Cradle Mountain Signature Walk

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Walk with us into a World Heritage Site.

A seven day guided walk along the iconic Overland Track, retreating each evening to the comfort of the only private accommodation along the trail.

Tasmania’s Overland Track is famous the world over and our signature trip is the way to experience it in classic style. Across seven days, our most popular Overland experience completes the full journey from World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair.

The fully guided walk begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley and journeys some 65 kilometres through to Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest natural lake. Our signature adventure does not include multiple side trips, but there is the opportunity on Day 5 to summit Mount Ossa.

Come join our most loved iconic walk.

 


Cradle Mountain Signature Walk
 

  • Departures: daily departures from October 2024 to May 2025
  • Fully guided: 7 days / 6 nights
  • Max group size 12, plus 2 experienced guides
  • Activity level: Moderate
  • Trip start: Launceston, Australia
  • Trip end: Launceston, Australia
  • Distance 59kms 
  • Cost: prices from AUD$4,495
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Your Itinerary

Red Feather Inn, Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature
Red Feather Inn, Tasmania, Accommodation, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature

Day
1

Red Feather Inn

Preparing for a big walk is crucial, that is why we start our Cradle Mountain Signature Walk the night before at our walker base at the historic and quaint Red Feather Inn.

Here you will meet your guides as they take you through what to expect from the next six days and conduct a gear check. After our short briefing, the night of celebration begins – Your Overland Track adventure is finally here! Get to know your fellow walkers over a dinner of local fare, cooked for you by the in-house chef and paired with local wines.


The rooms at Red Feather Inn are designed for your comfort, giving you the perfect excuse to head off to bed early and get a restful night's sleep before your early start the next day.

Accommodation: 
Red Feather Inn

Meals included: 
Dinner.

Cradle Mountain from Dove Lake, Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature

Day
2

Waldheim to Barn Bluff Hut

Approximately 7 hours of walking

On the summit of Cradle Mountain in 1910, Austrian-born Gustav Weindorfer proclaimed, “This must be a national park for the people for all time.” It’s fitting our journey begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley, where Weindorfer’s story is told. We set off on the track, venturing through ancient temperate rainforest, passing the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake.

We climb the steepest section of the whole Overland Track today and pause for a hearty lunch. Reaching Marion’s Lookout (1,250m) after negotiating steps leading through steeper sections, offers a satisfying reward. Providing weather conditions allow, we enjoy 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 walking over exposed alpine plateau where some days the wind howls – a reminder of nature’s power.

Accommodation: 
Barn Bluff Hut (private accommodation)

Transfers: 
Launceston to Cradle Valley (2 hours)

Meals included: 
Lunch and Dinner.

Barn Bluff Overland Track Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature
Private Hut, Overland Track, Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature

Day
3

Barn Bluff Hut to Pine Forest Moor Hut

Approximately 6 hours of walking

Today we’ll be walking across plains where glaciers once rested, slowly moving and scouring out shallow tarns. The track provides an undulating trek with a few sections of exposed moorland and multiple hill climbs and descents.

We take our time venturing across vast button grass plains where ancient pencil pines fringe alpine tarns. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us. Look ahead, and the stately Mt Pelion West comes into view.

Those looking for an additional challenge today can take a side trip to Lake Will. Hugged by pencil pines and with its narrow quartzite sand rim, Lake Will is striking. Keep an eye out for gravel mounds along the way, remnants of Joseph Will’s coal mining efforts in the 1890s. Further along the track, Lake Windemere offers an opportunity for an invigorating swim.

This evening, at Pine Forest Moor Hut, enjoy our outdoor dining setting with views out to Mt. Oakleigh in fine weather.

Accommodation: 
Pine Forest Moor Hut (private accommodation)

Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Mount Pelion West, Overland Track, Day Four, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature

Day
4

Pine Forest Moor Hut to Pelion Hut

Approximately 5 hours of walking

This morning we venture through 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, which happens to be the Overland Track’s lowest point.

From here, it’s a gentle ascent back out of the valley. We leave thick Eucalypt forest behind as the trees part to reveal Pelion Plains. Uninterrupted views of Mt Oakleigh’s dolerite spires now come into play.

The Pelion Plains area offers a host of side trips, hugged by mountainous terrain including peaceful nooks to rest and an abandoned copper mine to explore. Come nightfall, we’ll be nestled amongst dry sclerophyll forest at Pelion Hut.

Accommodation: 
Pelion Hut (private accommodation)

Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Kia Ora Hut, Private Hut, Overland Track, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature
Kia Ora Hut deck (private hut), looking out to Cathedral Mountain, Overland Track, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature

Day
5

Pelion Hut to Kia Ora Hut

Approximately 4-9 hours of walking (optional 5 hour side trip to Mt Ossa)

Today begins with a climb of almost 300m to Pelion Gap through beautiful rainforest. Pelion Gap is a plateau stretching between Mt Pelion East and Mt Ossa, 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. At 1617m, it is Tasmania’s highest peak. There are other less challenging climbs, including the Japanese Gardens on the slopes of Mt Doris.

From Pelion Gap it's a further two hours of gentle downhill to the hut. Today, choose to keep things relaxed or challenge yourself to stand atop the island’s highest point. Once we arrive at Kia Ora Hut, enjoy a Tasmanian drop with spectacular views out to Cathedral Mountain.

