Overland Track in 5 days?

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Overland Track in 5 days?

Postby Eucalyptus70 » Sun 07 Apr, 2024 5:10 pm

I see the Overland Track is recommended over 6 days. Is 5 days on the track do-able and enjoyable? Or does this mean rushing and missing too much? Planning in advance for next season, We can only be away for maximum a week, including travel from Victoria (2 of the days).
Thoughts? If it is missing too much we will look at a shorter walk and save for another time.
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Re: Overland Track in 5 days?

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 08 Apr, 2024 11:25 am

5 days used to be the standard time that I used to hear quoted for the OT when I first started bushwalking, and I did it in 5 days on my first time through, including detours to Mt Ossa, all the waterfalls and Pine Valley (but we did catch the ferry at the end on that trip). The track is somewhat easier now than it was then (more duckboards and less mud). Of course it all depends on your fitness and experience levels.
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Re: Overland Track in 5 days?

Postby Eucalyptus70 » Mon 08 Apr, 2024 1:37 pm

Thanks Son Of A Beach. You sound fit also managing to fit in Pine Valley in 5! Do you recall where you based yourself for the nights? Or any other recommendations?
I’d be happy to catch the ferry at the end. I’d also be happy to return to Tassie on another trip in the future to do bits we miss wherever that is possible.
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Re: Overland Track in 5 days?

Postby phATty » Tue 09 Apr, 2024 8:20 am

Waterfall Valley (Barn Bluff or Cradle Mountain on this day), Windermere, Pelion, Kia Ora (Ossa and Pelion East on this day), Narcissus and afternoon Ferry is probably reasonable for the average walker.

A faster walker might go for something like Waterfall Valley (Barn Bluff or Cradle Mountain on this day), Pelion, Kia Ora (Ossa and Pelion East on this day), Pine Valley, Narcissus (Acropolis on this day) and afternoon ferry.

It all depends, the Overland Track is by no means the hardest walk and you could do alot of it in the dark (you do sacrifice some enjoyment though), it makes double days very readily doable if you are looking to take in the side trips. Kia Ora to Narcissus is not that nice so I'd speed through this section.
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Re: Overland Track in 5 days?

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 09 Apr, 2024 9:37 am

Eucalyptus70 wrote:Thanks Son Of A Beach. You sound fit also managing to fit in Pine Valley in 5! Do you recall where you based yourself for the nights? Or any other recommendations?
I’d be happy to catch the ferry at the end. I’d also be happy to return to Tassie on another trip in the future to do bits we miss wherever that is possible.


Where I stayed each night on my first OT trip is not really an option these days, but here is is:
  • Cirque Hut (between Waterfall Valley and Windermere - no longer exists)
  • Old Pelion Hut (no longer permitted to stay in that one)
  • Kia Ora Hut
  • Pine Valley Hut (the northern track into Pine Valley no longer exists - at least officially)

Walking all the way into Windermere is possible in a single day, if you start early. I've done it this way a couple of times. It makes for a longer/harder first day, but then gives you plenty of time for the rest of the trip.

These days, I don't stay in or near the OT huts at all. They are noisy, smelly, unhygienic and full of people. I prefer somewhere quiet and isolated when I'm camping out bush.
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Re: Overland Track in 5 days?

Postby Chev » Tue 09 Apr, 2024 11:31 am

My only time walking through, I did it in 5 days including side trips up Cradle and Ossa and the walk out along the lake. My overnights were: Windermere;Pelion; Hartnett falls; Narcissus. As per Son of a Beach's comment above, this made for a long, hard first day - and I was pretty cooked on day 2 - but it did set me up for relatively short, easy days for the back end of the walk. I think I was generally finished walking by early afternoon. So five days is definitely doable without too much of a rush. But it may be better to plan to take the ferry to allow more time to explore side trips?

Even 21 years ago I found the crowds on the track and especially around the huts a bit confronting. So if you have curmudgeonly tendencies, look into alternative camp options.
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Re: Overland Track in 5 days?

Postby matagi » Tue 09 Apr, 2024 12:39 pm

Feb 2020 they were building the new Waterfall Valley Hut so we went Windemere, Pelion, Kia Ora, Windy Ridge, ferry.
Ronny Creek to Windemere makes for a long first day but is perfectly doable in summer if the weather is favourable. By contrast, May 2021 it took us 8 hours Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley coz there was a bit of snow about, no way were we going to make Windemere even had we wanted to without walking in the dark.

If you wanted to skip a hut/node, I'd say skip Waterfall Valley. Although a lot of people seem to skip either Kia Ora or Windy Ridge. The walking is certainly easier after Du Cane Gap, so skipping Windy Ridge is also not a bad option.
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