Overland Cradle valley

DESTINATION: Australia
TRIP GRADE: Moderate To Challenging
SEASON: Jan & Feb
ALTITUDE: 1545 mtrs /5069 ft

 Day 01: Leisurely transfer from Launceston to Cradle Valley, arriving at Cradle Mountain Hotel by 4 – 4.30pm. Dinner at the hotel, and accommodation is included. Briefing at Red Feather Inn at 11:30am, with shuttle pick-up at Chalmers Church, Launceston, at 11:10am. Guides, gear check, briefing, and shared lunch at the walk base before heading to Cradle Valley. Accommodation at Cradle Mountain Hotel or similar.

Day 02: Approx. 7 hours walking, starting at Waldheim in Cradle Valley. The challenging climb includes Marion’s Lookout for stunning views of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. Lunch by Plateau Creek if weather permits. The journey continues around Cradle Mountain’s base, passing a glacial cirque and Waterfall Valley. The day ends at a hut near Barn Bluff, completing the steepest part of the trek. Weather conditions vary, offering either clear panoramic views or exciting challenges in rough weather.

Day 03: Approx. 6 hours walking, mainly across undulating plains with no significant climbs. Explore vast button grass plains with alpine tarns, framed by ancient pencil pines. Optional side trip to striking Lake Will with remnants of 1890s coal mining. Evening at Pine Forest Moor Hut with outdoor dining and views of Mt. Oakleigh in fine weather.

Day 04: Approx. 5 hours walking, starting with a descent around Mt Pelion West to the Forth River, then a gentle ascent to Pelion Plains. Break at Frog Flats by the river. Weather-permitting side trips to explore mountains, abandoned copper mines, or peaceful spots in the Pelion Plains area.

Day 05: Today offers options based on winter elements. Relax at Pelion Hut for a cozy rest day or, weather permitting, choose between climbing Mt Ossa (1617m) or Mt Oakleigh (1252m). Guides will discuss suitable options with the group.

Day 06: Approx. 4 hours walking begins with a climb to Pelion Gap through beautiful rainforest. The plateau offers fantastic views to the south and north. Side trips, including Mt Pelion East, are optional. A few hours of gentle downhill lead to Kia Ora Hut. Relax or take a wintery side trip based on weather conditions. Spectacular views of Cathedral Mountain at Kia Ora Hut.

Day 07: Approx. 4 hours walking begins with a climb to Pelion Gap through beautiful rainforest. The plateau offers fantastic views to the south and north. Side trips, including Mt Pelion East, are optional. A few hours of gentle downhill lead to Kia Ora Hut. Relax or take a wintery side trip based on weather conditions. Spectacular views of Cathedral Mountain at Kia Ora Hut.

Day 08: Approx. 3 hours walking to Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St Clair. Walk through cool temperate eucalypt forest, guided by birdsong. Lunch at Narcissus, then a 17km cruise on Idaclair boat to Cynthia Bay. Visit the Visitor Centre. Return trip to Red Feather Inn through the trout fishing mecca of highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers.

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