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A new era for the Overland Track


One of the world's great bushwalks, the Overland Track in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, enters a new era this week as the first walkers to have pre-booked their walk head south from Cradle Mountain.

Parks and Heritage Minister Judy Jackson said when the vision for the Overland Track was announced last year, it was aimed at ensuring that this great bushwalk continued to provide a memorable experience for walkers while also protecting the values which attract walkers in the first place.

"The new management arrangements will operate during the peak walking season from 1 November 1 to 30 April. It will manage the number of departures and even out the use of the track throughout the summer walking season," Ms Jackson said.

"The Parks and Wildlife Service has introduced an online booking system, a fee to walk the track and the requirement to walk the track from north to south during the peak walking season.

"Since the online booking system was introduced in June, there has been a fantastic response and we now have more than 700 bookings for nearly 2000 walkers for this coming summer season.

Ms Jackson said the bookings have come in from all over the world as well as from mainland Australia and Tasmania.

"December seems to be the most popular departure time with the peak Christmas holiday period from 26 December to 5 January fully booked," she said.

"There are many spaces available after that peak time, throughout the summer period."

People can book their walk online or from other Parks visitor centres including Freycinet, Lake St Clair, Cradle Mountain and Mt Field.

Information about the Overland Track can be found at the Overland Track website www.overlandtrack.com.au.

This initiative is part of the State Government's commitment to progressing Tasmania Together Goal 21 - Value, protect and conserve our natural and cultural heritage.

A new era for the Overland Track

Alison Bunker and Myles Harmer from Perth Western Australia, were the first of the booked walkers to head off on the Overland Track today.

A new era for the Overland Track

Alison Bunker and Myles Harmer from Perth Western Australia, setting off on the Overland Track from Ronny Creek, with acting park manager at Cradle Mountain, Ted Bugg.