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Overland Track – Day 1: Cradle Mountain to Barn Bluff

Overland Track – Day 1: Cradle Mountain to Barn Bluff

Sunday November 29, 2015

The Overland Track is Tasmania’s premier bushwalk, stretching around 60km from Ronney Creek at Cradle Mountain all the way to Lake St Clair (74km if you walk the length of Lake St Clair also, rather than jumping aboard the ferry at Narcissus!). Recently we had the extreme pleasure of walking the track as guests on the Cradle Mountain Huts guided walk, and I will be sharing some photos and stories from that trip in the coming days.

Cradle Mountain Huts Barn Bluff Hut

The hut near Barn Bluff at the end of Day 1

Firstly, Cradle Mountain Huts need to be congratulated on setting up a stunning trip for their guests. You really feel like royalty with two guides telling you about the natural history and features of the track during the day, then running ahead to the hut to prepare drinks and meals while you enjoy a hot shower (!!!) and a glass or two of wine. It is a stunning luxury, in the wilderness, and we were very impressed with the organisational aspects of the trip. There is even a maintenance man on the track, doing odd jobs on the huts as required! The logistics must be incredible…

But on to the walk…

Overland Track Day 1: Ronney Creek (Waldheim) to Barn Bluff

Pandani and Cradle Mountain, Overland Track

Pandani and Cradle Mountain, Day 1 on the Cradle Mountain Huts Overland Track hike

You are transported to Waldheim, where the walk begins. The first part of the trip is very familiar – cross Ronney Creek, pass Crater Falls and Crater Lake, before climbing Marions Lookout. The weather was perfect for us, and we enjoyed 360 degree mountain views for basically the entire trip. After passing Kitchen Hut, the track continues around Cradle Mountain – where I had a lovely walk in the autumn mist photographing the fagus a couple of years ago. From here, Barn Bluff on the horizon starts to dominate the views.

Barn Bluff from Tasmania's Overland Track

Barn Bluff and the Fury Gorge. The bright green is the new spring fagus leaves.

Continuing past Cradle Mountain and onto Cradle Cirque, the track then descends into Waterfall Valley and the first public hut. The guided tour hut is a little further on, and as we settled in for the evening, I ventured out to shoot the night sky – and low and behold, an aurora was busily beaming and shimmering away!

Aurora Australis Overland Track Tasmania

The Aurora Australis made a stunning display for us at the end of a long first day walking, with Mt Ossa visible in the distance (left hand side)

An amazing first day out on the track.

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