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Cradle Mountain Huts, ex Launceston

Cradle Mountain Huts guided walk begins at Tasmania's dramatic Cradle Mountain, you pass through a variety of landscapes and experience the beauty of mountain lakes, streams and waterfalls before arriving at the shores of Lake St Clair (Australia's deepest lake) six days later. Weather permitting there is opportunity to climb Tasmania's highest peak, Mt Ossa.

At the end of each day you will find yourself at one of five huts relaxing with freshly brewed coffee and Tasmanian wine combining to complete a fantastic day of walking in the national park.

These huts are designed to complement their sensitive surroundings and are nestled in exquisite settings, offering privacy and expansive views and they are also the only private accommodation permitted in the World Heritage Area. Each hut contains twin share accommodation, hot showers, toilets, heating and kitchen facilities. This trip gives you the opportunity to experience and appreciate the Tasmanian wilderness in the presence of experienced guides in a safe and inspirational environment.

Your Cradle Mountain Huts Trip
The relaxed company of other walkers will be a memorable feature of your Cradle Huts experience - your companions on the track will share your adventurous spirit and your love of wild, natural places.

Your guides, enthusiastic Tasmanians with a combination of bush skills and diplomacy, will enhance the journey with their knowledge and understanding of the flora, fauna, geology and history of the Overland Track and the wonders of the World Heritage Area. In the words of one traveller "...their love of the wilderness was obvious in the gentle way they encouraged us to care for it as much as they did themselves.

Their leadership was superb - allowing distance where indicated and closeness and words of encouragement where needed. The trip would always have been memorable. With the extra input by the guides it became fantastic." On the track, you will not be rushed. There is always the opportunity to take a break for scenery, tea, explanation or just for you. But with lots of energy you might want to do some of the many side-trips available each day (including to Mt Ossa - the top of Tasmania). You will enjoy and discover good times, great memories and the special friendships of the bush.

At the end of each day's walk, your private hut is a haven of warmth, shelter and comfort. It's a place to relax, rest and be refreshed after the pleasant exertions of a day on the track. First, a steaming hot shower and fresh-baked afternoon tea - then enjoy the simple pleasures of life in a bush hut. Mellow gaslight and candles. Strong-brewed coffee. A good book from the small collection. Sitting by the potbelly heater. Warm, dry socks.

Later on, the rustic dining table is the focus for convivial company - a hearty three-course meal prepared by your guides, fine Tasmanian wine and cheerful conversation. At the end of the evening in your private twin-share room, a soft bed and sound sleep will prepare you for the discoveries of a new day. True shelter, something which gives protection and refuge, simple and sustainable, clean and comfortable.

Cradle Mountain Huts Itinerary
Day 1 - Alpine and glacial grandeur (Waldheim - Barn Bluff Hut)
You will be met at the The Sebel Hotel in Launceston at 6:45am and transferred to the walk base at Quamby Estate. Here you will meet your guides who will provide a briefing on the walk, check your gear and assist with preparing your pack, before departing at 8am for Cradle Mountain Lake St. Clair National Park.

The first day begins with a drive from the walking base (near Launceston) through the historic countryside of Deloraine and Sheffield to Cradle Valley. The walk begins at the romantic Waldheim Chalet in Cradle Valley, where you are greeted by inquisitive wallabies. You climb onto the alpine plateau with spectacular views of Dove and Crater Lakes.

Lunch is held below the spires of Cradle Mountain or at Fury Gorge. In the afternoon you walk the rim of the glacial cirque before passing through Waterfall Valley. The night is spent at Barn Bluff Hut which nestles beneath this majestic mountain. Day 1 is approximately 11 km, 5-6 hours.

Day 2
Crossing the sedgeland moors you pass many glacial tarns. Lunch is usually on the shores of Lake Windermere. In the afternoon you'll enjoy spectacular views of the Lemonthyme Forests from the Forth Valley lookout. The Pine Forest Moor Hut is located on the edge of the forest. Day 2 is approximately 12 km, 6 hours.

Day 3 - Timeless, temperate rainforest
The walk follows the historic Innes Track sheltered below Mt Pelion West, mainly through rainforest. A stop is made at Frog Flats, at the headwaters to the Forth River. The final section of the day's walk is on to the Pelion Plains where Pelion Hut is located. Day 3 walk is approximately 10 km, 4 hours.

Day 4 - Into the mountains
Views to the South-West wilderness are possible from Pelion Gap and it is from this point that you can elect to climb Mt Ossa (Tasmania's highest peak). The afternoon walk is to Kia Ora Hut located below Cathedral Mountain. Day 4 walk is approximately 9 km, 4 hours (3-4 hours extra to climb Mt Ossa).

Day 5 - River, waterfalls and rainforest spectacular
This day begins with a visit to the beautiful 'Leatherwood Garden' at the historic Du Cane Hut. The middle section of the day is spent meandering along the Mersey River visiting the spectacular waterfalls including the D'Alton, Fergusson and Hartnett Falls. The hut at Windy Ridge is reached through magical myrtle forests. Day 5 walk is approximately 9 km, 4 hours.

Day 6 - Easy through the eucalypts
The northern shores of Lake St Clair are reached through superb eucalypt forests. Here you are met and taken on a 17km boat cruise along Tasmania's deepest and most spectacular lake. Leaving the Overland Track behind you as you pass over the waters of the lake is a memorable way to conclude your walk.

The return trip to Quamby Estate is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers past the majestic Quamby Bluff and through Golden Valley. Day 6 walk is approximately 9km, 3 hours.

Included in your Cradle Mountain Huts Guided Walk
• Return transfers between Launceston and the walk base
• 5 nights accommodation in our five Cradle Huts - twin share
• All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
• A limited selection of Tasmanian wines
• National Park and Overland Track passes
• Boat transfer across Lake St Clair
• 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
• Two qualified guides for the duration of the walk

Additional Information
Grading - moderate
Minimum participants 4 - maximum 10
Daily Departures between 01 October - 01 May ex Launceston
Duration 6 days
Departs Launceston 6:40am - returns 6:30pm
Guests meeting at Quamby need to be there by 7:20am
Tour not suitable for children under 12 years

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Tasmania

Fitness and Track Conditions
The walk is graded 'moderate' by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. If you are medically healthy and participate in some form of physical activity on a regular basis, then you should enjoy our walking holiday. Needless to say, the best preparation for walking is walking, with a pack if possible.

If you follow the gear list provided on confirmation of booking, then your pack weight can be as little as 7½kg, which is a light, manageable pack weight for people of a fitness level as described. The average walking time each day is 6 hours. The Overland Track is rugged underfoot and muddy in sections. Therefore it is essential that you have good walking boots with treaded soles and firm ankle support. All the suggested gear is required for your comfort and safety.

 

 


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