Scott Kilvert Hut to Waterfall Valley
In the morning my legs were still so tired and sore that I decided to stay at Scott Kilvert Hut and spend another night here. The weather was fantastic that day so I planned to have a quiet day in the sun and relax down at Lake Rodway.
After breakfast I walked down to the lake for a swim and to wash my clothes. It didn’t take long and I felt bored, there’s simply not much to do at the hut except sitting in the sun or going swimming. I felt like I should take advantage of the great weather while it lasts and walk on to Waterfall Valley Hut. Of course my legs still felt terrible from the previous day, but I again remembered my cycling trip around Tasmania where I had a similar experience. Best to ignore the pain and push on, over time it will get better. And it would only take around 3 hours to the next hut.
Around lunch time I was ready to move on and left the hut. It was a fantastic day, but the sunshine also meant that it was very hot. Unfortunately the track from the hut to the main Overland Track went up a very steap climb and it took me a long time just to walk that small part to the top of the plateau where the track joins the Overland Track again. I needed lots of breaks – the mountain just wouldn’t end.
In the end it was a beautiful track to walk, it was just very steep and tiring for me because I had already been very tired when I left. When I finally reached the top I had a lunch break and enjoyed the nice view to Barn Bluff. I knew that you can climb up Barn Bluff as a sidetrack, but I was told it’s difficult and I decided not to do that on that day, maybe the following one, but most likely I would skip Barn Bluff completely. Cradle Mountain was great and I didn't feel the need to climb every mountain.
After a few minutes the track joined the Overland Track again and from there it was a short walk with a tiring descent down to Waterfall Valley. I was one of the first ones to arrive at the hut that day. In fact when I arrived the last ones from the previous night were just about to leave to Windermere.
There was a friendly volunteer ranger who showed me where I can pitch my tent and gave me lots of other helpful information. She was kind of awaiting me and asked if I was Matthias, the guy who didn't show up yesterday. She explained that she had a list of all people who started the walk, and Marc, the dutch guy I met on Cradle Mountain, had told her I walked to a different hut. It was surprising but a good feeling to see how well organised the rangers are.
It was around 4pm now and after I pitched my tent and had a wash at the small waterfall behind the old hut I started to rehydrate some spaghetti. Because it took a while to rehydrate I walked around with my camera in the meantime and was incredibly lucky to get some beautiful shots of a black Eastern Quoll that lived under the old Waterfall Valley Hut. Another ranger had previously told me some quolls were living under the hut and I should store my backpack inside at night, and only a few minutes later a young quoll appeared and had the time to pose for a few photos.
Later, more and more hikers arrived, and suddenly, more and more animals appeared as well. It's really funny that during daytime you barely see any wallabies and at dusk suddenly they sit everywhere like they had been there all day. I got some great photos of wallabies and later even a wombat appeared, something I had been hoping for.
I did see wombats in the wild before, but somehow it’s always interesting again to see one, they are so chubby. Most people there had never seen one before so for the next hour or so the wombat was surrounded by people and cameras. Most wombats I've seen so far were shy, but the one here didn't seem to mind at all, no matter how close people came.
I went to sleep quite early because it became a bit chilly when the sun disappeared behind Barn Bluff, and the mosquitos were annoying. It was a really great day, swimming in lakes, hiking in the sunshine, washing at waterfalls and seeing lots of wildlife – exactly the experience I had been hoping for.