Australia Backpacking

6-Day Overland Track Itinerary (Plus More Itinerary Options)

Duckboard on the Overland Track. Get your info on the standard 6-Day Overland Track Itinerary plus lots of itinerary options for 4 to 12 day trips.

Due to the way the huts and campgrounds are spaced, most people take 6 or 7 days to complete the Overland Track, including side trips. When I was planning my trip I worked out tons of options, but since I sprained my ankle a few weeks before my trip, I defaulted to the most common 6-Day Overland Track itinerary with only a few side trips. (Originally I was planning something much more ambitious!)

But lots more options are possible including slower trips for beginner walkers, faster trips for strong hikers and longer trips for peak baggers or those who want to explore less-trodden side tracks.

I’ve set out a few sample itineraries below so you can pick the one that works best for you. Some of these itineraries also include side trips, but keep in mind that side trips to mountain peaks are weather dependent. If it’s pouring rain, snowy, icy or super windy up there, you won’t be able to get to the top. (Nor would you want to!)

 

Want more info about the Overland Track? Check out my Ultimate Guide to the Overland Track. It has a great overview of everything you need to know including how to book, what the weather is like, when to go, and how to stay safe.

 

Choosing Your Overland Track Itinerary

When you are planning your Overland Track trip there are a few factors to consider when choosing how many days to take. First, consider your fitness. How many hours a day can you comfortably walk? How do you do on climbs? Read my section-by-section overview of the Overland Track to get an idea of what to expect along the way. Be sure to consider which side trips to take. You can climb Tasmania’s highest peak, swim in a lake, visit a waterfall and more.Then read my guide to Overland Track huts and campgrounds to decide which ones look nicest.

Next figure out your priorities. Do you want to spend lots of time climbing peaks? Do you want to a rest day where you stay at the same camp for two nights? Is completing the trail in fast-and-light style more your thing? Just because the standard itinerary is 6-days doesn’t mean you need to stick to it.

Lastly, plan for the weather. Tasmania’s weather is notoriously fickle, even in the middle of summer. Keep in mind that any itinerary you choose needs to account for poor weather. On a tight itinerary you will have to keep walking through rain and snow. But if you opt for a longer itinerary, you can wait out the storm in a hut (and forgo some of your side trips.)

NOTE: The Waterfall Valley Hut is closed for construction from November 2019 to May 2020. Scroll down for itineraries that don’t include the Waterfall Valley area.

 

READ NEXT: Overland Track Section-by-Section Overview

 

Standard 6-Day or 7-Day Overland Track Itinerary

This is the Overland Track itinerary I followed, and I’d say most of the people I met along the track were on the same schedule. The majority of hikers exit the trail at Narcissus on the ferry rather than walking around Lake St Clair.

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley: 4-6 hours. Optional side trip to Cradle Mountain or Barn Bluff.

Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Windermere. 2.5-3.5 hours. Optional side trip to Barn Bluff or Lake Will.

Day 3: Windermere to Pelion: 5-7 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 4: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. Optional side trip to Mount Oakleigh, Mount Ossa or Mount Pelion East.

Day 5: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge: 3.5-4.5 hours. Optional side trip to D’Alton Falls, Fergusson Falls or Hartnett Falls.

Day 6: Windy Ridge to Narciuss Ferry Jetty: 3-4 hours.

Optional Day 7: Narcissus to Cynthia Bay: 5-6 hours. You could also walk from Windy Ridge to Echo Point (5-6 hours) on Day 6, then from Echo Point to Cynthia Bay (3-4 hours) on Day 7.

 

Standard 6-Day or 7-Day Overland Track Itinerary When Waterfall Valley is Closed

The Waterfall Valley Hut and campground are closed for construction between November 2019 and May 2020. This itinerary uses the standard detour to Scott-Kilvert Hut at the Parks and Wildlife Service recommends.

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Scott-Kilvert Hut: 4-6 hours. Optional side trip to Cradle Mountain or Barn Bluff.

Day 2: Scott-Kilvert Hut to Windermere. 4-5 hours. Optional side trip to Barn Bluff or Lake Will.

