Lake St Clair and Wild Rivers, TAS

 Australia

Explore the rugged wilderness of the Tasmanian Highlands and discover the raw beauty of Australia’s most southern state.

Trip duration:
4 days

Challenge duration:
4 days

Challenge grade:
3/5

Departure months:
October to April

Accommodation:
3 star cabins based on twin-share

Hiking Lake St Clair National Park

On this breathtaking adventure, you'll be challenged to trek the hilly country of Tasmania's Central Highlands.

While you navigate the world-famous Overland Track and the surrounding jagged trails, be rewarded with a backdrop of lush rainforests and alpine heaths, traversed by icy river streams running down into dramatic ravines.  

See Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake, as it glistens amongst the fresh landscape, and witness a brilliant display of native flora - from the waratahs and orchids sprawled across the scrub-covered hills, to the forests of towering eucalypts and king billy pines. 

Peaceful Lake St Clair reflecting the sky and mountains around. Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Rain forest in Cradle Mountains, Lake St Clair National Park

Why you'll love this adventure

  • Trek for four days on some of the best trails in Tasmania
  • See highlights of Lake St Clair National Park, including Liffey River, Shadow Lake, and a section of the world-renowned Overland Track
  • Descend deep into the forest in Franklin-Gordon Walk Rivers National park
  • Raise vital funds for your chosen cause and make friends with like-minded people when you travel for good

Trip notes

Day 1: Depart Launceston and enter Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park

Our adventure begins early this morning. Meet your guide and the rest of your team at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston CBD for an 8am departure. From here, we will make our way to the national park, part of the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area, a region of mountain peaks, temperate rainforests and dramatic gorges. After stopping in the historic village of Westbury for morning tea, we drive towards the Great Western Tiers, travelling through mostly flat agricultural land and passing Bob Brown’s former property before reaching the small town of Liffey. We begin our first walk of the day from Lower Liffey Falls. We follow the Liffey River, gently uphill through lush temperate rainforest before reaching the lower main falls and then continuing onto the main upper falls carpark. We make our lunch stop here and then continue on to the Pine Lake walk, an easy trail through unique endemic sub-alpine vegetation types, until we reach a picturesque lake. Our final short walk for the day, known as the Frankland Beaches, follows the lakeside, affording grand views across to Pumphouse Point and the surrounding mountains. After a long day, we transfer to our accommodation and enjoy our first team dinner together.

Transfer Time: 2 ½ hours

Trekking Distance: 8km

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Shadow Lake Circuit

This morning after breakfast we depart for the Shadow Lake Circuit. Today is our most difficult and longest walking day, but has some incredible highlights to ensure the effort is well worth it. Be sure to have worn in your hiking boots and bring trekking poles to help you to navigate the tree roots along the path. Starting from the visitor centre, we follow the wide track out to Watersmeet, passing through tall eucalypt forest before following the Hugel River through more stunning rainforest. We then begin our steady climb up to Shadow Lake. On a clear day, the views across the lake to Mt Hugel and Mt Rufus are spectacular. 

Trekking Distance: 13km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Overland Track Section

Today’s trek includes a ferry trip across Lake St Clair and the opportunity to walk a section of the world-famous Overland Track. Be sure to take in the beauty of Mt Ida and Mt Olympus, two of the highest peaks in the park, which can be spotted between Echo Point Hut and Narcissus Hut. The rainforest sections today are some of the best in the state, with huge towering eucalypts, myrtles, sassafras, leatherwood and king billy pines. As we approach Narcissus Hut, the vegetation opens up to buttongrass plain country, as the mountain views expand even further. The hut makes a great stop for lunch, while the river is the perfect spot for a swim on a hot day. In the afternoon we catch the ferry back to Cynthia Bay, leaving the remainder of the day for you to relax, enjoy a coffee or discover some of the other short walks in the area.

