Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania
A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Tassie’s northern city of Launceston will see you enter another world – one of ancient rainforests and ageless mountains and lakes. However, before you even set foot on one of the park’s many walking tracks, or go searching for the elusive Tasmanian devil, make sure you spend at least an hour exploring the visitor centre at the park entrance. The interpretive displays here offer an insight into how much history and culture is contained within the park’s borders and will enrich any visit.
Once you’ve had your history/culture lesson, head out into the park and take in some of its most iconic sights, such as the view of Cradle Mountain overlooking (and often perfectly reflected in) Dove Lake. The Dove Lake Loop Track is around two hours. For those looking to check out the King Billy pine tree, the Weindorfers Forest Walk, near historic Waldheim Chalet, is a 20-minute stroll. There are a number of overnight walks as well, including the circuit of Cradle Mountain, where you stay in the Scott-Kilvert Hut overnight.
If hiking is not enough to keep you occupied, you can go deep under the park. Cradle Mountain Canyons offers a brilliant half- or full-day canyoning experience in Dove Canyon, The Lost Canyon (ideal for families; kids over eight is the minimum age) or Machinery Creek. This is the quintessential Tassie destination.
- Gallery: The Overland Track
- Gallery: Historic photos of Cradle Mountain
- Cradle Mountain past and present