The Overland Track
Deservedly the most well-known, multiday walking route in Australia, this 65- to 80-kilometre route through Cradle Mountain– Lake St Clair National Park is a classic (for national park information, see park entry above). Starting at Cradle Mountain, the track leads through the rainforests of Cradle Valley before heading south over alpine moors, through ancient rainforest, past giant pandani groves and finally down into forested valleys with cascading waterfalls to Lake St Clair, at the southern end of the park. Most groups take about five days to walk the trail, but there are quite a few recommended side trips, such as to Mount Oakleigh, so allow a few extra days for these, if the weather allows. Because of the 10 000 or so walkers who trek along here each year, the management of the track in recent years has become more sustainable: composted human waste from the toilets is flown out, tracks are regularly maintained, boardwalks mare being added, and walkers are required to book – and travel from north to south during the busy November to April period. Independent walkers can use the huts along the way, but will need to bring a tent as well, in case the huts are full, or for emergencies.
Several guiding companies will take you out on the Overland, including Tasmanian Expeditions. However, the deluxe option is particularly popular. For those choosing this experience, five private helicopter-supplied huts are tucked off the main Overland Track route, and small groups of walkers get to stay in them in style, drinking wine, having tasty dinners and hot showers, and sleeping in a bed, carrying only their personal belongings during the day.
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