BEN LOMOND is a spectacular, mountain plateau. It is within sight of Launceston and in winter, it is snow covered. There is a ski village and ski tow on the plateau. LEGGES TOR is the highest point of the plateau and from there, you can see much of north eastern Tasmania. Ascending the plateau involves a dangerous drive up JACOBS LADDER. The plateau is a beautiful place to visit in any season with mountains and alpine meadows in all directions. The only facility is a public shelter at the ski village. There are private ski lodges at the ski village, but only one public inn.
CARR VILLA is a scout hall and car park at the base of the Ben Lomond Plateau. A great bush walk begins or ends here.
The Carr Villa Scout Hall location should not be confused with the Carr Villa Crematory in Launceston.
The Ben Lomond Ski Village is on a dead end, so you have to return to the this road, C401, to return to LAUNCESTON, before you can go anywhere else. MATHINNA is 50 minutes east of Ben Lomond on a rough gravel road. This is the alternative to returning to Launceston.Nearby places are described in the NORTH EAST REGION page.
View Region North East in a larger map. Unfortunately, you need to go to Google's page 2 map to see some of my marked features.
FACILITIES: There is an emergency shelter at the Ski Village that is open at key tourist times. Accommodation in this area includes;
BEN LOMOND CREEK INN, Ski Village, Ben Lomond: Telephone (03) 6390 6199
OLD WHISLOCA COTTAGE, 264 Blessington Main Road, Blessington: (03) 6390 6262
Ben Lomond is only 50 minutes from accommodation in LAUNCESTON.
SIGHTS: The Ben Lomond Plateau has many trails that are used for skiing in winter and walking in summer. The views in all directions are spectacular. Thus, it is a favorite holiday venue for Tasmanians. The Ben Lomond Plateau can be easily seen from LAUNCESTON. In addition the mountains around Ben Lomond are surrounded by beautiful forests. The sights include the:
SKI VILLAGE is noteworthy for its ski tows and numerous lodges. From here you access the many trails.
JACOB'S LADDER is a series of hair pin bends that climbs up to the Ben Lomond Plateau. You will see it soon after you enter the national park.
CARR VILLA is a locality near Jacob's Ladder, where a great walk can be started or ended.
LEGGES TOR is 1572 metres tall peak near the Ski Village. It is the highest point in Tasmania. Ski lifts take you from the village to the top of Legges Tor. You can then either ski down to the Village or ski down into the...
PLAINS of HEAVEN is a very large valley flanked by high mountains. It is crossed by many trails. These are used by walkers in the warmer months. In all directions the views are simply spectacular.
STEINS CRAG is a rugged peak on the western side of the Ben Lomond Plateau. It can only be scaled by professional trekkers. A long walk from Steins Crag takes you to the trails of the Ben Lomond Ski Village.
WARNING: The Ben Lomond area is frequently subjected to extremely cold and wet weather, as well as mist, in any season. Come prepared and with a compass and do not attempt the journey, if the weather prediction is doubtful.
ROUTE: The route is well signed and starts at St LEONARDS, which is the south west suburb of LAUNCESTON. From St Leonards drive east on C401 for 30 minutes towards the hamlet of Upper Blessington. Just before Upper Blessington turn south onto C432, which takes you into the Ben Lomond National Park.
Park in the car park of the National Park and take a shuttle bus to the SKI VILLAGE or CARR VILLA, if you do not wish to drive up JACOBS LADDER. You are also strongly advised to park here in the snow months, as the road can be slippery and parking space can be short at the SKI VILLAGE.
- BEN LOMOND
- Steins Crag
- Carr Villa
- Steven Jurgeit's
1/ The Ben Lomond Plateau is in north eastern Tasmania. From many points in Launceston you can see the Ben Lomond Plateau. It is only 50 minutes from Launceston, so it is the ski centre of north eastern Tasmania. This view shows the Plateau in winter. It was taken from about 20 kilometres away from the Plateau in an area west of the locality of Whisloca.
2/ This is the Ben Lomond Plateau as seen from near Whisloca. The trees in the middle are a part of a vast blue gum plantation. There are many such plantations in north eastern Tasmania.
3/ This photo shows the foreshortening effect that snow can have on an image. The wall of snow is not an advancing glacier, but the distant Ben Lomond Plateau. It was taken from an area east of Whisloca, about 15 kilometres from the Ben Lomond Plateau.
4/ This photo was taken from near the locality of Tayene. This is about 25 kilometres north of the Ben Lomond Plateau. It shows how the Ben Lomond Plateau dominates the landscape of north eastern Tasmania.
5/ This photo was taken from near the locality of Wattle Corner. This is very close to the start of the road that ascend the Ben Lomond Plateau. The view again shows how the Plateau dominates the north eastern landscape.
6/ This is the entrance to the Ben Lomond National Park. From this point onwards visitors must either put chains on their car tyres or travel further on the shuttle bus. Unfortunately, there was no car park for the cars, so the cars just clogged up the narrow approach road.
7/ This is the spectacular view from the Ben Lomond Plateau down Jacobs Ladder. Here the road climbs 200 metres via a series of hair pin bends. The view down is just awesome.
8/ Around Jacobs Ladders are a series of very steep dolorite cliffs. The forest ends at the Ben Lomond Plateau, This is a combination of alpine meadow and rocky crags.
9/ This photo shows the start of the descent down Jacobs Ladder. Note the absence of trees and the snow poles, as the Ben Lomond Plateau is snow covered in winter.
10/ The road to the Ben Lomond Ski Village is through alpine meadow. This area is covered by snow in the winter. The first lodge can be seen on the extreme left.
11/ The Ben Lomond Ski Village is at the base of Legges Tor. The green building to the left is the public shelter.
