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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.

Public Transport

For me, planning transport was a nightmare, just trying to deal with what dates I was leaving the track and trying to match that up with what options were available at the other end for the date I wanted to finish.

There are two public bus companies operating in Tasmania. Tassielink and McDermott’s. Tassielink operates throughout all of Tasmania, however McDermott’s mainly focuses on day tours and charters, but they do regular services to Cradle Mountain. McDermott’s also has the advantage of an additional Friday morning service that Tassielink does not provide, and they will also pick you up from your accommodation. I suggest checking out both their websites for an up to date timetable, but for a much easier to breakdown version check out my Overland Track Public Transport Guide.

Private Shuttles

Although I am yet to use this option myself, private shuttles can be a great way of taking alot of the hassle out of planning your transport. It gives you greater flexibility over your dates, and you can save a lot of time as you will be driven direct. Also, it is a great option for people travelling in groups, as with a few people, the cost per person becomes quite reasonable. It also gives you the option of leaving a car at Lake St. Claire and getting a lift up to Cradle Mountain, allowing you to drive out once you have finished. Also most services offer luggage storage.

Adventure Seekers – Offer transport too and from the Overland Track. They also can supply fuel, rent gear and stop for food before you leave. Each driver is also a qualified guide.

Tiger Wilderness Bushwalker Bus – Operate by booking or on demand. They also publish all their bookings, so you can find a bus that has spaces left on it, and hopefully grab a bit of a discount.

Outdoor Tasmania – Also post their current bookings online and can pick you up and drop you off from the airport.

Lake St. Claire Ferry

Many people take this option rather than walking around Lake St. Claire. I did thoroughly enjoy this final leg of the walk, as the scenery is just as unique as the rest of the walk, but it can be a bit of a mission, with the track not as well maintained as the rest of the walk and you will be stepping over a lot of tree roots.

The Ferry cost $40 and it is advisable to book this in advance. You can confirm your booking via radio at Narcissus Hut. If you fail to book, generally it is no drama and you will get on a service at some time that day. During peak season the ferry departs 9.30AM, 1.00PM and 3.30PM. Bear in mind that Cradle Huts has a booking for 12 people most days at 1.00PM and you may not be able to get a spot on this services if you have not confirmed your seat.

2 Responses to “Overland Track Transport Options”

  1. Dean says:

    Thanks for your site, its helpful. We are planning to walk the overland track in May and much start on Tuesday 6 May so public transport to get to Cradle Valley is not an option. We will finish the walk with the boat trip on Sunday 11 or Monday 12 May. Some transport shuttle providers are not operating and others are expensive. There is only 2 of us so wondered is there are any people with cars that do the transport for a better price?? or any other options??

    • Hi Dean
      Finding transport that time of year is definitely tough. I think your best option would be to head over to and ask in their forums there. They are the most active community I’ve found in Aus and I’m sure you will find someone to help you out in your situation.

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