Funny encounter at Cradle Mountain

Regular readers will know we went for a wander around the Cradle Mountain area over the New Year. It was a great trip, we really enjoyed ourselves, especially just taking our time and only doing short days. The weather was quite hot for Tasmania and it was a relief to not have a schedule to keep.

We did have a funny, if not weird, experience at the end of the walk.

Arriving back at the Cradle Mountain Visitors Centre we were approached by a rather frantic fellow enquiring if we would sell him our Helinox walking poles.

After a quick chat we discovered that Cathy and Geoff were about the start hiking the Overland Track. They had travelled to Cradle Mountain via a local busline and someone…..had left Cathy’s walking poles in the bus.  It, and the poles, were now on the way to Hobart via Strahan. Basically they were gone, not to be retrieved until the end of the walk.

This was ok, except, the walking poles were also their tent poles……..

Six moons Lunar duo single skin tent

Six Moons Lunar duo single skin tent – note the “tent poles”

It is a bit of a weird story but Cathy and Geoff had bought our Overland Track guide and the walking poles on our recommendation as they were regular readers of this site.

We got to meet some readers face to face! It was fantastic!

Over to Geoff from an email he sent on their return home:

Cathy and I have not stopped talking about our chance meeting with you in the visitors centre carpark at Cradle Mountain on the 3rd of Jan, the timing of your return to your car and the fact that the poles were identical to Cath’s felt like a minor miracle to us.  You can see how critical the poles were by having  a look at the attached shot of our tent !!

We had the most fantastic time on the OT (attached is also a pic of us on the summit of Ossa) with too many highlights to mention, what a beautiful place it is, our expectations were far exceeded and the highlight that we hadn’t anticipated was the people we met along the way and the friends we have now made.

Geoff and Cathy on Mt Ossa - Tasmania

Geoff and Cathy on Mt Ossa – Tasmania

Thankyou sooooooo much for your kindness which gave us the ability to get started straight away.  We were touched by your desire to see us get going and the excitement for the track that you briefly shared with us.  We had a fantastic late afternoon walk through the alpine heath past Kitchen Hut with the sun lowering and the landscape turning to a burnt orange colour. We made it to Waterfall Valley at last light with enough time to put up the tent and have some dinner.

We tented every night and took the walks each day slow and easy, admiring the big and the small beauty along the way.

Just by way of information, the last night we camped at Narcissus hut to catch the ferry the next morning at 9.30am to connect with a 10.30 shuttle but were finally advised at 10.30 am by uhf that the ferry service had been cancelled for the day (due to weather) so we missed our shuttle and walked the final leg to Cynthia bay and spent the night there (in a spa cabin !!) and got the shuttle to Launceston the following day (Paul Grigg was very helpful in this regard).  We found by talking to various people that there is a growing dis-satisfaction with the hotel / ferry operators at Cynthia bay and that there is an increasing chance that the ferry cannot be relied upon.

None of this bothered us at all as we had some flexibility at that end and nothing could detracted from the walk we had had, we enjoyed the lakeside walk actually and found it quite spectacular and beautiful.  If advising people I would suggest that you allow enough time to walk out (it took us 4.5 hrs) and catch the ferry if it turns up.

Negatives always turn into positives and because of ours and others delays we all had a great meal together in the resturant (about 10 of us) with others we had met on the track which was a great way to finish.

Next day we returned to Cradle Mountain Lodge for 3 nights to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary which was “luxury plus”!

Our little exchange in the carpark is now a rich memory and a fun part of the story as we tell family and friends about our trip.

Poles on ther Overland Track

Geoff and Cathy with the poles and our card!

Thanks Guys, it was a pleasure to meet you and fantastic you had a great trip!

By the way, we gave Geoff and Cathy the poles, Mox from Helinox had given them to Frank as a sample. He kindly replaced them on our return because we love them and don’t go anywhere without them!

Oh, and if you want to read more about the Six Moons Lunar duo single skin tent , Geoff posted an article over on the Bushwalk Australia site, great information.

Finally, if you love hiking but you’re not into camping, visit the Quickbeds website to find a great deal on your accommodation – no matter where you are!


  1. says

    What a great story and I can only imagine how grateful Geoff and Cathy were with your kindness. It’s good to know that there are people like you on the planet – and also Geoff for taking the time to write in.

  2. says

    That is a very cool story; always great to know that there is so much heart shown amongst fellow trekkers and travellers. As Leigh has said, everyone has been enriched by the generosity and good spirit each has shown.
    Thanks for a great tale. We shared it on our facebook page.

  3. Peter says

    Just completed the Overland Track 3 weeks ago, and from Pelion Hut onwards we shared the huts with John Chapman and his group. What a wealth of information he has on walking in Tassie and beyond.

  4. says

    What an awesome idea!

    Not only does it show generosity and good spirit, it is a brilliant example of ingenuity and the true flexibility of all the tools we use for just one specific dedicated purpose.

  5. Manny says

    What a great story! I really enjoyed reading this, as I could relate to so much of it – I walked the OT in January this year and has some issues – all were resolved by fellow hikers whom I never had met before. And I too had issues with the ferry, or more to the point the operators. Cynthia Bay is such a let down after experiencing the amazing facilities at Cradle Valley.

    • Frank says

      Thanks Manny! The walk seens to create a micro community where everyone looks after each other. Thanks one of the reasons we really enjoy it, meeing new people and enjoying their experience.
      Thanks for the feedback

  6. Robyn Cahill says

    I just finished the OT three days ago and I am still so excited about the whole experience. The conditions were quite bad (one of the hikers we met on the trail said she had done the trail four times and this was the worst conditions ever) with lots of snow, sleet and rain but for us Queenslanders the conditions made the whole experience even more memorable. I was lucky enough to have read Frank and Sue’s ebooks and used this information to influence all equipment and food taken on the trek. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the excellent camaraderie experienced throughout the entire hike. Everyone was kind, funny, helpful, generous and helped to make the trip the best ever. I’m totally addicted! Any thoughts on where to go next??

    • Frank says

      Fantastic Robyn,
      So pleased you had a great trip. We have met some wonderful people along the track. As you say, it IS a highlight.

      Where to next. Mmmm, we did the OT together and then went back and did it AGAIN 3 months later. It was different and fun and mentally less challenging.

      A much tougher trip that is totally different is the South Coast Track. No huts, lots of mud and a coastal walk. Much more isolated and challenging but well worth it. The Great Ocean Walk in Victoria is another goody. A lot softer and less isolated but the views are magic.
      Hope that helps and thanks for purchasing the books!

  7. JIm says

    Great looking summer tent. Light weight and roomy.
    Would someone send me manufacturer info? Would like more details as I might like to buy one.
    Jim In USA

  8. gavin says

    Frank, I too am interested in this tent.

    I have been to the Six moon site and there now appears to be two models.
    From what I can tell, the only difference is the construction material – one Silicon Nylon and one is Polyester.

    Do you know which one Geoff used and reviewed?

    I have recently purchased and read your e book.
    It has been very helpful with preparations for my walk at the end of the year.

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