Jade Austen Cradle

Cradle Mountain & Dove Lake in snow | © 2020 Jade Austen. All rights Reserved.

Getting There

Drive

Cradle Mountain is located at the northern end of Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. It is 1.5 - 2 hours drive from Deloraine via Sheffield or Mole Creek. From Sheffield, take the C136 and C132 to the park entrance. From Mole Creek take the C138, C136 and C132.

Bushwalker Transport & Private Tour Operators

Into the Wild
Ph: 0427 477 553 (based in Meander Valley) 

Wild Island Adventures
Ph: 0499 994 246 (Oscar & Holly, based in Launceston)

McDermotts Coaches
Ph: (03) 6330 3717 (based in Launceston)

Overland Track Transport
Ph: 0474 172 012 (based in Launceston)

Outdoor Tasmania
Ph: 0408 918 249 (based in Launceston)

Discover Tasmania Tours
Ph: 0447 673 459 (John, based in Launceston)

Cradle Mountain Coaches
Ph: (03) 6427 7626 or 0448 800 599 (based in Devonport)

Island Adventure Shuttles
(based in Hobart and Launceston)

Tasmanian Hikes/Adventure Seekers (No Worries Safaris)
Ph: 0400 882 742 (based in Hobart)

Tasmanian Wilderness Experiences
Ph: 0477 480 383 (based in Hobart)

Transport within the park

Shuttle bus 

The Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre is the departure point for the shuttle bus to Dove Lake. The shuttle bus service aims to protect the important values of the World Heritage Area and preserve the visitor experience by limiting vehicle numbers in the park. Shuttle bus tickets are included in the purchase of your Parks Pass. Available from the Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre and Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre. Please present your valid Parks Pass at the Visitor Centre to obtain tickets prior to boarding. The shuttle service operates seven days a week.

Private vehicle access

Visitors are advised that private vehicle access in the park is not permitted during shuttle bus operating times. The restriction for private vehicles will generally occur between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm each day over the winter period - 1 April to 30 September; and 8:00am to 6:00pm over summer period - 1 October to 31 March. Times are subject to change, please confirm access times with the Visitor Centre prior to your arrival.

Please note: Dove Lake car park restrictions due to shelter construction

During the construction of the new Dove Lake viewing shelter from April 2020 to Spring 2022, there is no private vehicle access past the Ronny Creek car park or to Dove Lake.
You can find more information on this here.

Where possible, please avoid driving in our reserves at night. You are sharing the roads with our native wildlife, so take it slow and watch out for animals on the road.

Walk

The best way to appreciate the World Heritage listed environment at Cradle Mountain is by taking a scenic walk. When out walking, it is recommended that you do not wander off the tracks and that you wear sensible, comfortable shoes, sneakers or hiking boots. You should also take warm clothes and wet weather gear, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses with you, as the weather is unpredictable in this alpine region.

For environmental reasons, we ask that you follow the Minimal Impact Guidelines by:

• Staying on formed tracks at all times
• Carry all rubbish with you
• Do not drop cigarette butts or matches
• Do not feed the wallabies, birds or other wildlife
• Please consider others and keep noise to a minimum

Walk Grades

Easy: Suitable for all ages, but take care with children.
Medium: Some steps and inclines; for people who walk occasionally.
Hard: Steep steps and inclines; for people who walk regularly. Visitors with heart or respiratory problems should not attempt these walks.


Short Walks

The Enchanted Walk

Duration: 20 Minutes (1km circuit)
Grade: Easy, boardwalk
Starts: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (near lake)

Stroll along the banks of the Pencil Pine River, passing through a diverse array of vegetation, from button grass plains to tea tree thickets, eucalypt woodlands and mossy myrtle forests. At dawn and dusk, enjoy the opportunity (if you’re fortunate) to see the elusive platypus as it frolics in the pools, or glimpse a wombat as it feeds.

King Billy Track

Duration: 40 Minutes (2km circuit)
Grade: Easy, mostly boardwalk
Starts: To the right of Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge - behind cabins

Walk through this age old temperate rainforest to discover the myrtle, sassafras and ancient King Billy pines up to 1500 years of age. These giants are now fully protected, although once greatly sought after for their timber. The collection seen on-route contains some of the oldest known in the local area.

The Waterfalls Walk (Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls)

Duration: 30-40 Minutes (2km return)
Grade: Pencil Pine Falls: Easy, Knyvet Falls: Medium
Starts: Opposite Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge Shop

If you enjoy cascading waterfalls and tranquil rivers then this is the walk for you. Follow the Dove Canyon Track to the Pencil Pine Falls, only 5 minutes’ walk. This popular swimming spot is likely to provide one of the more invigorating swims of a lifetime! From the Pencil Pine Falls, continue downstream towards Knyvet Falls. Return via the same route. The waterfalls are particularly spectacular after periods of rain.

