Frank, Alan and Leon “conquered” the Overland Track over four nights recently. See Overland Track – last minute post for the introduction to this walk. There was a lot of low cloud, rain and mist for most of the trip, hence the title “What scenery”. We did not see the top of a mountain for three days.
Alan, who we met via “Our Hiking Blog” has writing up a post which will included planning this backpacking trip from overseas. He hopes to return to Tasmania some day to repeat the walk and finally see Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake , Barn Bluff etc…..
In this post we review:
– Clothing options
– Carrying a tent
– Travel times and the number of days to plan your hike
– The boat from Narcissus Hut to Cynthia Bay
– People you meet
Leon, Alan and Frank
I have decided to use this post to make some observations and post some pictures of the trip.
Layering works. We had cold wet weather for three of the five days. We kept dry and warm (most of the time) We had top quality gear and it was worked hard. We recently posted about the best clothing for a multiday hike. It is recommended reading for anyone planning a multiday trip in variable weather.
2. Carry a tent
Even in mid May, following the end of the “walking season”, it was still very busy on the Overland Track. We always had at least 14 people in a hut each night. The night before we walked through Windemere Hut there were 28 people sleeping in the hut (there are sleeping spaces for 24, the other 4 got the floor.
In addition, you need a tent for shelter if you get stuck between huts or a member of your party gets injured. It is negligent to walk without one
Now, snoring, SNORING and SNORING. Alan and Frank used the tents on two nights just to get some uninterrupted sleep. There were some serious and dedicated snorers in each hut that did not respond to any stimuli to stop!! Frank even slept on the Pelion balcony to escape a snorer on the second night
Finally, sleeping in on a short day. The average time of someone stirring in the hut was 6am i.e. the average. One morning a group were up at 5:30, one and a half hours before dawn. If you have a short day planned the next morning, sleep in a tent.
3. Travel times and number of days hiking
Alan had a very strict time frame to walk the Track, therefore we were committed to doing the Overland Track in four nights. It is definitely not the preferred option. We had two very long days, they were not fun, the focus was on getting to the destination, not enjoying the journey. We all agreed that at least 5 nights should be taken to make the most of the experience.
Six or seven nights with a couple of rest days and plenty of side trips would be the best and most relaxing
4. The boat from Narcissus Hut to Cynthia Bay
Recommend you book the boat before you leave. On this trip I left it open because we thought if the weather was kind, or we were feeling great, we would walk out via Lake St Clair or get to Echo Point for our last night.
A beautiful morning for a boat trip on Lake St Clair
We were stressed for the last day or so that the boat would be full and we would HAVE to walk out. We were also under the impression that there was only one boat per day but there were , in fact, two. Luckily we got the last three places on the early boat and those who were waiting with us all, thankfully, got a spot on the boat due to about six “no shows”
One of the great parts of walking the Overland Track is the diversity of interesting people you meet along the way. This trip was no exception and we met many fascinating and REALLY NICE people. Everyone has the same shared goal and the occasional harshness of the environment and difficulty people have is often helped by random acts of kindness along the way.