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4 Summits in 4 Days
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4 Summits in 4 Days

Whenever someone mentions hiking, my mind immediately goes to my friend Julia Patten. Her unmistakable passion is a well known fact among family and friends. Starting with short forest strolls on kayak trips, her passion for hiking deepened while hiking the Cape-to-Cape trail in Western Australia. When she moved back to South Australia with her husband, the Heysen trail became Julia's regular hiking trail. Even though Julia loves exploring her local hiking trails, she is deeply drawn to the untamed wild and breathtaking landscapes of Tasmania's South Coast.

With this knowledge in mind, I wasn't totally surprised (just a bit) when Julia messaged me to share that she and her friend Liza conquered four Tasmanian summits in just four days! When I asked "Why so many summits?" she casually answered “For the first time in many years, the weather finally cooperated”. 

If you aren’t familiar with Tasmania's Central Highlands, you should know that Mount Ossa, Mount Pelion East, Mount Oakleigh (Cradle Mountain), and The Temple (Walls of Jerusalem) are regarded as some of the most challenging hikes in the world. Few hikers would try all four summits in one trip. Julia and Liza are in a determined category of their own! Continue reading to discover their inspiring journey.


Skilled hiker Julia Patten loves exploring Australian trails.
Day 1 - Mount Ossa

Ninety minutes before sunrise, Julia (and her friend Liza) are up and ready to go, head torch on, they start hiking towards the highest peak in Tasmania: Mount Ossa (1,617m). Despite the challenging trail and cloudy views, reaching the top of Tasmania's highest mountain was still exciting “We were elated to be the highest people in Tassie for a few hours at least”.

Taking a lunch break while hiking from Ossa to Pelion Gap, they decided to continue on to Pelion East (1,433m). Known for its tough trails and rugged landscape, it truly lived up to its reputation. The steep climb, unstable rocks, and exposure to the elements were daunting. The summit revealed panoramic views, making it all worth the struggle. "In that moment, as the clouds briefly lifted, I beheld the breathtaking views I had only ever heard of". Reaching two summits in one day boosted their spirits and maintained their momentum for the rest of the journey.



Julia celebrating reaching Tasmania's highest peak with a dance.

Day 2 - Mount Oakleigh

The journey to the summit of Mount Oakleigh (1,286m) was truly amazing. Strolling through lush forests and a paradise of pandani plants offered a unique experience. While there were some challenges, Julia’s extensive hiking knowledge and expertise shed light on the importance of being well-prepared. “Tasmania's vast mountain ranges and ever-changing weather can present obstacles, but with the right gear such as a good quality outer shell and multiple Merino lightweight layers, you can hike safely and comfortably”. Having the proper hiking gear can make or break your outdoor experience and performance.

Day 3 - Hiking Day
Julia and Liza packed their gear and broke camp first thing in the morning. They had a big hiking day ahead of them and needed every minute of daylight. They hiked 14km through old growth forest and crossed wild rivers by occasionally walking over fallen trees as bridges back. They finally made it back safely to the car. After an hour's drive to Walls of Jerusalem, they tackled the renowned steep climb to Trapper’s Hut. From here, they hiked until the last ray of light in the sky and set up tents at Wild Dog. 

Day 4 - The Temple

On day 4, Julia woke to a frosty -2 degrees and daylight peeking through her tent. The little holes in the tent were in fact chewing marks made by Possums during the night. Possums, though cheeky and mischievous, are protected in Australia. Despite the frozen trail, Julia and Liza were determined to make the most of their final hiking day. They weren’t let down, the experience of exploring the Walls of Jerusalem (Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage) was truly enchanting.


Little cheeky possums sneaked across the campsite.


However, it was at the final summit, The Temple (1,444m), that Julia found the highlight of her journey. The moment she reached the summit, her hiking mate Liza threw her arms in the air to welcome her "I will never forget her joy". Liza, an experienced hiker (but not in icy conditions), surprised herself by achieving so much in only 4 days. 

Throughout this amazing experience, what truly stands out is the bond Julia holds with her favourite hiking places. When asked why she hikes in the first place, she answered that she forms a bond with places and people. After returning home, she yearns to revisit those places she now feels connected to. "I've formed lifelong ties with Tasmanians who understand my love for their home state". She chuckles and adds "that, and a well deserved burger at Hobart's Preachers". 





photo © Julia Patten



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