Day 8: Finishing the Overland Track

Sunday November 27, 15.8km/9.8mi

Narcissus Hut (60.2/748m) to Cynthia Bay/ Southern Terminus (76.0/748m) (TAS)

After another night of bad sleep, I crawled out of my sleeping bag at 7:30 and wandered down to the lake to look for platypuses (platypii ?). I didn’t see any, just some undecided weather.

I went back to the hut and packed up, it was only a 16km walk to the finish so I wasn’t in a hurry. I finally left at 8:30 and enjoyed a nice quiet morning in the forest.

The clouds were getting lower and threatening to rain, but it stayed dry for now.

The trail followed along the west shore of the lake, but usually away from the shore, though a couple times it did emerge from the forest for a view.

After a couple of hours on a muddy, rooty trail I arrived to the final hut, Echo Point Hut.

It isn’t nearly in the same class as the previous huts, I would describe it as an emergency shelter only. It had 4 bunks, was dark and dirty, and I was greeted by a rat while sitting there.

It has a jetty on the lake, since the ferry occasionally does pick-ups here if requested.

Mt. Ida is looking very pointy across the lake.

I packed up and left the hut, and hiked the final 10km thru dense green forest to the finish.

One section of the trail was blanketed in ferns, which was a fun surprise to see.

Near the finish, I started seeing more trail junctions and signage. Platypus Bay!

This was an excellent specimen of clubmoss, a very ancient species of plant.

I crossed a river on a large bridge, right at the confluence of two streams. Neat!

The Overland Track finished at the visitor center, a large building with a cafe, bar, gift shop, and bathrooms.

I asked some passing dayhikers for a photo, and they told me to pose like the statue.

Part of the finish monument is a plaque with a bunch of random statistics about the track.

I signed the final trail register, marking my hike complete!

On my way to the cafe, I noticed this sign, and it was impossible not to oblige.

A Peppermint chocolate chip cone tastes better after 76km of hiking!

I made it a few more steps to the bathrooms when I noticed they had showers too. Free showers!

I knew my bunkhouse tonight had paid showers, so I decided to get a shower now instead. A hot shower never felt so good. After a week in cold wind, snow, and feeling flu-ish…it was amazing. After getting clean, I finally made it into the cafe.

I ordered a chicken burger and chips, and had one of the best pale ales I’ve ever tasted. Trapper & Miggins is a Tasmanian local beer.

While I was waiting for my food, I noticed a plaque on the wall, showing the annual speed records for the Overland Track. 7.5 hours for males, 8.5 hours for females… that’s crazy fast.

It takes most people a week to hike the 76km/47mi. I finished my food and walked 5 minutes over to the bunkhouse, which was a clean & simple setup.

I turned on the heat pump, as it’s forecasted to be 2C tonight, and spread out my stuff to dry. A little while later, a group I had met a couple days ago at Kia Ora Hut had arrived. They were fun to talk with, and I spent the evening in the bunkhouse dining room hanging out and attempting to learn their complicated Italian card game, haha.

Tomorrow I have a lazy morning, and will catch a bus at 2pm to Hobart, where I will regroup and plan the final 3 weeks of my Australia trip.

2 Comments

  1. Congratulations, Jon, on finishing the Overland Track hike! Quite the accomplishment. And the mint green ice cream looks very tasty.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s