Everything you need to know about the Overland Track

Mt Oakleigh | Gesine Cheung
Mt Oakleigh | Gesine Cheung
Considering walking the Overland Track? Here's the 411 on what to expect, including phone reception, shower facilities, water purification requirements, charging facilities and more.

When is the best time to walk the Overland Track?

The peak season to walk the Overland Track is the summer months of December - February. However, trekking in the shoulder seasons and even during Winter can provide a unique and memorable experience that is worth considering. For a detailed guide on when to trek the Overland Track, check out our article "when to trek the Overland Track", which details the seasonal nuances for each month. For more detailed weather information, please visit our Overland Track weather and climate page.

Are single tents Available?

Unfortunately we do not have a single tent supplement on our Overland Track trips.  While we can certainly put a request for a single tent on your reservation, this cannot be guaranteed. It depends on the makeup of the group and the number of people booked on the departure. Travellers who have a single tent will also find that a single tent is heavier than carrying half of a 2 man tent.

What day pack do we need?

The day pack that we recommend for the Overland Track should be a small compressible day pack that folds down to as small as your hand if not smaller.  This is only to be used when you do side trips, as you will leave your 70-90L backpack at the trail head and return to it after the side trip.  It is not mandatory that you have the day pack, but we find that it is convenient to have one.  An example of what we suggest for a daypack is the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack.

Is there luggage storage?

If you are flying into Launceston and have excess baggage you do not want to take with you on your trip, we are able to store these at no cost at our Launceston office in Invermay. While there is not a separate secure luggage room, our offices are secure and we have had no issues of missing items in over 40 years of operation. If you would like a secured luggage room we recommend asking your hotel if this facility is available.

What flora and fauna can I expect to see on the trail?

The Overland Track is a unique landscape offering a variety of localized climates, with a surprising amount of life that thrives in the National Park. Find out more about the flora and fauna you can expect to see on the trail here.

Are there leeches on the Overland Track?

It’s not uncommon to encounter leeches on the Overland Track, particularly in areas with a lot of leaf foliage and tree coverage. Leeches tend to breed in warm moist areas, so can be spotted during the summer months in marshy areas. Leech bites do not hurt, however if they bother you, we suggest bringing a salt solution to remove them from your skin if you come into contact with them.

What shower facilities are available?

Unfortunately there are no shower facilities on the camping expeditions along the Overland Track. For those who are concerned about washing, the closest you’ll come to a bath are the alpine lakes that are accessible each day, where you can have a quick refreshing dip. However, for a real cleanse we recommend you bring baby wipes (remember to take them out with you as well!). If a hot shower at the end of each day is a ‘make or break’ component for you, consider joining the Cradle Huts version of the Overland Track. This version has hot showers available each night at the cabins.

Can we charge phones and cameras on the Overland Track?

Unfortunately there are no charging facilities at any of the huts along the Overland Track. We recommend bringing extra batteries or solar chargers for your phones. To conserve battery power on your mobile devices, turn your phones into flight mode.

Will I have phone reception?

As the Overland Track is renowned as being a true wilderness walk, you cannot expect phone reception while on the trail. For trekkers who summit Mount Ossa and Cradle Mountain, there is sometimes sporadic phone reception. However, this cannot be relied upon. Our guides carry emergency satellite phones which allow them to communicate with our base in Launceston if any emergencies arise. Rest assured you are not completely alone in the wilderness.

Do I need water purification tablets on the Overland Track?

Tasmania prides itself on clean pure water and most of the water along the track is safe to drink without purifying. Fresh rainwater tanks supplied by Parks and Wildlife can be found at each of the campsites, and you can also fill up your water bottle at many of the springs along the way.

What is the Leave No Trace policy?

We strongly adhere to the Leave No Trace, Australia's national minimal impact program. As part of this philosophy, we encourage travellers to:
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimise Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Your Hosts and Other Visitors
More information on how we reduce our environmental impact on the Overland Track can be found here.

What type of food do we eat on these trips?

You’d be surprised how much food you’ll eat after a day’s trekking along the Overland Track. Our guides are experienced when it comes to preparing meals along the Overland Track. Thanks to a food drop on day #3, we are able to have fresh produce every night along the trail. Lunches usually consist of vegetable wraps with hams, chicken or salami, while evening meals can vary from curries, stroganoff and pastas. Deserts include improvised apple pie, and even a chocolate mousse if you’re lucky! Start your day with a hearty porridge or muesli, with snacks throughout the day including fruit and nuts, muesli bars and some fruit. As this is a full pack adventure, each trekker is required to carry a portion of the group’s food, whether it be a couple of cucumbers, lettuce heads or a bag of pasta. All types of dietary requirements are catered for, including vegetarian, gluten free, lactose free, nut free etc. On the Cradle Huts version of the Overland Track, more gourmet meals can be expected, including antipasto platters, minestrone soups and risottos.

Inspired?

Check out our many different ways to walk the Overland Track here, included guided and self guided trips.  
Overland

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