Cradle Mountain forms the northern end of the wild Cradle Mt – Lake St Clair National Park, itself a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The jagged contours of Cradle Mountain epitomise the feel of a wild landscape, while ancient rainforest and alpine heathlands, buttongrass and stands of colourful deciduous beech provide a range of environments to explore. Icy streams cascading out of rugged mountains, stands of ancient pines mirrored in the still waters of glacial lakes and a wealth of wildlife ensure there is always something to captivate you. The area is one of the most popular natural areas in Tasmania. A visit will reveal why.
Cradle is the starting point for the world-famous Overland Track, a magnificent 6 day walk that will take you through the heart of some of the finest mountain terrain.
The Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park shares a “Twin Parks” agreement with the World Heritage listed Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve in the People’s Republic of China.
The Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is a world heritage wilderness area in Tasmania Australia and there are many hiking and bushwalking trails. From your cabin accommodation at Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cottages you have an ideal base to set out on a day of bushwalking that will suit all levels from relaxing to totally invigorating.
Dove Lake Circuit
Duration: 2 hours
A beautiful walk for all ages and fitness levels, focusing on Cradle Mountain, temperate rainforest, quartzite beaches and sub alpine plant life.
Start from Dove Lake car park and continue along the left side of the lake. The boardwalk weaves it’s way through rainforest and past quartzite beaches, to the Ballroom forest, then to the boat shed and back to the car park.
Max elevation: 989 m
Min elevation: 938 m
Total climbing: 374 m
Total descent: -373 m
Ronny Creek to Dove Lake Circuit
Duration: 3-4 hours
Max elevation: 1269 m
Min elevation: 869 m
Total climbing: 571 m
Total descent: -630 m
Ronny Creek to Cradle Mountain Summit
Duration: 5-6 hours
Max elevation: 1513 m
Min elevation: 867 m
Total climbing: 928 m
Total descent: -931 m
Marion’s lookout (2 1/2 hours)
The scenic route to Marions Lookout is via Lake Lilla and Wombat Pool. The most direct route is past the boat shed and straight up the steep side – and it is steep.
Hansons Peak (3 1/2 hours return)
Take the left side of Dove Lake up to Hansons Peak, along the Face Track down to Lake Wilks and return via the Ballroom Forest and along the right hand side of Dove Lake (it is quite steep up Hansons peak and down past Lake Wilks)
Crater Peak (2 1/2 hours return)
From Ronny Creek car park follow the Overland Track and on to the Horse Track and return.
You can also continue to the junction before Kitchen Hut and back via Marions lookout down past Crater Lake, Crater Falls and back to the Ronny Creek car park (this will take about 4 1/2 hours).
Dove Canyon Track Bush (3 hours)
Leave from near the Cradle Mountain Lodge along the Pencil Pine River past Knyvet Falls then up the deep gorge of the canyon past myrtle rainforest areas up on to the buttongrass plains open forest, past Quailes Hill and back to the Cradle Mountain Road and a 700 metre walk to the visitor centre.
Cradle Mountain Summit (5 1/2 hours return)
The quickest route is up the steep side to Marions Lookout from Dove lake and back via Wombat Pool. The track is steep but offers little difficulty for the experienced walker. It should not be attempted in poor weather as it can become icy and exposed.
From Kitchen hut, the return trip from the summit is about 2 hours via a route marked by cairns and red paint marks on the rocks. There is a considerable amount of scrambling over huge dolorite boulders.
The summit is marked by a direction table which identifies major features in the magnificent views over much of northern Tasmania.
An easier route is leaving from Ronny creek along the Overland Track, onto the Horse Track past Crater Peak and back the same way. This will add about an hour.
Other short walks around Cradle Mountain
Pencil Pine Falls and Rainforest Walk: 20 minute circuit walk around Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre
Enchanted Walk: 20 minute circuit walk starting from the bridge at the entrance to the National Park.
Knyvet Falls Walk: 40 minutes return walk starting across the road from the Lodge
King Billy Walk: starts from Cradle Mountain Lodge car park. Ancient king billy pine trees are encountered on this walk.
Waldheim and Weindorfers Forest Walk: a 20 minute circuit starting from the historic Waldheim Chalet. A glimpse into Gustav Weindorfers’s pioneering life at Cradle can be seen at Waldheim Chalet.
Lake Lilla Walk: 30 minutes return walk from the Dove Lake car park
Cradle Valley Board Walk: Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre to Dove Lake, about 2.75 hours in total. The walk can be divided into three sections; Visitor Centre to Snake Hill (1 hour), Snake Hill to Ronny Creek (45 minutes) and Ronny Creek to Dove Lake visa Lake Lilla (1 hour).
Cradle Mountain lies at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It is 1 1/2 hours from Devonport via the B19 and B14 south to Sheffield, then C136 and C132 to the park entrance.
From Launceston, it is a 2 1/2 hour drive on the Bass Highway (A1), then the signposted route via B13 and C156 through Sheffield.
From the west, drive 2 hours along the A10 and C132 from Queenstown or 1 1/2 hours from Burnie via B18 through Ridgley, then the A10 and C132 to reach the park.
There is no direct road link through the Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park to join the two ends of the park. Visitors may most easily reach Lake St Clair via the Cradle Link Road (C132) and the Muchison and Lyell Highways (A10).