OVERLAND TRACK, TAS
WE COULD BE ACCUSED of taking the easy way out by choosing Tassie’s famous Overland Track as one of our top eight treks. After all, the Apple Isle is jam-packed with awesome multiday walking options – all of which could easily be included in this list. So what separates the Overland from its neighbours? There are tougher challenges (think: Western Arthurs Traverse; South Coast Track) and there are more remote ones (Mt Anne Circuit, anyone?) but simply put, it is the variety of ways you can travel the Overland that see it make this list. Whether you opt for the popular summer season, less-crowded shoulder season, winter (yes, bring your snow shoes), guided, independent, camping in tents or enjoying the hut-to-hut experience, the Overland
can cater for any walker’s preferences, and deliver a grand adventure in this still-wild island state.
The one-way Overland starts at beautiful Cradle Mountain and traverses the sub-alpine landscape of the Tassie high country, taking in glacier-wrought valleys, rainforests, buttongrass-clad moorlands and lunar-esque high meadows. If you are averse to crowds, we recommend either going in the shoulder season (autumn or spring) or, if you’re keen and want a unique Overland trek, go in winter. Summer means lots of people (although numbers are now controlled thanks to a permit system) crammed into campsites and huts, whereas the quieter times of year allow for a more relaxed, contemplative time in this World Heritage-listed region. The huts on the Overland are reminiscent of those on the NZ Great Walks across the ditch, so are great for shelter from the oft-volatile Tassie weather.
As well as the main track, there are plenty of sidetracks to explore, leading to some amazing viewpoints, so if you have extra days on hand, make sure you factor these extra excursions into your planning (and your hut bookings). Some of the highlights along the track are side-trips to the top of Mt Ossa and Cradle Mountain. We can joke about spotting the Tassie Tiger during your hike, but you can definitely see a lot of wildlife on this walk; wombats, snakes and a ton of birdlife will – sort of – make up for the undoubted no-show of the Apple Isle’s most famous former resident. Add to this the mix of easy through to slightly challenging walking, and you’ll be delaying your return to “the mainland”.