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Overland Track 75th anniversary


The Overland Track is celebrating its 75th anniversary and the completion of the first season of a new booking system.

Tourism, Arts and the Environment Minister Paula Wriedt said the 75th anniversary of the track highlights its place among the great walking tracks of the world and as one of Tasmania's signature experiences.

"In 1931 four men set out from Cradle Mountain to mark a track through the remote and scenic mountains of central Tasmania. It's unlikely they could have envisaged that this route would become an icon among the world's bushwalking fraternity," Ms Wriedt said.

"We are also celebrating the completion of the first summer of a new management system which will guarantee a sustainable future for the track.

"This system includes a booking system, fee and requirement to walk the track from north to south during the peak months of November to April."

Ms Wriedt said that during the first six month season, there were a total of 4,569 independent walkers booked as well as 63 commercial and community groups. There were 59 days that were completely booked out. In addition, there wasn't a single day when no walkers departed.

"The booking system, which manages daily departures of walkers during the peak season, has received an overwhelmingly favourable response from both walkers and staff," she said.

"The most significant difference now is that there is much less pressure on facilities at the overnight stops and in particular, overcrowding on peak days doesn't occur.

"The Parks and Wildlife Service staff have also noted that fewer people appear to be ill-prepared. This means that walkers have a better experience, but importantly there are fewer incidents that require additional staff support."

The Overland Track is Australia's most popular long-distance walk, with about 8,000 to 9,000 people making the trek each year. It is a six-day walk travelling 65 kilometres through the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.