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Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park

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Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park
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Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park - Cities, Towns and Localities
Cradle Mountain (1,545 m) forms the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, which is also a Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, and one of Tasmania’s many popular holiday destinations.

The mountain is a jagged, dolerite peak that dominates the area. Its name, supposedly, is derived from the mountain’s resemblance to a miner’s cradle. This dramatic vista is a highlight of many a tourist, when viewed across Dove Lake, however, the wild weather of the Tasmanian highlands often shrouds the mountain in cloud.

The experience of the wilderness is enhanced by the range of environments to explore including ancient rainforest, alpine heathlands, buttongrass and stands of colourful deciduous beech. There are the icy streams cascading out of rugged mountains, stands of ancient pines reflected in the still waters of glacial lakes and the unique wildlife. This 161,000 ha park also includes Lake St Clair, a 200 m deep glacial lake (Australia’s deepest lake) and Mount Ossa (1,617 m) Tasmania’s tallest mountain located approximately 25 km south of Cradle Mountain. Platypus are also often sighted at Lake St Clair, although visitors have been known to mistake the native water rat that also swims across the lake, for the elusive platypus.

Location: Lake St Clair is only 2½ hours west of Hobart via the Lyell Highway (A10) and about that from Launceston via Longford and Poatina. At Derwent Bridge turn right onto the 5½ km long access road to the lake at Cynthia Bay. From Queenstown the Lyell Highway is a winding and narrow 1½ hour drive. Both the Lyell Highway and the access road from Derwent Bridge may occasionally be closed by snow in winter.

Location map of Cradle Mt and Lake St Clair National Park

Check out our listing of Cradle Mountain accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Transit Terminal
4057 Cradle Mountain Road
Ph: 03 6492 1110
Daily 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre

Located about 2 km before the national park entrance, the visitor centre provides a range of services that include sales of park entry passes, information on park activities, and is also the departure point for the shuttle bus.

The Overland Track check-in counter is also located in the visitor centre.

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Transit Terminal
Located just inside the national park entrance
Daily 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre

The centre provides a range of services that include information displays, art gallery, and videos. Some of the short walks and the Cradle Valley Boardwalk commence near the Rangers Station.

Parks & Wildlife Service - Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park Walks

There are many excellent walks in the area, including the Dove Lake Loop Track (good for beginners) which takes you through the stunning Ballroom Forest, an area of cool temperate rainforest nestled against the slopes of the mountain.

Leaving from just behind the Visitor Centre Rainforest Walk is a short boardwalk. Take the time to meander through the patch of cool temperate rainforest, with views of the beautiful Pencil Pine Falls. This easy track is suitable for wheelchairs.

Leaving from Waldheim Chalet is the Weindorfers Forest Walk that takes an easy grade through a forest of King Billy pines, celery-top pines and myrtles. The walk takes about 20 minutes at a gentle pace. You can also view the displays in the chalet to look at the life of the Weindorfers.

The Enchanted Walk leaves from the bridge at the park entrance and passes by scenic waterfalls, pools, moorland and rainforest before returning to the Cradle Mountain Lodge.

The area also marks the famous Overland Track walk that passes the highest peaks in Tasmania. The walk itself is one of the most varied as it passes through a wide variety of landscapes in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. The track is well defined and easy to follow.

Cradle Mountain - Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania
The first place to explore when planning your visit to the Cradle Mountain region is the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service website. Huge range of information including:

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Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park Attractions

Lake St Clair
Is at the southern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. Carved out by ice during several glaciations over the last two million years, this is the deepest lake in Australia and the headwaters of the Derwent River, upon which the capital city of Tasmania is located. Lake St Clair is also known by its Aboriginal name of Leeawuleena which means "sleeping water." It is at Lake St Clair that the Overland Track ends in the south.

At the southern end of the lake is Cynthia Bay which is linked by a 5 km access road from Lyell Highway.

Ranger-led Activities
During the peak summer season, rangers offer a variety of activities such as walks, talks and slide shows for both adults and children.
Waldheim Chalet
Having fallen in love with with the area, Gustav and Kate Weindorfer built the rustic home and guest chalet in 1912, nestled among the myrtles and King Billy pines at Cradle Valley. The chalet was named Waldheim, meaning "forest home". Waldheim Chalet continued to be used for accommodation until 1974. After a fire, it was beyond repair and demolished. The replica, rebuilt in 1976 using traditional bush carpentry techniques, is made from shingles split from King Billy pine.
Weindorfer’s Chalet
The rustic chalet was once home for Gustav Weindorfer, the founding father of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. The area around Weindorfer’s Chalet is definitely worth a visit.

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Cradle Mountain Tours / Charters

TAS ToursOutback  • EcoAdventureNational Tours
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Cradle Coast Tours
• 14 Main St, ULVERSTONE TAS 7315 • Ph: 03 6425 5854 • Email (online form) • Connect with Facebook
Specialised Day Trips and Tours of the best of Tasmania’s north west coast! Travel in style and at ease in one of Cradle Coast Tour’s reliable vehicles and simply take in the amazing local scenery. Many tours lack the personal touch and direct contact with your guide, but our tours are unique, we offer a very relaxed experience of the best of Tasmania’s North West coast (locally known as the Cradle Coast). Tours start with as few as two and no more than seven guests.

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Cradle Mountain Distance

Distance to Cradle Mountain
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Cradle Mountain:
Devonport 123
Hobart 313
Launceston 125
Mole Creek 51
Queenstown 201
Stanley 246
Ulverstone 139
Wynyard 186
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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• Cradle Mountain Maps
Bing Maps - Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Google Maps - Cradle Mountain TAS 7306

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Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park Other Links

• Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park Community/Local Government Links
• Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park Community Links
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