Cradle Mountain is a world-famous wild and beautiful World Heritage area of glacial mountains, pristine lakes and legendary hiking and bushwalking. This unique slice of Australian wilderness also protects ancient rainforest and alpine heathlands.
Day visitors can take day walks at Cradle Valley and Cynthia Bay, but it’s the 65km (40-mile) Overland Track that gets hikers especially excited by Cradle Mountain. The six-day, five-night epic walking track winds through eucalypt forests and across alpine moors. December to April is the optimum time to walk the track, providing wonderful glimpses of alpine wildflowers.
Shorter walks include the two-hour Dove Lake Loop Track through rainforest, an eight- to 10-minute stroll along the Visitor Center boardwalk rainforest walk, and the 20-minute exploratory walk to historic Weindorfer’s Chalet, once home to the park’s founder Gustav Weindorfer. Rangers also lead guided walks and provide talks and kids activities.
Wildlife to look out for at Cradle Mountain include the Tasmanian devil, spotted-tailed quoll, platypus and echidnas.
Cradle Mountain is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Launceston, a two-hour drive away. From Hobart, the 302-kilometer (187-mile) drive takes just over four hours. The iconic Cradle Mountain is located on the northern side of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Claire National Park, and shuttle buses run daily from the Transit Terminal to Dove Lake, reducing traffic within the park.