Overland Track

Tasmania

The best-known, and arguably best quality, bushwalk in Australia, the Overland Track traverses the finest of Tasmania's wilderness: rugged mountain peaks, wild alpine moors and deep forests. With a series of side-trips available, no two trips are the same.

Getting there

The starting point at Cradle Mountain is a two-hour drive from Launceston on the Bass Highway via Deloraine, turning off at Elizabeth Town to Sheffield, or 1.5 hours from Devonport via Sheffield. From Hobart, take the Midlands Highway through Campbell Town, turn left at Perth then take the Bass Highway, turning left at Elizabeth Town to Sheffield, then turning off to Cradle Mountain.

Maps

The track is covered by the Tasmap Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair 1:100000 map.

Route/Trail notes

Take some time to research your trip and plan your own itinerary based on the numerous side-trips available along the main route. This is a basic run-down.

DAY ONE: Cradle Valley to Waterfall Valley: 10km, 5 hours

The main track climbs steeply from Ronny Creek to Marions Lookout for a grandstand view, continuing to Kitchen Hut, a tiny emergency shelter. From here the track passes behind the bulk of Cradle Mountain before descending into Waterfall Valley.

DAY TWO: Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere: 7km, 2 hours

An easy day with ample opportunity for side trips as the track climbs gently out of the valley before crossing an exposed moor then climbing to a ridge for a view of all the track's major peaks - on a clear day - with Lake Windermere in the foreground. The hut is in attractive forest near the lake edge.

DAY THREE: Windermere Hut to Pelion Hut: 14km, 5.5 hours

The track crosses Pine Forest Moor, an open buttongrass plain in the shadow of the massive Mt Pelion West, then enters dense forest where deep mud and tangled tree troots slow progress. The path emerges in a clearing at Frog Flats, the lowest point of the track (720m). Avoid the leeches and climb to Pelion Plains and the New Pelion Hut, the most luxurious shelter on the track.

DAY FOUR: Pelion Hut to Kia Ora Hut: 8km, 3 hours

Climb through ancient rainforest to Pelion Gap, gaining 280m in about 2km. On a clear day the side-trip from here to Mt Ossa, Tasmania's highest peak, is a must; the track is steep but the views are unforgettable. From the gap the track descends to Kia Ora Hut, located in eucalypt forest beside Kia Ora Creek. Kia Ora Falls are a short walk downstream.

DAY FIVE: Kia Ora Hut to Windy Ridge Hut: 9km, 3 hours

Thirty minutes of easy walking leads to historic Du Cane Hut. The hut, built in 1908, is now an emergency shelter only. The track then heads into magical forest of moss-covered myrtle beech trees to reach a junction, where tracks lead to nearby waterfalls. The main path continues through rainforest then climbs to Du Cane Gap (1070m). A descent through more rainforest leads to Windy Ridge Hut.

DAY SIX: Windy Ridge Hut to Pine Valley Hut: 10km, 3.5 hours

Pine Valley is technically not part of the Overland Track, but the beautiful setting and walking possibilities among the surrounding mountains demand inclusion in the itinerary if you have time. From Windy Ridge, 5km of easy walking brings you to the junction of the Pine Valley track. Turn right and cross several creeks on the way to Pine Valley Hut, set in beautiful rainforest beside Cephissus Creek.

DAY SEVEN: Pine Valley

Pack a day pack and head to one of the magnificent nearby peaks - the Labyrinth (6km, 4 hours) or the Acropolis (6km, 5 hours) are two to get you started.

DAY EIGHT: Pine Vally to Cynthia Bay: 22km, 3.5 hours

Return to the junction of the main track and turn right to reach Narcissus Hut at the northern end of Lake St Clair. From here it is possible to walk around the lake edge (17km) or take the easy option and use the radio in the hut to book a spot on the next boat across the lake.

