Windermere to Pelion
This was supposed to be the longest part of the Overland Track, so I got up early. I tried to have a quick breakfast and hurry with packing up because there were some dark clouds and what I don't like at all is packing up my tent while it's raining.
Fortunately it didn’t end up raining and just before 9am I left Windermere. I noticed I was able to pack my luggage without using the 20l extension of my 65+20l backpack, which was a good feeling, but it didn’t really feel any lighter.
It was a very nice walk through small forests and across lots of open fields until I arrived at Forth Valley Lookout, the first break and the only sidetrip option on that part of the Overland Track. Basically I could climb Mount Pelion West or Mount Oakleigh, but I didn’t find the track to Mount Pelion West anyway and I wasn’t motivated enough to try Mount Oakleigh.
After the lookout the walk continued mostly through beautiful forests where I saw the first two snakes on the track. I heard lots of stories about snakes but until then I had never seen one. When you walk alone through the forest and suddenly two metres in front of you a black tiger snake starts moving it’s a bit of a scare, even though no one has died of a snake bite in Tasmania for the last 40 years or so. But it was a welcome reminder to watch my steps. Only a few minutes after the first snake I saw a second one, a brown one this time.
At this point, the day had once again turned into a beautiful and hot summer day, I was really lucky with the weather on this trip.
After a while I arrived at Pelion Creek and filled my water bottle. A tour guide walked by and explained that this was Australia’s cleanest water here. I can’t verify it but what I can say is that I’ve never tried such great and refreshing water before. Anyone who comes along should fill up their bottles there.
The next orientation point on the map was Frog Flats, but still a bit scared from the snakes I didn’t feel like sitting down there for lunch and I decided to walk on. It was a very hot day and I had heard there’s a swimming hole at the old Pelion hut, so I wanted to be there as soon as possible and go swimming.
From Frog Flats it was a constant steep ascent, but a really beautiful walk through the forest. It looks fantastic when the sun is shining through the canopy and there is a constant change from light to shadow.
After a very tiring walk I arrived at the new Pelion hut around 2pm. I took me more than one hour to fix my tent on the platform, but then the first thing I did was grabbing a towel and heading back to the old Pelion hut to check out the swimming hole. When I arrived there was no one else around and I could enjoy a very relaxing time in the cool water until more and more people arrived. It was a really popular place thanks to the hot weather and the long walk from Windermere.
After the swim I felt much better and had dinner before I started yet another walk around with my camera. The sunshine at dusk was beautiful and I managed to get some great photos of wallabies sitting in the fields. Later I joined the others on the veranda of the hut to watch the sunset and wildlife. There were quite a few red eastern quolls and wallabies around the hut.
What I especially liked about Pelion is that there were a lot of fascinating birds and parrots flying around the trees at the hut. The last thing I heard before going to sleep and the first thing I heard in the morning was the sounds of birds. While I was having dinner I watched one of these birds for a couple of minutes because it was so incredible what strange sound they made. I think Pelion is a nice place to stay for more than one night if the weather is fine. It is possible to do a daytrip to Mount Oakleigh for example.