On the Overland Track

What a view on a perfectly clear sunny day. Wave after wave of mountains ebbing away in the distance. I was standing on the highest mountain in Tasmania, Mount Ossa, 1617 metres.

It had been a strenuous climb, of some two and a half hours. We had walked along the Overland Track in Cradle Mountain National Park, through rainforest, for most of the morning.

Our son Basil, then working for Cradle Mountain Huts Company, was one of the party’s guides. Guides were multi-skilled as guides, cooks, amateur geologists and botanists.

Basil knew his job well, and had shown us 200 million year old fossils in a riverbank we crossed, and shown us several two to three hundred years old myrtle beeches. Then he had led us along a narrow steep track, up Mount Ossa, to its plateau at the top.

How satisfying it was to sit on a large rock, eat our lunch, and look at the magnificent view of rolling mountain ranges.

Later that day we relaxed in the comfort of Kia Ora Hut, with coffee and scones, and a happy birthday being played on a guitar for my 60th birthday.

I couldn’t have had a better day to celebrate!

John van Riet

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