The Cradle Mountain Overland Track is one of the most popular wilderness hikes in Australia. See the beauty of this remarkable region and experience the pure solitude of this Tasmanian wilderness. Explore lakes, forests, moorlands and mountains on this 70 kilometer hike. The memories of this wilderness experience will last a lifetime!
- 6-day hike of Cradle Mountain National Park
- Cradle Mountain National Park, renowned for it's pristine wilderness, wildlife and rare vegetation
- Escorted by two professional wilderness guides
- Walking up to 5-hours a day
- Stunning scenery and panoramic views
- Visit the summits of some of the highest mountains in Tasmania
- Camp out under the stars
- Take the ferry across Lake St. Clair
The Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair is the most popular extended walk in Australia. Walkers from all over the country and internationally, are attracted to this magnificent area to experience the grandeur of its mountain ranges, the beauty of its unique vegetation and the pure solitude of wilderness. This 70 kilometer (44 mile) walk will allow time to visit the summit of some of the highest mountains in the state and possibly Mount Ossa, the highest of all.
Groups are restricted to a maximum of ten people and area escorted by two professional wilderness guides, ensuring a truly memorable wilderness experience.
The Cradle Mountain 6-day hike includes camping, cooking and eating equipment, high quality tents, backpack, sleeping mat, sleeping bag and sleeping sheet, emergency communication equipment, first aid supplies, all meals and transfers, food drops along track to lighten pack weight and National Park fees.
No special skills are necessary to walk the Cradle Mountain Overland Track although a good level of general fitness is required.
The itinerary shown below is flexible enough to allow for extra stopovers in periods of bad weather and so should be considered a guide only. All overnight accommodation is camping, tents will be pitched on timber platforms, with nearby rainwater tanks and composting toilets available.
Day 1: Launceston to Waterfall Valley (L, D) Walking time 5-hours
Travel to Cradle Mountain National Park where you will walk up to the top of the Cradle Plateau for views of Dove Lake below. After lunch and if weather permits, take a side walk to the craggy summit of Cradle Mountain before making your way to Waterfall Valley and the campsite.
Overnight: Waterfall Valley campsite
Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere (B, L, D) Walking Time 3-hours
Today, continue south from Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere. A leisurely day that offers time to explore the waterfalls and a side trip past the diggings of Joseph Will, a coal prospector in the 1800's, to Innes Falls. Enjoy a relaxing lunch by the sandy shores and twisted pencil pines of Lake Will. After lunch, hike across the rolling button grass to Lake Windermere and make time for a dip in the lake. Overnight: Lake Windermere Campsite
Day 3: Lake Windermere to Pelion Plains (B, L, D) Walking time 7-hours
A wild day of moorlands and mountain views, make up your day. Starting with Pine Forest Moore, offering panoramic landscape and views east across the Forth River Valley to the heights of Mount Oakleigh and to today’s destination, Pelion Plains. You will descend around the mountain to a popular lunch spot at Frog Flats and in the afternoon travel up to Pelion Plains for marvelous views of fluted Mount Oakleigh and some of the biggest wombats you will ever see!
Overnight: Douglas Creek Campsite
Day 4: Pelion Plains to Kia Ora (B, L, D) Walking time 5-hours
Today start your walk south where the view opens up to revel Cathedral Mountain. To your left, Pelion East comes into view, followed by Mount Ossa on the right. There is time for a rest at the saddle (1113m) between Mount Pelion East and Mount Ossa (1617m). Mount Ossa, Tasmania's highest peak is a standout highlight of the Overland Track. With magnificent views in all directions, continue south into beautiful Pinestone Valley.
Overnight: Pinestone Valley Campsite
Day 5: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge (B, L, D) Walking time 4-hours
After breakfast, you will head off for a day surrounded by towering rainforests of Leatherwood and Sassafras trees, as you walk towards three of Tasmania's largest and most spectacular waterfalls. The first visited is Ferguson Falls --named after a former ranger at Lake St. Clair, followed by Dalton Falls, and lastly Hartnett Falls -- named after the eccentric bushman with the bowler hat, Paddy Hartnett.
Overnight: Windy Ridge campsite
Day 6: Windy Ridge to Lake St. Clair and Launceston (B, L) Walking time 3-hours
Today is your final day on the track, which will take you through dry sclerophyll forest toward the shores of Lake St Clair. As you near the lake you can look up to the peaks of the Labyrinth and see the majestic Mount Olympus. Then catch a 30 minute ferry across Lake St Clair, the deepest natural lake in the southern hemisphere. After some time to inspect the visitor centre and indulge in a picnic lunch you will board the bus for your return drive across Tasmania's Central Plateau to Launceston.
Health and Fitness Requirements
As with most activities, the fitter you are prior to departure, the more you will enjoy the trip.
Gear List - What to Bring
Your trip includes all group camping and cooking equipment, including tents, stoves and of course the food. The following lists set out all extra equipment and the clothing required for the trip. The equipment list must be carefully followed and will provide the basis for the preliminary gear check. Several of the following items are available for hire in Tasmania. Please contact the supplier for the details of what equipment is for hire and the cost. Most outdoor shops will be able to provide extra advice in selecting any new clothing and equipment for this list.
- Please Note: The need to bring woolen or equivalent thermal clothing (chlorofibre, polypropylene or fibrepile) rather than cottons (e.g. jeans, wind cheaters) is emphasized because of their ability to better retain warmth, even when damp. Excess luggage can be stored in Launceston.
- 2 Woollen /Polarfleece Jumpers. Must be wool or synthetic fiber.
- 2 Long sleeve thermal tops (polypropylene, Wool, Polyester Powerdry, Daymart)
- 1 Long thermal pants (polypropylene, Wool, Polyester powerdry, Daymart)
- 2 T-shirts/Long sleeve shirts
- Warm trousers. Must be wool or synthetic fibre.
- Walking trousers
- Walking shorts
- 3 Pairs Wool or Thermal walking socks
- Warm gloves or mittens
- Sunhat and sunglasses
- Balaclava or warm beanie hat
- 1 Pair of knee length gaiters essential for keeping mud from boots and leg protection
- Boots must be lace up, ankle high, leather or leather/fabric construction with a sturdy rubber sole. They must be well worn in but not worn out - the Overland Track can be particularly demanding on boots!
- Lightweight sandals, thongs or shoes for around camp
- Lightweight torch with spare batteries and globe. A head torch is ideal to allow hands free light to eat by!
- A whistle (for use in poor visibility)
- Water bottles or water bladder minimum 1 litre
- 2 heavy weight garbage bags for waterproof storage
- Small pack towel
Personal Toiletries and First Aid
- Personal toiletries (please do not bring soaps or shampoos)
- Insect repellent cream (please do not bring spray repellent)
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Personal First Aid kit. You should have some tape for treating and preventing blisters as well as any personal medication you expect to require. All this should be carried in a waterproof knock proof container.