Poems of The Overland Track

The Overland Track in Tasmania is considered internationally as one of the greatest walks in the world – a trek that meanders through the mountains and lakes at the heart of the island, variously shrouded in fog or snow, or bathed in wildflowers and buttongrass.

Over ten days in February this year, my mother, brother and I hiked this trail. As I am wont to do, I took photographs, and scribbled poems into the log book of each hut. And it is with these mementos that I would like to convey my expression of this experience.

Mt Oakleigh over the plains.

Mt Oakleigh over the plains.

Barn Bluff

Barn Bluff

Barn Bluff

The sun in all her glory shone
Upon the ridge where we had gone
Inviting us upwards to come
To walk up Barn Bluff.

Upon the rocks our knees we scuffed
Up and up we huffed and puffed
Though on the summit we were chuffed
By the glory of the view.

For all the group this sight was new
Though soon enough our stop was through
Back at Waterfall Hut we’d beat the queue
And loved it enough to stay for two.

Lake Windermere

Eucalyptus and Oakleigh

Mist hides Mount Oakleigh
We walk to Old Pelion
And watch it emerge.


Oakleigh and tarns

At Pelion Gap we drop our packs
And from currawongs safe make
Then to the side t’ward Ossa stride
Up the route we want to take
We climb up side Mt Doris, and sidle her, but lo!
Up ahead, the track rises yet
There’s another peak to go!

We climb away from cushiongrass
And up into the rocks
Past gentian swathes, and Milligan Lily,
And other flowers to our hocks
We raise our eyes from flora, hopeful yet, but lo!
The rocks are ever steeper
There’s another peak to go!

Hand over head, foot over knee
We haul our bodies up
Our limbs we stretch as they protest
At least we’re nearly at the top
The horizon looms, our cameras zoom, but close at hand, lo!
There’s a whole gully yet to cross
And another peak to go!

Heads tucked down, we stride on,
Sweat beading on our brows
The sun beams down, we almost frown
But we’ll not let the mountain cow
For there ahead, across flat ground, we see it yet, lo!
The end’s at last in sight
For there’s no more peaks to go.

View ascending Mt Ossa.

View ascending Mt Ossa.

Milligan Lily (Milligania densiflora).

Milligan Lily (Milligania densiflora).

Air fresh
Birds cheep
Pack off
So sweet

Water falls
Cascades down
Take a moment
Calm the frown

Close your eyes
Breathe in deep
Take the plunge…

Toes are numb!
Water cold!
Clamber out
Self hold

D'Alton Falls.

D’Alton Falls.

The Acropolis.

The Acropolis.


Six walkers had come down from Syd
With pancake mix of which to get rid
They burnt the first few
And maple syrup too
But by end perfect pancakes they did.

Pine Valley.

Pine Valley.

Ida from Echo Point

The lake stills
The light fades
The colours dim
And turn to shade

The swallows flit
Through evening air
As I sit
And pensive stare

And think of good
And mountains high
And rivers free

And time enjoyed
With family
Midst buttongrass
And myrtle tree

A star is out
And I’m away
Thus ends this
The last day.

Echo Point Jetty

For more photos, check out my Flickr album.


3 thoughts on “Poems of The Overland Track

  1. Pingback: On Preparations and Last Minute Snowstorms | words and wilds

  2. Pingback: Snippets of Stories: Glimpses of the Overland Track | words and wilds

  3. Pingback: Frenchmans Cap: Two Lakes and a Summit | words and wilds

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