Cradle Mountain is one of Tasmania's premier natural & scenic destinations, located inside the UNESCO World Heritage area. The mountain is a photographers paradise due to its striking shape and beautiful appearance. Standing proudly above the majestic Dove Lake it is 1545m above sea level and on a clear, still day the summit can sometimes perfectly reflect off the surface of Dove Lake providing a stunning photo opportunity. There are many scenic walks of varying degrees of difficulty in Cradle Mountain area. At Fun Tassie Tours we like to choose a selection of the most enchanting and unique walks for our weekly visits. Our Top 5 favourites are listed below:
1) The Enchanted Walk. This easy 25min loop meanders along side and and crosses Pencil Pine Creek. The creek bank is lined with ancient Myrtle trees covered in all kinds of moss, lichen and fungi, creating a prehistoric atmosphere. The sound of the stream is incredibly soothing, even meditative and Platypus can often be seen moving up and down the waterway. Definitely one of our favourites.
2) Kynvet Falls Walk. A 30min return walk on narrow yet sturdy, raised boardwalk. This walk has a few more steps than the others but still very manageable for most guests. Mostly under the forest canopy this spot has an ambience from a childrens fairly tale book with glistening green moss at every turn. As the entrance to this walk is slightly hidden it often has less people than some other walks in the area. An absolute gem and also a favourite evening dinner spot for the local wombats.
3) Pencil Pine Waterfall Walk. A very leisurely 15min loop on good boardwalk with no stairs. This walk showcases more of the forest and ancient trees within Cradle Mountain National Park. Pencil Pine trees 1500 years old line the route along with Pepperberry, Celery Top Pine and others. The stunning Pencil Pine waterfall is viewed from an elevated platform and is particularly spectacular after rain. This one is great in all weather, wheelchair accessible and not to be missed.
4) Glacier Rock Walk. Leaving from the fantastic new viewing shelter at Dove Lake this short walk takes guests around the water to another relatively new viewing spot at Glacier Rock. A relaxed 40min return walk, this option has far less stairs than the more celebrated walk to The Boat Shed, yet offers very similar and breathtaking scenery. There are some steps to the final ascent at Glacier Rock, but views abound on the entirety of the walk so these may be skipped by those choosing not to proceed up to the lookout platform. This walk offers uninterrupted viewing and photo opportunities of Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain summit with the most leisurely efforts.
5) Waldheim Forest Walk. This hidden jewel is tucked behind the Waldheim Chalet and is often missed by guests. The shuttle busses do not visit Waldheim Chalet however, at Fun Tassie Tours we make the deliberate effort never to miss this beautiful spot and usually partake in the 15min forest stroll. Once again under quite thick canopy this forest ramble is memorable in any weather, showcasing ancient King Billy Pine tree’s thousands of years old and found nowhere else on earth. In Autumn it also provides an up close look at the Fagus, offering a spectacular display or yellow, orange & red leaves. This is Australia’s only native, deciduous tree and for a short period each year splashes colours not often associated with Australian landscapes.
All 5 of the above mentioned walks are on good quality boardwalks or pathways with minimal stairs, little or no mud and are generally quite accessible for people of all physical abilities, even those with walking aids. With the exception of Glacier Rock which is quite exposed to the elements, the others are all relatively sheltered so enjoyable even in wet weather.
There are many other stunning walks to select from in Cradle Mountain area and it was difficult keeping this list to just 5. Others walks range from 30min up to 3 hours or even multi-day adventures and are fantastic options for those with more time or who are chasing a physically challenging experience. For our planned tours though we generally like to offer a selection of shorter walks, highlighting different scenic areas and plants for a rounded & enjoyable Cradle Mountain experience in a short time frame.