The journey is more important than the destination. It’s a saying that you often find on travel blogs or as a motivational Instagram post on some fitness gurus feed. In the trail running scene, which as an athlete is a world I’m immersed in, you could consider the destination to be a race or major goal, and the journey is the process you go through to achieve it. This ‘process’ is a major attraction to why many of us love the sport so much. It not only involves pushing our mental and physical boundaries, but it also leads to crossing paths with great people and in the case of this article, it takes us to amazing destinations.

The place I most recently found myself pursuing my trail running passion was Tasmania. It was a journey that took me from the chaos of the city, across the Bass Strait on The Spirit of Tassie and into the pristine wilderness in the center and west of the state. I had explored the island several times before, but this trip was to be a special one because for a change I was sharing the adventure with some good friends who too had a love of the trails.

Arriving in Devonport the weather was drab. Light rain and thick cloud created a moody atmosphere, but if you know anything about this part of the world you’ll be aware that the conditions can change very quickly. It’s not so much a case of four seasons in a day, more so four seasons in a couple of hours! By the time we reached our first stop, Cradle Mountain, the sun was out with mist rising from the surface of Dove Lake. It was a stunning setting and the perfect way to start our travels. Quickly we laced up the shoes and hit the Overland Track for 40 kilometres of puddle jumping in a landscape as spectacular as anything I had encountered the world over. Apart from rain forests, waterfalls, lakes and alpine scenery, there were more wombats than people.

Over the next few days we tackled the steep and rocky climb to the summit of Cradle, ran a lap of the lake and explored the many tracks around the area. It’s one of those places where you can test yourself with a mountain to climb, or opt for a more relaxed trail that might lack the challenge but more than makes up for it with scenery. To be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse array of wild places to explore within such a small area.

Leaving Cradle we headed west to the former mining town of Corinna. This tiny settlement, come resort, is perched on the banks of the Pieman River and surrounded by lush and relatively untouched rainforest that goes from the West Coast Range all the way to the sea. Most folks pass by and spend little more than an hour or so looking around town and grabbing a quick bite at the tavern. However those in the know will be aware of just how much is on offer in this isolated piece of heaven. From kayaking on the glassy waters of the Pieman and hiking up Mount Donladson, to heading to the windswept coast on a cruise aboard the historic Arcadia 2, you can easily fill several days with adventure in Corinna. We did exactly that, and when not on the water we were exploring the wilderness, ending our days with relaxing by the fire talking about the escapade we’d just enjoyed.

To sum the whole Tasmania trail running experience up in a single word is simple: Epic. It was a journey that was filled with wild places, challenging terrain, loads of wildlife, great company and countless of laughs. On this trip we only scrape the surface of a couple places, so there’s still plenty left to explore next time we head south!

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Special thanks to: The North Face – Australia & New Zealand, Blake Hose, Mark Watson

About The Author

David Byrne

Dave Byrne has been an avid explorer of the outdoors for as long as he can remember. From the mountains of France and jungles of Borneo, to the rainforests of New Zealand and deserts of central Australia, his passion for adventure has seen him traverse the globe. Now, as a trail runner, Dave combines his love of wild places with his desire to race in the world’s most competitive ultra marathons. When not running as part of the North Face team, he’s busy with his video production company, that just so happens to also see him often immersed in nature!

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