Jade Austen Pencil Pine Falls

Pencil Pine Falls | © 2020 Jade Austen. All rights Reserved.

Speeler Track

Duration: 1.5 Hour (2.5km circuit)
Grade: Medium. Track is wet, muddy and uneven in places.
Starts: To the right of Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge - behind cabins

The Speeler track, beginning on the same route as the King Billy track, offers scenic vistas ranging from cool temperate rainforests, to the seemingly endless fields of button grass known as the ‘Fury Plains’. You may even be able to catch glimpses of Cradle Valley and Cradle Mountain, weather permitting. The walk also offers the perfect opportunity to spot wombats, wallabies and echidnas.

Jade Austen Wombat

Wandering wombat, Cradle Mountain | © 2020 Jade Austen. All rights Reserved.

Weindorfer's Forest Walk

Duration: 20 Minute circuit
Grade: Medium. Track is wet, muddy and uneven in places.
Starts: Waldheim Chalet near Ronny Creek

This lovely stroll takes you through a beautiful rainforest, where you’ll see ancient King Billy pines, pandani and colourful displays of deciduous beech (fagus) during the autumn months.

Longer Walks

Cradle Valley Boardwalk

Duration: 3 Hours, 5.5km (one way)
Grade: Medium, boardwalk
Starts: Interpretation Centre

The 5.5km boardwalk meanders beside Dove River, linking the Interpretation Centre with Ronny Creek, and provides lovely views of Cradle Mountain along the way. Keep your eyes out for the world’s tallest heath plant, the pandani (Richea pandanifolia), which grows up to 12m in height. Return via the same way or take a shuttle bus back to the Interpretation Centre.

Dove Lake Circuit Walk

Duration: 3 Hours (6km circuit)
Grade: Medium
Starts: Dove Lake Car Park

Best walked in a clockwise direction, this 6km circuit is Cradle’s most popular walk – suitable for most ages and fitness levels, although there are some steps and inclines to navigate. The track weaves its way through rainforest and past quartzite beaches. If you haven’t time for the whole circuit, Glacier Rock is a 10 minute stroll to the east, while the historic boatshed is 10 minutes to the west.

Crater Lake

Duration: 3 Hour 6km circuit (return via Lake Lilla and Wombat Pool)
Grade: Medium
Starts: Ronny Creek Car Park

An excellent walk which takes you to Crater Falls and a magical forest of pandini and sassafras trees. Discover the hidden glacial lake surrounded by 200 metre cliffs covered with fagus (deciduous beech).

Marion’s Lookout

Duration: 3 Hours (5km return)
Grade: Medium to Hard
Starts: Ronny Creek / Dove Lake Car Park

There are two recommended approaches for this walk – from Ronny Creek via Crater Falls, or from Dove Lake via Lake Lilla/Wombat Pool. Both routes take around the same time. This is a medium to hard walk with some very steep sections, so a reasonable degree of fitness is desirable. On a clear day, this walk offers spectacular views of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake.

Dove Canyon Track

Duration: 3 Hours (6km circuit)
Grade: Hard
Starts: Opposite Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge Shop, return via Cradle Valley Boardwalk

After discovering the beauty of Knyvet Falls this track continues to follow the path of the Pencil Pine River, before taking you through impressive temperate rainforests. A five minute detour, approximately 500m after crossing the river, will take you to the steep but striking junction of the Pencil Pine and the Dove Rivers. The track then climbs to the top of Dove Canyon where you are faced with 60-70m cliffs that form the boundaries of Dove River. You are also treated to spectacular views down Cradle Valley and of Cradle Mountain on a clear day. Please be aware this is a more challenging track with one small part involving scaling up rocks; not recommended after periods of rain.

Summit Climb

Duration: 6-8 Hours
Grade: Hard
Starts: Dove Lake Car Park

Hike and climb the summit of Cradle Mountain and enjoy lunch on top of the world overlooking most of northwest Tasmania. The main track to Cradle Mountain summit leaves from Dove Lake and goes via Lake Lilla and Marion’s Lookout. However, walkers have a choice of several tracks and can choose to walk a different track on their return trip. The walk is of a hard grade (including rock scrambling) and is not recommended during inclement weather.

Overland Track

Duration: 5-6 days, 65km one way
Grade: Hard
Starts: Ronny Creek 

​​​​The Ov​erland Track is Australia's premier alpine walk. This exhilarating and life-changing journey attracts walkers from across the globe. Beginning at the iconic Cradle Mountain and ending at Australia’s deepest lake – Lake St Clair, this 65km, 6 day trek takes you through the heart of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, part of the magnificent Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

From 1 October - 31 May all walkers must book in advance before undertaking this walk. To make a booking click here. Registration for the free winter walking season helps PWS to manage daily departures and reduce long-term damage to the environment. To register click here.

Cradle map

For more information, go to https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/cradle-mountain.


Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre

98 -100 Emu Bay Road, Deloraine
03) 6362 5280
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