From Cradle Mountain in Tasmania’s central northwest The Overland Track winds its way approximately 65kms south to Lake St. Clair. Along the way it passes through some ever-changing and truly spectacular landscapes including vast alpine moors and dramatic mountain passes, dense mossy rainforest and majestic eucalypt woodlands. From the iconic Cradle Mountain, with a chance to climb Tasmania’s highest Peak (Mt Ossa) and ending with a ferry ride along beautiful Leeawuleena (Lake St Clair), it is easy to see what draws people from around the world to experience this journey.

While there are some longer days walking and steep climbs this is a relatively easy track walk suitable for reasonably fit first timers, involving, on average 4/5hrs walking each day. Side-walks from the main track are included on most days (weather dependent) for more of a challenge.  A winter traverse or extra days to explore Pine Valley are exciting options, a greater commitment though as equally rewarding.

Overland-Track-Map

What’’s includedEquipment ChecklistWalk GradesAvailability

Details and Pricing

We can be reasonably flexible with itineraries, departure dates and conditions and can tailor a tour to suit for larger groups. These are our regular tours and represent the optimal schedule derived from a number of variations over many years. If you have a larger group we are happy to try to negotiate alternative arrangements.  We have returned to a more traditional, less “rushed” itinerary for Overland tours, starting with a night’s accommodation at Cradle Mountain and a hearty pre-departure dinner.  All with no increased cost to our clients.

 

September to May

  • First night in accommodation at Cradle Mountain
  • Six days walking, five nights camping
  • Pickup Launceston 2pm /Devonport around 3.30pm, available most weekends on demand.
  • Returns to Launceston/Devonport late afternoon on the final day
  • Average pack weight around 11-12kg
  • Includes permits, local travel, all equipment, guides, meals & catering
$2050/ per person

Discounts | Grade – Easy Moderate | Payments & Refund

Pine Valley (Extension)

  • Two Days, additional to any of the above Overland Track options.
  • Two days walking, two nights camping.
  • On demand.

*3 person minimum pricing

$575/ per person

Winter Snowshoe/Treks (July & August)

  • Seven Days, first night cabin accommodation at Cradle Mt*
  • Six days walking, Six nights camping, One reserve/delay day
  • Pickup Launceston 9am/Devonport 10am, returns early evening on the final day
  • Pack weight around 12-14kg
  • Includes permits, local travel, all equipment, guides,
    meals and catering
$2375/ per person

Discounts | Grade – Easy Moderate | Payments & Refunds

 

Self-Guided Overland (October-April)

  • Pickup and return to Launceston or Devonport
  • Self-guided/Catered
  • Walk planning, local transport included
  • Includes Park Permits, ferry fees.
  • Includes full equipment hire & outfitting
  • Contract of an experienced driver/guide for outfitting
  • Pack Weight 18-20kg

*2 person minimum pricing, ask for substantial discounts for 3 or more booking together.

$795/ per person

 

Alternative Date: (Please suggest a range of choices if possible, especially for singles and smaller groups)




Guided Walk Itinerary

There are many recorded accounts available for the track walks of Tasmania both online and in print. We encourage you to at least do some research. While not mandatory and there are positives in not ‘over-reading’,  you’ll have a better idea of what to expect of the specific walking conditions. You will likely get more from the experience equipped with some insight.
A web search is a good place to start for bushwalking and related information or for a better understanding of this particular walk the following maps and publications provide further information:

Map Sheet Tasmap Cradle Mountain/Lake St

Clair NP Map 1:100000

‘The Overland Track’ – Frank & Sue Wall (ebook)

‘The Overland Track’ – Warwick Sprawson

‘Overland Track’ – John & Monica Chapman

 

First Day

We pickup from Launceston/Devonport (time indicated in walk details) and stop off at our tour
base for outfitting. Equipment outfitting usually takes 1-1.5 hours and afternoon tea/snacks are available during this time. This is time for explaining and allocating equipment and for the guides to pack fresh food supplies etc. The drive up to Cradle Mountain takes around 1.5 hours. We spend the night in cabins near the trailhead.

 

On the Track – Walking days

Day One
Distance: 10 km
Estimated Time: 4 – 5 hours walking + possible
side tracks

We set off on a steady climb up onto the Cradle Mt. plateau at Marions Lookout. Steep in parts though well contoured, the track passes waterfalls, glacial lakes and meanders through groves of Pencil Pine and Beech forest. Once we reach the high plateau you will be surrounded, in good weather, by grand views of distant mountain ranges. Shimmering lakes below and craggy peaks ahead. Towards the mountain, Kitchen Hut near the Cradle summit turnoff, is a spectacular setting for an afternoon snack/ lunch. For those attempting the summit a further 2.5-3 hours will be needed* From here, The Overland Track traverses the western base of Cradle Mountain and around the rim of an impressive glacial ‘cirque’ below Mt. Emmet. The walking here on timber tracks is as easy as it gets and on the horizon the scenery opens to reveal distant ranges and the route to be taken over the next few days. Barn Bluff looms close as we near the descent to Waterfall Valley and our first overnight stop on the forested side of the valley.

