Overland Track Tips
No water at Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre
Surprising, but there is no water at the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre. Well, there is water but with signs warning it is not safe, so do make sure you top up your water before. There are toilets and a café.
Book early and consider in and out of Hobart as often cheaper and more flights. Launceston is closer to the start but further from the finish. Our location at Hawthorn Lodge allows us to drop you around 10.15am which is faster than any of the buses from Launceston. Consider secondary airports like Avalon as they have cheaper flights. Mid-week can often be cheaper. Check out different airlines for each direction, that can often save money.
There are buses operated by Tassielink that run to a timetable. For an individual, the bus is good value, for others, transfer companies are generally cheaper. Do check the timetable very carefully as for example if you start and finish in Hobart you have to overnight in Launceston. For the pickup at Lake St Clair the bus does not operate each day. The pickup is at 11.45am and on Friday at 7.30pm (not always at Lake St Clair, but at Derwent Bridge 5 km away).
The limited bus service does mean careful planning particularly for the finish and means you must catch the first ferry that departs at 9.45am and arrives at 10.30. If there is not the minimum of 6 you will have to pay extra. Some walkers have told us they paid $120 each as just two of them!
The transfer companies have the huge advantage of being more flexible in case you finish quicker than you plan. This we find happens often, particularly if the weather is poor. We often get called from Narcissus where there is Telstra reception asking for us to come early and we do!
Many who have looked into all the options and costed it all have told us that our Overland Track Made Easy works out cheaper. If you add in accommodation before and after, airport transfer, meals and bag storage, packaging as one makes sense and all much easier. We also aim to be at the start well ahead of the Launceston bus so gives you plenty of time to climb Cradle Mountain and be one of the first to arrive at Waterfall Valley Hut which is a small hut and will not take all those booked on the track if fully booked.
Accommodation before and after
Don’t leave booking too late. In the peak season Tasmania does not have enough rooms and prices can be very expensive indeed. Our easy package includes accommodation before and after. There is very limited accommodation at Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair.
Journey times in a car
When looking at the map be very aware that it is not distance that determines time in Tasmania. Some roads are very slow and winding. On our transfer, we use in places gravel back roads that save much time and known to locals.
The closest supermarket to Cradle Mountain is in Deloraine and for Lake St Clair in New Norfolk.
Book the Lake St Clair Ferry
Book the ferry early. The peak ferry is the 1pm ferry. A commercial group has a fixed booking for 13 so limits space for others. Ensure that the ferry you book will not be charging a premium. An annoying thing is the Lake St Clair ferry operates on a minimum number and if not reached the passengers have to pay extra. If you do not want to use the ferry the walk out is 17km along the lake.
If walking out there is a hut half way along Lake St Clair at Echo Point. This option is a good one. Echo Point is a very small hut and takes just eight.
The Overland Track Book
The Overland Tack book written by John & Monica Chapman is a good buy and has a lot of detail and useful maps.
All rubbish must be carried out