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Tasmania’s most famous peak sets the scene for a range of towering mountain experiences. 

The imposing summit – the fifth highest in the state – stands supreme above Dove Lake, which provides the classic Cradle Mountain view. The ridges and peaks around the lake, meanwhile, add new angles to the panorama.

This one mighty mountain, which rises at the northern end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, is just the starting point to the area’s wilderness experience. Alpine lakes lie scattered across the landscape, riverbanks are cloaked in rainforest, and wildlife is prolific along the trails and around visitor areas.

Cradle Mountain is a place for all seasons, beaming through summer (with occasional unexpected snowfalls), gleaming white in winter, and glowing golden in autumn when the deciduous fagus turns in colour on the slopes above Dove Lake.

Come for the mountain, but expect so much more.

Low angle from the water, looking up at Lake Dove and Cradle Mountain
Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain
Tourism Tasmania & Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography
Jaw-dropping and moody aerial image of Crater Lake, Crater Mountain.
Crater Lake, Cradle Mountain
Jason Charles Hill

Don't miss

  • Walk the Dove Lake circuit for prime views of Cradle Mountain.
  • Set out on the multi-day Overland Track, one of Australia’s premier hikes.
  • Catch a dinner hour with a difference at Devils@Cradle.
  • Enter the Cradle underworld on a canyoning tour.

 

Getting here

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre is a 1hr 45min drive (140km) west of Launceston, and a 4hr drive (300km) north-west of Hobart. National-park shuttle buses run between the visitor centre and Dove Lake (8am-6pm in October-March, 9am-5pm in April-September), with private vehicles not permitted on the road during these times. Shuttle bus tickets are included in your parks pass.

"Hikers walking the Overland Track at Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park "
Walking the Overland Track
Tayla Gentle
A group of tourists wearing safety gear, walk amongst the river and rocks in the Cradle Mountain Canyons.
Cradle Mountain Canyons
Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

Things to do

Lake walks

Find the beauty that surrounds Cradle Mountain on a range of lake walks. The Dove Lake circuit (2-3hr, 6km) skirts around the famous lake at Cradle Mountain’s foot, with highlights including the old boatshed on its shores, the lush Ballroom Forest and continuous views of the area’s star mountain. The Crater Lake circuit (2hr, 5.7km) ascends to an alpine lake set in a deep hollow in the mountains, returning past serene Wombat Pool.

Climb the mountain

Cradle Mountain’s summit can be reached on a long day walk (8hr return, 12.8km) that requires dexterity as the walk scrambles up its rocky slopes. 

Dramatic and moody image of hiker taking in the incredible view of Twisted Lakes and its surroundings.
Twisted Lakes
Jason Charles Hill
Incredible landscape image of Wombat Pool. Being able to see the reflections so clearly in the pool, surrounded by untouched nature.
Wombat Pool
Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
Hike the Overland Track

Tasmania’s most famous multi-day hike is the 65km Overland Track, which begins at Cradle Mountain and traverses the length of the national park to Lake St Clair. It can be walked independently – there are six public huts along the track – or on a guided walk with Cradle Mountain Huts Walk, staying in private huts. Plan on a six- to seven-day walk. From October to May, a permit is required to hike the track. 

Devils@Cradle

Cradle Mountain’s devilish side can be found at this wildlife sanctuary, home to Tasmanian devils and the carnivorous eastern and spotted-tail quolls. Wander the sanctuary at leisure during the day, or come after dark for a night-feeding tour. At the Sunset Experience (October-April), the feeding extends to the guests, with sweet treats and drinks around a campfire as part of the tour.

Up close image of two Tasmanian Devils with one sleeping on the other as the other is on lookout.
Devils @ Cradle
Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Kentish Council
Landscape of the Overland Track, with Barn Bluff in the backdrop. The leaves are orange Autumn coloured.
Overland Track, Barn Bluff
Emilie Ristevski
Cradle Mountain Canyons

Some of the most spectacular spots at Cradle Mountain are beneath your feet – this adventurous guided trip delivers you deep into the area’s hidden canyons. Abseil, swim, leap and slide through the Laundry Chute in Dove Canyon, or make a series of high abseils through Machinery Creek. Families will be energised on the Lost World Canyon trip (minimum age, eight).

Cradle Mountain Helicopters

Get a higher view than even the mountaintops allow on a scenic flight with Cradle Mountain Helicopters to Cradle Mountain and beyond. Options range from a 20min flight over Cradle and nearby Fury Gorge – Australia’s deepest gorge – to extended flights across the national park and the west-coast mountains.

Breathtaking point of view image taken from a helicopter by Tasmanian Air tours of the mountains and surrounding nature, which is covered in snow.
Helicopter flight over Cradle Mountain
Luke Tscharke
Two people abseiling down a waterfall, posing for the photo, within Cradle Mountain Canyons.
Cradle Mountain Canyons
Off the Path
Waldheim Alpine Spa

Exhausted by all the above? Settle back and be pampered in this day spa with a soothing view onto the wilderness. Rejuvenate with a massage, or head to the sanctuary with its steam room, sauna, hot tub, cool plunge pool and relaxation lounge.

Couple relaxing at the Waldheim Alpine Spa at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Waldheim Alpine Spa
Jason Charles Hill
A lady sitting in the spa, wearing a beanie, looking out into the landscape at the Waldheim Alpine Spa at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Waldheim Alpine Spa
Emilie Ristevski
THE ITINERARY

Aim high, plummet low or keep hiking boots on the ground at Tasmania’s most popular natural playground.

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