12/ There are many lodges at the Ski Village, which are built in a variety of alpine styles.
13/ Snow makers are used to supplement the snow cover.
14/ The hills surrounding the Village are rocky and devoid of much greenery.
15/ This photo shows a ski lift rising to the left of Legges Tor. The hill is steeper than it appears in the photo.
16/ From the top of the ski trail you can walk to the top of Legges Tor on the right. Again it is steeper than it appears in this photo.
17/ This is the view to the south west. The nearer peak is Giblin Peak.
18/ This is the view to the west. Ben Nevis is showing above the horizon on the left, while to the right are the Plains of Heaven.
19/ This is the view from near Giblin Peak. Coalmine Grag is to the right and Mensa Moor is to the left.
20/ This view is looking North across the Plains of Heaven to the Markham Heights on the right and Misery Bluff on the extreme left. This valley is a favorite with skiers.
21/ This is the view from the Ben Lomond Ski Village to Meadow Vale.
22/ The alpine meadow is littered with small pools, which make a lovely contrast to the stark rocks and lichens.
23/ When you climb out of the Plains of Heaven Valley you see more mountains in every direction.
24/ This the Ben Lomond Plateau as seen from the west. You see this view as you approach it from Launceston.
25/ This is a view of Ragged Jack. It is 1369 metres high and is on the south western edge of the Ben Lomond Plateau.
26/ This is another view of Steins Crag. In this view the summit is covered in snow.
1/ Steins Crag is on the eastern edge of the Ben Lomond Plateau in north eastern Tasmania. This gallery shows a climb that our club made of Steins Crag in the summer of 2013. Steins Crag is 1350 metres high and is frequently covered in snow.
2/ The first phase of the ascent required our trekkers to climb through a dense regrowth forest.
3/ They then had to hop over scree and scramble over large boulders.
4/ This view was taken near the summit of Steins Crag. It looks towards the north west. The bare patches in the forest cover are areas that have been recently logged.
5/ Finally they reached the plateau. This view looks north at the summit of Steins Crag.
6/ This view looks north from Steins Crag across a shallow valley to Circinus Peak. This is 1306 metres high. Only sparse vegetation grows on the plateau, because the climate is so extreme.
7/ This view looks south to the next major peak on this corner of the Ben Lomond Plateau, which is called Ragged Jack.
8/ The group then trekked east across the Sprent Plains and then the Plains of Heaven towards the Ben Lomond Ski Village.
9/ This view looks east across the Sprent Plains. Note how it is covered by a sparse alpine vegetation.
10/ This view was taken further along the Sprent Plains. The distant peak is Legges Tor, which is the highest point on the Ben Lomond Plateau.
1/ Carr Villa is a scout hall at the base of Jacob's Ladder, at the foot of the Ben Lomond Plateau. From here you can start or finish a great walk.
2/ The Carr Villa track is rated moderately difficult and 90 minutes is recommended time for the journey. Note the variety of alpine vegetation that you see.
3/ This is the rocky trail that leads up to the Ben Lomond Plateau from Carr Villa. The peak on the extreme left is Jacob's Ladder.
4/ This photo shows the ethereal feeling that you get as you watch clouds drift over the peaks of Ben Lomond. This was taken from near Carr Villa.
5/ I was fortunate to catch this wombat, as he rushed over the Carr Villa trail. Wildlife was replete on the Ben Lomond Plateau.
6/ The Carr Villa trail to Legges Tor went through a scree field near Misery Bluff.
7/ At Misery Bluff you have to climb, but as you ascend you see beautiful views of the nearby mountains.
8/ This is a close up of Misery Bluff. It would have been very difficult to ascend the scree field to summit it.
9/ This is the view North from the Carr Villa trail towards Mt Ben Nevis. Misery Bluff is to the right.
10/ This photo shows the Plains of Heaven at the point where they reach the Big Opening that leads down past Misery Bluff to Carr Villa.
11/ The Plains of Heaven is a large flat area bounded on either side by hills. This photo is looking towards the north and the Big Opening.
12/ This photo looks across the Plains of Heaven as you ascend the Carr Villa trail towards Legges Tor.
13/ This view is looking north from the Carr Villa towards the Big Opening.
14/ On either side of you on the Carr Villa trail to Legges Tor you see giant boulders.
15/ This photo shows Legges Tor the highest peak on the Ben Lomond Plateau. The stakes mark the trail to the summit.
16/ This photo shows the view from the summit of Legges Tor looking towards the mountains of the north east.
17/ This photo shows the view from the summit of Legges Tor towards the Monds Chalet and the ski tow towers.
18/ This is the author on the summit of Legges Tor in 2013. At 1572 metres it is an achievement to reach it. I dropped my pack and hat and followed an old tradition of adding a stone to the cairn, just before this photo was taken.
19/ This is the Monds Memorial Chalet. It is located at the foot of Legges Tor on the Ben Lomond Plateau.
20/ This view looks up at Legges Tor from the Ski Village road. Beyond this hill is the start of the trail to Carr Villa.
21/ This is the dramatic view of the Ben Lomond Plateau that you see from C401, as you approach the turn off to the Ben Lomond Ski Village and Carr Villa.
1/The colors and contrasts of the Ben Lomond Plateau are well captured in this photo by Steven Jurgeit.
2/ This photo shows the stark cliffs and amazing variety of colors that you can see on the Ben Lomond Plateau.
3/ This panoramic view gives you some idea as to how steep is Jacobs Ladder.
4/ Another view showing the changing colors that regularly appear on Jacobs Ladder.
5/ This photo starkly shows you how steep the cliffs are near Jacobs Ladder.