to a) me forgetting my gaiters and b) it was a bit of a risky one. The second time, dangerous fire weather shut us out from getting to the top. Yesterday we had almost perfect conditions, not too hot and with a gentle breeze to take the edge off. We met up at the car park just up from Big Bend and promptly set off after donning our gear and lathering on the sunscreen.
We were going to be doing the full loop around Thark Ridge and down towards Mount Mongatu before turning onto the lesser taken path around to Devil’s Throne. If you just want to see the Throne, take a right at the junction and it’s a much shorter in and out trip. We went left and enjoyed the 10km+ “full experience” which included a lovely little rock hop up to the top of Thark Ridge.
The track down to Mount Montagu is well marked with easily spotted pillars with yellow direction arrows. Once you turn away towards Devil’s Throne, you lose the markers and finding your way can be a little trickier. Our system involved someone taking the lead and once they missed a turn someone else took over. Me being the atrocious navigator I am barely made it 100m in front haha.
There’s a few boggy patches this time of year (Late Summer) but nothing to worry about if you’re wearing suitable shoes and gaiters. I’d recommend gaiters too as it’s pretty scrubby and tough in parts. The route down from Thark Ridge is quite fun with some steep sections and then you pass through some interesting forested sections with lots of pretty white gums littering the sides of the trail.
Eventually after glimpses of the edge of the trees, you reach Devil’s Throne and can take in the epic views out to Collins Bonnet and beyond. A short scramble gets you out onto the rocky outcrops and the view opens up to include much of the Southwest. We had great views of peaks like Precipitous Bluff, Mount Picton and of course Federation Peak and enjoyed a nice rest taking it all in and figuring out the other peaks with the PeakFinder App (highly recommend). The walk back around to the carpark was hot and slow going as the 5+ hours in the heat began to take its toll. There’s not a great deal of shelter on this walk so definitely bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. Off all the walks on the mountain, this one’s probably the most adventurous and makes you feel you’re far more remote than just a few kilometers from a capital city.