Cradle Mountain Area
Key information: Cradle Mountain Area
- World-class walking in this glorious mountain wilderness in Tasmania's (very) wild west.
- Wonderful scenery and possibly the most beautiful mountain vegetation anywhere - Scottish heather and South African fynbos beware - with wildlife galore.This can be demanding walking in remote mountains with notoriously fickle weather. Come prepared.
- Walkopedia rating84
- Natural interest17
- Human interest4
- Negative points1
- Total rating84
- Length: Variable
- Maximum Altitude: 1,545m
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Tasmania's best-known mountain area sports some truly fantastic - and very varied - walking. But its fame brings visitors, so choose carefully if you like to get away from your fellow humans.
This ancient dolerite landscape has been glacially scoured into a fantastic array of buttes,crags, lake-filled holes and valleys.
Wonderful scenery and possibly the most beautiful mountain vegetation anywhere - Scottish heather and South African fynbos beware - with wildlife galore.
Extreme weather is possible year round - always come prepared, and check likely conditions.
- Cradle Mountain: a long (6-8hrs) but marvellous ascent of this 1,545m dramatic broken dolerite ridge, with cliffs falling away on almost all sides. The main track leaves from Dove Lake, although this can get crowded so other starting places can have attractions. Outstanding views on a good day in all directions over lake, crag and ridge and the truly pristine wilderness of this World Heritage Area.
- Enchanted Nature Walk: short, easy walk in lovely old forest by a rushing stream.
- Dove Lake Circuit: 6 km (2hr) circuit around this lovely lake directly below Cradle Mountain. Wonderful but crowded.
- Crater Lake: a longer (2hr) circuit up to what is actually a glacial gouge out of the Cradle Mountain massif, then round and back through fine forest and bog-land.
- Mount Rufus: a long (7hr) but fabulous trail out into remote country to this lovely peak.
- Shadow Lake: 4-5 hours out to this remoter lake.
See: Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair and Walls of Jerusalem National Parks by J Chapman and J Siseman.
Places to stay:
There's some great accommodation, complete with guided walking, at the Cradle Mountain Huts. See Great Walks of Australia for more details.
Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cottages :well-loved wooden cottages in a fabulous wild setting (0061 3 6492 1116; cradlehighlander.com.au; doubles from A$115 (2012)).
Cradle Mountain Lodge :well-established, comfortable collection of cabins. Walking, spa, and the best food in the area (6492 2103; cradlemountainlodge.com.au; doubles from A$310 (2012)).
See our Tasmania page for extensive general and practical information.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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