The Dove Canyon trail is a superb hike that is often overlooked by visitors to the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, but it is definitely worth doing. It provides beautiful waterfalls, bush, a little rock scrambling, a canyon and some open areas. In many ways it is a compression of many of the features of the Park. At least, it is worth doing when the weather is bad around the mountain area.
Park at the Interpretation Centre then take the footpath to return across the bridge. The trail starts opposite the shop. Follow this, and make sure you take the short diversions to view the Pencil and Knyvet Falls.
After roughly 3km since the beginning you will arrive at the Canyon. The trail hugs the side, and involves some short but steep rock scrambles.
After the canyon the trail will soon open up. Follow this until you reach the junction after roughly 4.5km. Take the right back to the carpark.
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).
Drive up the road to reach the Interpretation Centre, this is shortly after the Lodge after the bridge.
- The circuit can be taken either way, but as written means you will be going up the rock scrambling sections. If you prefer to take those down then take the opposite way.
- Ensure you know the weather forecast for the day and be prepared for any conditions as the weather is very unpredictable at all times of the year.
- Hiking poles will be very useful for this.
Max elevation: 874 m
Min elevation: 729 m
Total climbing: 279 m
Total descent: -279 m