5 Highlights of the Overland Track
One of the most popular hikes in Tasmania, the Overland Track is definitely the experience of a lifetime. Located in the remote Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, it begins at Ronny Creek in Cradle Valley and winds some 65 kilometres through some of Tasmania’s most pristine and rugged landscapes. Of course, the entirety of the Overland Track is absolutely stunning. From stunning rugged mountain peaks, to the alpine moorelands, lakes and tarns along the way. These five highlights of the Overland Track are truly bound to stay in your mind for years to come.
5. Camping at Waterfall Valley
The location of the first campsite along the Overland Track, Waterfall Valley is situated about 12 kms from Ronny Creek, at the start of the track. While there is a communal cabin walkers can choose to sleep in, we prefer to camp on the grass, where there are unparalleled views of Barn Bluff in the distance. With wildlife wandering around such as wallabies, wombats, spotted quolls and possums, the first evening’s complete immersion into nature is one of the most memorable moments along the trail.
4. Walking across Windermere Plains
The walk on day three towards from Lake Windermere to New Pelion Hut is picturesque in every sense of the word. Passing through buttongrass plains, myrtle-beech rainforest, open eucalypt forest and past spectacular dolerite spires of Mount Oakleigh, the hardest part will be keeping your eyes on the ground in front of you. At Forth River Lookout we are rewarded with views up to Pelion West and Mount Oakleigh, back towards Barn Bluff and Cradle Mountain, and can see Pelion East and Mount Ossa.
3. Mersey River Waterfalls
The Mersey River Waterfalls on day five are a spectacular set of three waterfalls that are each captivating in their own right. A day of magical forest and waterfalls, the Fergussen, D’alton and Harnett Falls are some of the largest in Tasmania. These can be reached via small side trips from a junction on the track. The forest they are set in is beautiful; large leatherwood trees growing in some of the oldest forest in the national park. The side trip to and the falls is almost as pleasant as viewing the powerful waterfalls themselves.
2: Side trip to Cradle Mountain
There’s no denying that the side trip to Cradle Mountain is one of the best experiences on the Overland Track. Leaving Kitchen Hut, you head on a well marked track until you hit dolerite boulders which add some tricky yet fun manoeuvring into the ascent. On a clear day, views of Barn Bluff, Peli West, Ossa and Peli East line the horizon. The summit is the perfect vantage point to spot wedge tailed eagles soaring high above the peaks, and Dove Lake shimmering below.
1. Mount Ossa
Summiting the tallest mountain in Tasmania at 1617 metres is easily one of the most (if not THE most!) memorable parts of the Overland Track. With good fitness and clear weather, this side trip is fairly accessible – some claim it’s even easier than the Cradle Mountain summit, despite being taller. From the summit, you have a prime viewing platform of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Picture stark ranges and lush valleys strewn with calm blue lakes sitting beneath the dramatic dolerite peaks of the plateau.