• Length: 14.9km

  • Duration: 5hrs

  • Grade: 4

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Ronny Creek

  • End: Ronny Creek

  • Location: Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park

  • Closest Town: Cethana

  • Distance from CBD: 329km

  • State: TAS

  • Latitude: -41.63592767

  • Longitude: 145.9490943

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Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park...

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Cradle Mountain is located in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania. Cradle is the starting point for the world-famous Overland Track, along with a variety of fantastic day and half-day walks.


Cradle Mountain forms the northern end of the wild Cradle Mount - 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.

Trail Notes:

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

Distance: 8.3km

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.

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Ronny Creek to Dove Lake Circuit

Distance: 10.9km

Duration: 3-4 hours

Total distance: 14968 m
Max elevation: 1513 m
Min elevation: 867 m
Total climbing: 928 m
Total descent: -931 m
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Marion's lookout

Duration: 2.5 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


Duration: 3.5 hours

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

Duration: 2.5 hours

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

Duration: 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

Duration: 5.5 hours

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).

About the region

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is located in the Central Highlands area of Tasmania (Australia), 165 kilometres northwest of Hobart. The park contains many walking trails, and is where hikes along the well-known Overland Track usually begin. Major features are Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff in the northern end, Mount Pelion East, Mount Pelion West, Mount Oakleigh and Mount Ossa in the middle and Lake St Clair in the southern end of the park. The park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Getting There

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).


Weather conditions in Tasmania can change quickly and frequently, especially in alpine areas. Snow, rain, wind and sun are all possible at any time of the year, and bushfires can occur between October and March.

When visiting alpine areas you should include at a minimum, in addition to your basic walking gear, a waterproof jacket with hood and storm front (seam sealed and breathable fabric, Gore-Tex or similar), waterproof over trousers (seam sealed and breathable fabric, Gore-Tex or similar), sturdy walking boots and warm clothing (a fleece or woollen jumper, thermal base layers, hat and gloves).

Deaths have occurred when people have been caught unprepared in cold, wet and windy weather. Children, older people and those with an illness or disability are at the greatest risk in such conditions.

Please observe all track signs – they are provided for your safety. Stay on the formed walking tracks at all times – both for your own safety and to protect the sensitive alpine region.

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