Destinations

The best hikes and walks around Cradle Mountain

If you haven’t visited Cradle Mountain, now might be the time to add it to your bucket list. Right on our doorstep, Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is a World Heritage location and a must-see destination if you’re travelling to Tasmania. This ancient landscape offers so much to see and do, and these are just a few of the adventurous tracks and scenic routes you can explore along Cradle Mountain.

Walks and hikes:

Cradle Mountain is a hiker’s dream. There are a number of scenic walks you can take here. Some are more advanced than others, taking days to complete and others are self-guided tours around the park. There are also short, day walks you can take as well. The most popular hikes are the Overland Track, Dove Lake Circuit, Cradle Mountain Boardwalk and the Enchanted Walk. King Billy Track and The Enchanted Stroll are short walks which can be completed well within an hour.

Overland Track:

The Overland Track is a 5-7 day walk beginning at Cradle Mountain through to Lake St Clair. You can take a fully escorted tour or camp out on your own. This track offers some of the most impressive bushwalks in Australia and the views here are absolutely breath-taking. Keep in mind that it’s a little more physically challenging than shorter hikes so being reasonably fit is a must. The best time to go is during winter or early spring as you won’t need to book or pay a fee to do the walk.

Dove Lake Circuit:

The Dove Lake Circuit is located in St Clair National Park. It’s a 6km walk around Dove Lake, and there are some incredible sights to see along the way. Explore the temperate rainforests, Glacier Rock and the famous Boat Shed built by Lionell Connell – the first ranger of Cradle Mountain. Towering myrtle-beech trees surround Ballroom Forest, many growing for over thousands of years. A location of abundant wildlife, you may even spot the occasional echidna or wombat. Take plenty of photos if you must, but I have to say this place is best experienced outside a camera lens.

The Waterfalls Walk:

This is a 30-40 minute walk through Dove Canyon Track to the Pencil Pine Falls and a great swimming spot along the river. Come in the summer time and you can cool off here. You’ll enjoy the gorgeous cascading waterfalls on the way, which is especially spectacular after rain. Don’t worry if you’re not in the best shape, there are plenty of places to stop and catch your breath along the way – you’re not in a hurry!

Take a scenic helicopter flight:

If you’re not much for walking, or just need to catch your breath – a scenic flight is the perfect way to get a real bird’s eye view of the mountain and surrounds. There are some spectacular sights to be seen over Fury Gorge – known to be Australia’s deepest, widest gorge. This ancient, untouched landscape also has some fairly amazing wildlife, plant life, rivers and forest to explore. Scenic flights are usually available from late Spring to late Autumn.

Other activities include visiting the Waldheim Chalet, the holiday retreat established in the early 1900s by park pioneers Gustav and Kate Weindorfer, trout fishing, kayaking, fly fishing, and when your hunger sets in some wine and cheese tasting.

Photo credit: © alfotokunst – Fotolia.com

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