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Should I take the Ferry, or walk around Lake St. Claire?...

Lake St. Claire Ferry

I get a lot of people asking me about the final leg of the walk. Is it worth walking around Lake St. Claire? Or should you just catch the ferry straight to the end? On one hand you have an easy way out on a very scenic ferry ride, which is beautiful in itself. On the other hand you have an extra 20km to walk, and in my view, it’s essentially part of the track. Keep reading to find out why you should too.

Booking Your Walk in 6 Easy Steps

Booking Your Overland Hike

 

Overland Track Booking

Overland Track booking system

Booking your walk can be relatively straightforward once you have sorted out your transport, and what dates you want to depart on. However before then you will be going around in circles a few times before you actually commit to a date. The way I like to do it is by following a few simple steps outlined below..

Overland Track Transport Options

 

Overland Track Transport

One of the hardest parts of organising your Overland Track trip is working out the transport options, both to Cradle Mountain and from Lake St. Claire, and also getting to Tasmania itself. There are only two statewide public bus services available, and one of them does not service Lake St. Claire. There are also a few private shuttle buses that service the track, and other walks in Tasmania, but these fetch a higher price than the public alternative and may not be an option for the budget hikers.

There are also two main ways to get to Tasmania, the most obvious being by air. But the other alternative is via The Spirit of Tasmania, which can be an event in itself and a great option if you plan on doing further exploration by car through Tasmania before or after the walk.

Overland Track Public Transport Guide

Overland Track public Transport

Organising public transport for the Overland Track can be a bit of a nightmare. I’ve created this guide to public transport, incorporating both Tassielink and McDermotts into an easy to read table. It is basically a recap of my post about how many days you should spend on the overland track. If you haven’t decided how many days you are going to take I suggest checking out that page first. Once you have decided, refer to the quick guide below.

Five Days

Transport to Cradle Mountain From Launceston at:Arrive at Lake St. Claire on:Get Bus out of Lake St. Claire at:Arrive in Hobart at:
Monday 8.15AM (Tassielink)FridayFriday 7.30PMFriday 10.00PM
Wednesday 8.15AM (Tassielink)SundaySunday 2.45PMSunday 5.35PM
Thursday 8.15AM (Tassielink Peak Times ONLY)MondayTuesday 11.45AM (Service also departs to Launceston via Hobart)Tuesday 2.30PM
Saturday 8.15AM (Tassielink Peak Times ONLY)WednesdayThursday 11.45AM (Service also departs to Launceston via Hobart)Thursday 2.30PM
Sunday 8.30AM (McDermotts)ThursdayFriday 7.45PMFriday 10.00PM

Six Days

Transport to Cradle Mountain from Launceston at:Arrive at Lake St. Claire on:Get Bus out of Lake St. Claire at:Arrive in Hobart at:
Monday 8.15AM (Tassielink) Monday 8.30AM (McDermotts)SaturdaySunday 2.45PMSunday 5.35PM
Wednesday 8.15AM (Tassielink)MondayTuesday 11.45AM (Service also departs to Launceston via Hobart)Tuesday 2.30PM
Friday 8.30AM (McDermotts)WednesdayThursday 11.45AM (Service also departs to Launceston via Hobart)Thursday 2.30PM
Saturday 8.15AM (Tassielink Peak times ONLY)ThursdayFriday 7.30PMFriday 10.00PM
Sunday 8.30AM (McDermotts)FridayFriday 7.30PMFriday 10.00PM

Seven Days

Transport to Cradle Mountain From Launceston at:Arrive at Lake St. Claire on:Get Bus out of Lake St. Claire at:Arrive in Hobart at:
Monday 8.15AM (Tassielink) Monday 8.30AM (McDermotts)SundaySunday 5.45PMSunday 5.35PM
Thursday 8.15AM (Tassielink Peak times ONLY)WednesdayThursday 11.45AM (Service also departs to Launceston via Hobart)Thursday 2.30PM
Friday 8.30 (McDermotts)ThursdayFriday 7.30PMFriday 10.00PM
Saturday 8.15AM (Tassielink Peak times ONLY)FridayFriday 7.30PMFriday 10.00PM
Sunday 8.30AM (McDermotts)SaturdaySunday 5.25PMSunday 8.10PM

Overland Track – How many Nights?

 Overland Track – How Many Nights?

How many days you should spend walking the overland track is a frequently asked question and integral to your planning.

Should I do the track in six days?

If I don’t have time should I do it in five days?

How many extra days should I spend if I want to do the side trips?

These are some common questions I hope to answer. How many days greatly depends on two variables. How many side trips you want to do, and juggling the transport options for these various lengths. In my opinion six days is the ideal length, in both covering lots of side trips, and also having the greatest range of transport options. However, in my experience, the transport companies are quite flexible, and if you miss your bus, the next service is generally ok to jump on.

And of course, if you book your own private transport you can leave any day you want, and get picked up any time you want, but it will just cost you a little extra. In the end it could be worth it just to have piece of mind and a bit of extra flexibility

Keep reading for a full breakdown

Content current until 11th April 2015