Date: January 18th-19th 2015
Day Four is a short Day, which is a relief after the day before. It’s supposed to be mountain day, hence why the actual track is only 9km, a measly 3 hours walk. You’re supposed to do a side trip up Mount Ossa, Tasmania’s tallest peak. I didn’t do this, because today was the day it SNOWED in SUMMER. Ah, Tasmania, I do love you.
This is after playing in the snow. I waited at the intersection in the hopes someone would arrive who was keen to go up the mountain, despite the snow, but no one did. The snow at this elevation melted quickly, but it was thicker on the mountains.
This day of walking is a steep way up for the first half and a slow descent down the other into Kia Ora hut. Kia Ora was another of my favourites, because it’s small and most people don’t stop there, and it’s nestled in the rainforest. I loved it, even if the heater was broken.
On the way in to Kia Ora, I arrived just as the ranger was being heli-vacced out. I have no idea why, but we’d heard it would be happening at Pelion, so I had expected it. I didn’t expect to be standing in front of it as it lifted out. It was very cool. It also meant we had the hut to ourselves, no ranger or anything! PARTAY!
Day five is another short day; it’s waterfall day. The track is 10km, or 3 hours from Kia Ora to Burt Nichols. I was up early and reached Du Cane Hut quickly, only to find a group of young men who’d been trapped there by the storm, who’d come in from the Walls of Jerusalem and had been unable to go to Pine Valley.
I kept on and made it to the first waterfall junction early, but I got halfway down to the waterfall before realising I’d left my camera in my bag at the junction, so no pics. I was so disheartened by this that I didn’t bother going to Harnett Falls, which I’m glad of as photos others had were not stellar. The first trip to D’Alton was far more satisfying by all accounts. The day is entirely in rainforest, so I was in my element.
I reached Burt Nichols hut at the same time as the men who had been camped at DuCane and spent lunch talking about how they had ended up at DuCane Hut. It was quite hilarious, and I wonder which of them continued on their hike and which bailed at Lake St Clair and headed back for Hobart.
Burt Nichols Hut is the largest on the track. It was also the first sun we had seen for days. So as each of us arrived we laid out our meager belongings and toasted oursevles in the sun under the Acropolis.
I want to go back to the Overland in Winter, mostly for this section of the track. I want to go to Pine Valley and do the Labyrinth and the Acropolis in the snow. I envy those who had the time to do it while we were there. It was magical.
Hilariously, despite the six bunk rooms at the Hut, one other solo girl and I shared a room. We had the entire thing to ourselves. Everyone else was so excited by the sun they set up their tents and built a small town around 😛
This hut is also possessed. Not really, but it is called Windy Ridge for a reason and when night hit so did the wind. The whole hut creaks, the wind howls, the underbrush comes through the open areas of the hut and animals crawl around incessantly. It’s a noisy night, and it sounds creepy as hell. Another reason to love it!