On this epic adventure we trek from the sandy beaches of Penguin, through valleys and canyons, gradually climbing up to the highlands over six days on the Coast to Cradle Trail. We then do The Overland Track through the middle of Tassie, including our highest peak (Mt Ossa) and our most famous (Cradle Mtn). After the dolerite dominated landscape of The Overland we trek into quartzite country on the Frenchmans Cap Trek, aiming to summit this amazing peak. Next we kick off our hiking boots and pull on wetsuits for eight days Rafting the Franklin River. At the end of the Franklin Stormbreaker yacht take us down the Gordon River to Strahan on the mid‑west coast. From here we board a light aircraft to fly over the West Coast into Southwest World Heritage Area. The final leg of this journey treks the South Coast Track, a rugged and wonderfully rewarding trail that weaves over and around mountains, beaches and rivers to Cockle Creek – Tassie’s most southern township. The traverse ends in Hobart, our beautiful capital city. Between each trip you will have two or three nights in comfortable accommodation to relax, reflect on the journey so far, and recharge for
the next section. Your guides for each section are extremely passionate about the unique areas and delight in sharing their knowledge and uncovering the hidden stories of the land with you. There is scope to return year‑after‑year to complete different sections if you are unable to join in its entirety.
By adventuring via land, sea and air you will come away with thorough understanding and appreciation of what makes this magnificent state just so special, why it is known to have some of the best trekking in the world.
Each day, each group, each guide may influence itinerary details but the following will give you an idea of daily timing. Mornings will start with a hot drink call from your guides. They will then prepare breakfast, whilst you get ready for the day and pack up all your equipment. After breakfast the guides will finish their last minute packing and then set off for the day’s walk.
Each day is different but usually the morning walk is 3‑4 hours in duration with numerous snack, photo and water breaks along the way. A leisurely lunch is served which provides the chance to put your feet up, take photos, or simply enjoy the magnificent scenery around you. The afternoon walk is usually shorter then the morning walk getting us to camp with plenty of daylight and time for exploring, relaxing or just enjoying a welcome hot drink and a chat. A hot dinner and dessert is served around 7pm with time to tell a few stories and hear a brief on the following day’s activities.
Your guides will not expect any assistance but will appreciate it if you have the energy to help collect drinking water when arriving at camp, wash up the lunch dishes in readiness for the evening meal etc.
After a pre departure briefing in Launceston the day prior you will be transferred to Northern Tasmania and the start of the Coast to Cradle trail. Over the next six days you will walk from the north coast, along the length of the stunning Leven Canyon before ascending the Black Bluff Range and onto Mt Beecroft and the Vale of Belvoir.
Today you need to make your way to our office at 3/33 Churchill Park Drive, Invermay. The briefing will commence at 10:30 a.m sharp and will cover all aspects of the trip including an overview of the itinerary, a comprehensive gear check, rafting gear fittings and details of accommodation/transfers included in your trip. This is a great opportunity for you to meet some of the different guides who will be leading the various sections of the traverse. A lunch will be provided as the briefing is expected to go from mid to late afternoon. Afterwards you will be transferred to your accommodation where you will be able to relax before the evenings dinner.
After a pre departure briefing in Launceston the day prior ,you are transferred to Northern Tasmania and the start of the Coast to Cradle trail. Our trek begins at sea level in Penguin, a small seaside village, then heads south and slowly but surely higher until finishing six days later in the highlands of Cradle Mountain National Park. We wave goodbye to the vehicle, don our packs and start trekking. Today’s route takes us out of Penguin village and into the Dial Range. Following Myrtle Creek, Keddies Creek, and River Leven we trek along valleys then head upwards to Mt Lorymer Lookout. After enjoying lunch we descend to Walloa Creek for our first night under the stars.
Your guides will have you up early this morning for breakfast as we have a big walk ahead. We emerge from the rainforest of Walloa Creek to Gunns Plains, a rural farming community. We cross through the Plains on back roads before reaching the Northern Gates, the entrance to the stunning Leven Canyon. After lunch we enter the canyon where you’ll experience breathtaking views of the Leven River rushing below. An hour or so before reaching camp we cross Tulip-tree Creek. Tuliptree is an early name for the Tasmanian Waratah– one of our most intricate and intriguing endemic plants. The challenging walk hugs the wall of the canyon before descending to leafy Blackwood Camp. Tonight we pitch our tents beside the River Leven, sheltered by the peaks of The Three Brothers and Griffiths Ridge.
