We pick you up from your Launceston accommodation between 6:30-7am and drive 2.5 hours to Waldheim, ‘forest home’, where our Overland Track trek begins. The morning is spent walking up past lakes and tarns to the top of the alpine Cradle Plateau where (weather permitting!) we are rewarded with views of Dove Lake and an endless horizon of impressive mountain ranges. We will pass below the summit of Cradle Mountain along the way however we do not intend to attempt to climb this summit as expected winter conditions are too icy. Tonight we stay at Waterfall Valley.
Walking Distance: 10km| Walking Time: 5 hours
Today we continue south from Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere. A leisurely day that offers time for a side trip past the diggings of Joseph Will a coal prospector in the 1800’s to Innes Falls. At Lake Will we will have the opportunity for a relaxing lunch on its sandy shores. Returning to our packs we head back across the rolling button grass plains towards our camp at Lake Windermere. We spend the afternoon relaxing around Windermere Hut and taking in the fabulous views.
Walking Distance: 8km + side trips | Walking Time: 3 hours + side trips
Today is a wild day of moorlands and mountain views. We don our packs and walk across Pine Forest Moor with spectacular views across the massive Forth River Valley to the lofty heights of Mt Oakleigh and to today’s destination at its base. We descend around Mount Pelion West to a popular lunch spot at Frog Flats. After lunch we walk up through tall, lush forest onto the great expanse of Pelion Plains. We have the option of a short side trip to Old Pelion Hut to gain a deeper appreciation of the park’s rich history.
Walking Distance: 17km | Walking Time: 7 hours
We will allow a full day in the itinerary as a contingency to be used in case of bad weather. We recommend bringing a pack of cards or a good book as a necessary aspect of winter adventure is often sitting out the worst of the weather and enjoying some warmth and conversation in one of the huts!
If we don't need to use this contingency day to avoid the weather we can use the day to enjoy some of the extraordinary side trips along the Overland Track
From camp we continue walking south through Myrtle forest, past tufted Pandani trees, then up to the saddle (1113m) between Mount Pelion East and Mount Ossa. This is the perfect place for a well deserved rest. In fine weather climbing Mount Ossa – Tasmania’s highest peak at 1617m – is without a doubt one of the highlights of the Overland Track. With magnificent views in all directions we continue south into Pinestone Valley to our creek-side camp overlooking the grand spires of Cathedral Mountain.
Walking Distance: 9km + side trips | Walking Time: 5 hours + side trips
Today we walk through towering rainforests of Leatherwood and Sassafrass trees, heading towards three of Tasmania’s largest and most spectacular waterfalls. The first we visit is Fergusson Falls, named after a former ranger at Lake St Clair, followed by Dalton Falls. The third of these enchanting falls is the spectacular Hartnett Falls, named after Paddy Hartnett, an eccentric Irish bushman who was rarely seen without his bowler hat. We walk up through Du Cane Gap then descend to our camp at Bert Nichols.
Walking Distance: 10km + side trips | Walking Time: 4 hours + side trips
Today we pack our backpacks for the final day on the track, which takes us through mixed eucalyptus and stands of temperate rainforest to the shore of Lake St Clair, the deepest natural lake in the Southern Hemisphere. As we near Lake St Clair we can gaze up to the peaks of Mt Ida and majestic Mount Olympus. We catch a 30 minute ferry across the lake, providing spectacular views back upon the mountains we’ve walked past, and a wonderful conclusion to our Overland Track trek.
After time to explore the visitor centre and a celebratory lunch, we board the bus for our return drive across the Central Plateau to Launceston. You will be dropped off at your Launceston accommodation at approximately 5pm.
Walking Distance: 9km | Walking Time: 3 hours