Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Overland Track

By Jen.
After visiting Lake St Clair National Park, I was inspired to go on the Overland Track. It had been on Jonathan’s list for a while, but he hadn’t been keen on spending the money required for the hike. With the distances we had recently walked, I figured I would be able to do it, even if I was in a bit of pain, so after some preparations, we booked the March 8th start date. Transportation to or from our vehicle was proving difficult to figure out, though. Apparently most people fly in and thus need transportation to/from Hobart or Launceston or Devonport, etc. The only shuttle or bus that got back to us quoted us $400 (as much as the cost of the hike). We could take the TassieLink public bus route, but it required us to overnight at Queenstown or Hobart, and would still cost as much as $130-$170 per person, not including the overnight accommodations. So, we looked at renting a car. This would be much cheaper for us, at $170 for 8 days, not including fuel or insurance. We planned on that until our friends that we met down here doing similar travels as us offered to give us a ride back to our vehicle and we could do the same for them. So, we took them up on the offer.
We went to Cradle Mountain the day before so we could get our passes and maps, etc. While we were waiting for 3pm (the earliest we could pick up our passes), we decided to do a few walks while we were there. We started at the Overland Track start point, then took the Lake Lilla Track to the Wombat Pool track, turning back at the rest area to head to the Dove Lake car park. It gave us a good warm up and a good idea of what to expect the next day. We gathered the information, found a nearby camping spot, and got a good night’s rest.
Someone had consistently removed the “l” from all the Wombat-Pool signs.
After finishing our final packing preparations, we were off to ride the shuttle to the start of the track. We didn’t get to the start point until 11 am, but we figured it was going to be alright, since they said the first day only took 4-6 hours to complete. The first day was a busy day, with many day hikers on the trails as well. But, once we got past Cradle Mountain, the tourists dwindled and the views got better.
Not sure what all to tell you about the Overland Track. It was gorgeous, like most of Tasmania, so most of the rest of the post will consist of pictures. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Did I enjoy every minute of it? Absolutely not. Backpacking is an interesting pastime. It is like your full-time job (most days we left camp at 9:30am and arrived at the next hut at 4pm) is walking. With a heavy pack (we estimated 30 lbs or 14 kg). It is all you do all day long. Your payment is beautiful views. The result is often blisters and sore muscles, though. Obviously I like it, and keep doing it, but it is definitely not a walk in the clouds. It might be considered a bed of roses. Beautiful, but soft any poky and scratchy all at the same time.  As another positive, no leeches or ticks! And, on the last day, we actually beat the estimated time by 30 minutes! It said 3-4 hours, and we did it in 2.5 hours! But, to be fair, we were really hoofing it. We wanted to be there for the first ferry ride of the day and we walked as fast as we could. Plus, our bags were much lighter by the end, having consumed most of our food. I considered ourselves officially initiated as bushwalkers. Not only did we complete the entire hike, we also did many of the optional side trips, including Lake Will, Mt Pelion East, and Fergusson Falls. Totalling 68.9 kms (42.8 miles) in 6 days.
Mile Zero.
This currawong was eyeing my lunch.
Dusk at Lake Windermere.
A mouse ate 3 of our granola bars while we climbed Mt Pelion East! Notice its scat and the hole it crawled out from on the ground.
Fergusson Falls.
DSCN1596We made it!

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