GENERAL ADVICE FOR WINTER WALKING
It is essential that you are an experienced bushwalker to tackle the Overland Track or any other area of the central highlands under winter conditions. Winter starts earlier in the highland areas and even in May sudden and extreme changes in the weather are possible.
Whilst winter bush walks can be a fantastic experience under the right conditions, past experience, high quality tents and clothing that can cope with extreme weather including blizzards, high winds, heavy rain and ice covered surfaces is essential. People have died in the highlands even in midsummer due to inadequate and unsuitable clothing.
When planning your walk you need to allow extra time both before and after your walk when arranging transport – don’t plan to fly out on the day of pickup after your walk, the transport may not be able to get to you if roads are suddenly closed.
Finally have a back-up walking plan if conditions make it impossible or unsafe in the highland. The Tasmanian East Coast has fantastic bush walking options in winter, with very few tourists and there are miles of deserted beaches and coastline. The weather can be very mild and in many places even frost is rare. We can assist you with transport and suggestions on where you can go.
WINTER ROAD CONDITIONS IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS
Please note that during the period 1st June to 30th September roads, particularly in highland areas are subject to extremes of weather, including frost, black ice & snow. In some cases, this may make the roads impassable and on some occasions are closed by the police. Customers should note that whilst we will do our best to stick to the times and dates you have specified we cannot guarantee this. Customers should make due allowance for this eventuality when making airline bookings and if necessary take out travel insurance.
In addition, as it is possible that you may be delayed during your walk due to bad weather, we recommend that you allow for a ‘bad weather day’ in your planning or plan to arrive the previous evening to the day you wish to be picked up.
Please also note that our departures & pickups are only between the hours of 0830 and 1400 as early or late departures put both customers and our drivers at risk due to road conditions and after dark the number of native animals on remote roads.
WINTER SERVICE 2017.
1st June to 30th September.
The following conditions apply to our winter service:
Due to the unpredictability of the weather at this time of the year, the likelihood of conditions that can close the roads to the highlands as well as making progress on foot within the National Parks either extremely slow or impossible, our service will operate on the following basis.
1. No guarantee can be given to either take you to your outgoing destination or picking you up from your finishing location. If we are unable to travel to your outgoing destination on the date you have booked for we will make that journey as soon as safe conditions exist, or we will either offer you a complete refund or offer to take you to an alternative destination (in winter the East Coast, Freycinet, Bay of Fires, Douglas Apsley etc can be viable walking alternatives).
2. You will need to carry a Satellite phone, so that you can contact us if you are unavoidably delayed and we can contact you if we are unable, due to road conditions, get to your finishing destination. (We would initially send a text message to your sat phone) You must contact us a minimum of 12 hours before we are due to pick you up if you think you will not be able to meet us at the pre arranged time & day. Failure to do this would result in loss of your transport fee (fare) if we make a journey & you are not there.
3. We strongly suggest that you allow an absolute minimum of 24 hours, preferably more, of extra time to reach your destination. We recommend planning to arrive at your destination the day before the time you have specified for a pick up.
4. We do not travel in remote rural areas after dark. This is hazardous both to our drivers and to the animals on roads at this time of the day.
5. If travelling interstate by air or other booked means of transport we strongly recommend travel insurance due to unavoidable delays that cause you to miss your connections. We will not be held liable for missed connections due our inability to pick you up due to weather/road conditions or closures.
6. We have several sets of snow shoes available for hire as well as instep crampons; please see our hire list for prices. These are only available to passengers booking two way transport with us.
7. Departure & pickup times:
Due to the potential for icing on roads our earliest departure from Launceston is 0830 & our latest 1200 noon.
Departures from 0900 & latest 1200 noon.
Earliest departure 0930 & latest 1200 noon
PICKUP FROM ALL LOCATIONS.
Earliest pickup 1200 noon Latest 1400
COST OF SERVICE
Due to additional wear & tear on our vehicle, longer drive times & use of chains etc there is a Special Winter Price list and booking form for all our services – except East Coast. We also offer special winter discounts to the East Coast.
Please also note that should we have to divert via another route to take you to your destination due to closed roads or expected dangerous conditions, this may involve up to 100 km extra. If this was the case we would need to add a surcharge to the journey due to the extra driver time & fuel. This would be based on $1.00 per km over and above the normal kilometre distance. i.e 100 extra km = $100.00 split between the number of passengers being carried.
During winter it is often better to walk from South to North. The reason for this is that if there happens to be a new dump of soft snow, the heaviest falls & depth will be on the Cradle Plateau. If this corresponds to the day you are due to start your walk, instead of the journey from Ronny Creek to
Important Note – winter pickups at Lake St.Clair (If applicable)
RETURNING TO LAUNCESTON
If you have booked to be picked up from Lake St. Clair and we are unable to reach Lake St. Clair by the usual route across the central highlands due to closed roads you will be given the option of either waiting until these roads are passable or travel via the southern link if it is open (i.e. bus travels south via the A10 to Hamilton & then follows the A110 & A5 via Bothwell to join the Midland Highway at Melton Mowbray & then back to Launceston) If you choose this option, this will incur an extra charge of $150.00 per group to cover extra driving time for our drivers, plus the additional fuel. (The total distance from LSC to Launceston, via the above route, is just over 300 km or 600 km for our drivers).
The drive time for this routing, even under good road conditions, would be 4.5 hours in each direction.
Important Note – winter pickups at Lake St.Clair (If applicable)
TRAVELLING ONWARD TO
If you have booked to be picked up from Lake St. Clair and we are unable to reach Lake St. Clair by the usual route across the central highlands due to closed roads you will be given the option of either waiting until these roads are passable or we would access LSC via Bothwell and Hamilton) If you choose this option, this will incur an extra charge of $150.00 per group to cover extra driving time for our drivers, plus the additional fuel. (The total distance from LSC to