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Windy Ridge to Narcissus

Length: 10 km
Walking time: 3 h to 4 h
Climbing: 77m
Descending: 215m
  • Today is like no other on the Overland Track, it is mostly gentle downhill walking. Today we walk down the wide valley towards the shores of Lake St Clair.

    Most of the walking is through tall eucalypt forest, with small birds fluttering about. About 5.7km (basically halfway to Narcissus) you come to a signposted three-way intersection with a sidetrack to Pine Valley. Pine Valley really needs an overnight stay to make it worthwhile, but if you are interested, it is a nice 500m return walk down to Narcissus River.

    The walk continues gently down through the valley, passing some lovely open buttongrass fields for just over 3km before crossing the Narcissus River on the iconic swing bridge. The bridge spans over the lower section of the Narcissus River and marks the last 1.2km gentle walk to Narcissus Hut and camping area.

    Many people finish the Overland Track here. If this is you - then use the radio in the hut to let the ferry operator know you are ready (there are instructions on the wall). It is a 350m walk along the signposted track then boardwalk to the ferry jetty, near the mouth of Narcissus River. Don't forget to sign out using the logbook at Cynthia Bay.

    If you are not catching the ferry, well done. It is a lovely walk and you get to say you did the whole Overland Track.

  • Creek Crossings
    All significant creek crossings have a bridge.
    The walk follows beside the Narcissus River with some options to access the river.
    (Treat water before drinking)

    All notable intersections are clearly signposted.

    0km) Windy Ridge
    End) Narcissus

    0km) Windy Ridge
    There are a scattering of timber bridges that you can perch on the side of
    End) Narcissus

    0km) Windy Ridge
    End) Narcissus

    Mobile Phone Coverage
    Telstra: Fair coverage near Narcissus Hut, from the swing bridge to Lake St Clair jetty.
    Patchy coverage at the Labyrinth.

    Optus: Patchy coverage near Narcissus Hut, best signal near Lake St Clair jetty.

  • The walk starts by following a timber boardwalk but the majority of the track surface is natural rock or gravel.

    There are some areas of exposed tree roots.

    The swing bridge at 8.8km is a single person at a time, wire rope bridge with timber planks. The bridge is about 15m long and about 5m above the river.

  • This section of the track can still be covered with snow, but generally does not experience the same extreme weather conditions as the northern end of the Overland Track.

    On warmer days, snakes may be out sunning on the track; be mindful of where you step and give snakes time to move away.

    Be mindful of tree roots and other trip hazards.

    People with extreme fear of heights may struggle with swing bridge at 8.8km, but most people cross without notable fear.

Bert Nichols Hut (Windy Ridge Hut)
The largest hut on the Overland track with lovely views across the valley and of the Du Cane Range
Pine Valley Hut
Not on the main spine of the Overland Track, but a lovely side trip up through a mossy rainforest.
Narcissus Hut
On the bank of Narcissus River and not far from the northern tip of Lake St Clair.
Options for transport at the start and end of the walk