Kia Ora to Windy Ridge (10km) with two side trips to waterfalls (2.5km): January 5, 2013
Our day 5 on the Overland Track was all about waterfalls. We knew we would need to walk 3 or 4 hours from Kia Ora to reach Windy Ridge but we were all really keen on making side trips to break up the journey. We didn’t make any specific plans about it but we all ended up going to all three waterfalls and having a blast. We started off at our usual time in the morning, at around 8:30. M, also as usual, left ahead of us and I set out with JC and AC.
We were warned by the ranger at Kia Ora that it was going to be a hot day. The beginning of the trail was shady and cool, but by the time we reached the old Ducane hut, the sun beating down on us.
I was fascinated by these orange-brown bubbly thingamajigs.
Ducane hut, used only in case of emergency…
About an hour later we reached our first two waterfalls, Fergusson and D’Anton.
Ever the adventurous soul, JC was determined to find her own path to climb down and go for a swim. We followed her down the ledge but JC was alone in swimming in the frigid waters.
From these waterfalls we walked another hour to reach the the Hartnett falls. There we decided to stop for lunch and waited for the rest of our group to find us. It looked like most people chose to just take a peak from above and keep going. But we took the long way down to the bottom of the waterfall and walked across the stream to find a shady spot to take our break. JC and AC didn’t hesitate to skip and run across the stream, getting soaking wet in the process. I suppose one might call me a princess for looking around for a better way but I didn’t want to walk in wet shoes for the next two days. In the end I left my shoes by the cliffs and carefully made to the other side, keeping myself perfectly dry. Everyone who came after us did the same as I did.
Lunch was once again some dense pumpernickel bread, cheese, etc. but this day I also had some crackers with Vegemite, courtesy of M & J (pictured above making their way over to us). J even sang me the Vegemite jingle as I ate.
Travel friendly Vegemite in a tube, shelves and shelves of Vegemite at a grocery store.
I could have stayed there all afternoon but our break was long enough (2.5 hours). Back on the Overland Track we went.
It took us well over an hour from there to Windy Ridge. We saw a sign warning us of a fire ban when we arrived- we didn’t know it then but by this day (January 5, 2013) there were serious bushfires burning all over Tasmania.
Dinner was dehydrated laksa, which turned out to be quite delicious when cooked. It was a lot of food for just one person. Of course I ate it all… and also had some dal S&A didn’t want. It’s no wonder I didn’t lose any weight during this hike despite walking 10-17km for a week.
Bert Nicolas Hut was very modern and spacious, and perfected situated to take in the gorgeous mountain ridges. We all watched the sun go down together and that night I made sure I woke up to go outside, for a chance look up at the stars and offer my thanks.