Accommodation: 
Kia Ora Hut (private accommodation)

Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

D'Alton Falls on Day 6, Overland Track, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature

Day
6

Kia Ora Hut to Windy Ridge Hut

Approximately 4 hours of walking 

Day five is about icy-flowing waterfalls. We depart Kia Ora hut and walk about an hour to Du Cane, where a 1910-built hut remains from the long-gone days of animal trapping. Du Cane Hut is a fine spot to rest, surounded by native gardens and overlooked by the spectacular Du Cane Range. 

From here, we wander through some of the oldest forest in the National Park, with King Billy pines as much as 2000 years old. Now, we are above the Mersey River, which descends deeply northward towards Bass Strait, spilling down cliff faces.

There are three major sets of waterfalls in the area. We aim to visit one or more of these, choosing the best to have lunch beside depending on conditions. During the afternoon, we make our way over Du Cane Gap, then descend beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut. Tonight is a celebratory one, our last evening on the track.

Accommodation: 
Windy Ridge Hut (private accommodation)

Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Narcissus River crossing, Day 7, Overland Track, Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature
Echidna, Day 7, Overland Track Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature

Day
7

Windy Ridge Hut to Lake St Clair

Approximately 3 hours of walking

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 mainly through flowering dry sclerophyll forests.

We arrive at Narcissus at the northern end of Lake St Clair in time for lunch, before boarding the Idaclair cruise boat for a spectacular 17km cruise back to Cynthia Bay. There’s typically around half an hour to look around the Visitor Centre here.

The return trip back to the walkers' base at Red Feather Inn is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers. 

Transfer: 
Lake St Clair to Launceston (2.5 hours)

Meals included: 
Breakfast and Lunch

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Signature walks depart daily from 1 October through to 31 May each season, 

Our groups have exclusive use of the only private hut accommodation along the Overland Track.  

Each hut has been discreetly located off the main trail and offers hot showers, a drying room and a dining and lounge area.  The huts have 6 twin rooms with comfortable beds.
 

Each trip requires a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 guests. All accommodation is twin share. 

If you book on as a single walker or in an odd-numbered group and the trip fills to capacity, you will share a room with another walker. 

As long as you exercise regularly, are capable of walking an average of 10 km for six consecutive days, and are comfortable with varied terrain, you’ll be fine!  For training ideas please refer to the track notes.

There are obviously steep sections and terrain can be quite uneven and slippery under foot, however this is part of the whole experience. 

If you are interested in doing more of the side trips (such as Mt Ossa), you may want to partake in extra training to accommodate the additional challenge.

If you have any concerns about fitness, please contact us and speak with one of our friendly Reservations staff members. We are more than happy to discuss additional information about what you can expect.

Prior to dinner on the first evening at Red Feather Inn, the guides will carry out a thorough gear check to ensure you have suitable gear and help you reduce pack weight.

If you adhere to our gear list and choose lightweight gear, your pack will likely weigh between 8.5 and 9.5 kg. With special attention to reducing pack weight, your pack and its contents can weigh as little as 7.5 kg. 

The pack and Gore-tex jacket that we provide have a combined weight of 2.5 kg, leaving 5- 7 kg for all your essential gear.

Please note: This weight is based on the recommended water capacity for this walk. If you choose to carry more water, your pack weight will most likely weigh upwards of 9.5 kgs.

Each person must carry their lunch, wet weather gear, spare clothes for the hut, thermals, and warm clothing, plus any extras, such as a camera. For detail please refer to the gear list.

We strongly recommend travel insurance. Consideration needs to be given to our cancellation policy, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc. Please see our >Booking Terms & Conditionsfor details and contact us if you have any questions.

Our guides are passionate outdoor enthusiasts, educated interpreters and fantastic cooks all rolled into one. 

Two knowledgeable guides accompany the Signature and Signature (4-day) departures, with three guides leading guests on 'Adventure' and 'Expedition' departures. This allows plenty of time for interpretation at interesting points along the track, photo opportunities, rest breaks and walking at your own pace.

The guides prepare scrumptious meals each night which are served with a selection of Tasmanian wines. We are quite happy to cater for special dietary requirements. We just need to know in advance.

For example, here is the dinner menu served at Kia Ora Hut on Day 4:

On arrival at the hut: Grazing plate

Main course: Forest mushroom and pea risotto with parmesan

Dessert: Creme Brulee

At the start of your walk: we ask that you be at our walkers' base no later than 5:30pm, so you can check into your accommodation prior to your walk briefing at 6pm

The conclusion of your walk: your walk will conclude at our walkers' base at Red Feather Inn at 6pm with airport drop-offs at 6.15pm and Launceston drop-offs at 6.30pm.

Red Feather Inn

If you are joining us on a 7-day walk, a night at Red Feather Inn is included prior to commencing your walk. You are unable to book extra nights at the end of your walk. 

Quamby Homestead

Set on the grounds of Quamby Estate, Quamby Homestead is the perfect pre or post-night accommodation if you would like a little luxury. The homestead features ten restored guest rooms that feature antique furniture. Rooms are appointed with king, queen or twin bedding, marble or stone bathrooms and heated floors. To see details of the special rate which includes cooked breakfast visit https://www.thebookingbutton.com.au/properties/quambydirect and enter promo code TWC2122.  

We will provide a transfer to our walk base for your trip departure on the morning of day one.  If you are staying at Quamby Homestead prior to your walk please contact us to advise so we can ensure the shuttle is organised for you.

The minimum age for guests walking with us is 12 years old.  There are no upper age restrictions, however, for guests walking with us who are 69 or above, we do require a GP to sign off on a letter we provide.

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Come join our most loved signature walk.

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Cradle Mountain from Dove Lake, Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Signature Walk, Guided by Nature