If you like the outdoors, photography and hiking then no visit to Tasmania is complete without spending time in Cradle Mountain. What a fantastic part of Tasmania this is!! Beautiful fresh air, rugged landscapes, a range of hiking tracks and a wealth of photographic opportunities make Cradle Mountain an absolute must do.
Having spent just a full day hiking around and to the summit of Cradle Mountain I must say I am absolutely spellbound by its grandeur. On my recent visit early May 2011 one thing was clear; the sky!! Oh what beautiful blue sky and such clean, fresh air. Though suddenly this can change, and it did, one minute it was clear the next it was difficult to see the beautiful scenery. Then a few minutes later it was clear again. So clutching my camera, I waited on a number of occasions for the cloud cover to break for that spectacular view and photo opportunity.
Spending time to hike past Lake Lilla and the Wombat Pool and onwards an upwards towards Marions Lookout from my starting point of the Dove Lake car park where I signed in at the Dove Lake Registration Cabin; make no mistake this trek can be dangerous, especially the final stages of the assault to the summit. Make sure you register, take heaps of fluids, a range of clothes to keep warm and dry. It can get pretty cold up there!!
Anyway enough of the boring stuff. Having spent some time taking photographs at Marions Lookout and topping up on some much needed food stores by way of some ginormous sandwiches I made at the crack of dawn in the cabin it was onto the much photographed ‘Kitchen Hut’ along the Overland Track.
So far the walk had been a mix of strenuous parts and more leisurely parts, one section even involving an unexpected plank timber boardwalk, which must have been a time consuming venture for a team of conscientious, naughty or crazy people to build. Having reached Kitchen Hut it was time to lighten that small daypack a bit more before commencing the main ascent to the summit of Cradle Mountain (I mean I ate more food and drank more fluids not littered !!).
This next part of the ascent requires a reasonable amount of fitness, I noted a number of people not managing to complete this part due to either a fear of heights, tiredness or lack of physical strength. So don’t worry if you cannot make it to the top, we can’t all be heroes, can we?
Not having a great head for heights was my biggest concern, and navigating the ascent by following the occasional metal pole that which is our sole navigational device. A word of warning, don’t wear your best party trousers as either on the ascent or descent you will need to use your behind as a sliding device. Also you will need to stretch your legs to reach from one massive rock to another!!
The final leg gets really step in places and for many parts cameras are best placed in the now part empty daypack so you can use both hands for what basically becomes a scramble or even a climb to the summit.
At the top prepare for spectacular views, a time to take breather and the realisation that you have to get back down and have a fairly long walk ahead of you!! Some say it’s easier getting back down, others say it is easier getting up. Personally I think going up was easier, as it didn’t give me any knee pain and I didn’t have to look down, lol.
I opted to take part of the Face Track on my return journey descending through some areas of the track that were extremely well vegetated, shall we say. Passing as close as ever to Lake Wilks, in parts couldn’t see much but foliage, not sure if we took a wrong turn or this was correct, needless to say we headed in a downwards direction and eventually joined the Dove Lake Circuit, passing Honeymoon Islands and Glacier rock to get me back to the original starting point of Dove Lake car park.
This was a fantastic, close on six hour, fairly fast paced very rewarding hike along some various forms of terrain with a great deal of photographs taken, including photos with blue sky, some with cloud, foliage, a hut, some much needed chain for parts of the ascent and a variety of rocks, mountains, lakes and don’t forget those metal posts during the final ascent and descent.
Enjoy your time at Cradle Mountain.
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Posted By mick
Updated : 9th October 2022 | Words : 773 | Views : 13279