The Overland Track - Day 3

Waking up to pouring rain and a freezing wind is never a good start to the day when you are hiking, but thankfully the day improved from there. All round good-guy Naomi is already up and the kettle is on for breakfast and a much needed hot cup of coffee. Today’s oats are “cherry ripe” flavoured and the mix of chocolate and dried fruit is feverishly devoured. By the time we wash up and pack our bags the rain has stopped, so we hit the track.

Day 3 is one of the longest base days at 16.8km but with minimal side trips. After the first hour or so the overcast weather all but disappears and leaves us with a lovely warm and sunny day. Today’s walk is mostly flat with a few undulating hills as we follow the valley towards Mount Pelion West. After the steep and unmarked access track (which we don’t take) we pass by the mountain and descend to Frog Flat for lunch.

So far this trip has been sunshine & rainbows, but I’d be lying if I said that by day 3 I wasn’t starting to feel a little fatigue in my legs. The last 30 minutes before lunch I was starting to get a bit of a stomach ache so I knew before lunch I’d have to go for a walk & dig a hole.

Back at the Forth river crossing, my friends weren’t having much luck either. The flies & mosquitoes decided that if we get lunch, so do they, and a combination of messy Tuna juice and broken flatbread was making this anything but easy. Another group of hikers caught up and we decided that was our cue to leave, back into the rainforest and on with the moderate climb out.

At this point, we were all starting to get a little tired, but knowing that the hut is only a few km of flat boardwalk away we decided to take the short side trip to Old Pelion hut… any excuse to take our packs off!

From the historic old hut, we see it’s only a short walk down to the river so just like at Lake Will we strip off our dirty outer layers and make use of the sun to wash and dry our clothes while we enjoy the water.

Down at the river we find another couple of hikers but they initially seem hesitant about going for a swim. Lucky for them we turned up and aren’t shy at all so next thing we know they’ve also stripped down to their underwear and joined us for a swim.

With clean clothes and smiles on our faces we head back to the main track with the fresh water having washed away the day’s previous hardships. We arrive in to camp at the Pelion Hut, and it’s time for a cuppa-soup and a relaxing afternoon.

With the longest days of the Overland Track behind us, we take in the view of Mount Oakleigh while we mentally prepare ourselves for the big climb, tomorrow: Mount Ossa.


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