Some Overland Track walkers cover the 65 km from Ronny Creek to Narcissus, followed by a ferry trip across Lake St Clair to the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre, in six days. Some choose to take seven (or more) days to include two nights at some of the huts to undertake mountain summit side trips and/or walk the length of Lake St Clair, an additional 17.5 km to reach the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre. Rainwater tanks and composting toilets are provided at each of the main huts. Please note, water from rainwater tanks needs to be
boiled or treated prior to drinking.
Track walk times may be subject to change in inclement weather conditions, particularly blizzards and snow cover. Please make sure track conditions are factored into your trip planning.
Day 1 – Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley
Before you start, check in at the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre to confirm your booking, collect your Overland Track pass and check the latest weather forecast. Most of the day is exposed alpine plateau walking. Please consider delaying departure if the weather is forecast as very severe.
The ascent to Crater Lake is gradual, followed by a very steep, short ascent to Marions Lookout. Undulating across the alpine plains and a final gradual descent to Waterfall Valley.
Completion of the new Waterfall Valley Hut is expected in July 2020. Sites, for tents, tent platforms and toilet facilities near to Old Waterfall Valley Hut can be used while final construction is taking place. The new Waterfall Valley hut is a construction site and for safety, walkers must observe all signage and access restrictions, including during helicopter operations.
- Cradle Mountain Summit (1545 m) – 2 km, 2-3 hours return from the track junction.
There is some boulder scrambling as you reach the summit, and the walk should only be attempted in fine weather. Not recommended when under snow or for walkers unsettled by heights and exposure. Secure your pack from marauding currawongs if leaving it at the junction. (They know how to undo zips!)
- Barn Bluff (1559 m) – 7 km, 3-4 hours return from track junction.
This walk has some very steep sections and boulder scrambling towards the summit. Barn Bluff should only be attempted in fine weather and is not recommended when under snow.
Day 2 – Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere
From Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere is a less strenuous stretch over alpine heathlands, lakes and tarns. This section is exposed and above 1000 metres in elevation. Camping is not permitted around Lake Windemere however, the overnight sites are just 500 metres from its shore. Hut sleeping capacity is 16 people.
- Lake Will – 3 km, 1 hour return from track junction.
This relaxed walk takes visitors to an alpine lake, popular as a lunch stop.
Day 3 – Lake Windermere to Pelion
A long walking day, encircled by distant mountains; Pelion East, Ossa, Thetis, Achilles and Pelion West and the Du Cane Range. Walkers cross buttongrass plains and journey through myrtle-beech rainforest and eucalypt forest. Campers have the option to camp at Frog Flats if they want to brave the leeches, but most continue onto Pelion Hut and the overnight site. This is a much larger hut with a sleeping capacity of 36 people.
- Old Pelion Hut – 1 km, 0.5 hour return from track junction.
Pelion Hut is a charming 1917 historic hut, once built for miners and now a day-use area. There is an excellent swimming hole for a summer-time refresh
- Mount Oakleigh (1286m) – 8 km, 4 - 6 hours return from track junction.
Expect to get wet and muddy feet crossing the buttongrass moorlands.
Day 4 – Pelion to Kia Ora
Day four experiences are full of rainforests and mountain summits. Alongside Douglas Creek, walkers will ascend to Pelion Gap, the valley between Mount Ossa and Pelion East. There is a gradual descent across buttongrass plains and eucalypt forest to Kia Ora. Pelion Gap is an exposed alpine plateau. In inclement weather, take your breaks in the shelter of the forest before Pelion Gap. Kia Ora hut has a sleeping capacity of 20 people, .
- Mount Ossa (1617m) – 5.2 km, 4-5 hours return from track junction.
Mount Ossa is Tasmania’s highest peak, and the walk is steep and exposed. Do not attempt under heavy rain or snow as boulder fields under snow are dangerous. You will need 4-5 hours of daylight to summit and return to Pelion Gap and a further hour to reach Kia Ora Hut.
- Mount Pelion East (1433m) – 2.4 km, 2 hours return from track junction.
There are spectacular views over Mount Ossa and most of the park’s highest peaks once you reach the summit of Mount Pelion East. The walk is steep and exposed. Do not attempt under heavy rain or snow as boulder fields under snow are dangerous.
Day 5 – Kia Ora to Windy Ridge (Bert Nichols Hut)
From Kia Ora Creek, the track continues through rainforest to the historic Du Cane Hut. Built in 1910, the hut provides a great location for lunch but should only be used as an overnight location in an emergency. Walkers then spend another half hour walking through King Billy pine, sassafras and myrtle forest, before reaching the junction to D'Alton and Fergusson Falls - a great side trip. Another 20 minutes up the path walkers will reach the side trip to Harnett Falls. After a final journey through wet sclerophyll forest, walkers reach Bert Nichols Hut, situated at the top of the Narcissus Valley with the dramatic Du Cane Range as its backdrop. Bert Nichols Hut has a sleeping capacity of 24 with a large, enclosed dining area.
- D’Alton and Fergusson Falls – 1 km, 1 hour return.
Descend through rainforest to the Mersey River to reach both waterfalls. Slippery tracks and sheer drop-offs at top of falls, but a pleasant side trip worth taking.
- Hartnett Falls – 1.5 km, 1 hour return.
Another descent through rainforest to the Mersey River and the falls. Slippery track and sheer drop-offs at top of falls.
Day 6 – Windy Ridge (Bert Nichols Hut) to Narcissus
It is a gradual, easy descent beside Narcissus Valley through eucalypt forest and across buttongrass plains. Narcissus Hut is on the banks of the Narcissus River at the head of Lake St Clair. Walkers will need to cross the river via a suspension bridge before reaching the overnight site and ferry jetty another 15 minutes down the track. The Narcissus hut has a sleeping capacity of 18 people.
If you're ending your journey here make sure that you have booked your tickets for the ferry before you set out, and use the radio in Narcissus Hut to reconfirm your booking once you get there. If you have not booked the ferry, go to the
Lake St Clair Lodge website to make a booking.
- Pine Valley Hut – 4.7 km, 1.5-2 hours one way.
This side trip is recommended as an overnight trip. This hut is used as a base for exploring The Acropolis and the Labrinth.
Day 7 – Narcissus to Cynthia Bay
An optional addition to the end of your Overland Track experience, this track meanders along the shoreline of Lake St Clair through myrtle-beech rainforest to Cynthia Bay. The small rustic Echo Point Hut is located 5km (2 hours) into the walk, and is used by some wishing to savour an extra night out on the track.
At the end of your walk, don’t forget to sign out using the registration book, and take a group photo at the Overland Track finish photo point. Hooray!
To purchase Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair Map and Notes, 1:100,00 scale map (published by TASMAP) please visit the TASMAP website.