If walking the track over 6 days there is plenty of time to do some of the overland side trips. The more popular overland track side trips we detail below.
Your first side trip is Cradle Mountain. This is very close to Kitchen Hut where you can leave your pack.
The climb to the top of Cradle Mountain and back will take around 3 hours. This means that you should aim in the summer months to do not later than 2pm to give you time to reach Waterfall Valley another two hours from Kitchen Hut. In the winter aim for much earlier as on the shortest days it will be dark at 5.
The climb is steep and free hands will be needed to navigate the boulders. Not ideal for those not keen on rock scrambling.
Barn Bluff takes around 4 hours return. It can be done on the first or second day. If on the second day a back track of 1.6km is needed. Most of the track is on a slight incline and contrasts with steep sections. The last part to the summit of Barn Bluff is very steep.
Lake Will Beach
A short one hour easy walk on day 2. The junction is just under 4km from Waterfall Valley. Be careful if you leave your pack as birds might try and enter your pack. Cover with a ground sheet is best and make sure the zips in particular are not visible.
A longish side trip and normally takes around 6 hours return. Most do for a full day when staying at New Pelion Hut. Views are good from the top.
Regarded by most as the best of the overland track side trips and a chance to climb the highest mountain in Tasmania at 1617 metres. Maybe once you have done Mt Ossa then climb all the rest in Australia, we have groups doing just that. The track is from Pelion Gap and likely to be on Day 4 and will take about 4 hours return. The track is fairly easy but does have sections where scrambling is needed and hands will be required.
Just over 4km from Kia Ora Hut is one of the easier of the possible overland side trips the one hour return to D’Alton and Fergusson Falls. After rain, these falls can be impressive.
Another short overland side trip is Harnett Falls about 4km short of Bert Nichols Hut and will take a little over an hour.
The Pine Valley Track is the longest of the overland track side trips. The track starts 5km short of Narcissus Hut and is possible as a day walk basing yourself at Narcissus Hut or Pine Valley Hut. The challenge for most is the Acropolis a serious all day walk with some hard scrambling towards the end.