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Days 49 to 54: The Overland Track

The sunset on the last night from Bert Nichols Hut

As Australia’s premiere and most well-known multi-day walking track, I had been anticipating the Overland Track since I had decided to incorporate it into the walk during the planning phase earlier this year. It would also be the second and final time I would be walking with a backpack, carrying all my gear sleeping in the backcountry, away from roads and traffic. Luckily, I would also be joined by my good friend Lauren, who would be someone with whom I could share the joys of the journey. Needless to say, I was excited!

Lauren joined me the day before starting out and we spent the afternoon reorganising our gear, double-checking lists and going for a walk to Dove Lake below Cradle Mountain. The next morning we got ourselves ready and I dropped my cart with Rachel at the Discovery Parks front desk, whom had been incredibly kind and helpful during my stay there. Thank you for looking after it Rachel!

We set off on the morning of November 30 and had fine weather for the majority of the 11 km day. A few hours in we had lunch and afterwards dropped our packs to make the summit of Cradle Mountain, not the tallest mountain in Tasmania, but certainly the most iconic. The summit scramble was a bunch of fun and left us very excited for other side-trips along the journey. However, we knew to expect some weather and it arrived that evening - 25 mm of rain had been expected for the next day and the first of that weather started as we were setting up camp. Perfect timing!

IT RAINED. My goodness, I’ve never slept in a tent under so much rain. Amazingly, the two-person tent Lauren had brought had a thick tarpaulin bottom, so we were much luckier than other campers whose tents were flooded during the night and opted to stay in the huts for the rest of the journey. It seemed like we did not get a drop in our tent! But that did not stop us from getting saturated whilst walking that day. It was only a short day at 8 km, so we decided to go on a side trip to Lake Will despite the pounding rain and ferocious wind. I was soon wet top to bottom, and there was not much we could do at the lake so we continued on. We arrived at the campsite in the afternoon and attempted to dry a few of our things in the hut but again camped out in the rain.

The next few days were interchangeably wet or clear, which gave us a diversity of conditions and made the trip more memorable. This included snow on the day we came up through Pelion Pass, and meant that unfortunately we were not able to scale Mount Ossa, Tasmania’s tallest mountain and what I had most been looking forward to! I was not too disappointed, as the scenery and environments we experienced over the next few days were just incredible. Lauren and I had not expected such dramatic rock formations, nor the quiet beauty of the rainforests, which we endeavoured to absorb as much as possible.

It was also lovely being able to share the experience with other walkers from myriad backgrounds, who all seemingly approached the walk with different mindsets and received various experiences too. It really is a track that can be completed in many different ways, and I look forward to coming back to see and experience other places within the park that I am now eager to explore!

I can’t thank Lauren enough for coming along and adding such enrichment to the journey. We were really able to share and appreciate amazing moments together along the way, and there really isn’t anything that compares to that experience, particularly when you spend most of the time by yourself, wishing there were people around with whom to share your joy!

I hope you enjoy some of the photos from the trail.

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