OVER­LAND TRACK, TAS

Australian Geographic Outdoor - - World’s Greatest Walks -

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”.

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