Mount Mawson is located within the Mount Field National Park and about 1½ hours drive from Hobart in southern Tasmania. The ski areas are at an altitude of about 1250m and the area usually gets fairly consistent snow falls during winter resulting in sufficient cover for downhill skiing from mid July to mid September.
Mount Mawson is a small club field operated by the Southern Tasmania Ski Association (STSA). The area is open to the general public for downhill skiing. The STSA is formed from members of the seven ski clubs with lodges on the mountain the area, the Ski Club of Tasmania, Oldina Ski Club, Wellington Ski Club, Hobart Walking Club, Mount Mawson Ski Club, Alpine Club of Southern Tasmania and the University Ski Club. Members of these ski clubs help to maintain and operate the tows.
There are three 'nutcracker' rope tows and one small surface lift in the beginners area. Tow belts for use with the rope tows can be hired on the mountain. The tows are accessed from the car park via a scenic 20 minute uphill walk through alpine forest. This can often be skied on the way home. The area caters for beginners, intermediates and expert skiers and snowboarders and has one of the steepest runs in the country. Trainer ski patrollers are on duty whenever the tows are operating.
There are numerous cross country skiing possibilities from Mount Mawson including the Rodway Range, the Tarn Shelf and Mount Field West. A number of public shelter huts are located in these areas.
Mawson is worth a look when there is decent snow. It has a character that is missing from all other Australian resorts. Its snowfalls are unpredictable, but when wet/cold systems go thru it can snow and accumulate heaps.
The runs are not groomed. University is green, Mawson run is blue, Rodway most definetly black, the right side of Rodway Tow is double black. Some inexperienced skiers mau have difficulty coping with Mawson, unless the snow cover was quite extensive and they can handle the novelty of the nutcrackers. Rodway is the best run in Tas, and the unpatrolled run down the Golden Stairs (back to the car) is exhilerating.
That said people who can cope with skiing Mawson, its moguls, the obstacles, turn on a dime whilst carving, etc., can become very very good skiers. But it needs good snow, this seems to be becoming the exception rather than the rule.
Mawson usually gets going first (needs 60 cm of snow), then Uni (needs (60-90 cm), then Rodway. Rodway didn't run in 2007, its needs about a metre of snow, most of it is actually bushes (not rocks) so it does flatten down. Rodway has to have trained volunteers to run it, if it does go, it usually operates for about 3-4 hours plus a lunch break (this is unique to Mawson), which is enough to make you well and truly stuffed, remember no queues, just going up and down.
In the right snow conditions, with all tows running, Mawson is a great place, but you need to go when its there.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Mt Mawson Ski Area is located in the Mt Field national park in southern Tasmania, Australia.
90 km from Hobart (capital city). Close to Hobart, relaxed family atmosphere, unpretentious vibe.
20 min walk to ski field is a good warm up before skiing.
Excellent cross country / AT back country area.
Snow events and cover generally greater (and more reliable year to year) than Ben Lomond in the north of the State.
Snow condition is generally better than Ben Lomond (ie; not as icy).
Variable seasons compounded by relatively low altitude.
Rocky in poor seasons.
Only four tows (on a good day). You must walk for 20 minutes from the car park to get to the tows.
Relatively small in bounds ski area.
Phone: 03 6288 1166
Postal: Southern Tasmanian Ski Association. GPO Box 1197M Hobart, Tasmania. 7001
Several basic huts are available for hire at the base of Mt Mawson. These are located about ½ km before Lake Dobson and the car park and are at approx. 1000m altitude. Huts location. They are owned and administered by the Mt Field National Park. Inquiries to: (coming or please edit if you have a contact number)
There are also seven club lodges, however these are for members & guests only. Some clubs may have membership available at any given time, best to contact individual clubs and enquire.
Oldina Ski Club - website
There are B&B's at National Park village at the base of the mountain 16 km from the resort.
SKIGIA snow.surf.skate (Hobart)
Launceston Sports (Launceston)
Sitzmark Lodge is a very large day shelter, there is also a shelter hut over at the Rodway Tow.
Park at the Lake Dobson car park. This is cleared of snow in season (for weekend operation).
Walk uphill to the ski field along either of the two routes - the Urqhart track (walking track) starts at the uphill end of the car park. The Jeep trail (dirt road) starts at the small bridge and locked gate at the lower end of the car park. The Urqhart track intersects the jeep trail part way up the hill, from there you walk to the ski field and higher club huts on the Jeep trail.
When there's a good snow cover, the walk from the car park uphill to the ski field is usually snow covered all the way.
Downhill skiing (weekends only tow operation)
Cross country skiing
Pack a lunch and bring water.
Bars & Entertainment
Private in the seven club lodges.
The pub down the mountain at National Park does not always provide meals and when they do, they are pretty basic. For company at the pub expect farmers and timber workers, not snow bunnies, greenies or other yuppies.
Cafe at the National Park visitor centre (daytime hours)
Celtic Dawn Cafe at National Park
Possum Shed Cafe at Westerway, two take away shops at Westerway, fuel available there too.
Beginners Tow progressing to University Tow.
Beginners tow is under repair / renovation at present - unsure if it will operate for season 2009.
Out of Bounds
The Mt Mawson - Mt Field area has some of the best backcountry skiing around. There is excellent touring as well as incredible backcountry steeps.
See the separate article here.
Extensive - the right equipment, good fitness and alpine experience necessary, let someone know where you're heading and when you'll be back, ski with a partner/s because you're on you're own.
See the separate article here.
Parks & Pipes
There is no slope grooming in winter, so some decent moguls form in most years.
Not really, it's mostly above the treeline.
Not in the patrolled / lifted area. Out of bounds skiing into trees during good seasons, walk out.
It's western Tasmania. That should be enough information! However the Maydena forecast is available here Mt Mawson will have similar, but colder, weather.
Rather rocky with lots of lakes. The whole area was under glaciers 10,000 years ago.
Mt Mawson timeline click here.
Tasmanian ski history click here.
- The new website for Mt Mawson.
- Southern Tasmanian Ski Association The operators of the 'resort'.
- Web cam on Mawson Tow Snow Cam
- Details of past and present lifts in the Australian ski tow directory.
- Wiki List of Aussie Resorts