Tasmania: Lake St Clair and a taste of the Overland

A welcome, but too brief, return to Tasmania gave me a couple of days in which to head out into the ‘bush’.  The tail end of winter means that there aren’t a lot of people out and about.  Both good and less good.  I meet one other in just over 2 days, but the lack of others means that I don’t get to the Labyrinth as intended.  This place – one of several evocatively titled areas of the Tasmanian southwest, is a favourite of Sarah’s and mine. This time not to be, as the distance-time saving ferry along Lake St Clair is only running for large groups with the required ready money.

Instead, I direct my boot-sore feet into areas new to me.  From Narcissus (a hut, but another name with memories attached) I meander up onto Gould’s Plateau then back down to Echo Point (another hut – alone apart from a plastic-ravaging midnight rat) before returning to the bus.  Too early for my satisfaction, but just about right for the needs of my legs – so un-used to this ‘walking’ business still.

Some impressions:

Trees lie where they fall – sometime helpfully divided, sometimes not
The forest changes character multiply – here open and ‘thin’
Mt Ida – climbed from an kayak approach by Sarah in a not so constraining ‘cam-walker’ after she broke her foot a few years ago – adds a peak to the horizon opposite Echo Point

The Overland Track is a very popular route – in summer. Duck boards keep some of it out of the water/mud – other parts not so
A stretch of more open, ‘east-coast’ (Tasmanian style) gum trees

Remember to look down!
Lusher – plenty of wetness around to keep it this way
An older style of track marking – the blaze – soon to be lost here
In places it feels as if the moss holds the trees up – until it doesn’t – moans and potentially pre-fall creaks promote a watchful eye and reluctance to dawdle in the shady wind-shelter
In amongst the path edge – a flash of red

Light illuminates the hollow remnant – post ground-fall
Green-brown-red. Colours to saturate the eyes and divert from trail-attention
And finally a phone-photo as evening draws in after a 700 photo time-lapse experiment drains the ‘proper’ camera battery a shot too soon




  1. Hi sarah, i’m have been reading your blog for a few months now. I’m currently touring in peru and then going into chile over the next few months. I’m going to be riding from santiago de chile to coyhaique in chile. then will be flying home in december. I think that i should wash my bike before boxing it up. Did you have any quaratine problems in australia concerning your bike.

    Las bicieltas david and marnee

    • David
      I did the boxing if our bikes – both in Panama (to Colombia) and Punta Arenas (back to Oz). I too was a bit worried about the peg-cleaning quarantine guys but more because we got into the country in Sydney then had a fairly tight connection on to Perth and I didn’t want them to inbox the bikes to clean them for us…

      I added an hour or two to the packing process (with the big dummy I substantially dismantled it to get it into a smaller space) to use a brush and rag to get as much off as possible.

      In the end they just asked if we’d cleaned it and we said we’d been riding paved roads for the last few days of the tour. I don’t think that they realise the sort of muddy off-road places you can go on a bicycle!


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