Trekking Distance: 6km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Franklin Hills Walk and return to Launceston

After breakfast this morning we pack up and depart the Lake St Clair area. We take a scenic drive west into the wilderness to explore the Franklin-Gordon Walk Rivers National Park, another part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. In clear weather the views along this road are sensational. The standout feature of this national park is the rivers- creating deep forested valleys and weaving between rugged mountains. From the starting point, the track descends into forest, down to the Franklin River, which we cross on a large swing bridge. On the other side, we are greeted by a long section of buttongrass plain country with quartzite soils crunching underfoot. Be sure to take in the views of the surrounding mountainous landscape. We then climb steadily up onto the scrub-covered Franklin Hills. From here, there is an open view west towards Frenchman’s Cap and its satellite peaks. After soaking up the views we head back the same way, stopping for lunch beside the Franklin River. Once we arrive back at the bus, our adventure comes to a close as we return to Launceston. We will arrive back at about 5pm. If you are flying out this evening, be sure to book your flight home no earlier than 7:30pm.

Trekking Distance: 9km

Transfer Time: 2 ½ hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 1: Depart Launceston and enter Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park

Our adventure begins early this morning. Meet your guide and the rest of your team at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston CBD for an 8am departure. From here, we will make our way to the national park, part of the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area, a region of mountain peaks, temperate rainforests and dramatic gorges. After stopping in the historic village of Westbury for morning tea, we drive towards the Great Western Tiers, travelling through mostly flat agricultural land and passing Bob Brown’s former property before reaching the small town of Liffey. We begin our first walk of the day from Lower Liffey Falls. We follow the Liffey River, gently uphill through lush temperate rainforest before reaching the lower main falls and then continuing onto the main upper falls carpark. We make our lunch stop here and then continue on to the Pine Lake walk, an easy trail through unique endemic sub-alpine vegetation types, until we reach a picturesque lake. Our final short walk for the day, known as the Frankland Beaches, follows the lakeside, affording grand views across to Pumphouse Point and the surrounding mountains. After a long day, we transfer to our accommodation and enjoy our first team dinner together.

Transfer Time: 2 ½ hours

Trekking Distance: 8km

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Shadow Lake Circuit

This morning after breakfast we depart for the Shadow Lake Circuit. Today is our most difficult and longest walking day, but has some incredible highlights to ensure the effort is well worth it. Be sure to have worn in your hiking boots and bring trekking poles to help you to navigate the tree roots along the path. Starting from the visitor centre, we follow the wide track out to Watersmeet, passing through tall eucalypt forest before following the Hugel River through more stunning rainforest. We then begin our steady climb up to Shadow Lake. On a clear day, the views across the lake to Mt Hugel and Mt Rufus are spectacular. 

Trekking Distance: 13km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Overland Track Section

Today’s trek includes a ferry trip across Lake St Clair and the opportunity to walk a section of the world-famous Overland Track. Be sure to take in the beauty of Mt Ida and Mt Olympus, two of the highest peaks in the park, which can be spotted between Echo Point Hut and Narcissus Hut. The rainforest sections today are some of the best in the state, with huge towering eucalypts, myrtles, sassafras, leatherwood and king billy pines. As we approach Narcissus Hut, the vegetation opens up to buttongrass plain country, as the mountain views expand even further. The hut makes a great stop for lunch, while the river is the perfect spot for a swim on a hot day. In the afternoon we catch the ferry back to Cynthia Bay, leaving the remainder of the day for you to relax, enjoy a coffee or discover some of the other short walks in the area.

Trekking Distance: 6km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Franklin Hills Walk and return to Launceston

After breakfast this morning we pack up and depart the Lake St Clair area. We take a scenic drive west into the wilderness to explore the Franklin-Gordon Walk Rivers National Park, another part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. In clear weather the views along this road are sensational. The standout feature of this national park is the rivers- creating deep forested valleys and weaving between rugged mountains. From the starting point, the track descends into forest, down to the Franklin River, which we cross on a large swing bridge. On the other side, we are greeted by a long section of buttongrass plain country with quartzite soils crunching underfoot. Be sure to take in the views of the surrounding mountainous landscape. We then climb steadily up onto the scrub-covered Franklin Hills. From here, there is an open view west towards Frenchman’s Cap and its satellite peaks. After soaking up the views we head back the same way, stopping for lunch beside the Franklin River. Once we arrive back at the bus, our adventure comes to a close as we return to Launceston. We will arrive back at about 5pm. If you are flying out this evening, be sure to book your flight home no earlier than 7:30pm.

