(Photo courtesy of Joe Shemesh)
WARNING: The Overland Track is a serious undertaking, requiring well-prepared walkers with a good level of fitness, who understand the risks of walking in a remote alpine area. The weather can change rapidly and frequently, within just a few hours, from burning sun to sleet and snow. Deaths have occurred (even in the middle of summer) when people have been caught unprepared in cold, wet and windy weather. Children, older people, and those with an illness, injury or disability are at greater risk in such conditions. Children aged 17 and under must be accompanied by an experienced adult who understands Tasmanian walking and weather conditions. Before booking your walk, carefully read the information on this website to ensure you are sufficiently physically and psychologically prepared, and have appropriate equipment, to undertake one of the world’s most popular wilderness treks.
The Overland Track is Australia’s premier alpine walk. It’s a 65 km, six-day trek through the heart of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, part of the magnificent Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The stunning scenery and the physical challenge of the Overland Track have assured it a national and international reputation as one of the great wilderness bushwalks.
During the popular walking months, from 1st October to 31st May (inclusive) you must book your walk, pay a fee, and walk from north (Cradle Mountain) to south (Lake St Clair). During winter and early spring, from 1st June to 30th September, you do not need to book or pay, and can walk in either direction.
The walk starts at Ronny Creek in Cradle Valley, beside the renowned Cradle Mountain. Over the next six days, walkers journey through a landscape of spectacular glacially-carved valleys, ancient rainforests, fragrant eucalypt forest, golden buttongrass moorlands and beautiful alpine meadows. Extra bonuses include a variety of side-trips to breathtaking waterfalls and mountain summits, including Mt Ossa (1617 m) – Tasmania’s highest peak. To top it off, the walk concludes at Australia’s deepest lake – Lake St Clair. Most walkers finish their walk at Narcissus Hut at the head of Lake St Clair. Here they board a small privately run ferry which takes them to the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre at Cynthia Bay. Some walkers, however, choose to walk the length of the lake through the rainforest, which extends the walk a further 17.5 km and requires another day. While six days is the average time taken to walk the track, you can create your own pace, depending on how many rest days or side-trips you wish to enjoy.
To see if the Overland Track is for you, watch our video and/or listen to our audio podcast. To find out more, see Planning your walk, Undertaking the journey and Frequently Asked Questions.