Mount Roland stands at 1234 meters above sea level on the northern edge of the Great Western Tiers region of Tasmania. It provides an imposing backdrop to the Kentish Municipality and for the town of Sheffield.
Like many of Tasmania's mountains, at first sight it would appear to be a difficult climb. From most angles it presents the onlooker with the steep bastions of seemingly impregnable cliffs. These ramparts form the containment walls of a huge dolerite plateau of which the summit tor is but a small part.
But looks can be deceiving. Half the time spent climbing Roland is on level or gentle uphill walking across the plateau to the summit, so to reach the top is not as daunting a task as it first seems. In fact, for the avid climber, it can barely be called a challenge, though it unquestionably offers a rewarding short day out.
There are two tracks to the summit. Both are full day walks and take in the plains and plateau leading to the summit.
Mt Roland Face Walk starts from Claude Road Village on Kings Road off the C136. The track turns into a steep mountain climb. This track is not recommended as it is potentially dangerous, steep and awkward. Walking time takes from three to five hours return.
The second walking track starts at Gowrie Park Village on O���Neill���s Road off the C136. Walking time takes from four to six hours return. This is the best track to walk to the summit as it is maintained through the forest and has a moderate incline. From Gowrie Park Village, travel towards Sheffield. Make a right turn into O���Neill���s Road and drive for approximately one kilometer to the car park.
The walk has a moderate incline and follows a jeep track for a few kilometers. You will pass a couple of waterfalls and creeks. Then you will come to a log bridge that crosses O���Neill���s Creek. The trail becomes a narrow track and starts to steepen. The track continues for a further thirty minutes in order to reach the saddle at 900 elevation.
Reggie Falls can be seen from this point. A left turn is then necessary to reach the summit of Mt Roland. The track rises gently across the plateau and the summit is approximately an hour away. The trig point at the top of the summit provides spectacular 360 degree views to Bass Strait, Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff.
More information: Kentish Visitor Information Centre. Ph (03) 6491 1036.
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O'Neil's Creek Nature Trail
O���Neil���s Creek Nature Trail is an easy 15 minute walk (approximately 700 metres to O���Neil���s Road) and leads to the start of the Mt Roland Regional Reserve walking tracks. You can access the trail from the C136 at the O���Neil���s Creek Picnic Reserve. Spectacular Mt. Roland forms the backdrop to the Mt. Roland Regional Reserve east of O���Neil���s Creek Picnic Reserve.
O���Neil���s Creek originates from rain water from the watersheds off the western face of Mt Roland and Mt Van Dyke. Water from O���Neil���s Creek flows into the Dasher River and eventually into the Mersey River. O���Neil���s Creek is host to the iridescent dragonfly, frogs, yabbies, freshwater crayfish and platypus. There is logging evidence from a bygone era. You may encounter tree stumps with notches cut out of them for holding boards that were used for axemen or sawyers to stand on whilst felling trees. Bullock teams or horses were used to skid out the logs..