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Short on time but want a taste of the Overland Track? Discover the rare beauty and diversity of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park across four wilderness-packed days.
This fully guided walk starts at Waldheim in Cradle Valley, venturing south along the Overland Track then west along Innes Track to Arm River near Lake Rowallan. Along the way, we’ll stay in three character-filled huts along the Overland Track before slipping back out through the Mersey Valley for collection by Arm River.
Perfect for the eager-Overlander who can’t find 6+ days.
Prices from $2,995 pp
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 and pause for a hearty lunch. Reaching Marion’s Lookout (1,250m) after negotiating steps leading through steeper sections offers a satisfying reward. Providing weather conditions allow, we enjoy 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.
Approximately 6 hours walking
Today, we’ll be walking across plains where glaciers once rested, slowly moving and scouring out shallow tarns. The track provides an undulating trek with a few sections of exposed moorland and multiple hill climbs and descents.
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 an 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. Further along the track, Lake Windemere offers an opportunity for an invigorating swim.
This evening, at Pine Forest Moor Hut, enjoy our outdoor dining setting with views out to Mt. Oakleigh in fine weather.
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 Plains Hut.
Approximately 6 hours walking
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 peaks along the Overland Track dominate our view. After lunch, we pass the mirror-still waters of Lake Price before a sharp descent into the Mersey Valley near the Arm River. This is where our shuttle bus is waiting. Our return trip to the walk base at Red Feather Inn takes us through the Mole Creek Karst area and the rural township of Deloraine.