It has been a couple of months after I finish the overland track Hut Walk with The Tasmania Walking Co (https://www.taswalkingco.com.au/). Back to when I first complete the whole trip, it was tiring and exhausted, and I can’t tell whether this is a great experience.
Now I started appreciated the whole trip.
How many times in our life, that we can hide away from WIFI, try very hard to walk in the stunning nature in the world, and have someone prepare a feast in the middle of nowhere and enjoys different premium Australian wines at the same time?
I think this is once in a life experience (Or maybe I will do it again).
I will focus on the track and the equipment on this Part 1 and focus more on food wine, private huts and the hiking company in Part 2.
Why I did this and why with a hiking company?
Cradle Mountain is beautiful. It’s the gem of Australia.
This is my third time in Cradle Mountain, I made many day trips here and also stayed in Cradle mountain lodge for a couple of days. As you can see, for someone loved Cradle Mountain so much, Overland track was always on my to-do-list.
But I am too chicken to do it. Reasons can be simple. Lets look at the fact first:
- The Overland track is not only about Cradle mountain. Its a 5-6 day of mountain bush walks across various land and different mountains, and end at the biggest lake in Tassie – St Clair lake. There is camping sites/public huts along the way. However, bed spaces in each hut are limited, and hikers have to bring their tent just in case there is no space inside. Also, no shower facility (maybe a dip in the lake will do).
- You have to carry your food, clothing and sleeping gear which is min 15kg and can go over to 20-30kg depending on the seasons. Weather is extremely changeable, and that means whoever want to go will need to be well prepared
- There are no supplies in the track, and people that unprepared might die or severely injured themselves on the trail.
Now you see, I don’t have any overnight outdoor experience so far and I don’t want risk my life. Also, as a busy young office worker who often needs to do overtime, I don’t have time to train myself.
-end of the story (no that’s not the end…)-
II thought this is the end until we found this Tasmania Walking Co, which is the only company that owns the private hut in the Cradle Mountain area. It doesn’t have many reviews on their website yet, but hey, hot shower, that’s enough to justify.
Dr.R said to me, do you want to try this? They have the guide, private huts and prepare 3 meals, which means you don’t need to bring too much stuff.
After a short period of consideration, my long time dream made me put my name down into the list.
The best part is, if I can do it, you can do it too.
The overland track
Some very short overview about this track:
- 65-90km long, depend on how many side tracks you planning to do
- Normally take 5 – 6 days to finish and enjoy
- Mt Ossa, the higest point in Tassie is at Day 3/4
I know I walked with a professional hiking company; however, track experience should be the same so here are some of my suggestions, experiences or lessons.
Here is a official checklist from the Tasmania Wildlife park:
Although I thought I mentally well prepared because I already did 1/10 of the track before I started this journey. I would still say the roughness of the track is over my expectation.
You would think most of the track is like this?
But in fact, majority parts of the track are in the mud, over the massy rock, on the top of the giant tree roots or some sorts of stairs.
If you are not a stable walker like me, a good pair of boots with ankle support is a must to complete this 6-day walk. Also a good pair of gaiters is pretty essential, or you can rent from the local hiking company.
The weather is so changeable in this area. Rain or snow can happen anytime during the day, and thus a good rain jacket is also essential for not getting soaking wet (and sometimes can be dangerous if the temperature is low).
Temperature can be changed rapidly, therefore, multi-layers of cloths will be required. Also, NO COTTON because it is super hard to get dry (don’t ask me how I know that)
Hiking pole can be handy given there are plenty of rocky uphills and with a heavy backpack.
The private hut has a dry room so I didn’t bring a lot of cloths. Please bring at least 2 sets of under layers and more night warm clothes if you are camping or using the public hut. It can be really cold during the night.
First of all, some rule on the track: the track is marked and we are not allowed to walk outside the track because it will create damage to the fragile Alpin plants:
Those cute cushion plant might take a decade or two to grow to that size but one small step on it will kill it easily.
Also trying to avoid mud by not walking on the track will widening the walking path and will have a significant impact on the natural environment. Therefore, a “wet feet” is an “authentic overland track” experience and make sure you walk over the mud instead of widening the track.
I am the type of the person that loves to know what I will be expecting in the trip planning.
Overland Track is an exception because I can’t find any decent photos, only with people’s words on how amazing it is. After I used my eyes to witness this natural magic, I understood the reason. The terrain was magnificent, stunning and so changeable. Cameras can barely capture this beauty.
At least I tried. Here are some spots that I enjoyed. Despite the rocky, muddy track, walking on overland track is the experience that you feel you are diving in the natural. I was surrounded by mountains, lands and trees with that oil painting type of colours.
The forest sprinkled with sunlight and birds were singing their songs.
The massive waterfall is much bigger than our blue mountain waterfall.
The best part of this track is it is a hushed track. The remoteness and the length of the hiking made it less appealing to regular tourists. So most of the time our group of 12 get to enjoy the track just by ourselves!
The whole track ends at St Clair Lake. As the tradition, jump into the lake to swim is local’s pick to symbol the end of the 6-day iconic hike. Or you can add extra one day to this trip and walk along the lake. We took the boat out, and it is equally amazing.
This is the first time I felt so strongly connected to the natural wonder and was something that I never experience before. I can still feel this excitement even now!
-Stay tune if you want see food/wine/transportation etc, part 2 will be there soon!
Leave me a message if you want know more!