A lot of excitement as we started our trek for real. Leaving Base Camp Tasmania at 8am, we had a 4.5 hour drive to the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre. Then check-in and shuttle bus to Ronny Creek and we were on the track at 1.30pm. Weather was very misty and windy, so we did not attempt to climb Cradle Mountain. Views across Cradle Lake were very spectacular in the soft light. Huge swathes of yellow Fagus everywhere. A couple of very steep sections, including one with a chain on the way to Marions Lookout, but otherwise not too bad. Views were not great due to the low cloud and mist.
Distance: 10.7 km Time: 4-6 hours Terrain: Gradual ascent to Crater Lake, followed by a very steep, short ascent to Marions Lookout. Undulating across the alpine plains and a final gradual descent to Waterfall Valley. Track Surface: Duckboard over the buttongrass plains, followed by mainly natural surface (rock/gravel). The first half hour of your journey on the Overland Track is on boardwalk, across the buttongrass moorland. The track soon rises and passes beside Crater Falls, then follows beside Crater Lake. Rest and replenish here before you tackle Marions Lookout (1250m) – the steepest section of the Overland Track. For the next 5km you will enjoy sweeping views across the glacial landscape as you walk beside the base of Cradle Mountain, before steadily descending into spectacular Waterfall Valley to the huts and campsites. Once there, feel proud that you’ve just completed what many regard as the most difficult day.