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This itinerary will be replacing the six-day Cradle Mountain Adventure Walk from 1st July 2024.
Bookings now open
Experience the Overland Track served with a side of adventure. Rated ‘challenging’ we journey from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair, summiting some serious peaks along the way.
Your journey starts with a night at Red Feather Inn, just outside of Launceston. The walk itself starts in heart-pumping style with a summit climb of Cradle Mountain. Across six days in deep World Heritage Area wilderness, we tackle other peaks on our way south. Day 4 is the biggest at 18kms including Mount Oakleigh and we back this up the following day climbing Tassie’s highest peak, Mount Ossa.
With great adventure comes great reward and sumptuous dinners upon reaching the huts each evening.
Prices from $5,195 pp
Preparing for a big walk is crucial, that is why we start our walk the night before at our walker base at the historic and quaint Red Feather Inn.
Here you will meet your guides as they take you through what to expect from the next six days and conduct a gear check. After our short briefing, the night of celebration begins – Your Overland Track adventure is finally here! Get to know your fellow walkers over a dinner of local fare, cooked for you by the in-house chef and paired with local wines.
The rooms at Red Feather Inn are designed for your comfort, giving you the perfect excuse to head off to bed early and get a restful night's sleep before your early start the next day.
Approximately 10 hours walking (including Cradle Mountain)
On the summit of Cradle Mountain in 1910, Austrian-born Gustav Weindorfer proclaimed, “This must be a national park for the people for all time.” It’s fitting our journey begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley, where Weindorfer’s story is told. We set off on the track, venturing through ancient temperate rainforest, passing the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake.
Some say day one is the hardest - we climb the steepest section of the whole Overland Track today. Reaching Marion’s Lookout (1250m) takes about an hour, with steps leading through steeper sections. The reward, providing weather conditions allow, is staggering views of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. Every uphill step is worth it.
If the weather is fine, we stop for lunch by the peaceful Plateau Creek. We then embark on the challenging climb of Cradle Mountain where, on clear days, the views are spectacular. It's then another 4 hours around the base of Cradle Mountain, out along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque. We drop into Waterfall Valley, which we cross before arriving at our hut at the base of the towering Barn Bluff (1559m), having completed the steepest part of your journey (excluding side trips).
It’s a welcome retreat after several hours of this day’s walk traverses exposed alpine plateau, allowing for great views on a clear day. In rough weather, the wind howls over the landscape, making for exciting and sometimes challenging walking conditions.
Approximately 6 hours walking
Today, we’ll be walking across plains where glaciers once rested, slowly moving and scouring out shallow tarns. Although an undulating trek with a few sections of exposed moorland, there are no significant climbs today.
We take our time venturing across vast button grass plains where ancient pencil pines fringe alpine tarns. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us. Look ahead, and the stately Mt Pelion West comes into view.
Those looking for an additional challenge today can take a side trip to Lake Will. Hugged by pencil pines and with its narrow quartzite sand rim, Lake Will is striking. Keep an eye out for gravel mounds along the way, remnants of Joseph Wills coal mining efforts in the 1890s. Further along the track, Lake Windemere offers an opportunity for an invigorating swim.
This evening, at Pine Forest Moor Hut, enjoy our outdoor dining setting with views out to Mt. Oakleigh in fine weather.
Approximately 10 hours walking (including Mt Oakleigh)
This morning, we venture through gorgeous myrtle-beech rainforest as we descend around the base of Mt Pelion West, down to the Forth River before it plunges into Lemonthyme Valley. We’ll take a break at Frog Flats beside the Forth River, which happens to be the Overland Track’s lowest point.
From here, it’s a gentle ascent back out of the valley. We leave thick Eucalypt forest behind as the trees part to reveal Pelion Plains. Uninterrupted views of Mt Oakleigh’s dolerite spires now come into play.
The Pelion Plains area offers a host of side trips, hugged by mountainous terrain. There are excellent swimming holes and abandoned copper mines to explore. Our quest? To climb Mt Oakleigh. It’s our biggest day at 18 kilometres, so we pace ourselves knowing the warmth and comfort of Pelion Hut awaits, nestled amongst dry sclerophyll forest.
Approximately 8.5 hours (including Mt Ossa)
Today begins with a climb of almost 300m to Pelion Gap through beautiful rainforest. Pelion Gap is a plateau stretching between Mt Pelion East and Mt Ossa, affording fantastic views to the south as well as back to the north.
There’s plenty of side trips from Pelion Gap including our mission for the day, to summit Mt Ossa. At 1617m, it is Tasmania’s highest peak. Reaching the top, there’s plenty of time to take in 360 degree island views and enjoy a well-earned lunch. Back down at Pelion Gap it's a further few hours of gentle downhill to the hut. Once we arrive at Kia Ora Hut, enjoy a Tasmanian drop with spectacular views out to Cathedral Mountain
Approximately 4 hours walking
Day five is about icy-flowing waterfalls. We depart Kia Ora hut and walk about an hour to Du Cane, where a 1910-built hut remains from the long-gone days of animal trapping. Du Cane Hut is a fine spot to rest, with native gardens planted by trapper Paddy Hartnett's wife, during her long stints in the bush with her husband.
From here, we wander through some of the oldest forest in the national park, with King Billy pines as much as 2000 years old. Now, we are above the Mersey River, which descends deeply northward towards Bass Strait, spilling down cliff faces.
There are three major sets of waterfalls in the area. We aim to visit one or more of these, choosing the best to have lunch beside depending on conditions. During the afternoon, we make our way over Du Cane Gap, then descend beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut. Tonight is a celebratory one, our last evening on the track.
Approximately 3 hours
Our destination today is Australia’s deepest natural lake – Lake St Clair – shaped by glaciations over two million years. Birdsong helps us along this final day as we walk mainly through cool temperate eucalypt forest.
We arrive at Narcissus at the northern end of Lake St Clair in time for lunch, before boarding the Idaclair cruise boat for a spectacular 17km cruise back to Cynthia Bay. There’s typically around half an hour to look around the Visitor Centre here.
The return trip to the walk base at Red Feather Inn is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers.