“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir
Cradle Mountain is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s located at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and is one of Australia’s most popular destinations. Its landscapes are varied – towering mountains, dense forests, alpine meadows and glacial lakes – and it’s a mecca for anyone who wants to pull on their hiking boots and go for a walk. It’s also the starting point for one of the world’s great treks – the Overland Track (which is still on my bucket list).
Until now, I’ve only had lightning visits to Cradle Mountain, where we stopped for lunch on the edge of Dove Lake. I’ve been very lucky. Every time I’ve visited, even in the dead of winter, the sun has been shining and the sky has been blue. The sight of Cradle Mountain looming over Dove Lake is a sight I’ll never tire of seeing.
Last weekend, after our hike in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park was unexpectedly cut short due to the wild weather, I finally had the opportunity to go hiking at Cradle Mountain. It was the first time in three days we’d seen the sun, so it was perfect for the 6km Dove Lake Circuit – which took us directly underneath the jagged peaks of Cradle Mountain.
It’s an easy walk on a very well-maintained duckboard track and should only take about two hours, even with a family in tow. But we deliberately meandered around the lake – taking lots of breaks to enjoy the view and eat copious amounts of chocolate – so the walk stretched out to three hours. It’s hard to stop looking up to the towering Cradle Mountain, but we also found sandy beaches, clambered up onto Glacier Rock, and lingered in the tranquil Ballroom Forest. Here I stopped to take photos of moss-covered myrtle-beech trees and the tiny waterfalls. It was absolutely gorgeous.
Towards the end of our walk we also saw some wildlife including an echidna and a Bennett’s Wallaby. This is truly a beautiful part of the world and I’m so glad I got to spend a bit more time here on this occasion. Here are some of my photographs from the Dove Lake Circuit hike.