Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is located in the Central Highlands of Tasmania, the island state of Australia.

Twisted Lakes, Cradle Mountain – Lake Saint Clair National Park

. . . 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 80 km 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 is a fascinating experience.

Always keep to formed tracks.

Padmelons, Bennett’s wallabies, wombats and possums are some of the animals you will meet in this park. Watch out for the Currawongs (they look like ravens), who have learnt to unzip packs. Even if they can’t get to your food, they can peck holes in things through your pack.

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 patrol 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.

Be ready for freak weather – including snow in the summer.

Either drive yourself or find a bus.

Cradle Mountain:

  • 1hr 15min from Devonport
  • 1hr 30min from Burnie
  • 2hr 30min from Launceston
  • 4hr 30min from Hobart

Lake St Clair:

  • 3hr 15min from Devonport
  • 3hr 15min from Burnie
  • 2hr 30min from Launceston
  • 2hr 30min from Hobart

The Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and all accommodation (except Waldheim) are a few kilometres outside the park. If you pay for a vehicle pass you can drive to Ronny Creek and Dove Lake inside the park. With a vehicle pass you cannot use the shuttle bus service. Alternatively, you can get a single person pass which entitles you to use the shuttle bus service. If you bought your own vehicle you can drive between the Visitor Centre and your accommodation (excluding Waldheim) and when you are actually going into the national park, park your vehicle at the Visitor Centre and take the shuttle bus.

  • Daily (up to 24 hours) – If bringing your own vehicle into the park you should have to pay only the $24 for the carload (up to 8 people). If you come on a bus you will have to pay $16.50 per person. You can only use the shuttle bus service if you have an individual pass.
  • Holiday (up to 8 weeks) – If you are staying in the park for a couple of days it will be cheaper to buy a holiday pass. Per vehicle with up to 8 people $60. Per person $30. A holiday pass is valid for every national park in Tasmania so it is well worth paying a little extra.
  • Annual and Two Year passes are also available.

This fee is in addition to the park entry fee.

  • Adults $200
  • Children (17 and under) $160
  • Seniors/Pensioners $160

By foot!

The Cradle Mountain shuttle service runs regularly between the Visitor Centre, Ronny Creek and Dove Lake.

There is a ferry service which operates on Lake St Clair between Narcissus and Cynthia Bay (where the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre is located). The price is $38 per person each way. This service is often used by walkers finishing the Overland Track as an alternative to walking back around the lake. There is a radio at Narcissus Hut connected to the Visitor Centre from which you can inquire about the ferry. Visitors to the Lake St Clair end of the park also take this ferry to Narcissus and then proceed to walk back to Cynthia Bay around the lake. The ferry will stop at Echo Point Hut (an hours walk from Narcissus) if requested. There is a radio located here also.

Scenic helicopter flights are available from a building beside the Visitor Centre. The aircraft in operation is a Robinson 44. Current prices:

  • 2 or 3 adults $245 per person
  • 1 adult $490
  • Children aged 3-11 $150

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. . . Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park . . .

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