Overland Track Feb 2018

For people seeking walking companions or transport for the Overland Track in Tasmania
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This forum is for people seeking walking companions or transport for the Overland Track. There is a separate forum to find walking companions and transport for other walking areas.

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Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby chaospartikel » Tue 24 Oct, 2017 7:42 pm

Hi all,

I'm a german girl and I'll travel to Australia/Tasmania for the 2nd time in February 2018. Ever since my first time (in 2015) I've wanted to walk the Overland Track, and just a few days ago, I've finally booked it (start Feb 13)! Now, since it's recommended to walk in groups, I want to ask whether there's someone who's also planning to hike the Overland Track in February and would join me. Or, since I don't mind walking alone, do you think it's safe enough because there will always be co-walkers on the track who'd help in case of emergency?

I'm looking forward to reading from you!

Greetings from Bonn/Germany,

Hannah
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 24 Oct, 2017 9:01 pm

Hannah, willkommen im Forum. Provided you have the gear, experience and mindset then you should be fine on your own. The track is very easy to follow, there are huts at fairly close intervals, and the days are not too hard. By mindset i mean being mentally ready for cold, heat and tiredness. Also being ready to genießen - most important! You must have a good tent, a good waterproof jacket, and clothes for cold weather; it may snow. Can you please give an idea of your experience? You will also need a stove, with fuel bought in Tasmania as fuel cannot be carried on planes. Be careful about fuel as there are different names in different places for fuels. Can you please advise of the stove you have? There will be people on the track behind you if you start by about 7.30-8.00am. Sie Tasmanien lieben.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby chaospartikel » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 8:02 pm

Thanks a lot for your answer! I am as mindset as you said, prepared for every kind of weather as well as worse physical conditions. I do not expect it to be a "just for fun" experience but one which will probably bring me to my limits, but in a positive way. I'm also well aware that I cannot bring my own gas. I have a Primus Eta Power stove, it shouldn't be a problem to get gas for it, right? I'll arrive in Launceston 2 days before. Is there a good shop to buy gas and food (I'll bring all clothes from home or buy in Sydney where I'll be in the days before)? I appreciate any advice - thanks in advance!
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Warin » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 1:19 pm

Launceston has at lest 3 outdoor shops, all close to one another ... in terms of possible prices - cheaper first (this can vary by product);

Anaconda Launceston
180 Cimitiere St
Kathmandu Launceston
18 Kingsway
Paddy Pallin
110 George St

One of these should have what you are after.

This mob will hire gear and do the transport, they claim to have gas canisters too (probably expensive for the convenience);
https://overlandtracktransport.com.au/c ... /hire-gear
No experience with them (yet).

Each day up to 34 walkers leave the start. There are also groups of 13 commercial and 13 organised (school etc) that leave too. So you will not be alone. And you'll probably fall into a social group from time to time.

---------------------------
If you have the gear at home .. bring it with you. Prices in Australia are usually more expensive than Europe so it maybe worth while buying there if you want/need to.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 22 Nov, 2017 7:36 am

There are three major supermarket chains in Australia, Coles, Woolworths and Aldi. If you look up these for Launceston you will see which is closest or most convenient for you. Coles and Woolworths have very similar ranges and prices, big stores. Aldi has a much smaller range, and has lower prices. I suggest bringing all your clothing, everything except fuel and food. Magnetic compasses will only work in one hemisphere, so your German compass will need to be replaced by another designed for south of the equator. If you are staying on tracks and have a GPS then you may be able to get away without a compass. Just remember that at noon the sun is north, not south. We also drive on the left.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Warin » Wed 22 Nov, 2017 8:16 am

Lophophaps wrote:There are three major supermarket chains in Australia, Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.


These have the 'home groceries' type things. They probably won't have the gas canisters you are after. As you have been to Australia before I'd think you would already be familiar with these local characteristics?
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby chaospartikel » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 5:30 am

Hi all!

Thanks a lot for your replies! Now I've set up that I get a notification when a reply is posted here so I'll be quicker soon.

Yes, I remember Coles from last time, but I'm quite surprised to read that there's also Aldi (which is of German origin)! :) Must have missed it in '15.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this trip!