Day Two
Distance: 8 km
Estimated Time: 2.5 – 3 hours + side walks
side tracks

Today we start with a short diversion to take in the waterfalls in the valley before we head off across the undulating button grass plains that will be with us for the rest of the day. This is shorter ‘walking’ day, a more leisurely ramble in which we shake out the strains of the first day and take our time over lunch in a pine grove, at a former prospectors camp near the main track. Given good weather, we can take a detour to the shores of Lake Will, a beautiful sheltered spot, at the base of Barn Bluff. The (relatively) warm shallows of the lake provide a great place for a swim in fine summer weather. In the afternoon we cross further open country with expansive views of mountain ranges to come. Mid afternoon usually has us descending to our campsite amongst the Eucalypts near Lake Windermere (another welcome sight on warmer afternoons). There are usually a range of resident Wombats, Wallabies and other wildlife around the lake and campsite.

 

Day Three
Distance: 16 km
Estimated Time: 5.5 – 6 hours
side tracks

Out onto open plains again crossing creeks and tracts of temperate forest, we can mostly see the day’s journey ahead. The Forth River Valley and the mountains surrounding the valley and Pelion Plains beyond. We make our way across Buttongrass moors and around Mt Pelion West as the track heads down through the forests on the mountainside. We will normally stop for lunch at ‘Frog Flats’ near the headwaters of the Forth River. From here (the lowest point on the track), we have an hour or two further; back up again, across the plains to our Pelion campsite near Douglas Creek.

 

*Winter months (7 day itinerary)

We will normally plan our extra overnight stay at this campsite (Pelion). If we haven’t been delayed to this point (by snowfall) the Pelion area is a great base from which to explore nearby points of interest such as Mt Oakleigh or historic sites of the Pelion area. It is also just a good spot to rest and take in the surroundings before our journey continues. If adverse weather is forecast (for the following day), we can take the opportunity to attempt a climb to Mt Ossa on this additional day or use it at some other point of the walk if snow is forecast.

Day Four
Distance: 9 km
Estimated Time: 3 hours + side tracks

This day often includes the summit of Mt Ossa and the ‘top of Tasmania’. After climbing to the turnoff at Pelion Pass, we drop packs and (those wishing to), head off on the 3.5 hour (return) journey. Others usually remain at the pass and enjoy an extended lunch before we re-group for the further hour and a half down to Kia Ora Creek and our camp.

Day Five
Distance: 10 km
Estimated Time: 3 – 4 hours + side tracks

Today, in contrast to previous days, we enter a world of rainforests and waterfalls. An hour or so after setting out we emerge from the forest briefly at historic Ducane Hut under the impressive spires of Falling Mountain. After a break at the hut we step back into the rainforest and travel parallel to the Mersey River, for a further hour, before meeting the river to find a lunch spot amongst some of the most impressive waterfalls in the state. From here to Windy Ridge campsite involves a climb through Ducane Gap and takes a further hour and a half/two hours. Not far and on nice afternoons we can take our time enjoying the falls.

Day Six
Distance: 9 km
Estimated Time: 3 hours

You will have noticed another change in the habitat the previous afternoon. From Windy Ridge down onto Lake St. Clair the country is drier and dominated by majestic stands of Eucalypts and more familiar native understory species, usually with a corresponding increase in birdlife. We catch glimpses of the spires of Geryon and The Acropolis on The Ducane Range as we make our way south. We normally reach the lake around 11am. From here it’s only a 20-minute ferry ride down the lake to Cynthia Bay, almost the end of our adventure. Before our return journey we’ll buy lunch either from local cafe’s or at the resort by the lake (cost included). The rest of the afternoon involves a 2.5/3 hour trip through the central plateau, past the Great Lake and down to the rural village of Deloraine (or direct to Launceston if necessary). Generally we arrive back in Launceston around 4pm Devonport by 6pm barring any unexpected delay’s.

Pine Valley Extension (to any Overland Track tour itinerary)
Additional Time: +Two Days

We include a visit to Pine Valley, heading in to a base at Pine Valley Hut only takes a few hours from the main (overland) track and is well worth the effort. The valley floor is dominated by giant, ancient, stands of native Pine, Sassafras and Myrtle. Mature rainforest, a mystical world and the side trips from the valley up onto the plateau of The Labyrinth or towards the summit of The Acropolis are a highlight. These side-trips are completed over the following two days. Especially in winter, if we didn’t see snow earlier in the week, the ridges on either side of the valley can take us up above the snowline once more and afford stunning views back through the park. In fine weather these walks cover some stunning country, a walk many guides would choose themselves with a few days off.