During winter the high peaks along the Overland Track receive a generous dusting of snow, turning the Cradle Mountain National Park into a winter wonderland. Walking the Overland Track during winter is a very different experience to summer and offers a more serene and tranquil environment.
The trail is much quieter, the lakes are frozen and the snow ensures the surrounding landscapes provide unique photographic opportunities. Fit and hardy walkers who are prepared to camp during winter and carry a full pack will truly enjoy this unforgettable winter trek along the graded trail through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
This winter itinerary is designed to allow you to fully appreciate the parks many highlights along the track and also includes a few side trips along the way. Modern lightweight equipment will keep your backpacks as light as possible while your experienced guides will help bring the track to life and teach first time snowshoers the finer points of this popular style of alpine travel.
As a LifeChanger Challenge Series participant, you’ll have the opportunity to be a part of an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Immerse yourself in spectacular environments, feel your heart in your chest as you reconnect with who you are. For some, the Challenge is a profound journey of self discovery.
You’re not alone.
You’ll be joined by a group of like-minded inspiring individuals who believe in giving back, and who are willing to be the change they want to see in their own lives, and the lives of their family, friends and wider community.
You’ll be guided through the Challenge by our experienced Challenge Leaders including former former elite sports coach Scott Watters, six-time Ironman Trevor Hendy, and renowned International Adventurer Mark George.
Our LifeChanger Ambassadors never miss an opportunity to join a Challenge! You will be joined by the likes of Pat Rafter (Tennis Champion), Sam Riley (Olympic Swimmer), Hayden Quinn (Master Chef Finalist) and Karla Gilbert (Iron Women Champion) Alice Kunek (Gold Medalist, Basketball) Robbie Kearns (Melbourne Storm, Team of the Decade) Adam Thompson (Vocalist, Chocolate Starfish) Dermott Brereton (AFL Legend) Mason Cox (AFL Player) Ali Day (6x Coolangatta Gold Champion).
Photo by Chris Bray
Day 1 | Waldheim to Scout Hut
We will start our journey from Launceston with a 2.5 hour bus ride to Waldheim where our Overland Track trek begins. With only a short hike, along formed tracks, we will reach our first destination at the Scout Hut. Situated above the snowline, Scout Hut is a fully equipped lodge with a rich history. We will spend the afternoon exploring the area and relaxing before the hard work begins the following morning.
Day 2 | Waldheim to Waterfall Valley
The morning is spent walking up past lakes and tarns to the top of the alpine Cradle Plateau where we are rewarded with views of Dove Lake and an endless horizon of impressive mountain ranges. We will pass below the summit of Cradle Mountain and depending on the weather and conditions (can be icy) may consider climbing to the summit. Tonight we stay at Waterfall Valley. Walking Distance: 10km| Walking Time: 5 hours
Day 3 | Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere
We continue south from Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere. A leisurely day that offers time for a side trip past the diggings of Joseph Will a coal prospector in the 1800’s to Innes Falls. At Lake Will we will have the opportunity for a relaxing lunch on its sandy shores. Returning to our packs we head back across the rolling button grass plains towards our camp at Lake Windermere. We spend the afternoon relaxing around Windermere Hut and taking in the fabulous views. Walking Distance: 8km + side trips | Walking Time: 3 hours + side trips
Day 4 | Lake Windermere to Pelion Plains
Today is a wild day of moorlands and mountain views. We don our packs and walk across Pine Forest Moor with spectacular views across the massive Forth River Valley to the lofty heights of Mt Oakleigh and to today’s destination at its base. We descend around Mount Pelion West to a popular lunch spot at Frog Flats. After lunch we walk up through tall, lush forest onto the great expanse of Pelion Plains. We have the option of a short side trip to Old Pelion Hut to gain a deeper appreciation of the park’s rich history. Walking Distance: 17km | Walking Time: 7 hours
Day 5 | Contingency Day / Mt Ossa
We will allow a full day in the itinerary as a contingency to be used in case of bad weather.
Weather permitting this day provides us with the opporunity to do a number of spectacular side trips that the Overland Track has to offer. The most difficult being the climbing of Mt Ossa. At 1617m Mt Ossa is Tasmania's highest mountain and getting to the top is a challenging achievement in summer, doing it in winter is something to be very proud of. If the conditions are right those confident enough could try for the top.
Day 6 | Pelion Plains to Kia Ora
From camp we continue walking south through Myrtle forest, past tufted Pandani trees, then up to the saddle (1113m) between Mount Pelion East and Mount Ossa. This is the perfect place for a well deserved rest. With magnificent views in all directions we continue south into Pinestone Valley to our creek-side camp overlooking the grand spires of Cathedral Mountain. Walking Distance: 9km + side trips | Walking Time: 5 hours + side trips
Day 7 | Kia Ora to Bert Nichols Hut
Today we walk through towering rainforests of Leatherwood and Sassafrass trees, heading towards three of Tasmania’s largest and most spectacular waterfalls. The first we visit is Fergusson Falls, named after a former ranger at Lake St Clair, followed by Dalton Falls. The third of these enchanting falls is the spectacular Hartnett Falls, named after Paddy Hartnett, an eccentric Irish bushman who was rarely seen without his bowler hat. We walk up through Du Cane Gap then descend to our camp at Bert Nichols. Walking Distance: 10km + side trips | Walking Time: 4 hours + side trips
Day 8 | Bert Nichols Hut to Lake St Clair
Today we pack our backpacks for the final day on the track, which takes us through mixed eucalyptus and stands of temperate rainforest to the shore of Lake St Clair, the deepest natural lake in the Southern Hemisphere. As we near Lake St Clair we can gaze up to the peaks of Mt Ida and majestic Mount Olympus. We catch a 30 minute ferry across the lake, providing spectacular views back upon the mountains we’ve walked past, and a wonderful conclusion to our Overland Track trek. From there we will board our bus and head to Hobart for a well earned shower followed by a celebratory dinner and a comfortable bed for the night. Walking Distance: 9km | Walking Time: 3 hours
Day 8 | Celebration Dinner
The night is a celebration of the journey and everything that has been achieved and experienced. Time to reflect on the wonders of the winter wonderland and the friendships and bonds created. All this takes place in one of Tasmania's premier dining experiences, whilst enjoying stunning local produce and spectacular 360 degree views down the Derwent River from one of the highest vantage points in Hobart. There will also be an inspiring keynote presentation from a newly introduced LifeChanger ambassador, to further inspire the participants.
Day 8 | Goodbye
Location : Launceston TAS, Australia
The last day ends with rest, recovery and reflection after the celebration of the journey completed. We fly out later that night, refreshed, reinvigorated and inspired by the incredible adventure and the experiences shared.
Overland Track, Lake Saint Clair TAS, Australia