4 Day Cradle Mountain Walking Tour

4 days - Hiking Tour Package
Day 1 - Launceston to Cradle Mountain – 9km, 4 hrs approx. easy grade

The trip departs out of Launceston at 8am from the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Our initial drive takes us into the Mersey River valley, and along the base of the Great Western Tiers – before we stop after an hour or so for a morning tea break. From here it’s only another 1.5 hours before we arrive at Cradle Mountain village.

We will stop at the main visitor centre to pick up our passes, then have lunch on the edge of the park before heading out on our main walk for the day – the Cradle Valley Boardwalk. This easy walk takes us along the course of the Dove River and features a vast assortment of native flora. In early summer the endemic Tasmanian Waratah flowers are particularly magnificent.

Once at Ronny Creek, we go searching for wombats across the buttongrass plains before looping around to the historic Waldheim Chalet – originally built by the parks founding pioneer Gustav Weindorfer, and the site of Cradle Mountains first tourism venture. Here we enjoy a short walk through an ancient forest of myrtle beech and king billy pine, before meeting back up with the bus for afternoon tea. Here your guides will be able to point out some of the parks notable landmarks, and discuss our route options for the next few days.

In the afternoon, if energy and time permits – we will head back to near the entrance of the park and take part in a series of short walks that showcase old-growth rainforest, waterfalls, and more mature stands of king billy pine.

Then it’s off to our accommodation to get ourselves checked in and comfortable before pre-dinner antipasto.

Tonight’s dinner is a lovely 2 course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Day 2 - Dove Lake to Hansons Peak - 10km, 6-7hrs approx. hard grade

After breakfast and lunch making, we depart for another scenic walk – this time taking in the parks eastern highlights.

Starting from Dove Lake we will take the Lake Rodway track up and over Hansons Peak – which provides us with a completely different view of Cradle Mountain and the surrounding lakes. The climb to the top of the peak is at times steep and uneven underfoot, and a chain is provided on nearing the summit to assist walkers.

Once over the other side, we pick up our return route via the Twisted Lakes and Lake Hanson – remnants of glacial scouring from previous ice ages. These pools are very tranquil and are encompassed by endemic pencil pines and fagus. This section is normally very peaceful, a bit of a hidden gem, and we will find ourselves a nice rocky outcrop for lunch whilst we soak up the views.

If energy and time permits, an hour and a half extension can be made to visit the eastern face of Cradle Mountain, and the reflective waters of Artists Pool. We loop back to the Lake Rodway Track completing the circuit, and reverse our inward journey – returning to Dove Lake to meet the bus.

This is a challenging day with lots of variation in elevation, and at times can be quite rough and wet underfoot. Easier options are available – so please feel free to discuss these options with your guides. Your guides may also choose to alter this walk depending on the weather on the day.

Tonight, we enjoy a delicious two course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 - Marion's Lookout and Overland Track - 7.5km, 4hrs approx. moderate to hard grade

Today’s walk takes in some of the most breathtaking alpine scenery in all of Australia. Starting at Dove Lake, we walk past Lake Lilla and Wombat Pools on our way to Marion’s Lookout. The ascent to Marion’s is an exciting steep and rocky section of track where we use chains to assist our climb to the viewing area. In fine weather, the views from Marion’s are magnificent and far reaching – with Cradle Mountain itself dominating the panorama.

From here we descend back towards Wombat Peak and turn onto the world-famous Overland Track towards the glacially formed Crater Lake. This lake features an old boat shed, and during autumn is one of the best locations in the state to see the changing foliage
colour of the deciduous Myrtle Beech (or fagus) – Australia’s only seasonally deciduous native.

As we near the end of our days journey, we pass the magnificent Crater Falls, a series of 5-10 meter waterfall drops cascading their way through the beautiful rainforest for approximately 100m of our return to Ronny Creek.
Back at the bus, we return to our accommodation for some free time and pre-dinner nibbles.

Tonight’s dinner is a fabulous two course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Good quality warm, layered clothing and wet weather gear for today’s walk in the alpine zone is a must.

Side trip option: If time and safety permit, we may walk further on from Marion’s Lookout along the button grass plains to Kitchen Hut at the base of Cradle Mountain. This will add approx.1.5hrs of walking to your day

Day 4 - Dove Lake Circuit and Return to Launceston via Sheffield - 6 km, 2.5 hrs approx. easy grade

This morning is our last at Cradle Mountain. After breakfast and lunch making, we pack-up the trailer head out for our final walk – the Dove Lake Circuit. This is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks and a must-do for anyone visiting the park.

This 6km loop is a lovely way to wind down from your adventure – as it is mostly flat and even underfoot with only a couple of short hills. It allows you to fully focus on the looming backdrop of Cradle Mountain high above and the numerous waterfalls which cascade down towards the lake from the surrounding slopes.

We visit the much-photographed boatshed on the shores of the lake, and encounter more local species of rainforest plant that only grow in the wettest of conditions – including native plum, sassafras and the aptly named “horizontal.” One section through the “Ballroom Forest” is particularly magical. Part way around, the Honeymoon Islands provide a focal point for visiting kayakers – and for those of us game, a couple of white sandy beaches make top spots for an icy alpine swim! For the saner amongst us, they also provide a nice place for a snack and a rest.

We finish our loop atop the impressive formation of Glacier Rock, which provides us with a final vista across the landscapes we have explored for the past four days.

After lunch, we jump back on the bus and start our return journey back to Launceston. En-route we will stop by in the lovely little town of Sheffield – where we should have ample time for a break and a wander around the muralled streets.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch