Lake St Clair is not just the end of the Overland Track, but one of Tasmania’s greatest buswalking and scenic areas. The rainforest walk from Cynthia Bay to Narcissus Hut, with panoramic views of Lake St Clair and Mt Ida, is a great way to introduce yourself to the park, with panoramic views from Echo Point of Mt Ida & the Traveller Range. More serious walks include the Labyrinth and Mt Rufus.
The walk from Cynthia Bay (the visitor centre) to Echo Point is 2.5 hours of solid walking, but of course you should plan to take longer and enjoy having a look at the tall rainforest and unique Tasmanian plants such as Pandani and Leatherwood which grow all around this part of the world. There are a lot of small creeks running off Mt Olympus, and being a bit of a sucker for photographing mossy, boulder filled streams, it took a fair bit longer than 2.5 hours to arrive at Echo Point! But that is definitely the advantage of the long daylight hours at this time of year – sunset in December in Tasmania is approx 8:30pm.
The aim for the night was photographing the lake, with its Mt Ida skyline, and the calm conditions even had me staring to wonder if reflections weren’t completely out of the question! As you can see reflections kind of appeared but kind of didn’t, but the calmness in the water (the aboriginal name for Lake St Clair is “sleeping waters”) did allow the colour in the clouds to be caught in the lake.
Echo Point also serves as the last hut on the Overland Track. There is a smallish hut there (compared to the hotel at Pelion for example!) which would sleep 8 comfortably. Most walkers are probably keen to jump on the ferry at Narcissus after 5~6 days on the Overland Track, but Echo Point is a nice place to put the feet up before heading back to the civilisation, or even just as a one night getaway from Hobart.