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The Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia

The Overland Track in Tasmania is one of Australia's most renowned treks, and definitely the highlight of any Tasmania adventure. The track takes as few as 6 days, or 8 days at a leisurely pace. The distance is around 80 km. It is possible to do this trip independently, if you are in great shape and well-prepared with equipment, etc. On the other hand, you may opt to go with a guided groups to save on logistical hassles.

The Overland Track

The summer season is the most busy, with up to 9,000 walkers annually on the Overland Track. From 1 Nov to 30 Apr, only 34 walkers per day are permitted to enter the Overland Track, walking from north to south. The trail operates during this period on a booked permit system. Outside of this period, the trail may be walked in either direction. A side trip to Mt Ossa, at 1617m Tasmania's highest peak, is highly recommended.

Along the trek, you may find huts with bunks and coal/gas heaters, but since these huts may well be full, it's best to come prepared with your own tent. Scenery along the Overland Track include moors, scree, gorges, and forests.

Apart from the Overland Track, the surrounding park, Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, offers other outstanding bushwalking opportunities. The park area is around 1262 sq-km, and encompasses mountain peaks, river gorges, lakes, tarns, and moorlands. Lake St Clair, with a maximum depth of 200m, is Australia's deepest lake.

Crade Mountain Visitor Centre is a convenient location to visit before setting out on your tour. The centre has no ATM. You may pick up your parks pass here, as well as maps, the latest weather conditions, and general hiking advice. The centre only stocks bottled water. You may also wish to visit the Rangers Station Interpretation Centre, as well as the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre, on Cynthia Bay, or Lake St Clair Lodge, to book lodging, rooms, ferries, and cruises.

Some of the walks around Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre include Rainforest Walk boardwalk (10min round trip), Pencil Pine Falls (accessible by some wheelchairs), Enchanted Nature Walk (25min), Cradle Valley Walk (8.5km), Crater Lake (2hr), Dove Lake (2.5hr).

On Cynthia Bay, it's worthwhile to try the Larmairremener tabelti Aboriginal Interpretive Walk (1hr) to learn more about the Larmairremener tribe that occupied this land. Other recommended walks around this region include Platypus Bay Circuit (30min), Shadow Lake (4.5hr), Mt Rufus (7hr), and Narcissus Hut (6hr).

Accommodation possibilities in and on the way to Cradle Valley include:
Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cottages, Cradle Mountain Rd
Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain Rd
Waldheim Chalet & Cabins, Cradle Mountain Rd
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village, Cradle Mountain Rd
Cradle Mountain Chateau, Cradle Mountain Rd
Discovery Holiday Parks Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain Rd
Lemonthyme Lodge, Dolcoath Rd, Moina
Cradle Chalet, Cradle Mountain Rd, Moina
At Cynthia Bay, you can stay at Lake St Clair Lodge, or camp at Fergy's Paddock.

Around Derwent Bridge and Bronte Park, you may sleep at:
Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel, Derwent Bridge
Derwent Bridge Chalets and Studios, Lyell Hwy, Derwent Bridge
Bronte Park Holiday Village, Marlborough Hwy, Bronte Park

To reach the Overland Track and Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair, try Tassielink buses, connecting Cradle Mountain Transit Centre and Launceston, or Sainty's Coaches.

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