Day 3: Windermere to Pelion: 5-7 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 4: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. Optional side trip to Mount Oakleigh, Mount Ossa or Mount Pelion East.

Day 5: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge: 3.5-4.5 hours. Optional side trip to D’Alton Falls, Fergusson Falls or Hartnett Falls.

Day 6: Windy Ridge to Narciuss Ferry Jetty: 3-4 hours.

Optional Day 7: Narcissus to Cynthia Bay: 5-6 hours. You could also walk from Windy Ridge to Echo Point (5-6 hours) on Day 6, then from Echo Point to Cynthia Bay (3-4 hours) on Day 7.

 

Alternative 5-Day or 6-Day Overland Track Itinerary When Waterfall Valley is Closed

The detour to Scott-Kilvert Hut involves a 300m descent on day 1, then a 300m ascent back to the main trail on day 2. If you’d prefer to avoid that, you can use this itinerary instead. The first day is a long one, so you won’t have time for side trips. 

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Windermere: 6.5-9.5 hours. 

Day 2: Windermere to Pelion: 5-7 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 3: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. Optional side trip to Mount Oakleigh, Mount Ossa or Mount Pelion East.

Day 4: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge: 3.5-4.5 hours. Optional side trip to D’Alton Falls, Fergusson Falls or Hartnett Falls.

Day 5: Windy Ridge to Narciuss Ferry Jetty: 3-4 hours.

Optional Day 6: Narcissus to Cynthia Bay: 5-6 hours. You could also walk from Windy Ridge to Echo Point (5-6 hours) on Day 6, then from Echo Point to Cynthia Bay (3-4 hours) on Day 7.

 

Fast 5-Day Overland Track Itinerary

If you don’t have much time, you can definitely complete the Overland Track faster than the standard itineraries. You may still even have time for some side trips. If you choose this itinerary, keep in mind that you will need to book the last ferry of the day on day 5.

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley: 4-6 hours. Optional side trip to Cradle Mountain or Barn Bluff.

Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Windermere. 2.5-3.5 hours. Optional side trip to Barn Bluff or Lake Will.

Day 3: Windermere to Pelion: 5-7 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 4: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. Optional side trip to Mount Oakleigh, Mount Ossa or Mount Pelion East.

Day 5: Kia Ora to Narcissus: 6.5-8.5 hours. Optional side trip to Hartnett Falls.

 

Super-Fast 4-Day Overland Track Itinerary

If you want to go even faster, you can complete the Overland Track in 4 days. You may not have time for many side trips and you’ll be spending most of each day on the track.

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley: 4-6 hours. Optional side trip to Cradle Mountain or Barn Bluff.

Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Frog Flats. 5.5-7.5 hours. Optional side trip to Lake Will.

Day 3: Frog Flats to Kia Ora: 5-7 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 4: Kia Ora to Narcissus: 6.5-8.5 hours. Optional side trip to Hartnett Falls.

Walking on the Overland Track. Get your info on the standard 6-Day Overland Track Itinerary plus lots of itinerary options for 4 to 12 day trips.

Beginner-Friendly 7-Day and 9-Day Overland Track Itineraries

These beginner-friendly itineraries prioritize short days on your feet. They also include only the easiest side trips.

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley: 4-6 hours. 

Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Windermere. 2.5-3.5 hours. Optional side trip to Lake Will.

Day 3: Windermere to Frog Flats 3-4 hours.

Day 4: Frog Flats to Pelion: 2-3 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 5: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. 

Day 6: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge: 3.5-4.5 hours. Optional side trip to Hartnett Falls.

Day 7: Windy Ridge to Narciuss Ferry Jetty: 3-4 hours.

Optional Day 8: Narcissus to Echo Point: 2 hours.

Optional Day 9: Echo Point to Cynthia Bay: 3-4 hours.