Today’s trek is physically challenging as we make our way into the heart of the Leven Canyon. The day is full of amazing views both from high on the canyon wall edge and the river bank itself. The forest along the ancient river course is simply stunning. We pass a boulder filled gully on the right, this is where the river once flowed through; a huge landslide changed the course of the river to where it is now. The afternoon takes us over Griffiths Ridge, then downwards past a footbridge. Descending towards Loongana you are greeted with the amazing sight of Leven Falls, a series of majestic cascades. You may like to soak your hardworking feet in the creek beside our camp as your guides prepare a hearty evening meal. 7km 7hrs
This morning we trek up the foothills of Black Bluff. As we climb the vegetation changes from tall eucalypt forest to shorter Tea Tree and Banksia communities, before emerging in pristine sub-alpine landscape at Paddys Lake. After setting up camp the afternoon offers us the chance to make a side trip to the summit of Black Bluff (1339m). From the top you are rewarded with one of the most spectacular views in Tasmania! The 360-degree vista allows you to take in all of the ranges from Bass Straight to the Central Plateau. In clear weather even iconic Cradle Mountain and Mount Ossa (Tasmania’s highest peak) are visible, and if you look a little further you may see the Southern Ocean meeting the ancient Tarkine coastline.
The track today is relatively gentle. We are up high, following the Black Bluff Range south. Amongst a diversity of other alpine flora you will witness examples of three of Tasmania’s most vibrant cushion plant communities. In the afternoon the vegetation opens up to vast buttongrass plains, and we trek over Prospect Mountain, the summit of which is marked with the original cairn laid by Henry Hellyer in 1831. Tasmanian’s are proud of Mr Hellyer, an English surveyor and architect who made the most comprehensive maps of the area in his time. We sidle around the peak of Rocky Mountain, over the foothills of magnificent Mount Beecroft, then descend to Vale River. Our last night out here on the Coast to Cradle Trail is spent at Fourways Camp, a beautiful sheltered spot beside the river. 19.6km 8.5hrs
Today we pack our backpacks for the final day on the track, which takes us through magnificent cool temperate rainforest. The track gently climbs over the rolling plains that mark the beginning of the Cradle Valley, giving us an opportunity to take in views of the mountains and ponder what we have achieved. Six days ago we left the beaches of Northern Tasmania and today we arrive – by foot – in the alpine highlands of Cradle Mountain National Park. The first section of our Tassie Traverse concludes here at Cradle Mountain where accommodation will be provided for the next two nights, and fresh gear supplied for your next trek!
Over the course of the next seven days you will have the opportunity to climb some of Tasmania’s most well known peaks such as Cradle Mountain and Mt Ossa and walk around Lake St Clair. The Overland Track is famous for its spectacular diversity, glaciated landscapes, ancient rainforests and stunning alpine vegetation. Everyday will provide a new discovery and your expert guides infuse you with their enthusiasm and love for this very special area. At the end of the track you will be staying at Derwent Bridge for three nights where you can relax and reflect upon the journey so far.
The Cradle Mountain area offers many options for a bushwalker in need of rejuvenation! You may like to visit the Wilderness Gallery, treat yourself to lunch by the roaring wood-fire at The Lodge or learn more about the National Park at the Interpretation Centre. You could take a short (pack-free!) walk to look for wildlife, see Tasmanian Devils being fed at Devils at Cradle, or simply kick back in your accommodation drinking endless cups of tea and watching the ever-changing weather from the comfort of a couch… The choice is yours!
