Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
This park has two main attractions - Cradle Mountain making up the north of the park, with Lake St Clair in the south.
Gustav Weindorfer first visited Cradle Mountain in 1910 and really liked it. He purchased some land and built by 1912 a chalet for guests. In 1935 the Overland 80km track was created and rangers guided tours along it. The track was improved by 1937
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park has many mountains and spectacular lakes. Mountains which have made this national park famous include Cradle Mountain. Dove Lake and Lake St Clair are truly breathtaking.
There are many short walks to walk and some long walks. Each of these walks are a fascinating experience.
Flora and fauna
Padmelons, Bennett's wallabies, wombats and possums are some of the animals you will meet in this park. Watch out for the ravens and currawongs, who have learnt to unzip packs. Even if they can't get to your food, they can peck holes in things through your pack.
Respect all species of animals and do not abuse them. This includes the plants in the park. Do not pick, and keep to the tracks provided.
WARNING: FEEDING ANIMALS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED IN CRADLE MOUNTAIN-LAKE ST CLAIR NATIONAL PARK. FINES WILL BE IMPOSED IF YOU ARE CAUGHT FEEDING ANIMALS. PARK RANGERS ARE PATROLLING THE PARK. DO NOT RISK GETTING FINED. FINES WILL BE IN LARGE AMOUNTS.
The climate here in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is Very unpredictable and can change extremely rapidly. In this part of Tasmania, it rains 9 out of 10 days a year, so fully equip yourself with gear for wet weather.
The temperature is always colder than other parts of Tasmania, although it is not far south. Precipitation here is high because of the large number of trees. It could be raining for 5 minutes, and then it is suddenly sunny. Rain here is very light, like little "flakes" of water. Bring a raincoat instead of an umbrella, because it is extremely windy and you do not want to risk spoiling your brolly.
Get ready for freak weather - including snow in summer.
You can drive, ride or catch a bus. You can get to the park's northern end via roads from Sheffield, Wilmot or Mole Creek. As Cradle Mountain is on almost every sign on the roads in the are, you should find it easy to make your way there. Entry from the southern end is via Derwent Bridge. Derwent Bridge is only an hours drive from Queenstown in the west coast and about two and a half hours from the state capital Hobart.
On occasions you can canoe up the river to get to your destination.
There are entrance fees to the park, and permits and fees are required for overnight/multi-day hikes.
There is a ferry which operates on Lake St Clair.
Mountains in the park include the famous Cradle Mountain and Mount Ossa which is the highest mountain of Tasmania. Other mountains to see are Barn Bluff in the north and both Mount Pelion East and West in the central bit of the park. The lakes in the park are also popular with Lake St Clair and Dove Lake by far being the most popular.
Walks - from short easy strolls to strenuous multi-day hikes.
There are only two to three shops in the park and prices are expensive. Buy your own supplies in the nearby towns before getting in.
There are a few up scale cafes and restaurants in the park. If you are self-catering, make sure you buy your food in the towns nearby before driving in. The tourist park sells limited food and prices are extremely expensive.
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Make sure you let someone know where you are going, and when you expect to be back. Carry a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and weather-proof jacket in all seasons. Take plenty of water, and more food than you think you will need in case you get caught out longer than you expected. Wear sturdy walking shoes/boots.