Trekking Distance: 9km

Transfer Time: 2 ½ hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Deep Creek Conservation Park, return to Adelaide

This morning we depart Kangaroo Island, taking a morning ferry trip back to the mainland. We then undertake the Goondooloo Ridge Walk. This short walk along a stunning section of the Deep Creek Conservation Park has stunning views over the Southern Ocean. The park is the largest remaining block of wildlife habitat on the Fleurieu Peninsula, is home to an array of native wildlife and provides spectacular views of the Backstairs Passage and Kangaroo Island. Keep an eye out for some western grey kangaroos and short-beaked echidnas. We return to Adelaide at approximately 5:00pm. 

Transfer Time: 2 ½ hours

Trekking Time: 2 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Frequently asked questions

Can't find the answer to your question? Get in touch via email (info@inspiredadventure.com.au) or phone (1300 905 188). We’re always here to help!

About the adventure

How challenging is this adventure?

Your adventure is ranked 3/5. While no extensive trekking experience is required prior to registering, our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. The Lake St Clair and Wild Rivers trek is a physical challenge, and the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. It is essential that you prepare for this challenge. 

Who will I be travelling with? 

Our average group size at Inspired Adventures ranges from 10 to 20 people. You can be sure that you have all come together with the shared purpose of making a difference to others and having the adventure of a lifetime.

The group will be led by a local tour guide with expert knowledge of the region. Many groups will also be accompanied by an Inspired Adventures team leader or doctor to support and motivate the team. 

Where applicable, a charity representative may also join the team. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your chosen charity and their work.

Can I join an Inspired Adventure on my own?

Of course, most people do! Throughout your adventure journey, we will connect you with your fellow adventurers so you can get to know each other before you hit the road.

What is the general age range of participants?

The minimum age for this adventure is 18, however younger ages are considered on application. We have had participants aged 16–84 take part in our challenges, all united by their sense of philanthropy and adventure.

Fitness and training

How do I train for this adventure?

We will provide you with basic information on how to prepare for your adventure when you register. We recommend that you consult your GP and a personal trainer to develop a training plan that will prepare you for the challenge.

It is sensible to start training as early as possible before you go on your trek. As part of your training, we recommend making use of your weekends to complete a full day hike and if possible, an overnight hike. You should aim to walk in hilly terrain for 6-8 hours and get up to do it again the following day comfortably. Conventional exercise routines which build strength, fitness and stamina, such as aerobics and light weight training can be beneficial, particularly if your fitness level is less than ideal.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

On this trek, you’ll be staying at Lake St Clair Lodge in twin-share rooms. Each cabin contains living and dining areas, and shared bathrooms (depending on the available cabin).

Will I be sharing accommodation?

Accommodation on this adventure is based on twin-share. You will be paired with a teammate of the same gender and, whenever possible, age group. Single rooms are available at an additional cost and subject to availability.

I’m travelling with a friend, can we stay together?

If you’re travelling with a friend, please make note of this and we will pair you together.

What to expect

What is the food like? 

Breakfast is continental. Lunch varies from day to day, but includes things like meat, salad, bread and wraps, roast chicken and salad or quiche. Dinner is a casual two-course meal of main and dessert prepared by your guides (unless it is specified that we will be dining out). The menu is constantly changing but can include a classic steak on the barbecue, chicken korma or salmon fillet. Dessert can include maple baked apples, pears in red wine, fruit salad or pavlova to name just a few.

I have dietary requirements, will I be catered for?

We are able to accommodate guests’ specific dietary requirements and can always prepare a meal to meet individual needs.

Will I have mobile phone reception? 

You may not be able to use your phone at all times - but don't worry, it's all part of the experience! It is possible that during our trek you will have limited access at high points of the trail, and usually Telstra is best. Otherwise, enjoying switching off and getting back to nature.

Will I have access to electricity?

Yes, you will have access to power points at your accommodation.

What do I need to pack? 

You will be sent a comprehensive packing list after you register for the adventure with everything you need to consider.

What weather can I expect?

Temperatures in the Lake St Clair region are cold year-round. In its warmest months, the region reaches an average high of 16.8C. Please check local forecasts in the weeks leading up to your adventure for up-to-date weather information.

What happens if there is a medical emergency?