You will be collected from your accommodation by your fellow walkers for the next exciting part of the journey. Over the next seven days you will have the opportunity to climb some of Tasmania’s most well known peaks such as Cradle Mountain and Mt Ossa, and walk around Lake St Clair. The Overland Track is famous for its spectacular diversity, glaciated landscapes, ancient rainforests and unique alpine vegetation. Every day will provide a new discovery and your expert guides infuse you with their enthusiasm and love for this very special area. Waldheim, ‘forest home’, is where our Overland Track begins. We spend the morning trekking our way across button grass plains and through a small patch of special rainforest. Fill your water bottle in the magical, clear cascade coming from Crater Lake and keep your eyes out for wombats! A steep climb gets us to the top of the Cradle Plateau where we are rewarded with views of Dove Lake and an endless horizon of impressive mountain ranges. After lunch, weather and time permitting, we may opt for a side trip to the craggy summit of Cradle Mountain before making our way to our first camp at Waterfall Valley. 10km 5hrs + side trips
After coffee at our campsite we continue south to Lake Windermere. A leisurely day that offers time for a side trip to Lake Will – named for Joseph Will, a coal prospector in the 1800s. There is opportunity to have lunch and swim from the sandy shores of Lake Will. Returning to our packs we head back across the rolling buttongrass plains to our stunning campsite. We spend the afternoon relaxing, taking in the fabulous views, and maybe having another refreshing swim in the lake.
Listen for the birds calling from high up in the eucalypts surrounding the campsite as you wake up in your tent this morning. On the track it’s a wild day or moorlands and mountain views. Our morning takes us across Pine Forest Moor offering spectacular views across the Forth River Valley to the heights of Mt Oakleigh. If you look carefully you can see today’s destination on the other side of the huge valley: New Pelion Hut. We descend around Mount Pelion West to a popular lunch spot at Frog Flats. Our afternoon takes us up through tall, mossy forest onto the Pelion Plains. We have the option of a short side trip to Old Pelion Hut to gain a deeper understanding of the history of this area. Our main food drop is hidden near here and your guides will spend time collecting supplies. 17km 7hrs
From camp we continue walking south through Myrtle forest, past tufted Pandani trees, then up to the saddle (1113m) between Mount Pelion East and Mount Ossa. This is the perfect place for a well deserved rest. In fine weather climbing Mount Ossa – Tasmania’s highest peak at 1617m – is without a doubt one of the highlights of the Overland Track. With magnificent views in all directions we continue south into Pinestone Valley to our creek-side campsite overlooking the grand spires of Cathedral Mountain. 9km 5hrs + side trips
Today we walk through towering rainforests of Leatherwood and Sassafrass trees, heading towards three of Tasmania’s largest and most spectacular waterfalls. The first we visit is Fergusson Falls, named after a former ranger at Lake St Clair. Then we can visit Dalton Falls, and finally Hartnett Falls which is named after Paddy Hartnett, an eccentric Irish bushman who was rarely seen without his bowler hat. We make camp in the afternoon at Windy Ridge (don’t worry – our campsite is not as windy as it sounds!)
A gently undulating track today allows you more time to listen to the bubble of tannin-stained creeks, take photos, and admire the wildflowers. As we near Lake St Clair we can gaze up to the peaks of Mt Ida and majestic Mount Olympus. Standing on the small suspension bridge that crosses Narcissus River with the cliffs of Mount Olympus as backdrop is an impressive photo spot – your guides are always happy to capture the moment with your camera! Tonight we camp next to Lake St Clair, the deepest natural lake in the southern hemisphere. As your guides prepare your last evening meal on the Overland Track, you can take your cup of tea down to the edge of the lake. There is a small jetty here which is a wonderful spot to sit and watch for platypus as the sun sets.
Today we pack our backpacks for the final day on the Overland Track and continue south-east on a pleasant sheltered track along the western side of Lake St Clair. The tall Myrtle forest with its open under storey gradually changes into eucalyptus with a dense ground cover of ferns. This is a special section of the Overland Track as most walkers do not trek this section, instead opting to catch a boat across the lake. We will be some of the few to trek this last official section of the Overland. Through gaps in the forest you can see Cynthia Bay and the roof of the visitor centre – our final destination. We cross Watersmeet on a high timber bridge and soon after come out amongst the other hikers and daytrippers exploring the visitors centre. Congratulations! Now time to celebrate with a drink, hot meal, clean clothes, and three nights relaxing and reflecting at your Derwent Bridge accommodation.
Lake St Clair is only a short distance from Derwent Bridge and offers a wide range of walks,dining options and sensational views. Or you may opt to view the Wall in the Wilderness; a 100 metre bass relief carved on local timbers detailing the rich history of the region.