One more question: how many days would you consider for the OT? The OT information says 6-7 days. With all the possible side tracks, is it maybe safer to calculate 8 days for the whole trek? I'm asking because I want to book a bus transport from Lake St. Clair to Hobart afterwards and rent a car there, because I'll stay in Tasmania for some more days (although I'm also thinking about returning to Australia and do sth there... jeez, I so much would love to have a whole year to spend in Australia, there are so many places to see :/).

Best wishes
H
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 7:30 am

The parks advice of 6-7 days is about right. It's entirely possible to rush through in five days, but this means no side-trips. If you allow nine days the pack will be a few kilograms heavier, but you can wait out bad weather and do side-trips in the sun. I'd make a menu of side-trips, and pick the ones that you want to and weather permits.

I'd be looking at:
Cradle
Barn Bluff
Ossa
Pelion East
Acropolis
Labyrinth
Walk out via Echo Point.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Warin » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 8:30 am

Lophophaps wrote:I'd be looking at:
Cradle


Cradle can be done as a day trip, I'd use the extra time on the overland to do another side trip elsewhere.

Chapman lists quite a few day trips on both ends of the overland. I think a few days could be spent around Cradle before starting the overland.

The same can be said for Acropolis and Labyrinth. I'd think that the people doing pick ups from Lake Dove would be keen to offer transport to it so the prices might be good and they will also get custom for the return anyway. Possibly they might consider a food drop too? Humm that would be worth investigating! Thanks for provoking that thought!! Let me know if you get any positive responses? Do the Cable Mt day trip .. then start the overland, finish the overland and pick up a food drop (a light stuff sack with the food) from a transport company and do the Dove Lake day trips (Acropolis and Labyrinth etc), then trip back with the transport company.

My pack weight for what I would like to do is presently 26 kg, 14 days and counting (remember this is Tasmania where -10 C is possible). Removing the ends will get this down considerably. This would mean you could get a fair amount of time for side trips on the overland and so the ends well too. I still need to look at my edge trips .. those at are a day off the overland may have to be done as separate trips to keep the pack weight down.
--------------
PS Aldi is not in Tasmania ... yet. For Tasmania it is Coles, Woolworths and IGA.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby chaospartikel » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 4:51 am

And again, thanks for your replies and suggestions! I realize that I should include some more days for the OT... I should make the most out of it and take the time to explore the area thoroughly. And since I'm a biologist I guess I'll never get tired of the wildlife there ;)

Best wishes

Hannah
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Tortoise » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 8:47 am

chaospartikel wrote:Yes, I remember Coles from last time, but I'm quite surprised to read that there's also Aldi (which is of German origin)! :) Must have missed it in '15.

Hi Hannah,
Just to clarify, there are no Aldi stores in Tassie - we have to time our mainland trips to get the good specials. Oops - missed Warin's post about that.

Glad you'll get to see a bit more of Tassie. I spent a month here the first time (including the OLT), which barely scratched the surface. Came back on bushwalking holidays till I finally got to live here. :D

The side trip I'd put near the top of my recommendations would be Oakleigh. Apparently there's a spiffy boardwalk across the Pelion Plains now, so mud should be less of an issue than it was. There's a track, though a GPS would be handy on the plateau if the mist comes in. It's quite special, as you look down on the huge spires, with beautiful little rock gardens among them. You should be able to get someone to join you from Pelion hut.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 9:38 am

chaospartikel wrote:And since I'm a biologist I guess I'll never get tired of the wildlife there ;)


This is an excellent idea. Last time I went through there was some wild life at Waterfall Valley.

Waterfall Valley wild life.jpg
Waterfall Valley wild life.jpg (80.45 KiB) Viewed 5640 times


Please note that the hats are unsuitable for day use in that a broad brim is needed to keep off the sun.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Warin » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 12:57 pm

Warin wrote:I'd think that the people doing pick ups from Lake Dove would be keen to offer transport to it so the prices might be good and they will also get custom for the return anyway. Possibly they might consider a food drop too? Humm that would be worth investigating! Thanks for provoking that thought!!


Answer to my own thoughts .. Yes some will .. If booked with then 'overland track transport' will deliver a parcel (including non perishable food that you give to them before you leave) to you at Lake St Clair before 2:30pm .. free. So that is simple enough, book transport to Cradle, then transport back from Lake St Clair and they can have your parcel some days before your return.

