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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

Six day hike

In my experience, hiking the overland track in six days is by far the easiest option to plan for. You have the biggest range of transport options, and you will be able to do 90% of the side trips including the walk around Lake St. Claire to finish. I believe the overland track should not be rushed, even though by a few nights civilisation and a warm shower may be calling out for you.

Hiking over 6 days also gives you quite a bit of flexibility. You will meet people along the way who may be doing different things and be like “Hey, I want to do that!” If you see any guides from the Cradle Huts Tour, I suggest you try to talk to them, as they know the best things to see, and have sound directions. There is also no harm in planning for 6 days, because if you get to the end early there is no real drama. Especially if you start on the Friday as this has the greatest transport options when finishing.

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

Five Day Hike

A five day hike of the overland track, in my opinion, is probably a tad on the short side if you really want to soak up what this unique part of the world is all about. Sure, it can definitely be done without too much stress, however you will definitely miss out on a lot of the side trips, unless you plan to finish the walk on the Friday to catch the late bus on offer that day. (This will however make accommodation complications at Hobart) The way I figure it, the hike is basically free, so if you are spending all this money to get there, you may as well make the most of it, and most likely you will finish wishing you had one more day. I’d feel like that even if I spent ten days!

At current, there is only one public transport option that is suitable for a five day hike, and the bus doesn’t leave until 8PM! So it’s still possible to do everything you would on the six day hike, but skip the last night at Cynthia Bay and jump on the bus instead. Just be sure to have your accommodation in Hobart well sorted.

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

Seven Day Hike

If you plan on doing the hike in seven days, you will be able to soak up almost EVERYTHING the overland track has to offer, you will be able to see all the side trips, including Pine Valley and summiting almost all of the mountains. And you can always plan for seven and finish in six, once you are back in civilisation there is no longer a whole lot to worry about.

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

Please note, these are the current transport timetables and are subject to change. I will endeavour to update this information as it becomes available.

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