Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Cradle Mountain, in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, rises 1,545 metres (5,069 ft) above sea level and is one of the principal tourist attractions in Tasmania. It is composed of dolerite columns with a distinctive ‘cradle’ shape giving it its name. The area around the mountain has a number of excellent day walks, as well as being the kick-off point for the 80km plus Overland Track to Lake St Clair.

The mountain can be summited in a day and is done so by tourists virtually all year round. It is a strenuous six-to-seven hour return hike from the Dove Lake car park with the final assent involving scrambling over large boulders for several hundred meters. The entire climb is exposed to bad weather (we did not make the summit on our first trip due to a summer blizzard), with winter climbs often dangerous due to ice on the rocks. On our second visit, the views from the summit were spectacular, encompassing Dove Lake, Barn Bluff and Mount Ossa.

Travel notes: this trip, we made our base at the well managed Cradle Mountain Hotel where Pademelon’s (a kind of Wallaby) can be seen from your room’s balcony which overlooks native scrubland. There are two restaurants on-site; Grey Gum, a fine-dining restaurant with a two course menu that is well worth the money, and Quoll’s, with a buffet which is not. On the way from the airport, stock up on meats and local cheeses from the deli of what is probably Launceston’s best restaurant Stillwater. Believe me, sitting at Dove Lake with a pack full of delicious Tasmanian produce is a wonderful experience.

Tasmania Cradle Mountain pathTasmania Cradle Mountain treeTasmania Cradle Mountain bush

Our Rating

9 Scenery

8 Trail


9 Accessibility

9 Contribution to Better Living