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Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park...
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This 6km track is one of Tasmania’s premier walks. It will take you right around Dove Lake and beneath the towering spires of Cradle Mountain. The track is boardwalked for much of the way. It is located in Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park.
The aptly named Glacier Rock bears testimony to the action of glaciers in this region during the past Ice Age. Look carefully at the surface of Glacier Rock and you will see striations that run parallel to the length of Dove Lake. These were caused by rocky debris within the glacier that moved down from the slopes of Cradle Mountain gouging out the basin that would later contain the waters of Lake Dove. As the glacier passed over the hard quartzite of Glacier Rock, the debris left behind the scratches.
There are many other glacial features in the area, including Lake Wilks, a hanging lake or cirque, just south of Lake Dove.
Towards the southern end of Lake Dove you will enter a magnificent cool temperate rainforest known as the Ballroom Forest. Ancient myrtle-beech trees festooned in moss tower majestically from a moss strewn forest floor. The effect is stunning, and reminiscent of an ancient cathedral.
Myrtle-beeches are a dominant species in Tasmania's cool temperate rainforests. These fire-sensitive plant communities once grew extensively thoughout not only Australia, but also the southern continents of South America and Antarctica. It was part of the distinctive suite of plants that evolved on the supercontinent of Gondwana. Today the species finds its stronghold in Tasmania, but also occurs in Victoria, while its closest relatives are confined to New Zealand and South America - both once part of Gondwana.
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.
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.
Road C132. 1 hour from Sheffield; 1.25 hours from Devonport.
Park entry fees apply.
Picnic and toilet facilities nearby.
Involves one short moderate hill.
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.
Max elevation: 989 m
Min elevation: 938 m
Total climbing: 246 m
Total descent: -246 m
For more information about this hiking trail please visit Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania