Quick Adventure Facts:
Who - Joe (see gear list), Buzz & Will
What - Overland Track
When - February 1st to February 5th 2018 | 6 Days
Routinely considered one of the best hikes in the world, The Overland Track is one of Australia's most famous hiking tracks. Located in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania, the track meanders through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area which features varied terrain highlighted by sheer mountains, temperate rainforest, wild rivers and alpine plains.Length
The official route starts at Cradle Mountain and runs south for 40 miles to Lake St Clair. Many hikers continue along Lake St Clair for an additional 11 miles to extend the hike even further.Terrain
The track conditions vary greatly along the trail. Much of it is covered with rudimentary broad walks constructed from logs held together with wire and nails. Sections without board walks are frequently very muddy and slippery.Weather
Unlike the warm summer days in the rest of Australia, Tasmania’s summers are relatively cool, with average maximum temperatures around 65F. Nights are usually in the low 40’s which requires hikers to be adequately prepares for the colder nights. Summer rainfall averages in the summer months are roughly 4” per month.
The most popular season to hike The Overland Track is the summer (October to May in the Southern Hemisphere). The mild weather and longer days provide an easy hike for those with adequate equipment.Logistics
If you’d planning on hiking The Overland Track in the summer you will need to apply for an “Overland Pass” in advance. The trek is very popular and the park limits the amount of hikers it lets in each day.
Getting to The Overland Track from the US can take multiple days of travel. It requires a flight to main land Australia, which you will need to apply for a Visa in advance before arriving. Once in Australia, you will need to take another flight to Tasmania. From Launceston or Hobart, you will need to take a shuttle to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Once in the park, you can stay at various campgrounds or huts, which enable hikers to stay indoors every night. The huts do not have an established booking system, which requires hikers to carry a tent in the event the huts are full.Resupply
As The Overland Track is a very short trail, there is no opportunity, or need, to resupply. There is a restaurant in the hotel at the southern tip of Lake St Clair if you're really craving some food at the end.
By: Will Wood
On February 1st, 2018 we began our hike on the incredible Overland Track in Tasmania but just getting ourselves to this trailhead was an adventure in and of itself. We left our office in Melbourne, Florida and arrived in Melbourne, Australia nearly 24 hours later where we hopped onto another very small plane that flew us over Bass Straight and into the town of Launceston, Tasmania. The next day we would take a ride with the Overland Track Transport right to the trailhead and finally begin our journey on one of the best trails I’ve ever hiked.
The scenery on this incredible trail, or track as they call it in Australia, did not disappoint. Nearly every single day looked different than the last. Its hard to believe all that we would see on a trail that is only around 65km/40 miles in length and we were blessed to experience great weather on trail something that is extremely rare as rainstorms can be intense this far south on the globe. It is easy to see why this trail is recognized by many to be one of the best trails in the world.
The trail begins with a climb just below the top of Cradle Mountain. For much of the start of the hike you are out of tree coverage allowing for endless views of the surrounding area. One thing that really blew my mind in regards to this trail was mile after mile of perfectly maintained boardwalk which exists to lessen the impact on the beautiful moss and plant life that exists here. This is not small feat considering how secluded this trail is and how intense the winters are here. A huge shoutout to the folks that maintain this incredible trail!
After leaving the Cradle Mountain area behind you begin to enter thick forest filled areas which is teeming with incredible wildlife most of which can only be found in Australia. In the middle of a forest we ran right into what i thought was a miniature Kangaroo, yes im showing my ignorance here, but was actually a Pademelon which to me kindof resembles a super small kangaroo. I would also come across an Echidna which only exists in Australia and New Guinea. These are just some of the cool encounters thats possible on the Overland Track.
We would eventually hit a treacherous side trail that would lead us up to the top of the tallest mountain in Tasmania 1,617m/5,305’ tall Mt Ossa. To this date, this is still the sketchiest climb up a mountain I’ve ever done but it was completely worth the views that we were treated to from the top.
The trail finishes with a walk through a rainforest around Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St Clair which reaches a maximum depth of 160m/520’. This place was too beautiful to describe and the rainforest was covered with moss and massive trees were sprinkled everywhere. As we approached the end of the journey I came within a foot or two of stepping on an extremely poisonous Tiger Snake, thankfully Buzz from Zpacks spotted it and warned me of the impending danger.
The journey on the Overland Track ended at the southern end of the lake at a nice little hotel with a great restaurant literally steps from the sign that congratulates you on your successful completion of the Overland Track. No better way to end a hike in my opinion than with a good tasty burger and a beer. What a hike and what a trail. We cant recommend it enough.
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