The Overland track is Australia’s premier extended bushwalk. The Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is renowned for its beauty, featuring abundant wildlife, rare and unusual vegetation and dramatic scenery. Starting at Waldhiem, situated beneath Cradle Mountain, we head south for the Wilderness Adventure of a lifetime.
We follow a moderate graded trail for 70kms finishing our journey with a ferry crossing of Lake St Clair. We allow seven days, averaging of 12km per day, to walk the track so as to best appreciate highlights and side trips along the way. Passing Lakes and mountains such as Barn Bluff, Pelion West, Mountain Oakleigh and the Geryons we savour this wild remote area in the company of our small independent group.
No special skills are necessary to walk the Overland Track although a good level of general fitness is required. Our schedule will permit time to visit the summits of some of the highest mountains in Tasmanian, possibly even Mount Ossa Tasmania’s highest. Our experienced guides will help to bring the track alive for you with their local knowledge and enthusiasm for the Tasmanian Wilderness.
Trip Standards and Pre Requisites:
The Overland Track itself is not particularly arduous: it crosses relatively open, undulating country while providing access to the harder mountain routes as optional side trips. The area is however subject to bad weather, even at the height of summer, and we will always travel prepared for it.
We cover an average of 12km per day, over varying terrain, so although no special skills are necessary, a good level of general fitness is required. Two food caches are provided along the track so that at most we will be carrying provisions for only three days. The maximum load you will carry will be approximately 12 - 15kg. This will of course reduce rapidly as food is consumed.
The Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park is a World Heritage area and sensitive to environmental damage. Our expert guides have a special interest in conservation and closely follow the principles of minimal impact bushwalking.
Itinerary For the Cradle Mountain Trek
The proposed itinerary shown below is flexible enough to allow for extra stopovers in bad weather and so should be considered a guide only. If you wish to follow the track on a map, then we recommend the following available from most outdoor shops.
1:100,000 Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Parks, published by the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service.
"Cradle Mountain National Park" by John Siseman and John Chapman, is also an excellent guide book providing interesting notes on many aspects of the Park.
We meet at 7:15 a.m. in Launceston. We leave for Cradle Mountain and we will spend the night in comfortable cabins at the head of the track.
An early start for the first big day on the track. A steep climb takes us onto the Cradle Plateau where we make a side trip, weather permitting, to the summit of Cradle Mountain. We camp in Waterfall Valley for the evening.
Today we walk from Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere with time to explore the Valley. A possible side trip to Innes Falls below Lake Will.
We cross high moorland giving views to the state's highest peaks following a track cut in the 1890's. We camp at Pelions Plains near the Douglas Creek. We collect our food drop at the end of the day.
Rest day at Pelions Plains giving ample time to explore surrounding forests, moorlands and mountains.
Pelion Plains to Pinestone Valley with side trip up Mt Ossa for lunch if weather permits. We camp under Mt Ossa's crags.
Pinestone Valley to Windy Ridge, taking time to explore the majestic waterfalls of the upper Mersey River, walking through ancient rainforest to our camp among tall eucalyptus.
Windy Ridge to Narcissus Hut. Catch the ferry service for a 20 minute ride down to Lake St Clair followed by a bus trip back to Launceston. We should return by about 4.00pm.
Trek Dates and Costs
Our Other Treks
We also have tours available to the Walls of Jerusalem, the South Coast Track and the Freycinet National Park. Other tours available include walking, cycling rafting and canoeing. Please contact us for further information.
What You Must Bring:
Your trip cost includes all group camping equipment such as tents, stoves, sleeping mats and of course food. The following lists set out all extra equipment and clothing required for the trip.
We cannot stress too highly that even in summer, highland Tasmania can provide very bad weather conditions so you must be prepared for the worst.
The equipment list must be carefully followed and will provide the basis for our gear check
NOTE: The need to bring woollen or equivalent thermal clothing (chlorofibre, polypropylene or fibrepile) not cottons (eg jeans, wind cheaters) is emphasised because of their ability to better retain warmth, even when damp.
Several of the following items are available for hire in Tasmania (H). Please contact our reservations staff in advance for details of what equipment is for hire and the cost.
H Waterproof jacket with hood, preferably mid-thigh length - Goretex, Milair or japara.
H Waterproof over-trousers. A zip to enable putting them on over boots is a great advantage.
1 Thermal/ polypropylene undershirt - essential (2 recommended).
1 pair Thermal / polypropylene Long Johns - essential.
2 T-Shirts (for the warm days).
1 pair of shorts.
1 long sleeve shirt or light jumper - not cotton.
1 jumpers/jackets - fibre-pile or wool. If you wear wool, two lights jumpers are better than one heavy one.
1 pair of trousers, not cotton or jeans, or second pair of long-johns.
3 / 4 pair thermal/woollen socks.
1 pair knee length gaiters.
1 pair of thermal/woollen mittens or gloves.
1 thermal/woollen hat or wool or silk balaclava.
1 sun hat (crushable).
Face towel (a kitchen wash cloth such as ‘Chux’ is lightweight and fast drying).
Underwear and personal toiletries as required but remember you will have to carry them. We do not carry soaps or detergents, as these can destroy delicate aquatic ecosystems.
Try to limit toiletries to a toothbrush, we will provide bicarb. soda and either sanigel or tea tree oil for soap.
Footwear (the items most clearly related to walker comfort).
Ideal footwear is a pair of sturdy, medium weight boots for the track and a pair of light sandals or shoes for camp. Walking in sandshoes/ runners is not acceptable as the track is often wet, muddy and slippery. Boots should always be well-worn in and can be waterproofed beforehand with 3 - 4 coats of "Sno-seal" or similar.
H Sleeping bag, rated to 3 season or warmer, down filling is best.
H Sleeping sheet.
H Rucksack large enough to hold seven days food and equipment (70 - 75 litres minimum capacity).
Lightweight torch, with spare batteries and bulb.
Whistle (for use in poor visibility).
Water bottle, 1 litre capacity.
2 heavyweight plastic garbage bags (for waterproofing clothing, sleeping bag and food, orange garden bags are best).
Personal first aid (the guides will carry a comprehensive group kit). You should carry some plaster tape such as leukoplast to prevent blisters, sun-screen and non-aerosol insect repellent. Also carry any personal medication you require. (Please advise the guides of any special requirements).
Optional: Sunglasses Camera and film, Maps, A good book, Small musical instrument.
Accommodations and Meals
All accommodation and meals are provided as described on the itinerary.
Experienced guides, group camping equipment, park fees, transfers, 7 night accommodation (1 cabin, 6 camping), all meals.
Price Does Not Include:
Airport transfers, alcoholic beverages, airfares to Tasmania or any pre and post tour accommodation.
Photographs reprinted with Tasmanian Expedition's permission
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