Australia | Cradle Mountain | Hike | Adult Only
Wander, from hut to lovely hut, the Eucalypt forests, icy waterfalls, and stunning mountains of wild Tasmania
6 days / 5 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Download PDF Itinerary
Travel along the iconic Overland Track, then retreating each evening to private accommodations on the trail. Over six days, the rare beauty and diversity of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park are yours to discover. Expert guides take the lead across this ancient landscape, converting to chefs come evening. They’ll also take the heavy load, leaving you with a lightweight pack. At the end of each day, retreat to a hot shower, delicious meals, freshly baked bread, a glass of Tasmanian wine, and a comfortable bed. We’ll take you all the way to Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest freshwater lake. In the evenings, you’re welcomed to a comfortable private hut, complete with a hot shower, delicious meals, freshly baked bread, Tasmanian wine, and a comfortable bed. Refueled and well-rested, you’ll rise again each morning, thrilled at the prospects for whatever new beauty you’ll be exposed to that day. The sights, sounds, and tales will pull you along the entire 65KM trail, as will the promise of the comforts of that night’s hut awaiting you, just a few more steps along the track.
- Venture through ancient temperate rainforest, passing dramatic glacially-carved lakes
- Cross plains where glaciers once rested, slowly moving and scouring out shallow tarns, then onto vast button grass plains, gorgeous myrtle-beech rainforest, around the base of a mountain, and down into a lovely river valley
- Explore backcountry swimming holes, peaceful nooks to rest, abandoned copper mines, and a trapper’s hut from 1910
- Wander through some of the oldest forests with King Billy pines as much as 2000 years old
- Visit icy-flowing waterfalls and lunch beside one. Witness Australia’s deepest natural lake shaped by glaciations over two million years
- Explore the Visitor Center here and Quamby Estate – the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Hike up out of thick Eucalypt forest and onto plains with uninterrupted views of mountainous dolerite spires.
Enjoy passing scenery during a spectacular 17KM cruise back to Cynthia Bay.
Explore detritus from 1800’s coal mining efforts near a striking lake hugged by pencil pines and with narrow quartzite sand rim.
Launceston, Tasmania LST
Launceston, Tasmania LST
Waldheim / Crater Lake / Marion’s Lookout / Waterfall Valley / Barn Bluff
Our journey begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley, where we set off on the trail, venturing through the ancient temperate rainforest, passing the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake. We climb the steepest section of the whole Overland Track today fueled by a hearty lunch. Reaching Marion’s Lookout (1250M) takes about an hour, with steps leading through steeper sections. The reward, if weather permits, is staggering views of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake – every uphill step is worth it. We continue around the base of Cradle Mountain along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque before dropping into Waterfall Valley. Our private hut awaits, beneath towering Barn Bluff, having completed the steepest part of your journey (excluding side trips). It’s a welcome retreat after several hours crossing exposed alpine plateau where some days nature likes to humble us with powerful winds.
About The Huts
Cradle Mountain Huts places a great deal of importance on minimal impact trail and hut practices and the huts are designed to be ecologically sustainable. Each hut is architecturally designed to maximize cross-flow ventilation and operate with maximum efficiency with renewable energy. These huts are maintained specifically to ensure the comfort of guests like you.
The remote location of the huts demands that they are autonomous in terms of service. Rainwater is channeled off the roofs into tanks and the huts incorporate self-composting, water-free batching toilets. Phosphorous-free soap is provided, and all wastewater is separated through grease traps and sand filters. The residue is regularly removed from each site, along with all other rubbish. Gas and solar are the only sources of power, used for lighting, heating, and cooking.
Provisioning of these huts is a unique procedure, once again due to their remote location. Only twice each season, supplies of food, wine, and gas cylinders are flown in by helicopter over a two-day period, while all garbage and waste matter is flown out. Nothing is left within the National Park.
As for Wi-Fi, our local guides like to say: “There is no Wi-Fi in the forest, but we promise you’ll find a better connection.”
Barn Bluff / Lake Will / Pine Forest Mo
Today we cross undulating plains and exposed moorland, where glaciers scoured out shallow tarns. We venture across vast button grass plains where ancient pencil pines fringe these alpine tarns. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us, while ahead the stately Mt. Pelion West comes into view. Those looking for the additional challenges today can take a side trip to Lake Will (hugged by pencil pines and with its narrow quartzite sand rim, Lake Will is striking and sprinkled with gravel mounds from coal mining efforts in the 1890s). Enjoy our outdoor dining setting at Pine Forest Moor Hut with views out to Mt. Oakleigh.
Pine Forest Moor / Lemonthyme Valley / Frog Flats / Pelion Plains
This morning we venture through the gorgeous myrtle-beech rainforest as we descend around the base of Mt. Pelion West, down to the Forth River before it plunges into Lemonthyme Valley. We’ll take a break at Frog Flats beside the Forth River, the Overland Track’s lowest point. Gently ascend back out of the valley, leaving thick Eucalypt forest behind as the part of the tree to reveal Pelion Plains and uninterrupted views of Mt. Oakleigh’s dolerite spires. The Pelion Plains area offers a host of side trips, within mountainous terrain, and there are excellent swimming holes, peaceful nooks to rest, and abandoned copper mines to explore. Come nightfall, we’ll nestle amongst dry sclerophyll forest at Pelion Hut.
