UK Tourist Dies On Overland Track in Tasmania

Published: Fri Apr 13 2012

The hiking holiday of a lifetime ended badly for a 51 year old UK man who had a suspected heart attack as he attempted to summit Cradle Mountain, in Tasmania's Cradle Mountain National Park.

The man who was planning to walk the entire Overland Track, a 7 day hike in the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park, was only on the first day of his adventure. Similar scenes are repeating on other bushwalking routes in Tasmania, with 2 UK tourists using their mobile phone to call for help as they got lost in the Freycinet National Park on Tasmania's East Coast.

Authorities are urging hikers to ‘know their limits’ and fitness levels and be well prepared. Adam Nicholson, who shares his experience on the blog says he is surprised that people would attempt the track without training. "We trained for several months before walking the track" he says "There are quite a few steep ascents and you also carry your heavy hiking gear, so it’s not as easy as it sounds."

A lack of fitness is not the only risk along the track, where temperatures can drop rapidly even in summer. That is why it is compulsory for all trekkers to carry a tent, even if they plan to stay in huts along the way. The Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife service website warns that hyperthermia is an acute risks for hikers who get lost, especially at high altitudes. It can snow at any time along the Overland Track and the area gets rain on 3400 days of the year.

Officials of the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife service are preparing to meet with police to discuss possible solutions to the increase in rescues. In the meantime, would-be trekkers can read websites, blogs and forums to gage the difficulty of their desired bushwalking routes.

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