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Cradle Mountain – simply stunning

One of Tasmania’s iconic wilderness destinations

A pristine place of peace and beauty

Cradle Mountain is a place of breathtaking beauty. Its dramatic, serrated peaks stand majestically above Dove Lake like a picture postcard that is iconically Tasmania. To reach this acclaimed wilderness destination on a Cradle Mountain tour takes around four and a half hours from Hobart or two hours from Launceston. The nearest main town is Sheffield, 50 minutes away. 

Located in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain is Tasmania’s fifth-highest mountain but by far its most well-known. Visitors come on a Cradle Mountain Day Trip or to stay a little longer to explore the ancient landscape, meet local wildlife, stroll through rainforests and grasslands, past alpine lakes, or hike the challenging 80-kilometre Overland Track.

Discover Cradle Mountain’s pristine beauty

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Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

Treat yourself this Christmas with the awe-inspiring sights and tastes of Tasmania with 11 days discovering Port Arthur Penal Settlement, Tasman Arch, Derwent Valley, Eaglehawk Neck, Bruny Island and more. We celebrate Christmas in Hobart with a long sumptuous lunch and spend New Years Eve in Launceston. You’ll be tempted by heritage, culture, taste sensations and glorious natural scenery whilst also visiting Cradle Mountain, Strahan and Launceston.

Physical rating icon
Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

See the icons of the Apple Isle on this in-depth tour of Tasmania. Fly into Hobart for 2-nights and explore the Port Arthur Historic Site. Enjoy an epic Gordon River Cruise travelling to Strahan and Queenstown. Enjoy a train journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line before arriving into Tullah. Take in all the sights of Wine Glass Bay with an aerial view whilst exploring the Freycinet Peninsula before heading back to Hobart.

Wonderful Cradle Mountain wildlife

Cradle Mountain is home to many interesting creatures. Lovable-looking wombats stroll unassumingly around the grasslands and seem comfortable enough near visitors to pause for a moment for a photo shoot. 

You might spot possums, wallabies, pademelons, poteroos, and echidnas at Cradle Mountain as well as platypus in the cool creeks. The inquisitive, crow-like black currawong, is known locally as the black jay. Endemic to Tasmania, they are closely related to their mainland family of butcherbirds and magpies. Australia’s biggest raptor, the impressive Wedge-tailed eagle can also be seen in the skies around Cradle Mountain.

The most famous animal at Cradle Mountain is the Tasmanian Devil. The world-class conservation and breeding facility, Devils @ Cradle Wildlife Park is a sanctuary for three of Tasmania's unique and threatened carnivorous marsupials. Visitors can take a tour of the facility to meet and learn about the Spotted-tail and Eastern quoll and the fascinating Tasmanian devil.

One of Tasmania’s iconic wilderness destinations
One of Tasmania’s iconic wilderness destinations

A park for the people

The Tasmanian Wilderness covers more than 1.58 million hectares, almost a quarter of the state. It’s always been an important cultural area for the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, who have lived here for over 40,000 years.

In 1906, pioneers, visionaries, and keen botanists Gustav and Kate Weindorfer caught their first glimpse of Cradle Mountain during their honeymoon. They returned four years later and were so moved that Gustav declared “This must be a national park for the people for all time. It is magnificent and people must know about it and enjoy it.” 

They built Waldheim Chalet (Weindorfer Chalet) and welcomed visitors to appreciate the wild beauty of Cradle Mountain. Gustav’s vision was realised in 1922 when 158,000 acres between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair was declared a scenic reserve and wildlife sanctuary. The Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park became a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in 1982.

Frequently asked questions

Why is it named Cradle Mountain?

In 1827, explorer Joseph Fossey called the peaks Cradle Mountain believing they resembled a miner's cradle. 

Who was the first person to climb Cradle Mountain?

Explorer Henry Hellyer became the first European to reach the summit of Cradle Mountain in 1831. Kate Weindorfer climbed to the summit in 1910, becoming the first white woman to do so. 

How long to get to the top of Cradle Mountain?

The Cradle Mountain Summit is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks, though it’s not that short! It’s a 12.8-kilometre, 600-metre grade four hike that takes approximately eight hours return to complete.

What is the closest town to Cradle Mountain?

The closest main town to Cradle Mountain is Sheffield, 50 minutes to the east. The largest city is Devonport, one and a quarter hour north.

Can you swim at Cradle Mountain?

Swimming in one of the many lakes surrounding Cradle Mountain is not for the faint-hearted, at any time of the year. The water is extremely cold, but hikers often take the plunge after a hot and tiring day of walking.

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