The 73 km walk takes six to seven days along a track which is well maintained and clearly marked. Some sections are quite steep.
JOHN AND MONICA CHAPMAN have written a guidebook ‘The Overland track’, which is a useful illustrated book, with images, detailed maps and route directions.
THE OVERLAND TRACK ROUTE is 73 km long and for those contemplating this trail for their walking holiday in Tasmania, a certain amount of planning is required. The path is well marked, but we recommend to take a map and compass. The Tasmanian weather is unpredictable and snow on the Track has been reported in summer.
In 1910 Gustav & Kate Weindorfer pushed for recognition of the area. In 1931 Bert Nichols blazed the Track and by 1935 it was in use by early European walkers. Aside from the main track there are also several alternative side tracks, including to the summits of Cradle Mountain and Mount Ossa, the tallest mountain in Tasmania. Also within reach are a group of tarns called The Labyrinth and Lake St Clair (the deepest lake in Australia). World-renowned for its pristine environment and beauty, the walk has been compared to New Zealand's Milford Track.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE WALK: Overland Track Route: Starting from historic Waldheim Lodge, the 73 km trail passes through spectacular dolerite mountains, near beautiful waterfalls, through a variety of fascinating ecosystems and close to Tasmania's highest mountain (Mt. Ossa), before finishing at Australia's deepest lake, Lake St Clair. The scenery and the physical challenges of this walk make this one of the great wilderness bushwalks.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS: Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake & Marion’s Lookout, Barn Bluff, Unique alpine vegetation, alpine plateaus, Lake Windermere, ancient myrtle rainforest, views of Mt Ossa, Pelion West and Mount Oakleigh, Forth Valley lookout, Pelion Gap, Climbing Mt Ossa, historic Du Cane Hut, Lake St Clair.
WALKING ROUTE PLANNER: The number of days required depends on how fit and how quickly or leisurely you want your walking holiday to be. Work out the average number of kilometres you are prepared to do in a day, taking into account the landscape and the hut in which you will end your day. We did the walk in 7 days. The weather may slow you down, especially if it snows.
LUGGAGE TRANSFER: This service is available for guided walkers and can be organized through a number of tour operators on the ‘guided’ itineraries. Independent walkers need to carry their own gear.
YOUR OVERLAND TRACK ACCOMMODATION:For escorted walkers this is in comfortably appointed private huts. For independent walkers, you get to stay in more spartan huts which should be booked in advance. There is the option for camping as well. Bring your own tents.
FOOD: Escorted walkers are taken care of. Independents must bring their own supplies.
WHEN TO GO: December to March is the most popular time. Route direction North to South only.
WALKING GEAR: Good walking boots and socks are critical. Your shoes should have been broken in. Also important is what rain gear to take. Make sure it’s made from a breathable material.
The following is an outline of the 7-day walk itinerary that we chose. We decided to walk the track as independent walkers. You can also go on guided groups.