All Inspired Adventures guides and Team Leaders are first aid trained. Our guides carry a satellite phone to be used if further assistance is required.

How will you manage the risk of COVID-19?

See the COVID-19 section of our website for full details.

Costs and payments

What’s included in the travel cost?

Package inclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost includes: 

  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in 3 star cabins based on twin-share
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Local guides
  • National Park fees

What’s not included in the travel cost?

Package exclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost does not include: 

  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities

Are the travel costs subject to change?

We will do our best to keep the travel costs as quoted. However, please bear in mind they can change due to group size or factors out of our control. If absolutely necessary, Inspired Travel may have to add on an additional supplement fee should the current social distancing measures continue. This fee would be required if our operator needs to add on additional vehicles, equipment and/or staff.

Why do I need to pay a registration fee? 

When you register, you will be required to pay a registration fee to secure your spot on the team. From the minute you register until you return from your adventure, the team at Inspired Adventures will provide you with everything you need - including a tailored fundraising plan, fitness advice and support with your travel preparations. You will receive access to your online adventure portal complete with your own online fundraising page and lots of resources to help you along the way. Your registration fee goes towards our cost of managing the adventure and supporting you on your journey.

How much spending money do I need?

We recommend that you allow $45 per day to cover any meals not included in the trip costs, souvenirs and gifts, drinks, and any additional activities you may wish to participate in. It is possible to travel comfortably on a smaller budget, and you can always withdraw cash, when required, while travelling.

Is it customary to tip? 

Tipping is not compulsory, and you are encouraged to tip only an amount you find appropriate.

Travel insurance and visas

o I need to have travel insurance?

Travel insurance is highly recommended for domestic adventures to cover cancellation, hospital, emergency evacuation and lost luggage. We recommend purchasing your policy as soon as possible. It is up to you to ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and you will need to share these details with our team before departure. For more information, please visit www.inspiredadventures.com.au/travel-insurance-information.

About the adventure

How challenging is this adventure?

Your adventure is ranked 3/5. While no extensive trekking experience is required prior to registering, our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. The Lake St Clair and Wild Rivers trek is a physical challenge, and the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. It is essential that you prepare for this challenge. 

Who will I be travelling with? 

Our average group size at Inspired Adventures ranges from 10 to 20 people. You can be sure that you have all come together with the shared purpose of making a difference to others and having the adventure of a lifetime.

The group will be led by a local tour guide with expert knowledge of the region. Many groups will also be accompanied by an Inspired Adventures team leader or doctor to support and motivate the team. 

Where applicable, a charity representative may also join the team. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your chosen charity and their work.

Can I join an Inspired Adventure on my own?

Of course, most people do! Throughout your adventure journey, we will connect you with your fellow adventurers so you can get to know each other before you hit the road.

What is the general age range of participants?

The minimum age for this adventure is 18, however younger ages are considered on application. We have had participants aged 16–84 take part in our challenges, all united by their sense of philanthropy and adventure.

Fitness and training

How do I train for this adventure?

We will provide you with basic information on how to prepare for your adventure when you register. We recommend that you consult your GP and a personal trainer to develop a training plan that will prepare you for the challenge.

It is sensible to start training as early as possible before you go on your trek. As part of your training, we recommend making use of your weekends to complete a full day hike and if possible, an overnight hike. You should aim to walk in hilly terrain for 6-8 hours and get up to do it again the following day comfortably. Conventional exercise routines which build strength, fitness and stamina, such as aerobics and light weight training can be beneficial, particularly if your fitness level is less than ideal.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

On this trek, you’ll be staying at Lake St Clair Lodge in twin-share rooms. Each cabin contains living and dining areas, and shared bathrooms (depending on the available cabin).

Will I be sharing accommodation?

Accommodation on this adventure is based on twin-share. You will be paired with a teammate of the same gender and, whenever possible, age group. Single rooms are available at an additional cost and subject to availability.

I’m travelling with a friend, can we stay together?

If you’re travelling with a friend, please make note of this and we will pair you together.

 

What to expect

What is the food like? 