SUGGESTED SIDE-TRIPS

CRADLE MOUNTAIN SUMMIT
2.5km, 2 hours from Kitchen Hut

BARN BLUFF
5km, 2.5 hours from junction above Waterfall Valley Hut

WATERFALL VALLEY
2-3km, 1-2 hours from Waterfall Valley Hut

LAKE WILL
4km, 1.5 hours from track south of Waterfall Valley

MT PELION WEST
4km, 5  hours from the Pelion Plains

MT OAKLEIGH
8km, 4 hours from Pelion Hut

MT OSSA
5km, 2.5 hours return from Pelion Gap

MT PELION EAST
2.5km, 1.5 hours from Pelion Gap

D'ALTON & FERGUSSON FALLS
1km, 1.5 hours from main track in Mersey Valley

HARTNETT FALLS
1km, 1 hour from main track in Mersey Valley

THE LABYRINTH
6km, 4 hours return from Pine Valley Hut

THE ACROPOLIS
6km, 5 hours return from Pine Valley Hut

Permits/Costs

Bookings are required for each walking season (1 October to 31 May). During the booking period walkers will be required to walk the track from North to South (Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair), and pay the Overland Track Fee. Bookings open July each year for the coming season.

Other References

To book visit the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Overland Track page at www.parks.tas.gov.au. For photos of this hike and more great Aussie walks visit wildsight.com.au and loko up wildsight on Facebook.

Link: Track photos

Comments

Incredible hike!

Michelle on 14 Jan, 2018

What an amazing part of the world! This was my first trip to Tasmania and I can't wait to go back. The first day was the toughest with my fear of heights and climbing up to Marion's lookout but we loved every day. We were extremely lucky and had perfect weather.

Megs on 12 Apr, 2017

Loved this track. Easy and difficult at the same time. A different thing to look at each day. Did it in 6 days, an extra day or two would be great for more exploring.

Annalise Burton on 5 Feb, 2017

Tough going in the cold winters air but dam soooo loved it ...made it up to Marions Lookout

J on 10 Aug, 2016

I did this trip solo and was lucky enough to have perfect weather the entire way. The trails are well marked and the facilities are great. I took the extra few days to check out Pine Valley and also walk the entire way back rather than take the ferry. I kind of felt like that would have been cheating. In the future I would consider taking the ferry just to give me more time to check out some more side trips. Probably the best hike of my life so far. Loved it. Pics to come. Get down there and do it!

Hike or Die on 13 Apr, 2015

Didn't do the entire length, but did walked to the first part of the track. The weather is perfect at this time and the track is well maintained.

If you are interested I have my track note and photos along the way on my blog: karnsjournal.wordpress.com

RollingKarn on 18 Dec, 2014

Weather was horrible. Snow in summer and it rained heavily most days, so the track was boggy as all heck. But a great walk. Sidetripped Barn Bluff, Mt Pelion West and Mt Ossa, attempted Mt Gould and Cradle Mt but the weather turned absolutely horrible.

Allan Allport on 29 Dec, 2013

Had heavy snow and very blustery winds for the first two days. The track was quite surprisingly busy for winter. We shared huts for most of the trip apart from a couple of nights. the weather fined up for the last couple days, still a lot of snow on the track and mud. Also the Bert Nichols hut is a joke and a waste of money.
Had a great time. Would do it again in a heart beat

Tristan Young on 3 Aug, 2013

Great walk, horrid conditions for the first two days. Great time with my little bro though. Track was busy considering the weather. Bert Nichols hut was too large yo be heated by the little heater that was in there. But it was a fantastic walk.

Vicci on 3 Aug, 2013

Fantastic walk. Be sure to do all the side trips but be prepared for all sorts of weather. It went from sunny to snowing and back to sunny at the end.

Harry Barton on 10 Apr, 2010

Best ever through walk. We were lucky to have fantastic weather.

gone walkies on Nov, 2007

I know what horizontal rain is. Much Younger and fitter.

KBM on Mar, 1993

Where

Click here to load this map.

Done this walk?

This walk has been ticked 27 times

Aussie Bushwalking can keep track of your bushwalks.

Login/signup to tick this walk off.