The Examiner's reporter Isobel Cootes completed the Overland Track in mid-October, with the help of 12 strangers, wine and cheese.
On the surface, walking 65-kilometres over six days does not sound like a large feat. But when you factor in carrying extra kilograms on your back, blisters, the four daily seasons of Tasmanian weather, side trips and lots of mud - you start to get weighed down.
The Overland Track gives you that on the very surface, but also provides more than you could ever ask for in return.
I was lucky enough to hit the track with the Tasmanian Walking Company on its signature walk, aided by two guides and 10 others to get me across the line in mid-October.
This trip takes you from private hut to hut. You also get to a carry a lighter pack, while sleeping bags and dinner meet you each night.
We had a range of ages and occupations from scientists, tour guides, to business owners. But it was the 'Burnie three' who I texted my worried parents on the mainland about before we left.
"Don't worry, there is a GP and two surgeons on the trip with me" - were my final words to my family, hoping to ease their concerns, before I went set off into the wilderness without reception.
The trip began on day one with an early 6.30am pick up from Launceston to take me to Cradle Mountain National Park, before we set off on our 12-kilometre walk from the Waldheim Cabins.
During the first few hours of walking, I contemplated the trip and thought I may not make it. We had rain, we had snow, we had wind - the three elements you dread on a climb of Cradle Mountain.
As we gathered in Kitchen Hut for lunch and escaped the elements outside, we all attempted to warm up with a hot drink and lift our mood with the help of upbeat guides.
In other news:
I found this day the most challenging mentally, as I did not enjoy being exposed to the wind on a plateau and I had not gotten into my multi-day walking mindset yet. Instead, I was asking myself why I had wasted my annual leave on walking kilometres across the Apple Isle.
However, you will be pleased to know my mindset soon changed and by day two I wondered what trip I could do next. Being greeted at our first night's hut by a snack, warm drink, heaters and, my personal favourite - a hot shower - may have helped.
After a lot of stretching and foam-rolling, my body was ready for day two, a six-hour hike across 12-kilometres.
As you walk across button grass plains the landscape begins to open up to mountains in the distance. The simplicity, yet intricacy of the button grass was something I had never appreciated until this walk.
We took the optional side trip and visited Lake Will. All morning Barn Bluff had been hiding behind clouds, but as we made our way back to the main track the cloud cleared and it revealed itself.
Soon enough we were at Pine Forest Moor Hut, having taken a long second-day walk to the indies (independent walkers) to make the next day more reasonable.
For comparison on day three, we walked for 10-kilometres over five hours. The indies walked more than 16-kilometres. We walked through myrtle-beech rainforests, reached the lowest point of the track at Frog Flats (where I almost fell off the boardwalk as I stretched my calves) before venturing off to Old Pelion Hut for lunch.
The others checked out an old copper mine whilst I rested looking at Mount Oakleigh. From here we regrouped, passed the indie hut and checked out the fossil beach, before continuing about 30 minutes onto our hut - Pelion Plains Hut.
The fourth day was 'Ossa or bust'.
We reached Pelion Gap before lunch, dropped our packs, swapped them for our day packs and ascended Mount Dorris.
Eleven of us, for some reason, decided to turn the four-hour walk into a nine-hour walk to summit the state's highest peak. Luckily by day four, the camaraderie was at an all-time high, as we cheered each other on to make it up Mount Ossa.
The track soon became reminiscent of what I imagine the donkey trails in the Himalayas look like.
The Burnie three had instilled in us 'Ossa or bust' to get the group across the line. It was in my head the entire climb and rung louder as my fear of heights kicked in as we bouldered to the top.
On the way up we were greeted by snow, as the rain from previous days had frozen 1617 metres above and proved for a refreshing snack. I am a big lover of snow, but it did not suit my fear as we rock scrambled up the face to the summit.
Upon reaching the top there were stunning views in every direction you looked, as it was a sunny, clear day.
We soon enough had made it back to Pelion Gap in one piece and picked up our packs, but my feet were aching beyond belief at this point. A number of the other walkers volunteered to carry some of my pack, and luckily it was all downhill to the hut.
Thankfully they did, as we all made it to Kia Ora Hut that day. Arriving to a charcuterie board and wine, as the sunset and we overlooked Cathedral Mountain.
The fifth day turned out to have its challenges - blisters and busted boots.
Despite the drying rooms, my boots were still very wet, because a) they were no longer properly waterproof, b) I stepped in every puddle imaginable and c) arguably the main factor, my boots had begun to fall apart.
The tread underneath the front of one of my boots had separated from the boot itself and had created a mouth of its own.
Cue zip ties, duct tape and strapping tape. This approach latest a whole five minutes before my foot became submerged in a deep puddle and it all unravelled itself.
Pair this with blisters and you have the perfect storm. Surprisingly, this was one of my favourite days as we looked up at the Du Cane Hut and wound our way through the oldest forest in the park.
The main reason it was my favourite day was due to the scenery, as parts reminded me of landscapes I had never laid eyes on in Australia before, but had fallen in love with overseas.
It also may be because after lunch two of my fellow trekkers went belly-up in the water as we crossed a river to a waterfall.
The ensuring laughter afterwards made it worthwhile. Maybe more so for the bystanders, not so much for the two who fell.
Our final night together gifted us beer, wine, toasts and good laughs as we reflected on the past five days and our motto to leave no trace behind.
The sixth and final day was picturesque. We walked, or in my case running to get off my feet faster, through sclerophyll forests to reach Australia's deepest natural lake - Lake St Clair.
After our three hour hike, across nine kilometres, half of the group and one guide took a brisk leap into it.
The water was ice cold. As soon as I hit the water my body went into shock and I became breathless, panicking as I tried to get out as fast as I could, but it was worth it, somehow.
We then took the 17-kilometre short cut across the lake, via boat, to end the trip.
The trip was full of good food, good people and good laughs.
Would I do it again? Yes. Would I take different boots? Yes.
Sign up to one of our newsletters: