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Overland Track - Day 6

Overland Track - Day 6
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Overland Track




17 - 1205m ASL


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THE MORNING dawned overcast devoid of colour. We left shortly after sunrise needing to head down the length of the Narcissus Valley to catch a boat later this morning.

The cloud cleared as we headed through the scrubby forest down the valley. Over a couple of hours the track gradually improved and the valley opened out. The rocky track at one point became boardwalk as we reached the bottom of the valley drop and the forest opened out into heathland giving us views of the mountains surrounding us in all directions.

Once over the heathland we reached a swingbridge crossing the still Narcissus River before entering the bush again and following the river downstream a short distance to Narcissus Hut, where we briefly stopped before following the boardwalk continuing downstream to a jetty where the river flowed into the pristine Lake St Clair. Here the group that had been assembling here over the past little while expanded before the little boat came around the corner and stopped.

Once packs were loaded we all climbed aboard and started the 13 kilometre journey along the lake towards its far end, presumably where a glacier had deposited its moraine in a past ice age. The large lake was at 737 metres above sea level with mountains rising on either side and 215 metres deep at its deepest point, making it Australia's deepest lake.

Once we reached the jetty at the far end, we walked a short distance to the Lake St Clair Lodge, where we took photos at the official end of the track having successfully achieved it, even the guy whos boot had blown out going over Cradle Mountain on day 1 (and the other boot starting to fall apart somewhere in the middle of the trek), having kept them together with being wrapped with duct tape every day and one of the rangers creating a more structually sound solution with cable ties.

With final group photos done, we headed into the lodge to have pizza at the restaurant before climbing in the van and heading back to Launceston. After initially following the Derwent River from where it flowed out of the lake (and where it flows southwards towards Hobart), we followed the Lyell Highway to a turnoff marking the geographical centre of Tasmania. From here we headed north to Great Lake, the largest lake in Tasmania and the largest of numerous lakes we passed in this subalpine area. We headed around the lake through the Great Lake Conservation Area, were we were at over 1200 metres above sea level at one point before gradually descending to the start of a very long and winding drop down the edge of the escarpment from the highlands into the much lower Midlands, the main valley heading the length of the island between Launceston and Hobart.

We eventually joined the main highway between the cities and continued for another half an hour before reaching Launceston, where we parted ways and I headed back to the pod hostel for a well deserved rest after a long and challenging trek.


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