Overland Track money-saving: 4 ways to save money when walking Australia’s top trek in Tasmania
I walked the awesome Overland Track in Tasmania in March 2016. It is not a cheap trek after you’ve paid for the track fee and national parks pass. But there are a few ways you can save some dollar. These are my money-saving tips:
1. Don’t take the ferry, walk instead
Many weary hikers take the ferry from Narcissus Hut to Lake St Clair Visitor Centre at Cynthia Bay, saving themselves a 17.5km hike along the lake. But not only is this cheating (in my humble opinion, haha!) , it also costs about $40. Head out on foot to save the cash – a simple Overland Track money-saving tactic.
2. Pitch your tent at Fergy’s Paddock campsite
You’ve just hiked 80km through the Tasmanian wilderness. Arriving at Lake St Clair Visitor Centre the temptation to book into an expensive lodge/hotel for a real bed and hot shower may be irresistible. But if you can stomach another night of sleeping in a tent and smelling like a tramp, a free campsite (called Fergy’s Paddock) is available a short distance from the visitor centre. I stayed there and it was comfortable and scenic – all good.
3. Hitchhike to Hobart
I booked a coach to Hobart from the end of the trek, which cost about $55. Some friends I met on the trek however managed to hitchhike to Hobart. They said it was really easy. Obviously, as with all hitchhiking, there is no guarantee you will get a ride and it may be trickier in the off-season. But if you are flexible and happy to wait, it is definitely possible. I wish I’d done this Overland Track money-saving trick.
4. Don’t buy both the map and guidebook
You probably don’t need to buy both the Overland Track map and guidebook. The map includes walk notes while the guidebook includes clear, detailed maps – so there is much crossover between the two. If you want more detail about history and wildlife go for the guidebook. If you’re a geek/purist and like looking at contour lines, the map is for you.