- Hike Tasmania's famous Overland Track from Cradle Valley to Lake St. Clair
- See moss-coated rainforests, pristine alpine lakes, and picturesque waterfalls
- Stay at a series of welcoming private huts with hot showers and delicious food
Tasmania's Overland Track is a world-renowned destination for hikers, and for good reason. This 40-mile hike from the Cradle Valley to Lake St. Clair takes hikers through numerous, spectacular landscapes and boasts natural beauty that's among the best in the world. REI and Cradle Mountain Huts have teamed up to provide you an extraordinary trekking adventure here, stopping at a series of private huts offering comfortable accommodations, hot showers, delicious meals, and Tasmanian wine to cap off each day of hiking.
Along the way, we discover the rare beauty and diversity of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. We hike past rainforests covered in emerald green moss, pristine mountain lakes, and picturesque waterfalls before reaching the shores of Lake St. Clair. We have plenty of time to rest at scenic lunch spots, explore abandoned copper mines, and take a quick dip in a swimming hole. This spectacular journey is sure to revive your senses!
- Day 1 - Set off for the Overland Track -a classic trek.
- Day 2 - Explore the rugged beauty of Tasmania and surrounding peaks.
- Day 3 - Our scenery changes daily, a true feast for the eyes.
- Day 4 - For the energetic, climb Mt. Ossa, Tasmania's highest mountain.
- Day 5 - Hike through oldest forest home to 2,000 year old pine trees.
- Day 6 - Finish this world-class trek at Lake St Clair, Australia's deepest lake.
Trip Itinerary and Details
Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.
Day 1 - Set off for the Overland Track -a classic trek.
This trip starts just outside Launceston, Tasmania at the lovely Quamby Estate. Guests can choose to meet at either the Estate or take the provided shuttle from Launceston. After a gear check and introductions we journey to Waldheim in Cradle Valley. We then set off on our trek by 11:00a.m. By lunchtime we have walked through our first section of ancient temperate rainforest, have witnessed the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake and the steepest section of the whole Overland Track is behind us. The steep section is mostly stepped and takes us about an hour. It gets us onto Marion's Lookout which (hopefully) offers famous and spectacular views of Cradle Mountain with Dove Lake at its base—worth every step.
If the weather is fine we stop for lunch by the peaceful Plateau Creek. We continue for about another 4 hours around the base of Cradle Mountain, out along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque, then dropping into Waterfall Valley which we cross before arriving at our hut at the base of the towering Barn Bluff. Several hours of this day's walk is over an exposed alpine plateau which allows great views on a clear day, but in rough weather the wind howls over the land making for exciting and sometimes challenging walking conditions. Some of the track is uneven underfoot, but we take our time to walk carefully and make sure we still look at the wonderful scenery all around. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 12km/ 7.5 miles, 7 hrs.
Day 2 - Explore the rugged beauty of Tasmania and surrounding peaks.
The walking today is undulating with a few sections of exposed moorland. There are no large hills and the once notoriously muddy Pine Forest Moor is now a duckboard path over the mud!! We do offer an optional side trip to Lake Will. We travel across plains where once glaciers sat and slowly moved, scouring out shallow tarns. Now we see plains of button grass with ancient Pencil Pines sitting with their roots in the water. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us to the north, and the stately Mount Pelion West directly ahead. Take advantage of the viewing opportunities at several lookout points and complete the day through an enchanting Tasmania rainforest. All meals included.
Hiking: 12km/ 7.5 miles, 6 hrs.
Day 3 - Our scenery changes daily, a true feast for the eyes.
Today we begin with a long, slow descent around the base of Mount Pelion West down to the Forth River before it plunges into the Lemonthyme Valley. After a break at Frog Flats by the Forth River, we have a long, gentle ascent out of the valley onto the beautiful Pelion Plains with outstanding views of Mount Oakleigh. There are many side trips in the Pelion Plains area with mountains all around: some excellent swimming holes, abandoned copper mines and peaceful and humbling spots to simply rest quietly. All meals included.
Hiking: 10km/ 6.2 miles, 5 hrs.
Day 4 - For the energetic, climb Mt. Ossa, Tasmania's highest mountain.
Begin today with a climb to Pelion Gap where there are great views both back from the north and forward to the south. Today we allow extra time for the side trips from Pelion Gap. It's a further few hours of gentle downhill from the gap to the hut, so a very relaxing day with the option to make it more challenging. All meals included.
Hiking: 7km/ 4.3 miles, 3.5 hrs.
Day 5 - Hike through oldest forest home to 2,000 year old pine trees.
This is a day of waterfalls and majestic forests. We depart Kia Ora hut and walk about an hour to Du Cane where a hut remains from the long-gone days of animal trapping. A fine spot to rest in the native gardens planted by trapper Paddy Hartnet's wife during her long stints in the bush with her husband.
From there, we wander through some of the oldest forest in the National Park with King Billy Pines as old as 2000 years. Here we are above the Mersey River, which descends deeply northward towards Bass Strait. There are three major sets of waterfalls and we opt to visit one or more of these. We will probably take lunch down to enjoy beside one of the falls. During the afternoon, the group makes its way over Du Cane gap then descends beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut. All meals included.
Hiking: 9km/ 5.6 miles, 4 hrs.
Day 6 - Finish this world-class trek at Lake St Clair, Australia's deepest lake.
