The Overland Track Part One…. And So The Adventure Begins

6 days. 4 boys that call themselves the “Trail Smashing Mega Blokes” and a girl. Approximately 90km. Four waterfalls. One mountain summit. Voted one of the top ten walks in the world. Welcome to the Overland Track, deep in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness!

The Start Of The Overland Track At Ronny Creek

It had been on the bucket list for years and this time I decided that while spending some time at home I was going to do it! So I put out the call for others to come along on Facebook and found some friends from high school I hadn’t seen in years who were keen. That is it! We’re going! It’s on!

Day One

And so I set off in the 4WD through the amazing Central Highlands from Launceston to Lake St. Clair to meet up with the others coming up from Hobart. After meeting we drove the winding roads up through to the small mining town of Queenstown for lunch before continuing on to Cradle Mountain National Park.

Queenstown Main Street
Queenstown Main Street

Post checking into our accommodation and organizing all of our packs and who was carrying what, came the last supper. Dinner consisted of a giant BBQ plate of meat, a luxury food not afforded to us for the next 6 days followed by the most ridiculous game of ‘spoons’ you have ever seen (spoons literally flying around the kitchen) and the last nights’ sleep in a real bed.

Day Two

I started the morning off with a Redbull poured into a glass and handed to me while I was still in bed. It was freezing and motivation at that point to get out of bed was low. Add the caffeine kickstart and we are up and at ’em!

We started at the Ronny Creek Car Park at 7:30am. Spirits were high, there was excitement in the air. We hiked through the grasslands up into the rain forest and then up around to the stunning views over Crater Lake. The packs were heavy and foreign on the backs but not too bad at that stage.  We persisted climbing up the side of a steep hill, hauling ourselves up with the chains supports to Marion’s Lookout with the incredible view of Dove Lake and the amazing Cradle Mountain, renowned for it’s cradle-like shape in the middle.

Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain

The steepest ascent and toughest part of the day was done. From here was a flat stroll through low level grasslands with some of the most breathtaking valley views I have ever seen in my life. To the left you hiked along the side of Cradle Mountain and to the right, there were the valleys and the amazing Barn Bluff, a mountain of jagged and sheer rock sticking up out of a curved hill like a pile of sticks.

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Barn Bluff

We followed the trail down until we reached the Waterfall Valley Hut. This is technically the end of the first leg of the Overland Track and we were here by noon and decided we would stay on for lunch. We were joined by a crew of three from France who had just summitted the Barn Bluff and we sat and ate together. At one point, we saw a random guy who was wearing nothing but a singlet, a tiny pair of shorts and a headband running around outside being all Rambo. For the rest of the trip, he became known as the ghost of the Overland Track from the 80’s. Nobody saw him again after that. Nobody knew where he went.

Given how early it was, we continued to proceed on the next leg of the Overland Track to Windermere Hut. It was a struggle and a hard push towards the end. The feet were starting to hurt. The pack was wearing through on the back. But 8km later we made it. It was around an 18km day of hiking, and putting the pack down had never felt better. With some herb and cheese gnocchi for dinner smashed down, it was early to bed with the thirteen of us in the hut and a pretty restless sleep.

Day Three

The longest single leg of the Overland Track from the Windermere Hut to the Pelion Hut was today. The weather unlike the day before was average with little to no visibility. So it was a long, hard and incredibly muddy slog, through the Pine Forest Moor, through the Frog Flats and down to the Pelion Hut. At one point I started freaking out that I was not going to make it there before it got dark considering that my feet had gotten so sore that they were slowing me down quite a lot. We eventually arrived though and I had never been happier.

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Through the Pine Forest Moor

The views from the balcony overlooking the mountains from Pelion Hut were incredibly calming and beautiful. I chose to sit out here and pop the many blisters I had acquired that day in an attempt to dry them out for the next day. There were around thirty people staying at the hut including quite a few families which surprised me given that it is quite perilous hiking the Overland Track in winter. The boys and I sat, ate an amazing dehydrated Laksa for dinner and I taught them how to play Yaniv, a game we became well acquainted with during the trip. Sleep was easier on the second night, but still fairly restless.

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Views out from the Pelion Hut

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Overland Track……

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The World – Virgin Blog Entry

I am not sure how or when exactly it started, but my inherent fascination with the world, the people in it and their differences has always given me itchy feet. So much so that I made it my life long goal to visit every continent on the globe and as many countries in this life as I could. A huge feat, one that even I still can’t fathom 30 countries later. Add to this my excitable nature and my constant need to be doing something different all of the time and I find myself in all kinds of hilarious situations and troubles.

Every child in this world embraced dreams and dared to dream large. As people age they tend to start living in a state fear that inhibits them from reaching true happiness and fulfilling their own potential. The fear of instability and of what other people think about them begins to dictate their choices. After letting this resonate with me for many years and struggling with going against the social norms, I decided to embrace the wise words once spoken by Nelson Mandela. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”.

So everyday, I challenge myself. Push myself to the limits. Try something new. Experience difference. LIVE. Because if we are static in this life, we will never grow. I personally don’t want to see my life out with regrets. I want to remember the roller coaster and say ‘well, geez that was a whole lot of fun and a hell of a ride! I did everything I could have in this short time that we are granted here on this earth. I didn’t waste any of it’.

And so here begins your journey with me. Laugh with me, cry with me, struggle with me, as I take on whatever challenge comes my way, no matter how ridiculous it might seem at the time. It is bound to be a riot! I didn’t get the nickname “Stories Dano” for nothing!

With much love, fun and adventure to come! I look forward to the ride with you all!

 

Danni 🙂 xxxx

A woman's lifelong aversion to the word 'No'….