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Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.
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OLT camping away from huts

Thu 10 Aug, 2017 8:46 pm

A few questions about the OLT. I cannot find answers in the PWS information sheets.

1 Is camping between huts or on side-trips allowed? If there are restrictions, is there a list and/or a map showing where not to camp?

2 There was a track from a kilometre before Pelion Hut going south towards Thetis and Ossa. Tis is in Chapman but not on some maps. Does this track still exist and is it viable? Can one go over Ossa and down to Pelion Gap? A short rope for lowering the pack may be needed for one step.

3 How bad is the water pollution on the OLT? Are there areas that should be avoided for taking water, or any general rules about where to obtain potable water? It might be that any creek rising from thick forest is okay.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Fri 11 Aug, 2017 7:21 am

1a) Yes.
1b) Not really. You can't camp in the daywalk area and it's best not to camp too close to the track, but the only other area that's officially off limits is a small section near New Pelion Hut, although people do still camp near Douglas Creek.

2a) Yes. I don't think it's marked but it is followable as far as the camping area below Paddys Nut.
2b) It's easier to sidle the spine of Ossa on the track side rather than going directly over the rocks to the summit. From there, you can pick up the track.

3) The biggest issue on the OLT is personal hygiene around toileting practices and tank taps. The wild water is generally fine, although in summer I'd think twice about collecting anything that drains from the northeastern side of Pelion Gap.

(Just waiting for the blast frorm the past for daring to discuss this on the open forum . . .)

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Fri 11 Aug, 2017 8:15 am

Rangers (and PWS) generally discourage camping anywhere except the designated camping platforms (for good reason). However, it is permitted to camp almost anywhere in the park (exceptions as NNW mentioned above). There are some excellent camping spots along the OT, well away from the crowds, and I usually prefer to camp in more isolated spots. Of course, I won't be posting my favourites here! :-)

So long as the vast majority continue to prefer the huts and tent platforms, as I expect they will, then I reckon that this will not change.
Last edited by Son of a Beach on Mon 14 Aug, 2017 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Mon 14 Aug, 2017 3:38 pm

Agreed, but it's only so due to the booking system, before then the place was a mess and would be a disaster by now without permits.

I'd love to see all policy/regulations promoted and clear, without bluff and angst, vague forum rules, the way of the world I guess :?

So the term 'allowed' is this in a legal sense or a question of mindful conscience? allowed in the context of then telling everyone you meet or/ sees so on the internet? allowed coz booking systems are fine, bring them on? allowed because you determine our park service can manage/ policy more than a sigh and a frown (to support backwoods regulation)?

Dispersed camping I believe is the term, minimal impact.. technically, reusing & recommending campsites is not 'allowed' then? ( :) )

(There's a pic of that turnoff on here somewhere already iirc, I didn't realise it wasn't on maps..)

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Mon 14 Aug, 2017 6:35 pm

I wish to comply with the rules. Clear rules would be nice. For example, I cannot find a map showing the day walk area, and PWS will not tell me. I'm not asking where to camp, as with a bit of luck one can camp nearly anywhere, leave no trace. Is the route from the Paddys Nut campsite over ossa viable? Any special obstacles, like thick scrub or big rockfields?

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Mon 14 Aug, 2017 6:46 pm

The spine route from Paddys to Ossa involves a lot of big awkward rocks with a lot of big awkward gaps between them. I repeat: sidle on the northern side.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Mon 14 Aug, 2017 6:49 pm

ps: Daywalk area is south to Waterfall Valley, excluding Scott Kilvert.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Mon 14 Aug, 2017 10:08 pm

NNW, thanks. When you said "sidle on the track side" I thought that you meant the summit track. So go from the Paddys Nut campsite on the NE slopes of the Ossa ridge, then bear right and up to the summit. Windemere-Paddys Nut campsite should be viable in a day, about 400 metres of climbing from the OLT, then another 400 metres to Ossa. This last bit looks steep.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 15 Aug, 2017 8:39 am

The summit track isn't too bad, no actual scrambling required from there except onto the summit boulder. The hillsides you will contouring however, are steepish and can be awkward in places, but that's still the easiest route around. (I've been across the top some ways, and also sidled it to the south - the north is heaps simpler.) From the camp you follow the terraces up and contour around under the cliffs. Just find the easiest line.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 28 Nov, 2017 7:49 am

Lophophaps wrote:I wish to comply with the rules. Clear rules would be nice. For example, I cannot find a map showing the day walk area, and PWS will not tell me. I'm not asking where to camp, as with a bit of luck one can camp nearly anywhere, leave no trace. Is the route from the Paddys Nut campsite over ossa viable? Any special obstacles, like thick scrub or big rockfields?


Hi Lophophaps - wondering if you have gone up the Overland yet and whether you had any problems with camping off the track - rangers warnings etc.

I also do not want to break the rules, but I follow leave no trace principles; will be doing this under preferred time, so will want to camp when I get tired and it gets dark.