Lake St Clair is Australia's deepest natural lake, and as with most of Cradle Mountain's lakes, has been shaped by glaciers. The walk is mainly through cool, temperate eucalyptus forest, and birdsong is all around. We arrive at Narcissus at the northern end of Lake St Clair in time for lunch before boarding the Idaclair cruise boat for the spectacular 17km cruise back to Cynthia Bay. There is a visitor center at Cynthia Bay, and we usually have about half an hour to look around. The return trip to Quamby Estate is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers to the broad plains of the Northern Midlands, and passing through the rural townships of Cressy and Longford. Guest will arrive back to Quamby Estates at approximately 5:00p.m. There will be a shuttle bus departing at 6:00p.m.which goes via the airport at approximately 6:30p.m., arriving back at Pepper's Seaport Hotel in Launceston at 6:45p.m. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 9km/ 5.6 miles, 3 hrs.
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions.
Combine this walk with a Bay of Fires Walk for a complete Tasmania experience!
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
All accommodations; transfers from/to Launceston to Quamby Estate; all meals as noted on itinerary plus non-alcoholic beverages with a limited selection of Tasmanian wine; National Park and Overland Track passes; boat transfer across Lake St. Clair (day 6); use of backpack and Gore-Tex® jacket for duration of walk; sleeping bags and pillows; sleeping sheet and pillowcase; professional guides.
Air transportation to Launceston; transfers from/to airport; departure taxes; guide gratuities; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature such as beer or liquor, cost of obtaining a passport, immunizations and insurance.
REI Adventures standard payment and cancellation policies do not apply to the Overland Track Hut to Hut Hiking trip. A special cancellation policy applies which is stricter than the REI policy. A deposit of $500 per person is required for confirmation. Full payment for the Cradle Mountains trip is due at 90 days before departure. For any cancellations outside of 90 days, $250 of the deposit is non-refundable. Within 90 days, REI Adventures' standard policy applies.
This trip is rated Moderate . Some prior hiking experience is beneficial and all participants should plan on engaging in a regular exercise regimen beginning at least 2-3 months prior to departure. As some of the hikes include steep ascents and descents, stair climbing is an excellent way to prepare for this adventure in addition to walking, hiking and/or running. A typical day hike will average 4-8 miles in length with varied terrain. Each day will allow plenty of time to sit and rest as well as for exploring. All guests will be carrying a pack containing personal items (clothes, toiletries and sleeping sheet/pillowcase). Backpack should not weigh more than 20 lbs. as long as only the suggested gear is packed. The minimum age to participate on this trip is 12 years.
Tasmania's weather has four distinct seasons. Spring spans September, October and November, and brings oceans of wildflowers. Average daily temperatures are 45 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest months are December, January, February and March. The average summer temperatures are usually between 60 - 75 degrees F. Tasmania's location below the 40th parallel means the summer evenings display a lingering twilight.
Trip accommodations are based on double occupancy. If you are willing to share we will pair up single travelers and no single supplement will be due. To guarantee a single room for the duration of the walk a supplementary charge of 75% of trip cost will apply. There is very limited availability, and single accommodations are provided on a first come, first serve basis.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Tasmania: Overland Track Hut to Hut Hiking Gear List
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.
- 50 liter pack
- Gore-Tex® jacket
- Sleeping sheet and pillowcase
- Sleeping pad and pillow
- Valid passport
- Airline itinerary and confirmation
- Tourist visa (ETA)
- Duffel bag (wheels and retractable handle are fine), sturdy and large enough to hold clothing and gear
- Passport security pouch or belt
- Luggage tags and luggage lock
- Lightweight, easily washable items for travel or sight-seeing
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Long-sleeve shirts
- Hiking shorts
- Hiking pants
- Warm pants and tops for huts
- Thermal underwear top/bottom
- Hiking socks
- Sock liners
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Lightweight sweater
- Lightweight wool hat
- Tall gaiters
- Rain pants
- Gloves or mittens
- Sun hat
- Hiking boots with ankle support, water repellent, broken-in - required
- Lightweight footwear (sport sandals or flip-flops) for hut wear
- Trekking poles
- One-quart water bottle
- Towel - light and quick to dry
- Headlamp or small flashlight
- Sunglasses and retainer strap
- Sunblock and lip balm w/high SPF
- Personal first-aid kit, small
- Toiletry kit
- Ziploc bags to separate wet items from dry
- Camera, memory cards, spare batteries
- Reading and writing materials
- Insect repellent
- Watch with alarm or travel alarm
- Small mirror (especially if you wear contacts)
- Light weight foldable day pack (should pack down to pocket size)
Things to Consider
- Remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, medications, and a change of clothing (including hiking boots) in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
- Lace-up walking boots must have ankle support and treaded soles. We cannot over-emphasize the importance of appropriate footwear. Unfortunately you will be unable to commence the trek without the appropriate footwear.
- Australia is very strict about checking for high risk biosecurity items so it’s a good idea to scrub your hiking boots clean and pack them at the top of your luggage. You may be asked to declare them and it’s highly likely that they will be inspected.
- Hiking in denim jeans is not recommended.
- Cotton is wonderful in hot weather or in the evenings. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool, or polyester fabrics such as Capilene® or MTS®, which will insulate even if they get wet.
- Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
- If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens wearers should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.
- Any luggage not required on the trek can be stored at the local office and will be waiting for you upon your return from the hike.
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.