Cradle Mountain is the stunning sentinel of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park and an emblem of Tasmania’s wild interior. Internationally renowned for its natural grandeur, this mountain peak is a magnificent sight to see on a bushwalk around its rainforest-covered foothills, summit scarps and valley lakes, as well as from the comfort of a wilderness lodge. Grab your camera and your hiking boots and discover the glacially carved landscape that makes up some of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
There are several ways to experience the beauty of Cradle Mountain. Begin by visiting the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and perusing the collection of maps and guides. There are pretty trails that lead from the visitor center past some of the area’s pristine cool-temperate rainforest, button-grass moors and the icy streams of Pencil Pine Falls.
Stroll along the pleasant 2-hour trail that loops Dove Lake and presents clear views of the hummock-shaped peak of Cradle Mountain. This trail connects with the trek that will lead you to the mountain’s summit, an undertaking that could take between 6 and 8 hours return.
Embark on the Weindorfers Forest Walk to wander through groves of native Tasmanian pine and myrtle trees and see the starting point of the region’s renowned Overland Track. This 6-day trail showcases some of Tasmania’s most breathtaking terrain, including alpine heathlands, windswept moors and ancient rainforests.
While you stroll around one of the many varied Cradle Mountain trails, be alert for some of the local wildlife. You might see echidnas and quolls in the dense undergrowth or hear the snarl of the Tasmanian devil if you stay overnight. A splash in the water might betray the hiding spot of the elusive platypus. Visit in late spring to see a wild bouquet of native orchids, banksias and waratahs. Experience a lake cruise on nearby Lake St. Clair or go on a scenic flight over the region.
Cradle Mountain is a 2-hour drive east of Launceston. Park passes and camping permits can be purchased at the visitor center. The weather can be unpredictable, so bring warm clothes and a raincoat.