Breakfast is continental. Lunch varies from day to day, but includes things like meat, salad, bread and wraps, roast chicken and salad or quiche. Dinner is a casual two-course meal of main and dessert prepared by your guides (unless it is specified that we will be dining out). The menu is constantly changing but can include a classic steak on the barbecue, chicken korma or salmon fillet. Dessert can include maple baked apples, pears in red wine, fruit salad or pavlova to name just a few.

I have dietary requirements, will I be catered for?

We are able to accommodate guests’ specific dietary requirements and can always prepare a meal to meet individual needs.

Will I have mobile phone reception? 

You may not be able to use your phone at all times - but don't worry, it's all part of the experience! It is possible that during our trek you will have limited access at high points of the trail, and usually Telstra is best. Otherwise, enjoying switching off and getting back to nature.

Will I have access to electricity?

Yes, you will have access to power points at your accommodation.

What do I need to pack? 

You will be sent a comprehensive packing list after you register for the adventure with everything you need to consider.

What weather can I expect?

Temperatures in the Lake St Clair region are cold year-round. In its warmest months, the region reaches an average high of 16.8C. Please check local forecasts in the weeks leading up to your adventure for up-to-date weather information.

What happens if there is a medical emergency?

All Inspired Adventures guides and Team Leaders are first aid trained. Our guides carry a satellite phone to be used if further assistance is required.

How will you manage the risk of COVID-19?

See the COVID-19 section of our website for full details.

Costs and payments

What’s included in the travel cost?

Package inclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost includes: 

  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in 3 star cabins based on twin-share
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Local guides
  • National Park fees

What’s not included in the travel cost?

Package exclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost does not include: 

  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities

Are the travel costs subject to change?

We will do our best to keep the travel costs as quoted. However, please bear in mind they can change due to group size or factors out of our control. If absolutely necessary, Inspired Travel may have to add on an additional supplement fee should the current social distancing measures continue. This fee would be required if our operator needs to add on additional vehicles, equipment and/or staff.

Why do I need to pay a registration fee? 

When you register, you will be required to pay a registration fee to secure your spot on the team. From the minute you register until you return from your adventure, the team at Inspired Adventures will provide you with everything you need - including a tailored fundraising plan, fitness advice and support with your travel preparations. You will receive access to your online adventure portal complete with your own online fundraising page and lots of resources to help you along the way. Your registration fee goes towards our cost of managing the adventure and supporting you on your journey.

How much spending money do I need?

We recommend that you allow $45 per day to cover any meals not included in the trip costs, souvenirs and gifts, drinks, and any additional activities you may wish to participate in. It is possible to travel comfortably on a smaller budget, and you can always withdraw cash, when required, while travelling.

Is it customary to tip? 

Tipping is not compulsory, and you are encouraged to tip only an amount you find appropriate.

Travel insurance and visas

Do I need to have travel insurance?

Travel insurance is highly recommended for domestic adventures to cover cancellation, hospital, emergency evacuation and lost luggage. We recommend purchasing your policy as soon as possible. It is up to you to ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and you will need to share these details with our team before departure. For more information, please visit www.inspiredadventures.com.au/travel-insurance-information.

All information is subject to change and will be confirmed upon your registration.

Icon-BLK-ResponsibleTravel

Responsible Travel

Caring for our adventurers, the communities we visit and the wellbeing of the planet is the heart of everything we do. This adventure is no exception.
Meaningful connections: Hear from Aranda Elders who will tell us about the history of the area.
Environment: We offset the emissions from this trip through carbon credit programs in partnership with Carbon Neutral. 
Treading lightly: Trekking is a great, low-impact way to explore.
Small group travel: Our teams consist of a maximum of 25 people. Better for you, and better for the planet.
Responsible business: We’re a certified B-Corp, committed to using business as a force for good

Icon-BLK-Safety

Safe travel and flexible bookings

Keeping you safe: We’ve developed a stringent COVID-10 Pandemic Safety Management Plan in cooperation with government guidelines, tourism boards and the advice of medical experts to minimise the risks associated with travel as best as possible.

Flexible bookings: If COVID-19 travel bans mean your Inspired Adventure cannot go ahead as scheduled, we will endeavour to reschedule the departure to a later date or you will receive a travel credit.

To learn more about our COVID-19 policy, you can see a full list of FAQs here

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