This six day hut-based walk is a fabulous way to experience the iconic Overland Track within Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. The walk extends from Cradle Valley to Lake St. Clair through a variety of spectacular landscapes and features a huge diversity of flora and fauna; glacial lakes, rainforests and craggy peaks which sit side by side with wombats, echidnas, wallabies and Tasmanian devils, who all make this region their home. Each evening’s accommodation is in one of five ecologically sustainable private huts nestled away in this remarkable park. Just off the Overland Track, each hut is a haven to retreat to at the end of the day and features hot showers, a potbelly heater and twin-share rooms with comfortable beds. A hearty three-course dinner is prepared by your guides, with fine Tasmanian wine and cheerful conversation, a very pleasant way to relax after an active day.
- Cradle Mountain Huts Overland Track is a trip of the Great Walks of Tasmania
- Discover the rare beauty and extraordinary diversity of Tasmania’s world heritage-listed Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park
- Enjoy a steaming hot shower and fresh-baked afternoon tea, then enjoy the simple pleasures of life in a bush hut
- Views into the heart of the World Heritage Area
Day 1 Waldheim – Barn Bluff Hut (12km, 7 hours)
After breakfast we will meet at 6:20am sharp for a complimentary pickup from The Sebel Launceston, where you will then be transferred to Tasmanian Walking Company’s walkers base at Red Feather Inn. After your gear check & introductions, we journey to Waldheim in Cradle Valley. We will have morning tea, then set off on the track by 11am. By lunchtime we have walked through our first section of ancient temperate rainforest, have witnessed the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake and the steepest section of the whole Overland Track is behind us. The steep section is mostly stepped and takes us about an hour. It gets us onto Marion’s Lookout which (hopefully) offers famous and spectacular views of Cradle Mountain with Lake Dove at its base – worth every step. If the weather is fine, we stop for lunch by the peaceful Plateau Creek before continuing for about another 4 hours around the base of Cradle Mountain, out along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque, then dropping into Waterfall Valley which we cross before arriving at our hut at the base of the towering Barn Bluff. Several hours of this day’s walk is over exposed alpine plateau which allows great views on a clear day, but in rough weather the wind howls over the land making for exciting, and sometimes challenging, walking conditions.
Day 2 Barn Bluff Hut – Pine Forest Moor (12km, 6 hours)
The walking today is undulating with a few sections of exposed moorland. There are no large hills and the once notoriously muddy Pine Forest Moor is now a duckboard path over the mud! We do offer an optional side trip to Lake Will. We travel across plains where glaciers once sat and slowly moved, scouring out shallow tarns. Now we see plains of button grass with ancient Pencil Pines sitting with their roots in the water. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us to the North, and the stately Mount Pelion West directly ahead.
Day 3 Pine Forest Moor Hut – Pelion Hut (10km, 5 hrs)
Today we begin with a long, slow descent around the base of Mt. Pelion West down to the Forth River before it plunges into the Lemonthyme Valley. After a break at Frog Flats by the Forth River, we have a long, gentle ascent out of the valley onto the beautiful Pelion Plains with outstanding views of Mount Oakleigh. There are many side trips in the Pelion Plains area with mountains all around, some excellent swimming holes, abandoned copper mines, or simply peaceful and humbling spots to rest quietly.
Day 4 Pelion Hut – Kia Ora Hut (7km, 3.5 hrs). Optional 5 hrs to climb Mt. Ossa.
Begin today with a climb to Pelion Gap where there are great views both back from the North and forward to the South. Today we allow extra time for the side trips from Pelion Gap. It’s a further few hours of gentle downhill from the gap to the hut, so a very relaxing day with the option to make it more challenging.
Day 5 Kia Ora Hut – Windy Ridge Hut (9km, 4 hrs)
This is a day of waterfalls and majestic forests. We depart Kia Ora hut and walk about an hour to Du Cane where a hut remains from the long-gone days of animal trapping. A fine spot to rest in the native gardens planted by trapper Paddy Hartnet’s wife during her long stints in the bush with her husband. From there, we wander through some of the oldest forest in the National Park with King Billy Pines as old as 2000 years. Here we are above the Mersey River, which descends steeply Northward towards Bass Strait. There are three major sets of waterfalls and we opt to visit one or more of these. We will probably take lunch down to enjoy beside one of the falls. During the afternoon, the group makes its way over Du Cane gap then descends beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut.
Day 6 Windy Ridge Hut – Lake St Clair (9km, 3 hrs)
Lake St Clair is Australia’s deepest natural lake, and as with most of this area, has been shaped by glaciers. The walk is mainly through cool temperate eucalypt forest, and birdsong is all around. We arrive at Narcissus at the Northern end of Lake St Clair in time for lunch before boarding the Idaclair cruise boat for the spectacular 17km cruise back to Cynthia Bay. There is a visitor centre at Cynthia Bay, and we usually have about half an hour to look around. The return trip to Entally Lodge is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers to the broad plains of the Northern Midlands, and passing through the rural townships of Cressy and Longford. You should arrive at Entally Logde by around 5pm. There will be a shuttle bus departing at 6.00pm which goes via the airport at approximately 6.15pm, arriving back at the Sebel Hotel at about 6.30pm. If you are staying at Quamby Homestead, a shuttle will be organised.
- 5 breakfast, 6 lunches and 5 dinners
- Professional guides
- 5 nights twin share accommodation in private huts
- Limited selection of Tasmanian wine
- Transport by private minibus
- National Park and Overland Track passes
- Boat transfer across Lake St Clair
- Use of a backpack and Gore-tex jacket for the duration of the walk
- Sleeping bags, pillows and a comfortable mattress at each hut
- Sleeping sheet and pillowcase to carry with you
- Insulated mug for tea/coffee – souvenir for you to keep
Images courtesy of World Expeditions
WEX – CHO