Cradle Mountain Tasmania
As you drive from the North Coast, the rolling farmlands and the serenity of the scenery (am I in England or Tasmania?) hardly prepare you for the rapid change to Tasmania's most famous Wilderness icon, Cradle Mountain.
It is a very good idea to stop at the entrance to the Cradle Mountain National Park and look through the excellent Visitors Centre. Run by the National Park Service, the Centre offers a lot of information and interpretation of the area. It is worth buying a copy of Cradle Mountain Day Walk Map from the Visitor's Centre, and you should also register at the Centre for any longer walks you intend to take. Cradle Mountain itself, set beside Dove Lake, is a short drive further on into the Park. There is good walking and sightseeing around the Visitors Centre, but you will need to drive in to Waldheim for the longer scenic walks.
Accommodation and hotels at Cradle Mountain can often sell out, particularly in high season, so it is always wise to book your accommodation to be sure you get what you want. Check out the Tasmania.com - Hotels in Cradle Mountain to search for the best deals and compare prices online. Also find out more information here on Hotels in Cradle Mountain.
Half day and full day walks around Cradle Mountain
King Billy Track - near Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Ramble through the age old temperate rain forest nearby and discover the ancient King William Pine Trees of 1500 to 1750 years of age, as well as numerous other plants. This track is likely to be wet and muddy in places. (1 hour round trip).
Waterfalls Track - near Cradle Mountain Lodge.
This clearly signposted track offers a stroll down to the nearby Knyvet and Pencil Pine Falls returning via the same route. (1 hour round trip).
If you really want to to do the 6-Day Cradle Mountain Overland Track Walking Expedition from Launceston some day, then this 3 hour walk should interest you with its diverse range of scenery. Feel the rain forest and wander over button grass plains. This walk offers a very good sample of many of the scenic forms of the area, from the quartzite cliffs to the amber, whiskey coloured water (caused by the natural tannin in the ground) of the pools and lakes. A reasonable level of fitness is required as some sections are rough and steep. (3 hours round trip)
Crater Lake - Wombat Pool
Starting from Waldheim, walk to several small and picturesque lakes surrounded by native Pines. After a short drive to the parking area at Dove Lake, park and walk cross the Cradle Valley and climb steadily to Crater Lake. From here, proceed via Wombat Pool and Lake Lilla. The track is of good grade, but does involve several short ascents. (3 hours round trip).
Climbing Cradle Mountain - Half Day to One Day Walk
The walk around Lake Dove itself is over fairly flat country, and if you take the Cradle Mountain National Park Day Tour from Launceston you will have a chance to take this popular walk. It affords excellent views of Cradle Mountain itself during most of the walk. If you wish to climb Cradle Mountain itself, we suggest you take the left hand side when leaving Dove Lake parking lot and take the Lake Rodway track as it heads uphill and follows alongside the lake and up into the side of the mountain. You will pass behind Hansons Peak and past Twisted Lakes before taking the Face Track, the path to Cradle Mountain which turns off to the left and climbs steeply towards the summit.
You may retrace your steps back along the Lake Rodway Track. As an alternative, take the Horse Track and the Overland Track back past Marion's Lookout and Wombat Peak as it winds its way back towards Wombat Pool before curling around and rejoining the Lake Dove circuit track before coming back to the parking lot and toilets.
There are many other walks that you might wish to take in the area and since walking in the park is very weather dependent from a day walk point of view, you might best discuss your intentions with the people at the Cradle Mountain Visitors Centre.
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