I walked the Overland Track, which is a long distance trail in Tasmania. This is a summary.
Day 1 - Ronny Creek, Marion’s Lookout, Cradle Mountain summit to Waterfall Valley Hut
My journey did not start out too well. It was raining quite heavily during the night. The tent took a long time to dry in the morning. I was already late when I left the campsite. However, the weather was gorgeous this morning. And the queue of mainly day trippers and only a small fraction of Overland Track walkers was long at the Cradle Mountain visitor’s centre. The park management runs shuttle buses from the visitor’s centre to the actual starting points of a couple of shorter trails and the start of the Overland Track.
After about 45 minutes in the queue and another 20 min on the shuttle bus, I arrived at Ronny Creek. That is where the Overland Track starts. I entered my data and the start and expected end date into the Overland Track log book. This is how the park rangers keep track of all the long-distance walkers, in case something goes wrong on the way. At this time, I had not decided yet if I should walk for six days only or do the extension and stay a bit longer. In any case, I had packed food for eight days plus a bit extra for security reasons.
The Track started on a boardwalk that led me through buttongrass into a light forest. The first major sight was at Crater Lake. There was a small boat hut from which you could have a good overview of the small lake. The trail led further up to a plateau from which I could see both Dove Lake on one side and Crater Lake on the opposite side. The area was full of day-trippers who came up from Dove Lake car park below. A rather steep section leads up to Marion’s Lookout. The steepest parts are secured with metal instalments and chains. This section was a bit annoying with the heavy pack on my back. You could have a great overview over Dove Lake from about halfway up and of course from the Lookout itself. Most day-trippers did not go further than this.
The Track led up and onto a plateau. The view for the next days would be dominated by Cradle Mountain (on the left) and the characteristic shape of Barn Bluff (on the right).