Frank is back from a great trip across the Overland Track from Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair in one of Tasmania’s World Heritage National Parks.
On this trip he walked with a small group from north of Sydney in Australia. We met via Our Hiking Blog and because Frank had some spare time and needed to do the trip before we release an updated version of our eBook, How to Hike the Overland Track.
As an aside, we try and walk the track each year to keep the book as up to date as possible. (plus it is was a great excuse to bushwalk this beautiful part of the world again)
Rather than do a detailed trip report, in this article we will share the many reasons he rediscovered why you should take the time (and effort) to visit this spectacular area.
It is a great “beginner’ bushwalking trip
If you have some hiking or bushwalking experience and are looking to hike in Tasmania then this journey is a great one.
- There are regularly spaced huts providing shelter and very basic facilities if the weather is poor
- The track is well marked and in good condition compared with others (that are more muddy and wet) in Tasmania.
- In season there are rangers along the track that can offer advice and assistance if required.
The scenery is spectacular and varied
Two of our party had previously hiked in New Zealand and this trip was their first on the Overland Track. They were surprised and really happy that on each day there was a huge variety of walking conditions and “environments”.
There are beautiful ancient forests, wide open spaces with button grass plains, wild and craggy outcrops and magic streams and rivers. You sometimes walk through all of them in one day!
The people you meet
We generally shared the huts each night with the same people who had started the Overland Track on the same day as us. There were two German couples and two fit young guys from the USA. On other nights we met a guy from the UK, a group of six Spanish people, two girls from Sydney and a small crew from Cradle Huts.
This is one of the great parts of walking the Overland Track. You meet fascinating people from across the world, get to chat about each others countries, check out their gear and exchange tips about different places to visit in each country. It is a lot of fun and lifelong friendships can be made.
The side trips are great
Some sections of the Overland Track are quite short for example from Waterfall Velley to Windemere Hut is about three hours walking.
We had a lazy start to the day, starting to walk around 9 am. After a quick break along the way we went into Lake Will and explored the area. Barn Bluff dominates the vista and on a hot day the lake is fantastic for a swim off the sandy beaches.
At this point we had some rain and decided to walk straight through to Windemere Hut and take a late lunch. The original plan was to have an extended break on a rocky outcrop that overlooks a beautifiul area of tarns. Lunch was eaten around 2 and the rest of the day was spend snoozing and exploring the area (without packs!) Three of our party “swam” in Lake Windemere……
Another day we went into D’Alton and Ferguson Falls. There was a HUGE volume of water roaring over them! A terrific day and enjoyed at a leisurly pace with plenty of breaks and a nice easy pace.
Frank was responsible for the food on this trip, it was just easier and gave him a chance to share a few recipes from our hiking recipe book, Food to Go. It worked out very well and the group seemed to enjoy each meal.
We will do another article of the type of food we took in the near future.
The forecast was for showers, rain, rain, rain, HEAVY rain and rain. A couple of years ago Frank walked with Leon and Alan and it was shocking weather. This was a worry before we left. In fact we got minimal rain other than some drizzle patches and on the Pelion to Kia Ora day light rain that stopped us from climbing Mt Ossa.
Many thanks to Leigh, Tracey and James for being such great walking companions. It was terrific to walk with a well prepared and fit group of people. It was also wonderful to share that beautiful part of the world with people who appreciated the wild and wonderful Cradle Mountain National Park!
Over to you!
Have you hiked the Overland Track?
What was your favourite part of the trip? Leave a reply below, we would love to hear about your “best bit”!