4-day Overland Track walk itinerary
A four-day, fully guided walk starting at Waldheim in Cradle Valley, walking south along the Overland Track, then west along the Innes Track to Arm River, near Lake Rowallan - all located within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and Tasmania's World Heritage Area.
Day One - Waldheim to Barn Bluff Hut (12km; 7 hrs)
Cradle Mountain Huts guests meet at our walkers' base at Quamby Estate at 7:15am for a 7.20am sharp briefing. For our guests staying in Launceston, the shuttle bus pick-up is from The Sebel Launceston. Please be ready in front of The Sebel at 6:40am, for a 6:45am sharp departure. (Information about recommended accommodation options can be found in our FAQs).
After a gear check and introductions, we journey to Waldheim in Cradle Valley. We then set off on the track at approximately 11am. By lunchtime, we have walked through our first section of ancient temperate rainforest and witnessed the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake. The steepest section of the whole Overland Track is now behind us. The steep section is mostly stepped and takes us about an hour. It gets us onto Marion's Lookout which, (hopefully) offers famous and spectacular views of Cradle Mountain with Dove Lake at its base - worth every step.
If the weather is fine we stop for lunch by the peaceful Plateau Creek before continuing for about another 4 hours around the base of Cradle Mountain, out along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque then dropping into Waterfall Valley which we cross before arriving at our hut at the base of the towering Barn Bluff. Several hours of this day’s walk is over exposed alpine plateau which allows great views on a clear day but in rough weather the wind howls over the land making for exciting and sometimes challenging walking conditions.
Day Two - Barn Bluff Hut to Pine Forest Moor Hut (12km; 6 hrs)
The walking today is undulating with a few sections of exposed moorland. There are no large hills and the once notoriously muddy Pine Forest Moor is now a duckboard path over the mud! We also offer an additional side trip to Lake Will. We travel across plains where glaciers once sat and slowly moved, scouring out shallow tarns. Now there are plains of button grass with ancient pencil pines sitting with their roots in the water. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us to the north, and the stately Mt Pelion West directly ahead.
Day Three - Pine Forest Moor Hut to Pelion Plains Hut (10km; 5 hrs)
Today, we begin with a long, slow descent around the base of Mt Pelion West, down to the Forth River before it plunges into the Lemonthyme Valley. After a break at Frog Flats by the Forth River, we have a long, gentle ascent out of the valley onto the beautiful Pelion Plains, with outstanding views of Mt Oakleigh. There are many side trips in the Pelion Plains area, with mountains all around, excellent swimming holes, abandoned copper mines, as well as simply peaceful and humbling spots for taking a quiet rest.
Day Four - Pelion Hut to Arm River Valley (14km; 6 hrs)
Today, we head east, crossing Pelion Plains and following the southern shore of Lake Ayr, mainly wandering through open eucalypt forests and across button grass plains. We then follow a gradual incline along the Innes Track before having lunch near Wurragarra Creek. From this point, Mount Pillinger and the peaks along the Overland Track dominate the view. After lunch, we pass the still waters of Lake Price before the sharp descent into the Arm River valley, where we meet our shuttle bus. The return trip to Quamby Estate takes us through the Mole Creek Karst National Park and the arts-and-crafts town of Deloraine.