Pelion Plains / Pelion Gap / Mt. Ossa / Kia Ora
Today begins with a climb of almost 300M through the beautiful rainforest to Pelion Gap, a plateau stretching between Mt. Pelion East and Mt. Ossa and affording fantastic views to the south as well as back to the north. There’s plenty of time for side trips from Pelion Gap including the option to summit Mt. Ossa (1617M and Tasmania’s highest peak) and other less challenging climbs, such as Mt. Doris. From Pelion Gap, it’s a further two hours of gentle downhill to the hut. Once we arrive at Kia Ora Hut, enjoy a Tasmanian drop with spectacular views out to Cathedral Mountain.
Kia Ora / Du Cane Range / Du Cane Gap / Windy Ridge
Depart Kia Ora hut and walk about an hour to Du Cane, where a 1910-built trapper’s hut remains. Du Cane Hut is a fine spot to rest, surrounded by native gardens and overlooked by the spectacular Du Cane Range. From here, we wander through some of the oldest forests in the National Park, with King Billy pines as much as 2000 years old. Stand above the Mersey River, which descends deeply northward towards the Bass Strait, spilling down cliff faces. There are three major sets of icy-flowing waterfalls in the area and we will visit one or more of these, choosing the best to have lunch besides. In the afternoon, we make our way over Du Cane Gap, then descend beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut. Tonight, we celebrate our last evening on the trail.
Windy Ridge / Lake St. Clair / Quamby Estates / Northern Midlands
Our destination today is Australia’s deepest natural lake – Lake St Clair – shaped by glaciations over two million years. Birdsong helps us along this final day as we walk through flowering dry sclerophyll forests. We arrive at Narcissus at the northern end of Lake St Clair in time for lunch, then board a cruise boat for a spectacular 17KM cruise back to Cynthia Bay and the visitor center there. The return trip to Quamby Estate is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers. After some celebratory canapes and sparkling wine, we will transfer guests back to Launceston and the airport.
*Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather, and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Please plan on arriving, to be safe, at least one day prior to your trip departure. Your experience begins at the walking base at Quamby Estate. You will then travel to Waldheim to commence your walk. Your trip ends back in Launceston on the final day with an airport drop-off if required at approximately 6:30 PM.
Hiking: Up to seven hours per day (excluding optional side trips). If you climb Mt Ossa, you will reach an elevation up to 5,305 feet (optional).
Options at the Huts: There will be afternoon tea, as well as some time to relax and enjoy your surroundings before dinner is served. In the evening, you are free to relax or take an early night and feel refreshed and revived in the morning. There are games and a number of books in each hut, which can be enjoyed in the lounge area or, in warm weather, out on the deck or helipad.
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
Venture through ancient temperate rainforest, passing dramatic glacially-carved lakes. Cross plains where glaciers once rested, slowly moving and scouring out shallow tarns, then onto vast button grass plains. Explore detritus from 1800’s coal mining efforts near a striking lake hugged by pencil pines and with a narrow quartzite sand rim. Descend through the gorgeous myrtle-beech rainforest, around the base of a mountain, and down into a lovely river valley. Hike up out of thick Eucalypt forest and onto plains with uninterrupted views of mountainous dolerite spires. Explore backcountry swimming holes, peaceful nooks to rest, abandoned copper mines, and a trapper’s hut from 1910. Take a rest, surrounded by native gardens and overlooked by the spectacular mountain ranges. Wander through some of the oldest forests with King Billy pines as much as 2000 years old. Visit icy-flowing waterfalls and lunch beside one. Witness Australia’s deepest natural lake shaped by glaciations over two million years. Listen to birdsong as you walk through flowering dry sclerophyll forests. Enjoy passing scenery during a spectacular 17KM cruise back to Cynthia Bay. Explore the Visitor Center here before returning to Launceston via Quamby Estate (our walking base).
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments, and receptions are included as indicated by the itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). A selection of Tasmanian wine is served with dinner each evening – gratuities are not included.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire, and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Accommodation each evening in one of five private huts – double occupancy.
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages, plus a limited selection of Tasmanian wines.
- Two qualified guides for the duration of the walk.
- National Park and Overland Track pass.
- Boat transfer across Lake St Clair on Day 6.
- Return transfers between Launceston and walk base.
- Use of a backpack and Gore-tex jacket for the duration of the walk.
- Sleeping bags, pillows, and a comfortable mattress at each hut.
- Sleeping sheet and pillowcase to carry with you.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to trekking guides.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Not sure what to expect when you get your boots on the ground—or bike on the road or paddle in the water—in that dream destination? Dan Austin would love to tell you. More than likely, he’s been there, done that, and then some. The founder and president of Austin Adventures, Dan is a boots-on-the-ground influencer in the company, helping guests, ensuring guides lead the way he would, and curating new trips by personally experiencing and evaluating every detail. While always happy to add to his list of 64 countries and counting, Dan most highly values helping guests experience their adventure in the most inspiring and energizing way possible.