Walking the Overland Track – Matt McClelland

Explore one of Australia’s most iconic walks through the heart of the Tasmanian wilderness. NPA Activities Manager, Matt has walked the track about 6 times, in different seasons and weather conditions and is looking forward to sharing the adventure with you. During the webinar, Matt gives an overview of the walk and the main highlights, and to give you a sense of the huts/campsites and look into some of the logistics to think through when planning your time on the track.
And um got it cool um so that recording will be available later so people can um uh you can share this with other people uh if you're so inclined uh so i've just screen shared hopefully you can all see my uh slide deck uh this is just gonna help me uh talk through um.

Through this evening um there's also going to be an opportunity for questions so feel free to write questions in the comments section uh down the bottom new screen uh there's a there's ability to chat uh throw those comments uh in the comment section gary um we'll keep a close eye on those uh hopefully group together similar questions uh and there.

Will be some time for me to answer those at the end but other people might have some uh answers so feel free to answer other people's questions uh if you're experienced in the area as well um and have that conversation in the chat i won't be following it because i get distracted so um let me kick off so the overland track.

Uh as i mentioned is on palo al country uh in tassie it sits uh uh sort of in that north uh western corner of tasmania officially starts at cradle mountain at the visitor center um and uh it actually starts with a short bus trip uh to uh to the point where you start walking and then um.

Heads depending on which way you do it for about 60 or 80 kilometers uh through to synthia bay um it's most popular uh over most people walk it over summer over the warmer months we'll talk a little bit more about that and you can see on the right hand side i've just sort of broken the walk into.

The chunks um between the major campsites and and it's kind of how most people walk is just spending a day on each of these so for most people who are bush walkers and moderately fit you can see that most of the days are actually relatively short.

On the core section of the overland track so the first day is one of the bigger days and harder days you've got some steep hills you've got a 300 vertical meter climb and we'll go through this in a little bit more detail soon and then day three if you're just doing each of.

These sections one day at a time uh windermere to peeling is one of the longest days uh on on track in terms of uh just raw distance um and um and there's some big hills in there but again uh for most people if you're used to walking with a pack which i'd highly recommend you have some practice before.

You hit the overland track uh it's very achievable um and on some of these bigger days you might just want to start off earlier especially if the weather's looking wet um and the last section here from narcissus to cynthia bay um can easily actually be broken into two two halves as well as there's a um there's a heart called echo point in the campsite.

About halfway along the bay but we'll get to that again very shortly so i thought i'd start off it's always risky playing a video uh on one of these webinars but i'm going to play a video um and this is a a flyover of the whole walk so i'm just going to try to give you a sense of.

The walk as a whole and then i'm going to talk a little bit more about um the campsites and preparation so as we know uh the overland track it sits down in tassie um it's this section of it that i'm showing is about 80 kilometers long it's the full length and it starts at formally at ronnie creek.

Um ronnie creek you can get a bus there uh and you go up this beautiful valley button grass planes uh and you sort of hit your first climb uh up on top uh to our first crater lake it's called uh these sheer cliffs uh the views across marion's lookout i'll uh see if i can pause this okay um uh are quite.

Spectacular um and then you come to uh the first uh real side trip uh option so uh in the middle of our screen here is uh kitchen hut which is a day use area a great place if you if you're here well before lunch and the weather's uh going to allow it great place to leave your packs and then head to the top of.

Cradle mountain and then we continue along what's called creative searching sort of the bottom of cradle mountain on the right hand side you can see barn bluff which is a fantastic side trip but it's quite challenging um so i wouldn't recommend it for everyone um the the last part of it is very steep and um you know using.

Both hands and your feet to get to the top and then you come down this ridge to waterfall valley uh the photos i've got here of an old hut uh there's a new hut that was put in last year uh the next day we sort of cruise day two sort of this nice fairly lazy day uh going across some open uh grassy plains.

Again bun grass plains um and then as you come over to the rise you come to some of your first few lakes and there's a side trip off there to lake will uh which is really nice there's a sandy beach the water's always cold obviously but it's always a bit of fun and then you come down to lake windermere after a fairly uh lovely day of walking it's a.

Great place to set your tent up or set your camp up wander back down to the uh lake have a bit of a swim and have your hot chocolates ready uh for after you get out of that water because it is a bit chilly this next day is as i mentioned earlier it's one of the longest days um but it is one of the most spectacular in my view you're.

Walking across this really long butt and grass plane you've got uh little little water holes along the way you've got some lookouts down to the fourth valley which is this big valley on our left you can see some of the big mountains off to our uh to our front to head uh there might also be my highest peak in tassie we've got peeling.

West to our right there um and then you go through this lovely dense forest as the track winds down uh to a place called frog flats which is a campsite um but most people don't camp here but um have a sort of a later lunch uh down here there's a lovely little creek flowing through the.

Middle um and then you wander up through the forest and you come up onto the the paleon uh which has quite a history not only with aboriginal people but also uh mining and uh some of the cattle and trappers uh through there so there's some great old huts there as well.

Then pillion hut's one of the biggest huts there's a big mountain behind us that's also worth climbing i'll talk about side trips in a little while um and then we head up through the peeling valley up to peeling gap two great side trips on the right hand side is man also the highest peak in tassie which is probably one of the most popular side.

Trips on the left is mount pillion east um which is quite a spectacular climb i've been up there sunrise a few times um but but it is again it's probably more challenging than mount osa itself although probably a bit less time because you're not walking as far um.

And then uh we're coming down to kia ora which is a lovely campsite with a uh hut and a new park going in soon as well uh and this beautiful creek and waterfall uh this next day is i just called waterfall day so you you start with the waterfall at kia ora uh you go past the ducane hut which is a great place for morning tea.

They use hut and then you go past the ferguson fergusons and a few other spectacular waterfalls here get going early on this day so you can visit all the waterfalls and have lunch at one of them um it's just fantastic um and then after leaving the waterfalls you head up through the ducane gap a bit of a climb.

Up the hill uh and then you come down the other side to a spot called windy ridge where there is a quite a ridiculously oversized hut in my opinion um there um but again a pretty welcome uh spot to stay either in the hut or in the tent and then we cruise along the valley this is where the.

Walking becomes much easier packs much lighter uh and the terrain is uh much flatter um much more dense tall forest um you're getting into some of the more eucalypt forest here rather than the big alpine plains that were on earlier and about halfway to the lake you've got a track off to the right here up to pine valley i won't really talk a lot about.

It but if you can spend more time on the overland track pine valley is just magic and it gives you access to other areas like the labyrinth and it is very well well worth spending a couple of days up there if you can so a lot of people finish the walk here uh at the tip of the lake and you can get a.

Ferry across i would highly recommend if you can have the time to spend the extra day or two uh to wander the lake i've done the walk uh i actually lost track i can't remember whether it's six or seven times but i've only once caught the ferry um and and ever since the first time when i got the.

Ferry i walked the lake um and i usually actually walk to lake over two days because halfway just here where we're going past now is a great hut it's called echo point it's it's the oldest most run-down hut but it's right on the water and there's this fantastic wharf there's a sandy beach and there's a beautiful campsite to put.

Your tent in if you don't want to camp in the hunt and it you sort of get there for lunch you have a lazy day you swim and it's a really nice way to finish it and then on the last day you pack up uh brekkie and then you just enjoy this.

Last stretch along the lake before you come into all the people that smell like perfume and deodorant and all those things you haven't smelt for a week and enjoy yourself a big burger uh when you come into cynthia bay um and that's sort of where the walk wraps up uh formally so it's 80k if you include.

The lake it's about 65 if you catch the ferry there is a fee for the ferry and you do need to book it because it does actually book out but hopefully that gives you uh is a helpful overview i hope that the video worked i shouldn't have stopped sharing i should have gone to the next slide.

Let me go back into slide deck here we go ah don't start that again next slide come on there we go great so um i thought uh for the rest of the talk i just want to.

Talk through some of the different aspects of the walk um and um uh and we'll talk a bit about preparation and i'll send you off to some of the links uh for some of um uh where you can get the maps and more details on what you need to know because we.

Certainly can't cover everything uh in this webinar but hopefully it's a teaser um and get you thinking so i used some hot cabins here huts whatever you want to call them um the the overlay attracts quite well renowned for it uh it makes a lot of sense in the context of tassie to have huts um we don't have these sort of walks in new.

South wales it doesn't we can have that conversation another time uh to me it doesn't make a lot of sense in new south wales to have this style of walking uh we've got better options here but but in tassie and in new zealand it makes sense um and these huts uh some of them have a great history from uh from trappers and from early explorers uh using the area.

Um and some of them are more modern uh and some of them are for day use only so the kitchen hut is in the day walk area uh it's a great place for lunch a great place to store your pack if you're climbing some of the uh mountains on uh around the area uh but uh it's otherwise if you're gonna stay there overnight it's only for emergency use um.

Scott kilvin's a little bit off to the side of uh the overlap but it's a um it's a good option if you want to just stretch things out and you want to spend a bit more time uh exploring uh the cradle um cradle mountain in that area so you can back off there waterfall valley again this hut's just been replaced in the last two days lots sorry.

Last two years um i haven't been there since the new heart opened actually was only a year ago quite a beautiful looking hut really uh really looks quite impressive um but sits at the same site as this one windermere hut uh some of these again are going to be replaced uh but these just give you a sense of the different.

Styles of heartburn nickels is that one at windy ridge that i mentioned earlier uh it is enormous it's like walking into a school camp um but most of the huts sleep about 20 people um and all of them have tent platforms near nearby so the inside of the huts the.

Main photo here is the new peelion hut it has a beautiful deck uh out the front which is on the right-hand side of this photo looking across the pillion plane um and um is one of my favorite places whenever i walk the overland i always spend two nights here um you're allowed to once you step you have to.

Start on a particular day when you book uh but you can walk at whatever pace you want and i'd highly recommend spending a couple of days uh at peeling um because there's just so much to see there and it's a good chance just to regroup and to um you know to do some day walks with a lighter pack some of these other photos just give you.

A sense of the facilities inside that they are basic um but um but they're they're weather tight so the huts have um sleeping platforms they're just timber platforms you need to bring their own mattress and your own sleeping equipment and they're shared so you're sleeping.

With other people some are stinky some are snoring and some of those might be me as well um and some of the smaller huts you can see on the top right hand side kia ora which is about to be replaced but um you can see it get quite crowded particularly after a wet day with everybody hanging their clothes up to to.

Dry but it's a beautiful social experience so i had a fantastic night in kia ora in fact the night this photo was taken i walked up with my wife and my uh two kids that's laura yawning uh there with her big jacket on she was eight i think at the time when we walked it um the kids were uh reasonably.

Experienced walkers so they carried all their own gear um they had full packs on um uh and we ran into another family at the hut this night in fact our two families um they were cousins um and so there were i don't know there were probably.

10 kids something like that we were sitting around the table playing card games spoons and a few other sort of loud games um uh passing popcorn around cooking cooking fresh popcorn and hot chocolates and all this sort of stuff and eating and just having a fantastic night.

And everybody in the hut was joining in um but the side of that is huts can get a bit uh noisy uh now we were conscious that um everybody who was there was quite keen to join in that night but sometimes you do get uh noisy groups in huts so sleeping in tents is uh is actually a really good option uh and.

There's fantastic camping uh along the whole the along the whole walk so every hut other than echo point has um tent platforms that um timber platforms and they have chains and little clips that you can clip your tent down with.

They work really well um and it means that we're protecting the environment so the grass is growing right up to the temp platforms you're not getting these highly trodden areas highly compacted soil that does all the damage you're getting these um um.

Tent platforms uh and often um like at windermere here on the right hand side and kia ora to some degree as well um the temp platforms are put off in these sort of radius so you've got these little um tracks leading off to a temp platform so you can get much quieter and private areas um to to spend the night um they.

All have little metal platforms middle metal plates on them as well where you can cook from um and so if you're walking it seriously think about um at least spending some of the nights intense now you have to carry a tent when you walk the overland you can't book the huts the public cuts uh it's first come first serve basis um.

And so so you need to be carrying the tech anyway and it's just a different experience i would encourage you to try both camping in the tents is a much more generally a much more peaceful experience a lot more solitude a lot more time for reflection and um you get to see more wildlife once you're in the.

Huts i talk about getting sucked into the vortex of a hut um you end up staying in the hut you don't get out you don't explore as much you don't see as much as the wildlife you tend um it's easy to miss the sunset and all that sort of stuff but then it's a much more social experience so depending on why you're.

Walking if you're wanting to meet a lot of walkers and meet other people the huts are a great way to do that uh but if you are staying in the huts um i would strongly encourage you to get out each um spend as much time as you can out of the hut uh particularly if the weather is clear.

Um you can see from this photo in the background um you know some of the views are just fantastic uh and most of the huts have um a helicopter platform um which is just looks like a big ted platform really with a big h in the middle and that's actually often my favorite place uh where i'll have dinner um so.

Uh if a helicopter comes you can get out of the way nice quick and easy so there's no problem there um but they're they're in a big open clearing um and so i'd usually head out there with a couple of other people that i've met on the track um either cooked in there or cooked in and hot and needed out there um and just.

Watch the sunset and spend some time sharing stories uh and the light so the huts are great but camping is great too is my short summary there um look toilets and water tanks it's worth talking about we won't dwell on them um but um but all the campsites and huts do have um drop toilets um so pick toilets.

Um they vary in stink factor quite significantly um but they are very um uh they're very handy particularly people who are as experienced walkers or um who just don't like to dig a hole in the squat um so they're there um and uh very reliable um also all the huts have water tanks um they encourage you to treat the.

Water um before drinking it uh personally i don't and i've never had a problem but take some small water treatment system anyway with you and use it i used a uv sterilizer for the trip the.

Uh water filters the inline water filters are really quite popular on track um some people use the the chlorine tablets um but but i would strongly suggest if you get uh treating the tank water use the uv or the the filter type um because the water just tastes beautiful and if you're adding chemicals um you lose a.

Bit of that you lose a lot of that now the other thing with walking in tassie is that there's creeks quite um there's a lot of creeks uh everywhere so you don't need to carry a lot of water in your pack in fact most times i'm only carrying about a.

Liter just for convenience um and um i'll fill up during the day treat the water from the creeks and fill up as i go um so they're beautiful now the overland track will talk a little bit about how long to spend on on track soon but for me the overland track is.

It's all about the side trips the track itself is spectacular uh and if all your walk is the core route from the beginning to the end you'll have a fantastic time and you'll love it um and you'll see some amazing stuff um but if you can uh explore some of the side trips um they are um.

they're just well worth it they're just amazing so the first so i'll just quickly run through these i won't go into them in detail but cradle mountain it's probably one of the more popular ones it's on day one um it is i guess probably i guess there's no stats on this but my guess is about half the.

People walking the other land do uh walk cradle mountain at the same time um so there's no pressure to do it sounds like everyone's doing it and it really depends on the weather all these side trips um you really do need um clear sunny weather um wet weather uh icy conditions uh.

They become very dangerous um the cradle mountain we all know what cradle mountain looks like um uh it's worth doing it takes a while um so if you're going to do cradle mountain you definitely do need an early start uh on that day one um so pick up your tickets the day before i would suggest if you're wanting to do.

Cradle and barnes bluff that you pick up your passes the day before from the parks and stay at the start of the walk for the night so that you can kick off um early and.

And just just pace yourself and just take it take take your time enjoying it so cradle mountain is fantastic barn bluff is is not a particularly popular side trip uh but everybody looks at it and wishes they climbed it um it's that really steep one that i pointed out at the start um it's certainly worth wandering.

Along the track for a little while there's beautiful views down into um waterfall valley itself the last few hundred meters of barn bluff is particularly hairy climb um and it's not particularly clear which way you go so uh.

I would recommend trying it solo um and um and pace yourself uh innisfalls uh is oh sorry that's um lake wheels uh lake wheel um is um were worth uh very much worth the side trip uh it's on a short day um head out there have lunch uh on one of the beaches and if you want to go out to the.

Floors at the end like uh that's good uh the mercy river is not so much the side trip there's a look out to the mercy the fourth valley um look out which is really short and it's a great modern t spot um and then you also kick down across it uh the old pillion hut which is just before you get to the peeling hub itself is well worth the visit um.

You're usually pretty tired by the end of that day so if you're spending two days at peeling heart um backtrack day two um go and check out the old hut you can actually go and see the old mine and there's actually a really good swimming spot just behind the old hut as well.

And mount oakley was also a cracker of a trip for uh if you're having that rest day at peeling mount oakley's is the view that we're looking at here so the view this photo was taken from pillion the new peeling huh um and uh that is uh mount oakley in the background.

There's a couple short waterfalls um on the next days you're heading up towards peeling gap which is well worth the trip um just dump it back run down have a look it's only a few minutes uh mount ossa uh so the the track heads up to paleon gap um and the right hand side takes you up.

To mount also there's a mountain part way up called doris i believe uh which also gives you views mount ossa is deceptively a long walk i think you need about four hours return um the uh once you feel like you're at the top of man also you've still got a fair way.

To go you sort of do this big climb and then that else is sort of this long um sort of flattish top now to do it so it takes you a while to still get to the very end um to the very peak of also but but it's well worth doing and it is quite spectacular.

And quite popular it's probably one of the more popular side trips other than these next few waterfalls um mount pillion east is the left-hand side um from peeling gap and it's more of a it's a real defined peak when you get to the top of pillar you need to you um you're climbing you're.

Using both hands um and um you feel um it's quite precarious sitting on top um but you're looking down to the views all the way around you it's a full 360 degree panoramic view it's it's a way more spectacular view than mount rosso itself so climb mount also if you want to say you've been to the top of uh tassie.

If you want a genuinely better view and you're happy with um rock scrambling uh purely at least in my views is a better climb if you have to choose one or the other which you probably will you probably won't get both in uh then you've got these series of falls uh the next day uh the elton uh ferguson and harnett falls uh they're all good.

They're all very different the elton's probably my favorite um and um but um you know touches uh they're all good and certainly worth taking uh your lunch down uh and enjoyment uh i mentioned a side trip up to pine valley it's um if you can spend a few extra days on.

Track and we'll talk about itineraries in a little while uh but pine valley hut um it sits at the end of this um side trip and from there uh you can get up into the labyrinth and spend another day up there exploring the area come back stay at the um uh pine valley hut and then we're down.

Again camp's up there as well um not many people doing you guys land end up going to pine valley so don't feel like you can't but but if you can spend about 10 days on track then pine valley really fits in nicely as part of that uh echo point hut.

And through these padded campsites i've listed as a side trip here because most people think of the overland trackers finishing at the lake and they catch the ferry back but really to me they're they're um they're very much worth doing worth worth getting in there and exploring.

Uh i mentioned earlier food uh that we're sitting there cooking popcorn uh and i take food quite seriously um uh you can see that by the size of my stomach but you can also i think the reason why i love getting food right or enjoyable is because i think there's.

I like meeting people and i like um enjoying time with the people that i'm with on track and so i tend to cook meals uh for the group so the last time i did the overland track uh was with my family so my wife two kids um my sister and her two adult kids um so there's seven of us on track and i.

Cooked for all of us each night um and um uh so it just meant you know it was a time where we all just sat down together we enjoyed a meal together and um and and were able to you know sit down on the bed and um uh reflect on the day and uh and just no there's just something about.

Eating together that was really good and so we had things like um i can't remember the first night we had uh nachos um set up on a really big plate um and we had um some different curries and stuff like that and i'll often do desserts so if you're looking for food ideas and want to do it.

Yourself um bushwalking 101 mpa's fantastic site has a planning a menu section go check it out there's some really good ideas for breakfast uh for lunches uh and for dinners um many which is simple now what you do see a lot of on the overland track is everybody using.

Freeze-dried meals packet pre-made pre-purchases they're about 15 bucks a meal so they're quite expensive um but also what you see is by day three like day one everyone's saying oh these are fantastic and they're loving it day two oh yeah these are pretty good day three day four.

They are spending a lot of time around others who are cooking their meals um looking at what other options there are because even though they're trying different flavors of their meal every night they all kind of taste the same and they're not very exciting so so think about meals and.

Don't worry you know spend a bit of money buy a dehydrator and you'll end up saving money because you're not spending as much on your freeze-dried meals and you can dry some really fantastic meals um last time i was on track um as i said with my sister uh and her.

Family and my wife it was over christmas and so we had christmas day at peeling hut um and we cooked up a feast and ate a lot and ate too much and um but um you know i had had a full-on proper christmas celebration um and my wife's birthday on track as well so i felt the pressure a bit but it was uh but we had a lot of fun doing that as.

Well so time on track um most people walk the overland in about six five or six days something like that um somewhere between five six and seven days it's kind of the most popular um way to walk it.

Um you see plenty of people on track whisked past you past you doing it in two three or four days um now if that's the only way you can do it um because of how life is um then do it you know it's very enjoyable uh you'd still see it my preference is the more time you can.

Spend on track the better uh five six or seven days these are just different itineraries to give you a sense of the pace um and um gives you uh you know in terms of food weight uh you can do that if you're doing a 10-day trip like the one on the right-hand side.

Um and adding to that walking the ferry uh walking awake rather than catching the ferry um you pack you really need to think about food because your pack weight will be quite heavy uh to start off with otherwise uh but but with good planning it's it's relatively easy to get your food right.

Down so you can spend 10 um or 11 days on track and you know those recipes are there for you to to give you a hand but but spend the time um and uh the more time you spend then the more time you have you know to have a chilled day if the weather turns in.

Um and the weather does turn them um um it just gives you more options and more ways to enjoy it you might meet up with some other people on track that you're really enjoying the company of um and you might walk with them for a few days you might meet up with some people on track that you're really not enjoying the company of and might want to hold.

Back and let them go um so it just gives you more options um planning preparing and sickness uh these are kind of the questions i get the most about walking uh the track uh booking is important uh i feel a bit bad getting all excited.

About this because the the upland track is fully booked for pretty much fully for next year the next 12 months partly that's because of covert they've got reduced numbers on track um but it's also becoming very popular and there is a booking system although no fee in place um a full winter as well at the moment.

During copenhagen um the booking's there because um they had an experience where the tracks carrying capacity was exceeded ridiculously i think there was like 200 people down at waterfall valley half of which didn't have tents and so they're trying to sleep in the heart.

Uh there's two huts down there um and you know that's a disaster people's opening floors and picnic tables and all sorts of stuff those who have tents they're camping outside and there's not enough room for those tents uh and it was just trashing the environment let alone the experience for the people so they put in a booking system and i and.

It was a good call but it does cost a couple hundred bucks to book a ticket for an adult um and you need to be ready to book at 9 00 a.m on the 1st of july when the website opens and this year december january february booked out in just shy of 10 minutes so you really.

This is something that we need to plan ahead for um but but if you want to do it during that summer time which is really when you're going to get the best weather window plan ahead and be ready to to book uh as quickly as possible um and and when you.

Go to do that have a few dates as your options so go for your most popular day um and work your way through your dates until you find them get you know the best option you can once you've booked the track um you need to obviously think about transport i'll give you some more links in terms of.

What all the options are in terms of ferries and flights and all that sort of stuff and accommodation there is accommodation right at the track head um uh the wardheim chalets it sounds really fancy it's not really fancy um they're very simple huts and i think it's probably the cheapest accommodation in the area anyway.

But you pick up your tickets your passes the day before you catch the bus down and you stay at the wartime chalets and then in the next morning when you get up you you get up put your pack on um and um you lock the keys in the challenge off you go.

And you you start you step out chalet and basically onto the track uh from there so it's a really good option um and some of them are quite large sleeping i think about eight um generally they there's different a few different cabins through there um certainly between four and eight uh and.

They have a shared bathroom in a separate building so really great option really great option in terms of accommodation but you need to book it so as soon as you booked your ticket for the other land track i'd suggest booking a couple of nights in the shallows the night.

Before um fitness um look walking the overland track the fitter you are the more you're going to enjoy it um we had a bit of a laugh on the last trip we met a lovely lady on day three whose phrase had been.

It's just a walk how hard can it be um and um she'd never put on an overnight pack until she's done the overland track and she found out how hard it can be and the poor lady was in tears when we met her on day three her pack didn't fit she wasn't fit enough all sorts of stuff anyway we got a pack set.

Up and um she ended up having a fantastic time as her fitness build and so skills developed over the time um but get that done before you hit the track so get out do some walks um i i'd strongly encourage you getting out walking sections of the great north walk through brow valley national park and i say that.

Because i assume a lot of people are in sydney that we're speaking to now um uh because the hills are very familiar the hills are very similar sort of steepness uh to what you'll experience on the first day of the overland um so get out there with day packs build up your strengths get out there then with your own night pack that you're planning on.

Taking um and do some walks through there and even if you're only getting a day you know getting out there for a few hours with your full pack on um uh it all makes a difference so so do that in terms of skill building um if you're walking in summer you do need some bush walking experience.

Uh the track's quite easy to navigate um there's not a lot of particular you know there's a lot of people who hit this track without any push walking experience um and if the weather's reasonable you'll be fine um but get some practice walking in wet weather you know put your raincoat on put your pack on next time it rains and just go out.

And go for a walk because it is different walking in wet weather um and and and get some practice walking in weather how do you enjoy uh walking wet weather um you know making sure that you've got your raincoat adjusted and your hat so that you can look up and look around and all.

That sort of stuff um because you know it can be a real joy walking in the rain um if you've had the time to practice uh and build up those skills uh there's a bunch of other skills again i'll send you off to some links on that a lot of that stuff's on bushwalking 101 of course uh equipment um so you need a sleeping bag uh that's rated at least to.

Minus five um and you probably get away with a zero during summer but i'd strongly recommend a minus five bag it's definitely a sleeping matter mattress of some kind i use an inflatable mattress because i sleep better on those um you do need a a three or a four season tent um and.

Um and then the rest is you know you started and all the rest of the normal stuff it could carry um with your tent it's probably one of your heaviest bits of gear so try to work it if you can to get a lighter tent so you see a lot of.

People on the track with a relatively cheap tent that wouldn't stand up to a snow storm or or harsh weather um but they also weigh a lot you know some people i saw on track had a three three and a half kilo two person tent when you you can really easily do a two-person tent.

Um for it for a couple of kilos and every kilo you get out of your pack you you will be very thankful for getting it out of your back keep your pack as light as you possibly can uh food we've already spoken about about that um rail rain hail snow and more.

Just on day one um and then every other day after that so just plan for um uh all the weather um it does snow in summer um and last trip we had weather like this blue skies the whole way the trip before some of the photos you might have seen earlier um.

It was getting up to marion's lookout so day one before lunch um it had rained i don't know how many millimeters but 20 probably it was just pouring um the the track itself was uh a river then it hailed then it snowed.

And then we got to marion's lookout and then the sun came out and we had this fantastic view um for about five minutes and then it started the bar again and we got up to kitchen hut where we cooked up some hot chocolates and popcorn so the kids um warmed up and then got back out and and the weather cleared again for a little while so be.

Prepared for it all you hear the stories in there and they're true um i'll leave this slide up for a little while but here's um the basic places to go to some more information so the left-hand side we've got the mpa um.

Bushwalk 101 site you can use your smartphone we're all used to um qr codes now um so scan them on your screen or um all the urls are above uh if you want to type those in but the bushwacker 101 site is great for meals it's great for equipment um what sort of tents sleeping bags all that.

Sort of stuff is there uh the bottom uh two sites are bushwalk.com which is a new version of his wild walks um that's uh recently released which sort of goes out of new south wales and um and on there we've got all the track notes the maps and stuff.

For the overland track you can download those for free and in there are also all the articles um what to pack gear lists um how to plan talks about thickness it talks about you know what to put in your first aid kit all that sort of stuff as well and then the right hand side of course is the parks tassie.

Website um where you can look at booking and any other alerts and information that you have there but now it's time for questions i think what's over you gary while we're waiting for gary um uh jump in that chat section and maybe i should jump in that chat section maybe you're.

Waiting on me um uh and uh feel free to ask any questions make any comments if you think i've got anything wrong um brian everyone's making a rude comment about uh what's that a blue sky uh that's very true i've been very spoiled i must say uh with weather on.

The overland uh i did a winter trip and um we had blue skies and um uh sunny days for the last five days the first two days we didn't see views from marion's or you know we were probably five meters maybe 10 meters from kitchen hut before we could see it um so um blue weather blue.

Skies are reasonably common but take don't take them for granted right yep matt you're all lucky because i can't enable video so i'll just talk um thank you so much i'm i'm actually kicking myself that i didn't start counting how many times you were going.

To mention hot chocolate at the start because there's clearly a bit of a pattern uh developed there but um look you set an extraordinary um standard so it's a fantastic way to launch things and um as someone who lived for a couple years down in tassie i can.

Can just um reiterate your comments about expect all those weathers in the first day be prepared for everything the place has to throw at you look thanks everyone we've got a number of questions that come through on the chat line.

The first which i'm assuming was somewhat facetious from brian everingham was um questioning whether there was such a thing as blue skies in tasmania but we'll move past that to the question of um how one direction was the walk what's what are the rules around which way you.

Go yeah it's a good question so uh during what they call the booking season so it's the warmer months um uh from i think it's october through to uh beginning of april uh you have to walk from uh in the single direction from um from cradle to leg sinclair um during the colder months during winter you can.

Walk in either direction uh during the booking season you have to have a permit um to uh to do the walk but and that permit means that you can start on the day that your permit states once you start the walk you can walk at any pace you want so.

You're walking one way so you can't go back and forth up and down the track you have to keep going forward um but if you want to spend two or three or four days at a particular campsite and then go off and do all side trips that's 100 fine and um and and definitely not even discouraged you know they're very comfortable with you spending as much.

Time as you want on the track and not again i'd recommend it the first section of the walk um you can walk into waterfall valley as a day trip you can walk from the south up to windy ridge so that bird nickels happen up to pine valley any time without a permit and you can actually walk into peeling hut itself and do some of those central.

Walks uh if you come up the ahn river arm over um which is a nice walk in itself and it's a it's about i don't know five hours from the road to to to that as well so there's a few options but generally speaking um you're heading from the north to the south thanks matt and you've nicely covered.

Off on jillian's question on exactly that issue of the extent to which you can access things just as a day walk or segments of day walks um okay we had a question from kay if you could just sort of remind us of that resource you talked about for meal planning and i must say i'm very curious.

About your dehydrators as well so perhaps if you consider give us a bit more on that issue yeah great um let me um share my screen again um and um so where are we bush walking 101 so bushwalking 101 is the key thing to.

Remember um and then i think it's under yeah gear for some reason it should be a skill but anyway meals and cooking um and that brings you through to to a page like this um uh stock photography you know we've got to be carried away uh and from here we've got lots of information about.

Meals uh about planning a menu we've got all the example menus um pros and cons of different ways of doing it and also how to cook it um and the ridiculous amount of detail in here we touch on uh dehydrating um for dehydrating i literally just the cheapest dehydrator i could find on.

Ebay square one i avoid the round ones the round ones are fine um but because i do a lot of it i tend to prefer the square ones um you can get a lot more food and they dry more evenly if you're getting into it maybe you know if there's a lot of interest in dehydrating put a comment in there in the chat section we might now do a.

Different another webinar on food dehydration but a couple of things about dehydrating food is think about i actually pre-cook and dehydrate my rice and my pasta and so once i'm out on track i just have to boil water and add it not i don't actually have to cook the.

Rice so it saves you a lot of weight in fuel it saves you a lot of time stuffing around in camp um so when i get into camp once we're ready for dinner i'll rehydrate the meat from the curry um and then i will wrap that up in a jumper i rehydrate in a um.

In a freezer bag in a plastic bag uh wrap it up and jump and keep it warm leave that for 10 or 15 minutes and then whilst that's um rehydrating i uh do the same thing with the rice in another bag stick it in there you can reuse the bags as many times as you want um and then and serve it up from there they take.

About 10 or 15 minutes to to rehydrate and so some of the meals we had um we had nachos day one i love that as a as a starter meal uh we literally open up a packet of chips um and use that as a platter spread the platter out we have the meat to put on top i carry some cheese in.

Frozen sprinkle that over the top uh we did sushi um for a lot of lunches so as soon as you dehydrate the rice um and um and then again it's just that simple process of rehydrating it with some sugar some powdered vinegar um adding in the other flavors while you're cutting it up uh and that's the lunch for sunny days um.

That was more of a bribery to get my daughter out and enjoy the walk because she loves squishy um curry's are very popular soups are really good you can do a lot of stuff just straight from colesworth type shoppings um with soups and some noodle based soups and all that.

Sort of stuff as well so all that bushwalk.com there's lots of stuff sorry uh bushwalking 101 um for all that sort of stuff yeah and matt can i presume that we can also go to bushwalking 101 for advice on cooking equipment we've got a question in here about how many billies you carry yeah okay so yeah so part of uh so i.

Always try to carry just one um so i just mentioned there that for large groups i tend to rehydrate everything in a plastic bag i know everyone's freaking out going oh that's too much plastic and that's a fair concern but i'm doing it in those freezer bags which are incredibly light a very small.

Amount of plastic compared to what most people do which is these pre-bought big heavy plastic bags and you can reuse them you just rinse them to wash them and it means that you can rehydrate your food using your billy just to boil water um you put your food to rehydrate in your.

Bag you add the water and then you tie it with a slip knot you wrap that up and you jump up as a cozy and that keeps it warm just make sure nobody sits on it um and um and then whilst that's rehydrating your your pots free to cook some more hot chocolates or popcorn.

Um so that that's the way i tend to do it um and and you can cook for large grips i cooked up two uh what was the last trick we did in the winter there was i think it was 17 people that i did a meal for and and that's how we did it just in place back so i have a one liter.

Um jetboil that i used yeah matt we've got a couple of people commenting on natural hazards in particular snakes and just wondering if you might reflect on the virtues of gators yeah look it's it's.

I'm a mixed use look uh they're definitely our snakes and tassie um and you definitely don't want to be bit by them um gators are quite popular um as to the value that they have in terms of snake protection there's not a lot of research unfortunately into that space so i can't tell you that gators there.

Are particular gators that you can get that are heavy duty designed to stop snake fins um but most skaters you buy off the shot probably wouldn't stop a snake thing and my concern is that if the snake does bite um that they can't then get out they might get stuck in a gator and keep scratching you and you're gonna make.

Some more there's no research so i don't know the answer to to that what should be a simple question unfortunately but the incidence of snake bites is tiny uh on the overland track uh or anywhere really um so walk in a group and send the person you don't particularly like first um and um but in all seriousness as you're walking you're making a bit of.

Noise uh the snakes will clear out as you go do keep an eye around campsites they do like to sun on things like 10 platforms and on the tracks because they are good for sunning and be particularly mindful if the weather's gone from warm to cold very quickly.

Because snakes get stuck if they if it gets cold too quickly and they might not be able to move out as quickly as they want but give them a wide berth and fine but do carry in your first aid kit bandage the first aid for snake bites is incredibly effective okay and.

Matt a two questions to finish up on one's regards accessibility and the question is what level of disabled access is there particularly for folk with wheelchairs and the other one is a bit of a specific question but if a recommendation for a good size pack and a weight to aim for.

For a smaller framed person great good questions uh disability access unfortunately um it's extraordinarily limited if if you're some if you're a wheelchair user and wanting to do the iphone track um uh it would be possible using something like a one of these single wheel.

Um trail riders um with uh with a couple of sherpas to to run you through it would be a lot of work um and you'd have to think about particularly the route on the first day um um so if that's something that you're keen to do i would suggest.

Tackling the southern end uh first which is the flatter end uh practice dealing with things like swim bridges first it's not a great setup for it unfortunately so um but if you are in a wheelchair uh there's quite good access around the start of the walk around uh dublin um and also at the southern end there's.

There's some some reasonably good walks that you can do along um relatively rough terrain but if you've got a front wheel um you'll be able to negotiate and reason well all the huts have steps into the entrance and all that sort of stuff so it's really not well set up in terms of inclusiveness for people in.

Wheelchairs but but for other people with arthritis and back pain and that sort of stuff people do use walking sticks as a way to help manage that um and some people do carry folding lightweight aluminium chairs to sit on as well if their knees are particularly.

Dodgy to protect those uh during the day in terms of a pack packs are there's two types of packs in my view and my bias is going to come out here um but but there's you're pretty standard um sort of canvas pack with a reasonable harness and they're all very similar.

Um in in how they work so for for your common style pack it's a matter of going into a into a cabin store and just trying on until one that you find one that fits your frame uh well um and don't be afraid to spend a bit of time looking around in terms of favorite type of pack for me personally i'm a big fan of the unpack.

I'm not no sponsorship or anything like that i'm double a are in it's a new zealand company and they have the world's weirdest looking backpack um let me see if i've got one in my room i've got a lot of junk here so.

I don't know can you see my pack so it's that's yeah your pack that's fairly normal but it's got these balance pockets at the front of your pack and they um so at the front of your pack you've got two two sort of 10 liter packs that sit on your harness and you put all your heavy.

Stuff in there like water um your stoves and your and your food and it's amazing how much lighter your pack feels because you're not being pulled back um because you've got half your weight in the front half your weight in your pack in your back you're much more centered and i reckon your pack feels 30 lighter.

Uh with an arm pack they are fiddly so you got a few extra straps the harness is hung differently um so your shoulders are much more free to move um there's basically no weight on your shoulders everything goes straight to you onto your hips um so if you're somebody.

Who struggles particularly um more petite people i would really strongly encourage you looking at an unpack uh in terms of a target weight um i think 15 kilos is a really um reasonable weight to aim for for doing the overwhelming track over about a week.

I think you can do that fairly low budget um um you know things like uh you can get two kilo tents quite cheaply um these days online um some little sleeping bags you can get them quite light so so i think 15 kilos half of that is probably food to kick off with um yeah so hopefully that's helpful.

Thanks matt look that's been fantastic and as i say it's um you've set an extraordinary standards for those who to come to follow could i just ask everyone to help me in the world's least spontaneous round of applause just go down to reactions and you'll see there's a little um pair of clapping hands over on one side there.

Um thank you uh look just a couple of pieces to finish up to let you know that we are planning to do this as a weekly exercise um next week we're going to have shawnee connell talking about wildlife caring and a week after that i'm going to do the ex.

Absolute opposite of matt and rather than talk about a grand adventure actually sort of focus in on unpacking your very very local patch um this is something we'd like to be able to sustain but that's really going to be a matter of the quality of the the talks we can produce i could i.

Invite people to contact us at activities at mpansw.org dot a u with two things firstly suggestions for topics you'd like to see covered whether that's exploring a particular park or whether it's uh um bush walking techniques or it could be.

On any other topic to do with mpa business in conservation and advocacy um but more than anything else what i want to see is people actually volunteering to be our next speakers so if everyone could just put on your thinking cap have a little consideration of what you would like to hear and what you might like to share.

With your fellow npa members and supporters and just go down to activities at mpa nsw.org au and let us know what you'd like to see coming up in this series thanks once again i hope that you've enjoyed it and um it's a pleasure to be able to spend some time with our members thanks all bye.

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Walking the Overland Track - Matt McClelland