Bushwalking in Tasmania

April 1997

Picture of Cradle Mountain

In April this year, Judith and I spent two weeks in Tasmania. The first week was spent as normal tourists,
using a rented car, and staying in motels and B&B places.
The second week we walked the Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Cynthia Bay on Lake St. Clair.

This is a record of some of the sights we saw.


DAY ONE

Image of Judith on track Our first view of Cradle Mountain was similar to the picture at the top of this page. The weather was alternating snow showers and sunshine, and we caught glimpses of snow on the peaks of the mountains around. We signed into the walkers' log, and began the climb. Judith still looks fresh halfway up!!

This is where we spent our first night out in the wilderness.
The Scott Kilvert Memorial Hut.

Picture of Scott Kilvert Hut


DAY TWO

Track in Waterfall Valley On the second day, we walked across to Waterfall Valley hut in freezing conditions. This is the newest hut in the park, and it has a bottled gas heater. Most of the others have coal burning pot-bellied stoves. Lots of rain - lots of mud - and the tracks have been hardened by boardwalks like this.










Blood Sport With everything wet... Heavy packs... Views to admire... This is one of Judith's little accidents!!!
Knees and elbows suffered on most days. Our fellow travellers and hut occupants got used to the sight of swabs and bandages. And the medical profession in Melbourne are still celebrating their good fortune, and placing orders for new BMWs !!! It's an ill wind ..... as they say!







DAY THREE

Old Pelion Hut Still raining heavily on the third day. Spectacular waterfalls to explore, and that special Tasmanian thigh-deep mud to get through before we arrived cold and wet at the Old Pelion Hut. The oldest hut still in use in the park - it was our refuge from the elements that night. No heater, and some noisy rats in the walls, but at least we could dry out a bit. Rather cosy really after a hard day, and all the other people we had met during the day apparently decided to go on to the new Pelion hut, giving us sole occupancy. By the way, the fireplace and chimney here are not usable.









Mount Oakleigh
In the morning the clouds had disappeared and this view of Mount Oakleigh was just out the door. We prepared to climb the highest mountain in Tasmania (Mount Ossa) in high spirits!











The best weather of the trip let us get spectacular views like this for 360 degrees from the summit of Mount Ossa.

View from the top of Tassie

BIG TIME !!!

After this, we walked on down to Kia Ora hut for the night.


DAY FOUR

DuCane Hut Emergency Shelter On this day we wandered along very pleasant tracks, passing old DuCane Hut, which is used only as an emergency shelter these days. It has been repaired substantially since I was last in the park. Also, we visited several really awesome waterfalls just off the main track. After the recent rain they had LOTS of water. After another of Judith's classy ballet exhibitions, we stumbled into Windy Ridge hut for the evening. The guide from the commercial walking party who carried her pack for the last few kilometers decided we all needed a bottle of Tasmanian red for medicinal purposes!








DAY FIVE

Bridge over Narcissus River Nearing Lake St. Clair now. Gently down hill past the turnoff to Pine Valley (maybe on the next trip?). Over this interesting bridge and into the large Narcissus hut. Some people catch the regular boat down the lake from here, but we decided to walk.















Picture of rainbow at Narcissus Meanwhile we admired nature putting on a colourful show on the track leading to the jetty. Our last night in a hut turned out to be very cold, and in the morning there was a crunchy frost over everything outside. Very beautiful in the early morning sunshine. The last day's walking was to be around the western side of Lake St. Clair.











THE LAST DAY !

Jetty at Echo Point Hut The small hut at Echo Point was our lunch spot. While we were there the ferry arrived bringing walkers who were heading for the summit of Mount Olympus, as well as a group of canoeists paddling the length of the lake. It made for a colourful, interesting place to rest. We arrived at the ranger station in time to sign ourselves "OUT" in the walkers journal, set up a tent in the camp ground, have a beautiful hot shower, and enjoy a "civilised" meal in the restaurant!










And so ends the saga of Bernie and Judith's trip into the great Tasmanian wilderness.
Watch this space for our next adventure in 1998.

EXPLORING NEW ZEALAND

If you would like more information about bushwalking
you might like to contact the Catholic Bushwalking Club of Victoria

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This page created by Bernie O'Shea
Last modified on 6 February 1999