South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister - the bushwalkers paradise

View from Summit Image of Dublin Town
St Marys, Mt Elephant and St Patricks Head seen from the South Sister summit Dublin Town

Bushwalking on the South Sister takes in breathtaking views and a fantastic variety of flora and fauna.

The area is a showcase of both wet and dry sclerophyll forest with pockets of temperate rainforest including sub-alpines around the summit (832m). Panoramic views of the east coast, north to Flinders Island, mountains to the west and south to the Fingal valley and Freycinet Peninsula. Various endangered species can be easily identified and include Eucalyptus brookeriana and Euphrasia collina ssp. deflexifolia. Euphrasia is best seen in spring and summer. Colours include white, pink and mauve flowers. There are clumps along the first part of the South Sister road as well as at the junction of the old and South Sister Road, along the power line and Dublin Town road as well as scattered through the coupe. One boulder south of the summit was found to have more than 300 plants and there are many other boulders which also have numerous plants as well as individual plants found at ground level.

Walking tracks have been developed and continue to be upgraded. They range from easy to difficult, with both short (20 minutes) and longer (4 hour) walks.

Directions on how to get there and a walking map.

Currently there are six marked trails which include one track to the North Sister which is just northeast of South Sister summit.

1. South Sister main track to Summit (Fire Tower) Lookout at 832 m.
Fairly steep walk to the summit giving breathtaking 360 degree views which is definitely worth seeing.

2. Track to Derrick's Marsh and Nicholas Range
This is an easy walk that follows the old road to Derrick's Marsh and beyond. There are beautiful mountain views.

3. Floral Loop
This beautiful track through Wet Sclerophyll forest shows South Sister's amazing understorey, with its diverse flora and fauna. During the spring and summer the flowers are plentiful.

4. Old Logging Track
This track loops though a previously logged area and shows how the understorey does not recover well after logging.

5. Brookeriana track
This track follows the Telstra line from the South Sister Road to North Sister and skirts above the Brookeriana Reserve through Dry Sclerophyll Forest.

6. North Sister Summit
This is a harder walk, being steep and rugged in places. The track traverses the western side of the peak before going up a gully and a rock scramble to the summit.

Other walks
There are rock climbing tracks also which can be found on the mountain. In some parts, the bush is scant and rocky which means sometimes it is easy to follow a natural path and 'bushbashing' is very easy giving walkers great rewards. Walking over the entire South Sister is magnificent because despite the small area, there is a vast variety of flora. Close to the summit, there are numerous mosses, lichens, ferns and pepper bushes (Tasmannia lanceolata). At lower altitudes and in drier areas the bush is dominated by banksias whereas in moister areas, teatrees predominate. On the southern slopes below the coupe, there are many rainforest species and the area is quite magical. The area can be explored for days and the walker will marvel at the variety in such a small area.

Pamphlets with this information may be found at various locations in St Marys including eScApe Café and the Purple Possum as well as in the South Sister information box at the start of the South Sister Road.

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50419-651 (2, 2, 66, 196)