 

Peak Baggers 7-day and 8-Day Itineraries

You can access many of Tasmania’s highest mountains from the Overland Track, including the tallest, Mount Ossa. Some people make a sport of trying to climb all of Tasmania’s peaks over 1100m tall, called Abels. This itinerary is designed to climb as many Abels as possible along the track (weather depending of course).

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley: 4-6 hours. Side trip to Cradle Mountain.

Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Windermere. 2.5-3.5 hours. Side trip to Barn Bluff.

Day 3: Windermere to Pelion: 5-7 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 4: Stay at Pelion. Side trip to Mount Oakleigh.

Day 5: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. Side trip to Mount Ossa and/or Mount Pelion East.

Day 6: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge: 3.5-4.5 hours. Optional side trip to D’Alton Falls, Fergusson Falls or Hartnett Falls.

Day 7: Windy Ridge to Narciuss Ferry Jetty: 3-4 hours.

Optional Day 8: Narcissus to Cynthia Bay: 5-6 hours.

 

7-Day Pine Valley and Overland Track Combo Itinerary

Most Overland Track hikers do not walk the side track into Pine Valley, so it’s much quieter. There are several gorgeous day walks in the valley so it makes sense to spend at least one night at the hut there. (On my trip the Pine Valley Track was closed due to a nearby wildfire, so I haven’t actually been there yet. But rest assured, the fire didn’t come close enough to do any damage.)

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley: 4-6 hours. Optional side trip to Cradle Mountain or Barn Bluff.

Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Windermere. 2.5-3.5 hours. Optional side trip to Barn Bluff or Lake Will.

Day 3: Windermere to Pelion: 5-7 hours. Optional side trip to Old Pelion Hut.

Day 4: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. Optional side trip to Mount Oakleigh, Mount Ossa or Mount Pelion East.

Day 5: Kia Ora to Pine Valley: 6.5-8 hours. Optional side trip to D’Alton Falls, Fergusson Falls or Hartnett Falls.

Day 6: Stay at Pine Valley. Side trip to the Acropolis. Optional additional side trip to the Labyrinth.

Day 7: Pine Valley to Narcissus: 3-4.5 hours.

 

Heading towards Du Cane Gap on the Overland Track. Get your info on the standard 6-Day Overland Track Itinerary plus lots of itinerary options for 4 to 12 day trips.

 

10-Day, 11-Day and 12-Day Itineraries for the Full Experience

This itinerary includes every single side trip along the Overland Track, including a few days in Pine Valley. You’ll have heavy packs on this trip since you’ll be packing so many days of food. Keep in mind that on a trip this length you are bound to run into bad weather which may preclude some of the side trips.

Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley: 4-6 hours. Side trip to Cradle Mountain.

Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Windermere. 2.5-3.5 hours. Side trips to Barn Bluff and Lake Will.

Day 3: Windermere to Pelion: 5-7 hours.

Day 4: Stay at Pelion. Side trips to Mount Oakleigh and Old Pelion Hut.

Day 5: Stay at Pelion. Side trip to Mount Ossa.

Day 6: Pelion to Kia Ora: 3-4 hours. Side trip to Mount Pelion East.

Day 7: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge: 3.5-4.5 hours. Side trips to D’Alton Falls, Fergusson Falls or Hartnett Falls.

Day 8: Windy Ridge to Pine Valley: 3 hours. Side trip to the Acropolis.

Day 9: Stay at Pine Valley. Side trip to the Labyrinth and Lake Elysia

Day 10: Pine Valley to Narcissus: 3 hours.

Optional Day 11: Narcissus to Echo Point: 2 hours OR Narcissus to Cynthia Bay 5-6 hours.

Optional Day 12: Echo Point to Cynthia Bay: 3-4 hours.

 

 

So now you should have all the info you need to choose your Overland Track itinerary. Don’t forget to book ferries and shuttle buses that line up with your itinerary! For your first time, I recommend the standard 6-Day Overland Track Itinerary, but if the weather looks good I’d add on Pine Valley too. Have questions about planning your itinerary? Leave them in the comments!

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sophie
    December 3, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Just did the track last week, it was amazing!
    Thanks for all the answers and information from you blogs!

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