Mole Creek is the closest town to the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The park is remote and inaccessible by road and, as a result, retains its true wilderness character.
This relatively small but stunningly beautiful park is located on a high plateau of dolerite peaks, and features alpine vegetation and endemic conifer forests.
The Walls of Jerusalem is situated on the western side of the extensive central plateau of Tasmania, in approximately the centre of the island. Thousands of lakes formed by an ice cap during relatively recent glaciation cover the plateau and the features known as the Walls of Jerusalem are a series of higher, craggy hills. From a distance, these peaks seem to be the dominent feature but once within the Walls, in fact, the major features are the typically U-shaped glacial valleys and pretty lakes.
The name Walls of Jerusalem appears on plans by surveyor James Scott dating back to 1849 and the biblical theme was taken up from the early days for park features, including Ephraims Gate, Zions Gate, Herods Gate, Pool of Bethesda, Pool of Siloam, Wailing Wall and The Temple.
A range of walks
The most popular walk is a full day hike which will take you to the ‘Walls’ from the carpark on Mersey Forest Road.
The track climbs steeply at first and there are landmarks along the way for those wanting a shorter walk – Trappers Hut (2 hours return), Solomons Jewels (4 hours return), through Herods Gate to Lake Salome (8 hours return) and Damascus Gate (9 hours return).
For walks longer than this it is advisable to plan to camp overnight, which will give you time to enjoy the additional walk to Dixon’s Kingdom Hut (10 hours return) and the climb to the top of Mount Jerusalem (12 hours return).
A first hand account by Brisbane Times journalist Louise Southerden
Thinking about exploring the wonderful Walls of Jerusalem National Park? This article titled On the Way to Herod’s Gate in the Brisbane Times Travel Section dated 28 August 2010 may help you both make up your mind and plan wisely. The journalist concerned participated in a guided expedition from Launceston, but if you’re an experienced bushwalker and want a do-it-yourself adventure, then Mole Creek is your jumping-off point. Here you’ll find accommodation, provisions, fuel and even transport to and from the start of the walk, if required.
Bushwalkers must be prepared to be fully self-sufficient as there are no substantial facilities or shelters within the park. The area is very exposed and subject to extremes of weather in any season. Open fires are not permitted and fuel stoves only may be used, as the park is extremely fire-sensitive. Tent platforms and a composting toilet are available at Wild Dog Creek.
The wilderness can be a harsh and unforgiving place – unwary bushwalkers have lost their lives by not respecting it. Careful planning is essential and Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania offers these Plan to be Safe Bushwalking in Tasmania Guidelines.
For more information, please visit Parks & Wildlife Service website here.
You will find a map of the Walls of Jerusalem Track here.