4. Overland Track, Tasmania
Our pick of this country’s many classic walks is Tasmania’s Overland Track, for its iconic status and accessibility. In 1910 Gustav & Kate Weindorfer pushed for recognition of the area. In 1931 Bert Nichols blazed the Track and by 1935 it was in use by early European walkers. Aside from the main track there are also several alternative side tracks, including to the summits of Cradle Mountain and Mount Ossa, the tallest mountain in Tasmania. Also within reach are a group of tarns called The Labyrinth and Lake St Clair (the deepest lake in Australia). World-renowned for its pristine environment and beauty, the walk has been compared to New Zealand's Milford Track.
Starting from historic Waldheim Lodge, the 73 km trail takes you from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair through spectacular dolerite mountains, near beautiful waterfalls, through a variety of fascinating ecosystems and close to Tasmania's highest mountain (Mt. Ossa), before finishing at Australia's deepest lake, Lake St Clair. The scenery and the physical challenges of this walk make this one of the great wilderness bushwalks. The main walk takes six to seven days along a track which is well maintained and clearly marked, plus there are great options for side trips including the Labyrinth and Walls of Jerusalem National Park.
For escorted walkers this is in comfortably appointed private huts. For independent walkers, you get to stay in more spartan huts which should be booked in advance. There is the option for camping as well. Bring your own tents.
Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake & Marion’s Lookout, Barn Bluff, Unique alpine vegetation, alpine plateaus, Lake Windermere, ancient myrtle rainforest, views of Mt Ossa, Pelion West and Mount Oakleigh, Forth Valley lookout, Pelion Gap, Climbing Mt Ossa, historic Du Cane Hut, Lake St Clair.
John & Monica Chapman have written a guidebook ‘The Overland track’, which is a useful illustrated book, with images, detailed maps and route directions.
WHEN TO GO
Peak season is November to April, but for a hike with a twist try the winter Overland experience—a snowy challenge for even the most hardened walker, and at a considerably better price! Route direction North to South only.
For a list of products that will help you survive the trek, check our gear list.