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Barn Bluff Hike

Most people approach Barn Bluff from the Ronny Creek car park in the north on the Overland Track. Public transport to the national park is readily available; follow the same directions as for Cradle Mountain or Mount Ossa. The route is heavily used, well marked and would be hard to lose only in the event of really bad weather – something not unusual in Tasmania. If you want to avoid the crowds, leave the Overland Track 500m after the start by taking a right turn onto the Horse Track. This route is as well marked as the Overland and climbs steadily into the alpine above and to the west of Crater Lake. From the high point near Crater Mountain crossing the exposed Crater Plateau takes about half an hour before reaching the junction with the Overland Track just before the emergency/day shelter “Kitchen Hut”. There will be crowds of hikers here since this is the jumping off spot for folks doing Cradle Mountain as a day hike from cars. Carry on south past Cradle Mountain to get your first distinct views of Barn Bluff within 15 minutes or so. An hour further on and you come to a well marked track junction. Right to Barn Bluff summit, or straight on for the Overland Track. If you’re doing this as a day trip, the summit is three hours return from this point. If you’re planning on camping, Waterfall Camp is 30 minutes further on down the Overland and around the spectacular Bluff cirque. With a full pack, the walk from Ronny Creek to Waterfall, by either route, takes 4-5 hours, with another couple thrown in if you want to add Cradle summit en route. If you’re doing Barn Bluff as a side trip off the Overland Track, you will have paid your trail use and hut/camping fees in advance. If not, there is a $10/day fee to use the National Park trails as well as $20/day to park your car. The authorities simply trust that if you say you’re not doing the Overland, you’re not. As a non-through hiker, though, you may not use the huts and must carry overnight camping gear with you. If you’re spending more time in Tassie note that Parks offer an 8 week pass to park at and use all parks in Tasmania for $50. This pays for itself in less than 2 days. If you’ve already bought a day use pass, there’s a 48 hour upgrade window to the full 8 week package for simply the difference in price. If you smile nicely and plead ignorance (I speak from experience) the nice rangers will even use their discretion favourably with regard to the 48 hour grace period.


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