Started the climb from Kings Rd, a fairly long continuous haul upwards at a medium gradient, not too difficult for a couple of fit climbers. Reached the summit within about 1:30hrs, great all round views of areas like Devonport, Latrobe, Port Sorell, Sheffield, Mole Creek and some of the mountains towards the south west (Cradle, Pelion, Ossa etc). We walked down via the O'Neils road track which was a steady downhill to the bottom. Didn't see any snakes (especially ones that barked, maybe your friend had been smoking the wacky tobaccy), just a few lizards and an echidna. Overall it was about a 4hr trip.
Nice day trip from Gowrie Park and the new trailhead. The forest walk was lovely and I saw lots of snakes both there and on the plateau. Great views from the top if a little hazy. Saw just one other party all day. Round trip time ~5 hours.