Thank you.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 28 Nov, 2017 9:48 am

Nofrills, welcome to the forum. The OLT will be in December. If campsites comply with PWS rules it should be okay, especially if camp is made well away from the main tracks, which is my intention. By camping away from the main tracks it is unlikely that anyone will see my tent. I suggest setting up camp by about 5pm at the latest. Unless you are very fit it will not be possible to walk for much longer. I start my days at 6-6.30am, sometimes earlier, in camp by noon-2pm, then have a bludge or a side-trip. In summer it's daylight until 7-8pm, so walking that late leaves no time in daylight to set up, get water, cook and relax. Still, you may be planning to do the OLT with just one night's camping.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 28 Nov, 2017 11:13 am

My impressions so far;

1 Is camping between huts or on side-trips allowed? If there are restrictions, is there a list and/or a map showing where not to camp?

Yes.. except some places. I'd think the 'day walk' areas around Cradle Mt ... you'd probably want to avoid it anyways. I'm tempted to camp out towards Barn Bluff for example. Question of water supply there. In addition Chapman shows some places not to camp, also shows some places to camp Wills Lake for instance.

2 There was a track from a kilometre before Pelion Hut going south towards Thetis and Ossa. Tis is in Chapman but not on some maps. Does this track still exist and is it viable?

Don't see it on the maps (25k nor OSM) .. possibly PWS discourage its use - they might like to see it return to a natural state? I cannot see on Bing satellite imagery either, the main Mt Ossa track shows up. If it does exist it is much fainter than the main Mt Ossa track. Ring PWS Cradle Mt and ask? Or ask when you are there. If you are going to attempt to walk it I'd get the Tasmap 25k maps for the area as a good indication of vegetation.

{edit} Arr .. Strava shows a track .. but it goes west for a little .. then north .. and terminates. Not what you want.. probably a nice camp? Forgot to look on strava first time. {/edit} {edit2} Humm that takes off 1km south of Pelion Hut .. there are a few dots (strava) that look to take off 1 km west of Pelion hut .. but few and far between. Still no other indication of a formed track. I think your into what I call 'true bushwalking' rather than 'track walking'. {/edit}

3 How bad is the water pollution on the OLT?

With 8,000 people a year walking it? It could be very bad, and it could change rapidly with that amount of traffic. I'd take a steripen. I'm thinking of Feb, with the possibility of June for winter. Depends on if I can get organised!

Yet to read another book ...The Overland Track : Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair : a complete guide to walking, flora, fauna and history Warwick Sprawson. 2010.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 28 Nov, 2017 3:46 pm

I've asked several times but PWS decline to state where the day walk area is located. The track heading towards Paddys Nut is set out below as shown on my most recent 1:100,000 map.

Paddys Nut Track.png
Paddys Nut Track.png (558.79 KiB) Viewed 2702 times

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 28 Nov, 2017 4:29 pm

The 'day walk area' ... conservative estimate would be to the Waterfall Hut.
Optimistically? Barn Bluff turn off (I hope). I think that water sources will be a problem here anyway - you don't want to be lugging water up that hill if you can help it. Should be able to get water at all the huts, I'd use hand sanitiser after using the tap handle ( I think people use it to wash their hands after toileting). If your out of sight of the tourist areas then I'd think you'd be ok, but I'd not camp long nor early if near the vague 'day use area'.

That track does not show up in the satellite imagery so I expect it to be faint. Or very 'new'. :?:
Use http://maps.thelist.tas.gov.au/listmap/app/list/map - zoom in and use the basemap pull down menu - select topo or state aerial photo to see what is there both topo and vegetation wise. If you zoom out you get less detail and loose the vegetation/rock details. Note that the photos are poor in some areas - reducing their costs. As I said above - Strava shows a few dots on that path ... but not enough to add a track detail IMO.
Some older posts may be helpfull?
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3293
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=21537
I'd not call that a track nor path, umm a previous transit?

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 28 Nov, 2017 5:21 pm

To comply with legislation, regulation or policy, the matter must be quantified, either through words, pictures or both. If there is no quantification then it is impossible to know what the legislators or agency means, and thus there's no remedy at law for alleged breaches. If PWS will not say where the day walk area is then there can be no breach for anything related to that purported area. I camp early and away from the track, and depart very early.

My most recent map is from 1985, and I'm advised that a route still exists. If not and the scrub or weather is unfriendly then I turn back. The only transits I know are Venus and vans.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Tue 28 Nov, 2017 6:13 pm

I to 'like' to start and end 'early'. I can get lazy if it is raining though. But if stealth camping I like to end late and start early, minimising visual presence and time. Cooking can be done before I set up the tent, and I don't tend to cook for quick breakfasts. If you cannot be seen then you should not get troubled.

Heavenly bodies do 'transits' leaving little behind .. that is the kind of 'transit' I am trying to use. :wink: Vans can leave a lot of rubbish behind them. :x

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Thu 30 Nov, 2017 9:06 am

Thanks all who responded. V. helpful.

Lop - I’m doing it in 5 days for the record - and in Dec. Our paths may cross : ]

I am along the same lines of Warin, packing ultralight (under 10lbs), leave early - finish late - want amazing views and some solitude. Yes I know I'm doing it during peak season - but sometimes life gets in the way of living. : ] . I'm also inspired by some amazing photographs with some altitude camping - I won't post URLs for discretion and to avoid encouraging others.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Thu 30 Nov, 2017 11:11 am

Nofrills, I doubt if you will see me except in passing. I'm taking 12 days, many side trips, wait out bad weather. There may be wheeled vans at the start and end, but will be none in the middle.

Re: OLT camping away from huts

Thu 30 Nov, 2017 12:38 pm

It was more a virtual nod - safe travels nonetheless
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