Present plan .. Get to Cradle, spend some days there doing day walks - like Cradle Mt, then start the Overland, 10 days later pick up food parcel Lake St Clair and do Pelion without any pressure.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Neben » Sat 16 Dec, 2017 11:21 pm

Maybe! In Tassie from now till that time and overland track is def something I want to do
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby chaospartikel » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 6:36 am

Whoa, what a wildlife! I'll take pictures when I see those... ;)

Warin, I'm not sure if I got it right (due to my not yet so perfect understanding of English): so you're going to prepare a food parcel which you'll give to the Overland Track transport company and they will deliver it for you to Lake St Clair. You pick it up after the Overland Track and use the food for the Mt Pelion walk only? Or are you planning to spend several days around Lake St Clair and you need the food for that?

I didn't get to plan my stay further last week, was sick for quite some time :( Will do so over Christmas time and hopefully have sort of a rough plan for my whole Aussie/Tassie stay. I can't imagine it's just 1 1/2 months away from now!

Mh...it just came to my mind that I could just ask you whether you have any insider tips for me, places off the beaten tourist path preferably. Either in Tasmania or in South Australia/Victoria/NSW. I'd appreciate that! I was thinking about Kangaroo Island, but I'm not sure whether it's maybe too touristic already? Or is it worth a visit? Is there maybe a little reef somewhere nearby where I could snorkel? For an overview, here's the timing of my trip: Sydney from 7th to 11th Feb, flight to Launceston on 11th, Overland Track from 13th on, maybe until 22nd/23rd. Around 3rd of March I'll visit friends in NSW (and climb the Mt Kosciuszko in the meantime). On 6th of March, I'm flying back to Germany. So, I need to fill the gap between 23 Feb and 3 Mar, that is 8 days.

Have a nice Christmas!

Hannah
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby Warin » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 7:39 am

chaospartikel wrote:Warin, I'm not sure if I got it right (due to my not yet so perfect understanding of English): so you're going to prepare a food parcel which you'll give to the Overland Track transport company and they will deliver it for you to Lake St Clair. You pick it up after the Overland Track and use the food for the Mt Pelion walk only ?

Umm my error change Mt Pelion to - Pine Valley, Acropolis, Labyrinth
chaospartikel wrote:Or are you planning to spend several days around Lake St Clair and you need the food for that?


Basically, yes - the food drop means I can add more time to do the southern end well rather than rush through the Overland Track.

My plan is to;
a) spend some ~4 days at Cradle mountain to do that bit well. Climbing Cradle Mountain, do at least some of the walks.
b) Then start of the Overland Track with 10 days food. That is not enough for me to do all I want along side the Overland Track (Barn Bluff, Mt Ossa, Mt Pelion east & west, Mt Oakleigh, Lake Will etc) with some buffer for poor weather. The pack weight means that is all the time I have to spend, more time = too much weight.
c) At Lake St Clair I'll pick up another 10 days of food and do Pine Valley, Acropolis, Labyrinth + any bits in the south.
d) Return to Launceston, wash, eat, relax, restock with food.
d) Spending another 10 days in the Walls of Jerusalem area! There are still some bits east of the Overland Track that I might do with this trip - and it provides a back up if Mt Oakleigh is too foggy or rained out on the first attempt.

That is some ~34 days + transport + Launceston ...


-----------------
Food drops for the Overland Track - that I have come across;

Lake St Clair - provided you have booked travel with the Overland Track transport company they will carry a bag for you that you can pick up to expand your time. The bag should not contain perishable items. No additional fee for this service.

Pelion Hut. Expensive .. ~$1000. I assume this is walked in on the Arm River Track. Delivered to Pelion Hut .. I have no other details .. or even know if this is still avalible.

-------------------
chaospartikel you may find it cheaper and quicker to go to Launceston rather than Hobart from lake St Clair.
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Re: Overland Track Feb 2018

Postby chaospartikel » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 6:30 am

Thank you for your elaborate answer! That helps. I indeed booked my transport from Launceston to OT with Overland Track Transport. But just one-way. I would like to visit Hobart again, I enjoyed the Salamanca Market very much last time... would even be possible, the 2nd Saturday after my OT start is 12 days after. But this means, I'd have to be in Lake St Clair on Friday to get a transport to Hobart and be there in time for the market. Too stressful.

I'll have to meditate over it on the weekend. Anyway, I'll make the most out of it, I'm sure of that!

Best wishes
Hannah
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