Bert Nichols to Echo Point, Overland Track, Tasmania

I’re really getting there now, as this is the second last post of my Overland Track hike from a few years back. Back in the days of JPEG cameras and killer pack weights. It’s a problem attempting to write up every day of a week long hike, as at times not a lot happens. This stretch from Bert Nichols to Echo Point next to Lake St Clair, just happened to be one of those days. No falls, no blood. Not much at all, so this’ll be a straightforward account, which will fly past.

Although the brain is a little vague with some details, I do remember on this particular day how a week of walking had improved my fitness. How fit? Well, I kid you  not, but I actually jogged part of the way. I’m not sure how this happened, but I remember walking so fast, I thought to myself, “I’m almost at jogging speed. Why not jog and see what happens?” So I did. Mind you, I only trotted along for a kilometre or so, but it was okay. Again, there was no one to be seen for the day, so there were no witnesses to the sight of a bloke running with the contents of a house on his back.

Anyway, the night at Bert Nichols Hut was ABSOLUTELY FREEZING. Really, really icy and one of those mornings where I had to psych myself up to unzip the sleeping bag. It did mean nice weather for the day though, which offset the early morning pain.

I bid farewell to the Yowie sized possum who made a habit of breaking into the hut and set off. My initial aim for the day was Narcissus Hut, which sits on the shore of Lake St.Clair. I figured it would be my last hut to spend a night before finishing the walk the following day.

As per usual the Du Cane Range was looking a little cloudy and snow covered…


…but at my lower altitude it was quite sunny. The walking was easy, as I passed some streams…


…and ultra-large fungi.


Fallen trees were about the only thing slowing me down. There were quite a few and I’m not talking about negotiating twig size branches. They were more like this.


I quite liked leaving the forest, as besides no more clambering over fallen tree trunks, the views were a lot more spectacular. Mount Olympus revealed itself, as the landscape opened up in front of me…


…before it was clearly in view as I walked along track boards through a large button grass plain (first photo in this post).

Narcissus River is crossed on a suspension bridge and I had an entertaining time, as it seemed to bounce trampoline style whilst walking over it.


Suspension bridge over Narcissus River

The track continued through quite open terrain and suddenly I was at Narcissus Hut. I’m not sure what happened, but it seemed only a few hours since leaving Bert Nichols Hut. I dumped my pack and decided to look around. Most walkers complete the Overland Track here by catching a ferry, which whisks them the length of Lake St Clair to the official finish at Cynthia Bay.

I located the boat jetty…


…but it seemed I’d get wet feet if I wanted to catch a boat.


Actually, the lake seemed quite high with large trees perched in the water…


…not to mention smaller bushes who were looked over by Mount Olympus.


So, that was that. I was at Narcissus Hut, but it seemed too early to stop for the day, plus the hut wasn’t really turning me on. Can a hut turn someone on? I’m not sure myself, but this one definitely wasn’t.


Instead, I decided to kick on and walk for a few more hours along Lake St. Clair to the small Echo Point Hut. It also gave me a bonus for the following day being a shorter walk to Cynthia Bay.

Heading off, the track enters the forest alongside the lake. It’s a damp old place with the signs covered in moss…


…and the track a little muddy in places.


Actually, the track was quite slippery, so I found my lakeside strolling to be a lot slower than I’d expected. A lot of the time the lake was obscured by trees, but at times there were some nice views of Mount Ida in the distance…


…and after another hour of walking it was a lot closer.


What’s strange is after a few hours I began to wonder where exactly Echo Point Hut was hiding, before it suddenly appeared amongst the trees. It certainly doesn’t announce itself until you’re practically stepping on it…


…but, what a great location. It’s small (sleeps only eight) and is perched right on the lake. How close? Well, here’s a shot from inside the front door…


There’s a boat jetty here as well…


…which I found perfect to lie on in the late afternoon.


It’s interesting that from the opposite direction of the photo above, the hut is nowhere to be seen.


This was a great spot and I must say it was my favourite hut of the entire hike. Then again, I was on my own. If you’ve got to share it with some other punters it could possibly be a nightmare. Inside it’s so cosy due to its small size, but even then I wasn’t completely satisfied with its level of cosiness. It was the last night for the hike, so there was extra food accrued over the week to eat and what better way to inhale all of this food, than in front of the fire? So, for the first time on the walk I got the coal fuelled heater going.


In such a small building, it was toasty in no time and that sees the day out. I ate a ton of food and any I didn’t get through I locked away in the cabinets provided inside. Apparently rats are known to stalk this hut, but I can’t say I saw any.

In finishing off, there was no colourful sunset, but I did capture the jetty as the light faded…


…and the skyline when it was almost dark. Ignore the grainy photo and just enjoy darkening sky. That’s it for another day. Only one more to go!