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Trail Writing - an immersion in imagination and the natural world

Jan 24-31, 2023 | Price $5,750pp

Walk and write your way into this wild landscape with nature writer, Inga Simpson, on one of Australia’s most inspiring tracks. 

The rhythm of the trail, and the sensory experience of traversing such powerful landscapes, allows a deep connection with the natural world. It is from this place of profound engagement that we can access our wild imagination. As our inner and outer landscapes align, shaping our words and narrative, we can write more authentically about place - and our personal journey.

This experience includes the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk, a six-day walk along the iconic Overland Track, retreating each evening to the comfort of the only private accommodation along the trail. It is followed by two nights at Quamby Estate and a day-long writing workshop.

  For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company on (03) 6392 2211 or email bookings@taswalkingco.com.au

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Inga Simpson

Inga Simpson is Australia’s foremost contemporary nature writer. Her novels, Mr Wigg, Nest, and Where the Trees Were have all been short and longlisted for various prizes including the Miles Franklin and Stella Prize, while Understory: a life with trees was shortlisted for the Adelaide Writers Week Award for Nonfiction. Her first work for children, The Book of Australian Trees, illustrated by Alicia Rogerson, was published in May 2021. Her literary thriller, The Last Woman in the World, was released in October 2021.

Inga has PhDs in creative writing and English literature, with her most recent thesis exploring the history of Australian nature writing. She has been running nature writing workshops and retreats for the last 14 years. Inga lives on the far south coast of NSW. When not at her desk, she can usually be found out walking, with her camera.

Instagram: @nestofpages

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk (6-days)

Tasmania’s Overland Track is famous the world over and our signature trip is the way to experience it in classic style. Across six days, our most popular Overland experience completes the full journey from World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. The fully guided walk begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley and journeys some 65 kilometres through to Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest natural lake. Our signature trip does not include multiple side trips, but there is the opportunity on Day 4 to summit Mount Ossa.

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Day 1: Waldheim to Barn Bluff Hut

Approximately 7 hours walking

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.

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Day 2: Barn Bluff Hut to Pine Forest Moor Hut

Approximately 6 hours walking

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.

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Day 3: Pine Forest Moor Hut to Pelion Hut

Approximately 5 hours walking

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.

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Day 4: Pelion Hut to Kia Ora Hut

Approximately 4-9 hours walking (Optional 5hr side trip to Mt Ossa)

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 Doris.

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.

One Of The Many Waterfalls En Route

Day 5: Kia Ora Hut to Windy Ridge Hut

Approximately 4 hours walking

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.

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Day 6: Windy Ridge Hut to Lake St Clair

Approximately 3 hours walking

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 Entally Lodge 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.

Itinerary Details

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk with Inga Simpson 

Jan 24-31, 2023 | $5,750.00 (inc GST)

  • 6-day Guided Walk (Twin Share).
  • 1-day Nature Writing workshop.
  • 2-night stay at Quamby Estate - (The first 8 bookings will have a private room. The final two bookings will have a twin share room.)
  • Each trip requires a minimum of 8 guests (Twin Share). The maximum is 10. The minimum number of guests is required six months prior to departure.

Bookings

Special Interest Walks - Terms and Conditions 

Please note: these are different to our standard booking terms and conditions. To make this event happen, we have arranged exclusive use of Quamby Estate for our final workshops.

  • All prices are quoted per person in $AUD including GST.
  • Full payment and the Guest Information Form are due within five days of booking.
  • The minimum numbers are required six months before departure. 
  • Cancellations
    • More than six months from the scheduled departure date, a fee of $500 per person will be charged with the balance payment refunded.
    • Within six months of departure, no refund is available. Bookings are transferable.
    • Cancellations due to Covid 19 restrictions within six months of departure will incur full forfeit of the walk fee. Bookings are transferable.
  • Travel and pre- and post-trip accommodation expenses are not included.
  • This walk cannot be booked in conjunction with any other offers and discounts.
  • Single supplements are available by request. The Single Supplement price is $10,695.

 

 

Inclusions

  • Return transfers between Launceston and the walk base.
  • Accommodation each evening in one of our five private huts - twin share.
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages, plus a limited selection of Tasmanian wines.
  • National Park and Overland Track passes.
  • Boat transfer across Lake St Clair (on Day 6 of the six-day walk only).
  • Use of a backpack and Gore-tex jacket for the duration of the walk.
  • Sleeping bags, pillows and a comfortable mattress at each hut.
  • Sleeping sheet and pillowcase to carry with you.
  • Two qualified guides for the duration of the walk.
  • Two-night stay at Quamby Estate (Includes two-course dinner and breakfast. Wine is not included.)
  • One-day Nature Writing workshop at Quamby Estate (Includes lunch. Wine is not included.)
  • Pre-walk accommodation and transfers from Quamby Estate to the airport are not included.

Additional information

  • Have a burning question?  Check out our  FAQ page, and if you need further help please don't hesitate to contact our friendly reservations team.
  • Ready to start planning your next adventure and want to know what to bring. Check out our detailed gear list, including details on what's provided. If you are unsure about anything on the gear list please call us or talk to your local outdoor adventure store.

Enquire

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We're here to help 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, otherwise, email us anytime and we'll be in touch.