Discover the dramatic landscape and extraordinary diversity of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain & Lake St. Clair National Park.
Over six days experience Australia’s most iconic walk the Overland Track. You accommodation each evening will be in the only private huts along the trail where a hot shower, drying rooms and twin room accommodation awaits. Weather permitting you will have the opportunity to climb Tasmania’s highest mountain – Mount Ossa. Our guides will interpret the trail by day and then prepare and serve a sumptuous three course dinner each evening served with a selection of Tasmanian Wine. This walk is designed for those with a reasonable level of fitness as some days are challenging.
We provide the following inclusions
On the summit of Cradle Mountain in 1910, Austrian-born Gustav Weindorfer proclaimed, “This must be a national park for the people for all time.” It’s fitting our journey begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley, where Weindorfer’s story is told. We set off on the track, venturing through ancient temperate rainforest, passing the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake.
We climb the steepest section of the whole Overland Track today fuelled by a hearty lunch. Reaching Marion’s Lookout (1250m) takes about an hour, with steps leading through steeper sections. The reward, providing weather conditions allow, is staggering views of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. Every uphill step is worth it.
We continue around the base of Cradle Mountain along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque before dropping into Waterfall Valley. Our private hut awaits, beneath towering Barn Bluff, having completed the steepest part of your journey (excluding side trips). It’s a welcome retreat after several hours walking over exposed alpine plateau where some days the wind howls – a reminder of nature’s power.
Today we’ll be walking across plains where glaciers once rested, slowly moving and scouring out shallow tarns. Although an undulating trek with a few sections of exposed moorland, there are no significant climbs today.
We take our time venturing across vast button grass plains where ancient pencil pines fringe alpine tarns. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us. Look ahead, and the stately Mt Pelion West comes into view.
Those looking for additional challenge today can take a side trip to Lake Will. Hugged by pencil pines and with its narrow quartzite sand rim, Lake Will is striking. Keep an eye out for gravel mounds along the way, remnants of Joseph Will’s coal mining efforts in the 1890s.
This evening, at Pine Forest Moor Hut, enjoy our outdoor dining setting with views out to Mt. Oakleigh in fine weather.
This morning we venture through gorgeous myrtle-beech rainforest as we descend around the base of Mt Pelion West, down to the Forth River before it plunges into Lemonthyme Valley. We’ll take a break at Frog Flats beside the Forth River, which happens to be the Overland Track’s lowest point.
From here, it’s a gentle ascent back out of the valley. We leave thick Eucalypt forest behind as the trees part to reveal Pelion Plains. Uninterrupted views of Mt Oakleigh’s dolerite spires now come into play.
The Pelion Plains area offers a host of side trips, hugged by mountainous terrain. There are excellent swimming holes, peaceful nooks to rest and abandoned copper mines to explore. Come nightfall, we’ll be nestled amongst dry sclerophyll forest at Pelion Hut.
Today begins with a climb of almost 300m to Pelion Gap through beautiful rainforest. Pelion Gap is a plateau stretching between Mt Pelion East and Mt Ossa, affording fantastic views to the south as well as back to the north.
There’s plenty of time for side trips from Pelion Gap including the option to summit Mt Ossa. At 1617m, it is Tasmania’s highest peak. There are other less challenging climbs, including Mt Pelion East.
From Pelion Gap it’s a further two hours of gentle downhill to the hut. Today, choose to keep things relaxed or challenge yourself to stand atop the island’s highest point. Once we arrive at Kia Ora Hut, enjoy a Tasmanian drop with spectacular views out to Cathedral Mountain.
Day five is about icy-flowing waterfalls. We depart Kia Ora hut and walk about an hour to Du Cane, where a 1910-built hut remains from the long-gone days of animal trapping. Du Cane Hut is a fine spot to rest, surounded by native gardens and overlooked by the spectacular Du Cane Range.
From here, we wander through some of the oldest forest in the National Park, with King Billy pines as much as 2000 years old. Now, we are above the Mersey River, which descends deeply northward towards Bass Strait, spilling down cliff faces.
There are three major sets of waterfalls in the area. We aim to visit one or more of these, choosing the best to have lunch beside depending on conditions. During the afternoon, we make our way over Du Cane Gap, then descend beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut. Tonight is a celebratory one, our last evening on the track.
Our destination today is Australia’s deepest natural lake – Lake St Clair – shaped by glaciations over two million years. Birdsong helps us along this final day as we walk mainly through flowering dry sclerophyll forests.
We arrive at Narcissus at the northern end of Lake St Clair in time for lunch, before boarding the Idaclair cruise boat for a spectacular 17km cruise back to Cynthia Bay. There’s typically around half an hour to look around the Visitor Centre here.
The return trip to Quamby Estate is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers. We’ll cross the broad plains of the Northern Midlands, passing through the rural townships of Cressy and Longford.
Being in that pristine wilderness was a spiritual experience for me. Then to learn about it from our wonderful guides – Melody, Brenton and Annie, to enjoy it all in the comfort provided by the huts and great food and finally to be with an amazing group of like-minded people. Not only that we had perfect weather. It was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do another walk and will definitely do Cradle Mountain again.
The 6 night overland walk from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair is something you just have to do. Its certainly tough and sometimes very hard. The weather just does its own thing. Its like stepping onto a ship and not knowing where its really going to take you. I am older, so I had no idea how my body would manage it. I am smiling now: and will always smile when I think about my walk. Great guides, lovely company, great food, hot showers, a blissful drying room – and no mobiles, no TV just you, nature and others… So good… And, I can’t wait to do it again!!
We just spent six wonderful days doing this iconic walk and cannot fault it.
Our enthusiastic young guides, Lucy and Macca, were such great ambassadors working tirelessly all day to motivate, educate and spoil us and our 8 new friends. We only had one day with a little rain with Tasmania turning on lovely sunshine for much of the time allowing us to summit Mt Oakleigh and Mt Ossa to admire the views. The huts were perfectly set up (and warm on the chilly nights), and the food and wine always beautifully presented. Star gazing on the helipad at KiaOra was another highlight. Thanks guys!!
What an amazing adventure Cradle Mountain Huts walk was!
We were very fortunate to have great weather and great travelling companions. The scenery was spectacular, with different experiences very day …. lakes, mountains, waterfalls and serene forests. The comfortable huts were a welcome sight at the end of each day, a chance to relax and reflect on another great day in the Tasmanian wilderness. The knowledge and passion of our guides Tom and Alex really added to our experience and their cooking skills were fantastic. A feeling of mixed emotions when we reached Lake St Clair, and although very glad to take our boots off a bit sad that it was over. Looking forward to some more trekking! We can thoroughly recommend Cradle Mountain Huts Walk.
A memorable experience shared with my daughter, Cara and best friend Lynda Heard.
I enjoyed the company of the other walkers in our group and our experienced and knowledgeable guides Andy and Brenton. The huts were very comfortable and warm. The food tasty and plentiful prepared by our lovely guides. Of course the Cradle Mountain walk was Magnificent
We walked the Overland Track in March 2017 – as a tribe of 6 adults (3 couples) we were joined by our 2 fabulous Tas Walking Co guides Mat and Dayna and two other couples. It turned out to be a great combination (early indicator all 10 of us went swimming at the first lake on way to Marion’s lookout so no surprise that all 10 jumped into Lake St Claire and the end of our journey) We really couldn’t have wanted for better company or guidance. I highly recommend this walk to those looking to challenge themselves and be off the grid for a week. Guides 11/10, Walk 10/10, Trek Accom 9/10, Food 8/10 but fantastic given remoteness of trek – overall great experience.