Crater Lake Circuit Trail Hiking Australia
  • Length: 7.25km

  • Duration: 2.5hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Dove Lake Car Park

  • End: Dove Lake Car Park

  • Closest Town: Cethana

  • Location: Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 328km

  • State: TAS

  • Latitude: -41.650357

  • Longitude: 145.961384

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Crater Lake Circuit is a 7.25km, grade 3 Circuit hike located in Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park Tasmania. The hike should take approximately 2.5hrs to complete.

Summary

A walk to suit all age groups. For company there’s a cascading river, wombat burrows and magical old-growth rainforest. The walk is located in Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park

Highlights

This track is at a lower altitude than many other tracks in the Cradle Mountain area. It’s a better option for days when the higher altitude tracks are being lashed by cold winds and heavy rain.

Crater Lake itself, despite its name, is not a crater. It was formed by the action of ice during previous ice ages. In autumn, the steep slopes that surround this beautiful lake are ablaze with the glorious colours of fagus. The dark colour of the water, like so many lakes and streams throughout western Tasmania, is the result of tanins leached from buttongrass and tea tree vegetation.

Boatshed
The often-photographed boatshed that stands on the northwestern shores of Lake Dove was built in 1940 by the first Ranger at Cradle Mountain, Lionell Connell. The shed was built largely of King Billy pine. Although some restoration work was completed in 1983, the shed remains substantially unaltered from its original form.

Although the boatshed is now vacant, boating was popular on the lake up until the 1960s. Indeed, during the 1920s Gustav Weindorfer used a very basic and somewhat perilous raft comprised of two pine logs connected by a pailing deck. He later used a more substantial punt to ferry passengers around the lake. In 1938, the Cradle Mountain Reserve Board purchased three Huon pine boats, which remained in service until the 1960s. It was for these that the Lake Dove and the similar but smaller boatshed at Crater Lake were built.

Crater Falls
Crater Falls is in a gully filled with species typical of Tasmania’s cool temperate rainforests, such as sasafrass and myrtle-beech. The gully is an example of gallery rainforest, where the fire-sensitive trees have managed to avoid being burnt by the fires that have passed across the landscape.

Region

The Western Wilderness

Getting there

Road C132. 1 hour from Sheffield; 1.25 hours from Devonport.

Tips

Park entry fees apply.

Toilets at Dove Lake and visitor centre. Picnic tables at Ronny Creek.

Supervise children, waters in lake, severe weather conditions all year round, weather may change quickly, tracks are difficult to navigate when covered in snow and may be impassable.

No pets, firearms or bicycles.

 

Total distance: 7145 m
Max elevation: 1078 m
Min elevation: 880 m
Total climbing: 271 m
Total descent: -271 m
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For more information about this hiking trail please visit Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania