The drive to Cradle Mountain from Hobart was a hell of a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. It was also the windiest, most curvy road I’ve ever driven on, which made me regret not bring travel sickness medication. I was also hella nervous since sometimes it would rain or lightly snow, and I was plagued by visions of sliding to my death over the edge of a cliff due to black ice.
Despite this, we arrived at Cradle Mountain safe and sound at about 3pm. We had just enough time to check into our lodge before we rushed off into the park since we had to leave before midday the next day and we wanted to see as much as possible.
Getting into the park is very easy and only required that you purchase a national park pass which was highly affordable. Since we’d purchased one of these ahead of time, we were able to just simply drive in.
I was on the edge of my seat. I just couldn’t wait to see the mountain. A quick scan of the weather report suggested that there was a high possibility that we were going to get heavy cloud cover and some rain, so I was praying that the sky would remain clear long enough for me to catch a glimpse of the mountain.
And the weather gods were obviously smiling down on me that day because this happened:
There are a number of walks in the park for you to choose from, ranging from multi-day hikes to short strolls on the boardwalks. The views of the lake and the mountain were just stunning, and took my breath away.
Unfortunately, on the first day we didn’t arrive with enough daylight hours to complete the entirely of the Dove Lake Walk, but we completed a significant chunk of it, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
As the evening began to encroach upon us we drove back to the entrance of the park and completed two additional smaller walks. The first walk was called The Cradle Valley Waterfall Walk. It was on this walk that we got to see a wombat having a good feed. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a wombat before, yet despite this, I can’t help but feel as though he was the cutest wombat in the existence of all wombats ever.
The walk was super easy to complete and could easily be completed by parents with small children.
The second walk we completed was called The Enchanted Walk, and it’s name was well deserved. The entire time I felt as though I was walking through a fairy tale forest and expected fairy to come and play with my hair, or steal my soul, or whatever it is that fairies do.
On or second day, we completed the Ronny Creek to Dove Lake Walk. When we did this walk it was bitterly cold and rained on and off, but that was OK since it was only about 3km. I recommend this walk if you don’t want to commit to doing anything too strenuous.
More information on these walks and others on offer in the park can be found here.
There are quite a few accommodation options in and around Cradle Mountain. We really lucked out when we booked a lodge at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village, located a short 10 minute drive from the park. Our cabin was fully self-contained so if you stay here for more than one night make sure to bring your own food. This will save you money because while the food prepared by their onsite restaurant was to die for, it was crazy expensive.
Unfortunately we were only able to stay for one night at Cradle Mountain, and I wished that I’d been able to stay longer. If visiting Cradle Mountain isn’t on your list, add it NOW. It is a beautiful and calming location and I hope to go back one day.
What is your favourite national park to visit? Let me know below!