Hiking Tasmania’s Famous Overland Track

by Guest Blogger on November 28, 2013 · 6 comments

Waterfall Hut campsite, Overland Track

Waterfall Hut campsite, Overland Track (photo: Rick McCharles)

Winding its way through the glacially carved landscape of central Tasmania, the Overland Track is one of Australia’s most iconic bushwalks.

Stretching 65 kilometers through Cradle Mountain-Lake St Claire National Park, this 6-day trek begins at Ronny Creek in Cradle Valley and journeys through hidden rainforests, open valleys, across towering waterfalls and even Mount Ossa – Tasmania’s highest mountain peak at 1,617 meters above sea level – before finishing at Narcissus Hut at Lake St Clair.

If you are a keen bushwalker and want to attempt the journey, here are a few key pieces of information that you need to know.

Getting There and Away

Tiger Airways, Jetstar and Virgin Airways have regular flights to both Launceston and Hobart from as little at $60 one-way depending on the season.

If you prefer to arrive on four wheels, you can reach the Apple Isle via Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania.

Prices on the Bass Strait cruise liner will set you back are $289 for an Ocean Recliner seat over the Christmas break or $587 for a Deluxe Cabin.

Once you reach port at Devonport it is about a 3-hour drive to Cradle Mountain or you can catch a bus via Cradle Mountain Coaches.

Cost

Bookings are required for each walking season (1 October to 31 May) of the Overland Track and walkers will be required to pay an Overland Track Fee of $200 per person.

This fee only applies during the peak walking season and all proceeds go towards the long-term sustainability of the Track.

In addition, you will have to purchase a National Park Entry Pass to be inside the National Park.

Gear

For walkers of the Overland Track, it is not uncommon for snow to appear in the middle of summer as a large part of track is above 1,000 metres sea level along exposed plateaus.

For this reason, it is important to stay warm with breathable clothing designed to protect you from the wind, snow and rain.

In addition, while there are huts to sleep in at every stop, you still must carry a tent. The cabins can be full of walkers, especially in the high season and you cannot book room in the cabin beforehand.

Therefore, you must be prepared to camp if there is not room. The huts also do not have cooking facilities, utensils or food so you must bring your own.

Ensure you always have a map of the Track with you and never walk alone. If you are flying solo, you can hire a license guide to escort you along the Track. These can be booked on the day or prior to your journey and for further information on booking guides visit www.discovertasmania.com.

Moreover, many people are surprised at the variety of track surfaces on the Overland Track. Two thirds of the track is natural surface, which could include boulders, tree roots, forest litter, gravel and mud. So it is important you have a pair (or two) of good quality walking boots.

While the Overland Track has its challenges, it is an experience that should be on the bucket list of every bushwalker. If you are interested in finding out more about the Overland Track, check out the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service website.

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This post was brought to you by Discover Tasmania.

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Categories: Australia, Features
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6 Comments

Luke November 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

I would strongly recommend this to everyone! I am originally from Tasmania and I know that it is quite often overlooked by tourists traveling to Australia. Tasmania is a really beautiful state and the overland track is a must do for anyone going there. This is a really beautiful part of the world!

Reply

Dave December 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I wish I’d scheduled a visit to Tasmania while in Australia back in 2008. Not an easy part of the world for Americans to get to on a whim!

Reply

Luke December 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm

That’s one of Australia’s biggest tourism hurdles…. It is so isolated in that part of the world, which means it costs a small fortune to get there….. Secondly, because salaries are so high there, the cost of living is also high…. Not a problem for Australians, but for international tourists (especially with the strength of the Australian Dollar), it becomes a very expensive place to visit.

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Jorja Alcorn December 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Australia is in my travel list next year. Honestly, there are so many places in my mind right which I wish to visit and good thing I get to came across with your article. I’m surely gonna visit Tasmania.

Reply

Luke December 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

Hey Jorja, while you are in Tasmania, make sure you visit Port Arthur Historic Site (South of Hobart), Cataract Gorge (Launceston), Coles Bay & Wine Glass Bay (East Coast), Mole Creek Wildlife Park to see some Tasmanian Devils! (West of Launceston), Salamanca Markets (Hobart), and on the way to Hobart from Launceston there is a small town called Ross with the oldest bridge in Australia and a bakery with the best pies you will ever eat!

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Shane H - Expat & World Traveler December 11, 2013 at 11:46 am

Wow, i’m Australian and never been. Love this place though, by what i see. Definitely must add that, to my ‘to do list’, if i ever decide to go back home.

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