The second day at Derwent Bridge can be spent as you desire before starting the next exhilarating section of your journey.
Once again you will be collected from your accommodation before being transferred to the start of the Frenchmans Cap Track. This outstanding walk is in stark contrast to what has been experienced so far. The dolerite dominated landscapes of the last week give way to mountains of glistening white quartz, dense rainforests, dripping mosses and fern-fringed creeks. The objective of this trek is to summit the distinctive peak and marvel at the stunning views from atop the mountains 300m sheer quartzite face. The track will lead you down to Irenabyss on the Franklin River where you will meet up with your rafting guides who will welcome you to the ‘Ditch’ and get you ready for the next thrilling part of your journey.
You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the start of the Frenchmans Cap Track. This wonderful walk is a stark contrast to what has been experienced so far. The dolerite dominated landscapes of the last week give way to mountains of glistening white quartz and implicate rainforests festooned with dripping moss and ferny creeks are a walker’s delight. The objective of this trek is to summit the distinctive peak of Frenchmans Cap and marvel at the stunning views from atop the mountain’s 300m sheer quartzite face. Today’s walk takes us through the border zone that is the Lodden Plains. The first ascent into the mountains follows Philips Lead. Our camp at Lake Vera is dominated by the forested peaks of the White Needle and Philips Peak.
From Lake Vera we head toward tonight’s camp at Lake Tahune, nestled below the summit of Frenchmans Cap. The trek takes us steeply up through Barron Pass where unsurpassed views of Frenchmans can be enjoyed from a distance. We sidle Sharlands Peak and pass through the Artichoke Valle before descending into camp. Today is a relatively short day, which allows us to rest or even attempt the summit in the afternoon (weather dependent). Spare time is also factored into contingency for the previous days walking.
Today we climb the imposing summit of Frenchmans Cap, an ascent of approx. 1.7km that takes us roughly 1-2hrs. It’s a challenging but truly breathtaking climb. After taking in the magnificent views, we walk across the saddle and sidle past Lion Head to Lake Nancy for lunch. In the afternoon we follow a rough track down to Irenabyss, a deep, peaceful chasm on the Franklin River. Tonight we camp in a magical site right by the river, where our rafting guides are waiting to welcome us to the ‘Ditch’ and prepare us for the next thrilling part of the journey. 7km 5-6hrs
From Irenabyss we head out for eight days on this famous river, rafting through deep valleys and gorges and sections of rapids with names such as ‘Thunder Rush’ and ‘The Cauldron’; inspiring fear and awe in equal measure. Reaching the lower Franklin, the watercourse joins with the Gordon River where our rafting journey concludes. We spend the night at Sir Johns Falls, and the next morning we are collected by yacht to cruise down the length of the Gordon River to Macquarie Harbour. Our next two nights will be spent at accommodation in Strahan, before commencing the final stage of the traverse.
Today we spend the day at our idyllic camp on the Franklin River, waiting to meet the rafts coming from upriver.
From Irenabyss we head out for eight days on this famous river, rafting through deep valleys and gorges and sections of rapids with names such as ‘Thunder Rush’ and ‘The Cauldron’; inspiring fear and awe in equal measure. Today is a long but beautiful day of rafting, with some interesting paddling and numerous campsites along the river banks. The mood of the river depends completely on how much rain has fallen recently. Keep your eye out for the red flowers of climbing heath cascading down the surrounding rock faces. Tonight we enjoy another feast prepared by our guides, then turn in for a night under the open sky.
We head towards the Great Ravine today, and there are some challenging sections along the river prior to reaching the first major portage at the Churn. We pass Blushrock Falls, named for their red-tinged rock, and keep look out for a view of Frenchmans Cap from the river. As we paddle along, our guides share the Franklin’s famous history as well as some intriguing lesser-known tales that have come to them over their years of adventuring on this wild river. Tonight we camp at Coruscades Camp within the Great Ravine.
Today takes us to Deliverance Reach, the end of the Great Ravine and on to Rafter’s Basin. After breakfast we paddle and portage through Coruscades, Livingstone’s Cut, Thunderush, the Masterpiece and the Cauldron to the Mousehole—a narrow recess with a cat-like boulder overlooking the river. It is only a 2km paddle now from the Mousehole to Rafter’s Basin where we will camp for the night by Interlude Creek. The terrain around tonight’s camp is somewhat of a prelude of the upcoming Lower Franklin.
Depending on the weather, today’s destination is either the Black Forest or Newlands Cascades. Life on the river is always dominated by the weather, and our guides are always ready to adapt with a great plan B no matter what Mother Nature throws down at them…it’s all part of the adventure! Today we paddle through Propsting Gorge and some of the Franklin’s best rapids. After lunch we navigate the longest rapid on the river: Newlands Cascades. At the bottom of these rapids there is a long, large overhang which makes a cosy place to spend the night.
Wake up with a cup of tea and watch the sun creep down the sides of the valley towards our camp. Huon Pines and Leatherwood trees drapes themselves elegantly along the banks of the river. Listen and look for the birds that flit amongst their branches. The paddling today is relatively straightforward, to Blackman’s Bend through the deep temperate rainforest of the lower river that was protected by the environmental protests of the early 1980.
Today our adventure takes us past Double Fall, Big Fall, and Galleon Bluff, which is said to look similar to the sterns of several ships jutting out into the dark water. Shortly after we float under the impressive overhang of Verandah Cliffs. Our camp tonight is at Sir John Falls on the Gordon River, about 5km downstream of the junction of the Gordon and Franklin. The small wharf in front of our campsite is the perfect place from which to have a swim in the Gordon River, and to look out for white bellied sea eagles, as your guides prepare a delicious evening meal.
This morning we are collected by the Stormbreaker yacht to cruise down the length of the Gordon River to Macquarie Harbour, taking the chance to kick back on the deck and enjoy the views over the broad expanse of the Gordon. Once our vessel docks at Strahan Wharf, we will farewell the wetsuits and rafts that have been our trusty adventure companions for the past week. We will now spend the next two nights on dry land at our accommodation in Strahan, before commencing the final stage of the traverse.
After a well-deserved sleep-in and a hearty breakfast, the day is free to enjoy as you please in the pretty harbourside village of Strahan. Take a gentle wander up to Hogarth Falls, visit the Huon Pine mill, check out the quality local arts and crafts or just relax with a drink near the harbour.
Today you will meet a pilot from Par Avion at the Strahan air strip and jump aboard a flight which will follow the wild and rugged West Coast before flying over the Southwest National Park. The flight will then land at Melaleuca where you will be met by the rest of your walking companions. From here you will embark upon a true wilderness expedition on one of the most remote and pristine hiking trails to be found in Australia. Secluded beaches, mountain ranges and mesmerizing views of this stunning coastline are just some of the highlights of this walk. Over nine days the track will lead to Cockle Creek, Australia’s southern most town, where you will be met by our friendly bus driver and transferred to Hobart. The night will likely be spent celebrating your amazing achievement of completing Tasmania’s five most famous and exciting wilderness adventures with your fellow walkers. Accommodation and dinner is included for this final night (27 March) of this remarkable journey.
Today there is scenic flight from Strahan air strip which follows the wild and rugged West Coast to the Southwest National Park. The flight will land at Melaleuca where you will be met by the rest of your walking companions. From here you will embark upon a true wilderness expedition on one of the most remote and pristine hiking trails to be found in Australia. Secluded beaches, mountain ranges and mesmerizing views of this stunning coastline are just some of the highlights of this walk. On arrival at our waterfront campsite we pitch our tents, collect drinking water and settle in with a hot drink and time for a game of beach cricket, a swim, or just wander along the beach before dinner.
After breakfast and packing up camp we head out along the beach. Tides dictate this morning’s timing as we skirt around a rocky headland before climbing up onto Sedge and Melaleuca clad plains that draw us inland. There are a number of suitable lunch spots where the tannin stained fresh water trickles through the ancient quartzite hills. We have a short but steep climb and descent over Red Point Hills and enjoy wonderful panoramic views from the top – today’s high point. In the afternoon we make our muddy way toward Louisa Creek where, depending upon our timing, we may camp beneath the towering trees that border this beautiful watercourse.
Today’s destination is Louisa River which flows close by the base of the impressive Ironbound Range. If timing and conditions are favourable we can enjoy a side trip to the stunning Louisa Bay. Here we can explore, swim and enjoy morning tea before continuing our journey towards the looming Ironbound Range. Our night’s camp is located in the wonderful eucalypt forest that lines the Louisa River. It is a stunning campsite that sets us up for the following day’s early start. The broad river is a favourite swimming spot if the afternoon is warm – and a major obstacle after rainfall!
The mighty Ironbounds!!! Our high point is almost a thousand metres above where we start and finish today. Your guides will have breakfast ready in the predawn darkness and be busy getting the group on the track by sun-up. We climb up the exposed western slopes, over open ground and vegetation stunted by the prevailing westerlies. In fine weather there are plenty of great rest spots where the views are spectacular beneath us. From the top of the range we may be lucky enough to see the Eastern and Western Arthur Ranges including Federation Peak, through to Mount Anne and all the way to the formidable South West Cape and Maatsuyker Island. The broad top of the Ironbound Range commonly receives the harshest conditions known in Tassie and snowfalls, gale force winds and pelting sleet are never unexpected. This is a long and demanding day and the top is not even half way, the slippery and muddy descent is through a tangle of lush rainforest which in turn becomes thick Teatree bush as the last few kilometres follow the coastline to a very welcome sight – our campsite at Little Deadman’s Bay.
Today is a well deserved day on the tour and the only place along the track where an open fire is permitted. It’s a wonderful treat to sit by the glowing embers, read a book, play some cards and let your body relax and recover from the last few days’ activity. Your guides will spend some time today re-supplying from our nearby food-drop.
Feeling refreshed, we look forward to tackling some of the track’s best mud holes, a challenging rowboat lagoon crossing and walking along the coast’s longest beach. We trek over broad sand dunes, wade across watercourses and climb over headlands letting no obstacles stand in our way! There are a few campsite choices for tonight and your guides will decide where to stay based on the availability of fresh water, the fitness of the group members and the guides personal favourite spots where they may know special sights and hidden points of interest.
This is a favourite day for many people as we wander through wet sclerophyll forest from beach to beach. Today’s short walking distance means a leisurely lunch with time to wriggle your toes in the sand, swim in the ocean, search for Devonian Fossils or just sit back and relax. A favourite lunch spot is Surprise Beach, which is just a short distance—if not a little steep—to our afternoon’s destination: Granite Beach. As we descend onto this bay our eyes are drawn out to the incredible fluted dolerite columns of South Cape. At the eastern end of the bay our campsite is perched above the cliffs beneath a canopy of tea trees and eucalypts. Here, our water source cascades off the cliffs and onto the beach to make a wonderful, refreshing shower.
A big day in the hills today—we get an early start to make our way over the South Cape Range to our final night’s camp at South Cape Rivulet. We begin with a lengthy climb through moist forest to the day’s highpoint at about 500m above sea level. If we are lucky there are beautiful views back along the coast as far as South West Cape to the mountains of Pindar’s Peak, Mount LaPerouse and Mount Lilateah. This is a deceptive day with our high point being just the first of seven hills that we climb and descend before stepping onto the sand of South Cape Rivulet, where we cross the sometimes deep outlet of the lagoon to our campsite. This is a wonderful day of wet and dry forests, buttongrass plains, tea tree swamps and dazzling coastal views. The beach at our camp is one of the best spots along the South Coast for a swim and not many can resist taking an invigorating plunge!
Today is a gentle end to our incredible journey. The morning has us strolling along a couple of picturesque beaches and then up over a headland. The cliff top is a perfect place for a rest while the waves crash below. Our Tassie Traverse concludes at Cockle Creek, Australia’s southernmost town. This tiny settlement has just a couple of holiday homes and an information shelter, and it’s where we’ll be met and transferred by bus to Hobart. After a shower and change into clean clothes, the night will most likely be spent with your fellow walkers celebrating the achievement of completing Tasmania’s five most famous and exciting wilderness adventures.
This morning is the conclusion of the traverse. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your accommodation and then spend your remaining time enjoying Australia’s southernmost capital, Hobart. Your own arrangements are needed to get to the airport or onwards to your next destination.