Cradle Mountain is located in the North-West part of Tasmania, in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The world famous walking tour leading up to Cradle Mountain is known as the Overland Track, and is one of the most popular choices for hikers. It’s the prettiest and most visited national park in Tasmania. The Cradle Mountain Summit hiking track is definitely not for inexperienced hikers and requires you to have quite a high fitness level. It is graded as 5/5 for difficulty, but if you do achieve it, the breathtaking scenery is absolutely worth every step. If you decide to explore Cradle Mountain, here are some useful tips that will help you survive.
As I mentioned, Cradle Mountain walks are not an easy task and you should do all the necessary preparation before setting off. First of all, be sure to check the weather expectations a day before your planned hike, the Park Rangers will give you the most accurate information. If rain is forecast, I would definitely not recommend starting your hike as around 50% of the hiking route involves boulder climbing, and on a rainy or icy day, they can become very slippery.
Do not over pack, it will make your walk harder than it needs to be. Wear layered clothes in case you get cold or too hot, so you can easily add or remove a layer. Comfortable footwear will be your best friend on this trip, so think twice when choosing! This is a dangerous and slippery trail and proper hiking boots are a must!
Prepare quick snacks in zip lock bags which you can easily grab at rest stops. You should also eat regularly during the day if you want to survive until the end of this hike. I recommend you have a big healthy breakfast on the morning of your hike. Also, take great care that you have plenty of water with you at all times, you don’t want to be dehydrated.
To get to the base of Cradle Mountain, I recommend following the famous Overland Track across the Cradle plateau all the way up to the Kitchen Hut. This is the easiest way because it is flat. If you are lucky you might even spot a Wombat on your Walk, or a Platypus on the Cradle plateau.
After you pass the Kitchen Hut you are right where you need to be to begin the summit. The track is marked well, but what makes this hike one of the hardest is climbing across many, many boulders; you need to have strength in your upper body to pull yourself up over the boulders. If you are scared of heights, don’t even consider going on this hike! When climbing, you may get that scary feeling that one little slip and you could fall down...I don’t need to finish this sentence, you all know how things would end!
From the moment you start your hike up Cradle Mountain at Dove Lake car park, you will be amazed by the stunning views surrounding you, and the cutest wildlife. Hiking this summit is pretty exciting and once you reach Marion’s Lookout, you will have to take a moment to soak it all in. Take a break to recover and enjoy the beautiful views of the Crater Lake, Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain. They will astonish you. These images will not fade from your memory. If you plan your hike on a nice sunny day and avoid the fog, these amazing sights can be enjoyed even more.
Once you reach the top after hours of walking and climbing, you won’t think about how tired you are (or that you are lucky to make it alive to this point), because the view will amaze you. You will definitely feel it was worth the effort. Take your time to relax and enjoy the most stunning scenery. Grab something to eat, have a drink and regain your strength because the hike isn’t over yet. You need to get down as well.
It would be a waste if you go down the same way you climbed up, and miss all the gorgeous scenery Face Track has to offer. Face track will take you around the edge of the mountain towards Hanson’s Peak with wonderful views over Dove Lake and Little Horn.
Once you arrive at Hanson’s Peak base, you can walk towards Twisted Lakes, where you will be rewarded with lovely views over the mountain. This track isn’t as well-marked as others, so be careful not to get lost. When you are back at Dove Lake’s car park you will probably be exhausted, but all the heavenly views you have seen will provide you with wonderful memories.
Hiking Tasmania's Beautiful Cradle Mountain Track is the most amazing experience, and one you will talk about for the rest of your life. You will never forget the scenery this hiking trail has to offer. The wonderful nature will leave you breathless, but the climb to the top of Cradle Mountain is an amazing achievement, one you will be proud of for years to come. Take into consideration that you really need to be physically prepared for this hike, and the weather in Tasmania can be brutal and very unpredictable. As long as you plan for this hike carefully, you will have wonderful memories to cherish.
Victoria Lim is a wannabe blogger who loves to write about travel tips and tricks. She likes to binge-watch Netflix series (she's currently obsessed with “Lost in Space“), and drink lots of green tea. She travels with her dog named Pretty, and a big bag of gummy bears. Victoria finds traveling very calming and beneficial for mind and for body. Psychology is also a topic she likes to explore. Victoria is a regular contributor on several blogs, such as Psychreg, Hospitality and many more. Follow her on Twitter.
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