Day 1, 2 & 3: Getting Ready for Tasmania Hikes

Sunday November 20 – Tuesday November 22, 0km/0mi

Launceston (TAS)

I had a direct flight from Perth to Launceston, which took 4 hours. Combined with the 3-hour time difference from Perth, I arrived at 8pm to the tiny airport. A rainstorm was raging underneath the plane, which was fun to watch from the comfort of indoors.

I found my favorite chocolate, Whittaker’s, which is from new Zealand. It disappeared too quickly on a long flight.

I checked-in to the Arthouse Hostel, a cool old Victorian building on the north side of Launceston.

The North Esk River ran right in front of the hostel.

I walked the 1km to the CBD (downtown) to get some groceries, supplies, and a meal. This cafe had a clever “Back to the Future” reference in its name!

The CBD reminded me old some older industrial cities in the Northeast US, like Hartford or Erie.

I love the registration plates here, “Explore the Possibilities”. Perfect for promoting tourism. Also, this 1988 Toyota Camry was in amazingly good shape for being 33 years old.

The weather forecast for Cradle Mountain -Lake St. Clair National Park was for 30-50cm of snow on Monday. My permit start date is Wednesday, so I’m hoping most of it will melt in 2 days, but I still bought microspikes to be safe. Ugh. I now own microspikes on 3 continents…

I went to a nice restaurant for dinner on Tuesday night, and ate some of the best salmon I’ve ever had. Well done, Tasmania.

After dinner, I did some map studying and planning, which I love. I could look at maps for hours…so many possibilities for adventure!

The plan was to connect to the Walls of Jerusalem National Park on a side trail and some light bushwhacking. But if the Mersey river is flowing too high (and it probably will be, from snowmelt), then I’ll skip that 2-day side trip and just do the Overland Track (with minor side hikes) in 5 days. I walked back to the hostel, re-crossing the North Esk River. I loved seeing the crew teams out rowing their shells! Reminded me of home, and watching Cornell university students rowing.

I did my final packing, and went to bed in an empty dorm room (apparently the 2 other people had left). Excited for the Overland Track tomorrow!

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