Located at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain is one of Tasmania’s most visited natural attractions.
While there’s no actual town at Cradle Mountain, visitors can find a range of accommodation within the park in cabins, chalets and campgrounds.
Part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area, the surrounding landscape is diverse and includes grassland, rainforest and ancient plants such as the long-lived King Billy pine and the native ‘fagus’ or deciduous beech.
The park also provides a rich habitat for wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, quolls, platypus, echidna and several bird species.
With a range of fantastic walks ranging from easy to difficult, there’s plenty of opportunities to experience the beauty of Tasmania’s wilderness first hand, and with all the comforts of home awaiting you at the end of your day. You can even relax in a luxury spa.
And for a different perspective on the wilderness take a stroll through the Wilderness Gallery showcasing around 250 images by some of Australia and the world’s best wilderness and nature photographers.
Cradle Mountain is a 1.5-hr drive from Devonport and a 2.5-hour drive from Launceston.
Wander or take a tour through a Tasmanian Devil sanctuary
Take a scenic helicopter flight deep into Tasmania’s wilderness
A day walk that takes in Cradle Mountain can be found at the northern end of the majestic Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The features of the National Park emerged from the most recent Ice Age tens of thousands of years ago, with some of the deepest lakes and most bracing sights in Tasmania, not least the majestic Cradle Mountain itself.
A designated UNESCO World Heritage Area since 1982, the National Park encompasses a range of walks around Cradle Mountain, a pleasant 85 km drive from Devonport. These include opportunities to take in the surroundings for the best part of a morning, through to a full-day hike to the summit of the mountain itself. Surrounded by alpine wilderness and rainforest, the mountain is a narrow ridge, or arête, that soars from the ambling hinterland to 1,545 m above sea level.
Whether a short, 20 minute walk on one of the designated paths – just enough to foster the kind of sublime feeling of the dwarfing capability of such arresting topography – to a 2 to 3 hour amble at leisure, the majestic Cradle almost haunts the skyline, with silvery mists hovering at its peaks. Cradle Mountain’s name is revealed in full as one catches sight of the twin peaks and the plunging hollow between.
Although Cradle Mountain is part of the ruggedness of the alpine wilderness and heathlands, there are many facilities in the area that include cabins, self-contained accommodation and camping. The Visitor Centre provides travellers with all relevant information about the full range of walks at all times of year and for all abilities. Travellers are welcome throughout the seasons and many of the walks are well-sheltered.
For the more adventurous, Cradle Mountain is the starting point for the Overland Track, a 6-day walk of 65 km beginning from the foothills of the mountain at Ronny Creek and on through the valleys past epic waterfalls and the awesome sights of the region.
Alternatively, the hike up to the peak takes in a full day and can be undertaken at a range of times of year, depending on one’s level of romantic inspiration for snow-covered, blustery peaks, or maybe just for the simple pleasure of ascension.
Article courtesy of Tourism Tasmania – for more info and tips on Travelling Tasmania visit www.discovertasmania.com.au