Geology of Cradle Mountain Tasmania
Glaciers that covered the area during the last ice age, left behind a
range of glacial formations – U-shaped valleys,
moraine deposits, tarns and glacial lakes. Most of Tasmanian mountain
tops have a distinctive columnar appearance – about 40% of Tasmania is
covered by dolerite,
also called bluestone or diabase – a rock not found on
the Australian mainland. It is an igneous rock that formed
about 170 million years ago when the Gondwana
continent began to break up. Weaknesses
in the earth’s crust let magma to intrude into sub-surface cracks,
it cooled and turned into dolerite rock. Erosion removed
the sedimentary rocks covering it, and today we can see the vertical
columns of dolerite on the mountain tops.
Du Cane Range. Poster by AllPosters.
Animals of Cradle Mountain Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair is known for about 20 species of mammals.
There are Bennet’s wallabies,
eastern quolls, common brushtail possums,
possums, eastern pygmy possums, Tasmanian
devils and common wombats.
Wallaby. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
Short Bushwalks around Cradle Mountain Tasmania
Cradle Mountain itself, in the northern end of the national park, is
popular part of the park and there are many walking tracks around the Dove
Lake and Cradle
Mountain. Short walks include Pencil
Pine and Knyvet Falls, (20 min return), Enchanted Nature Walk (20 min
return), Weindorfers Forest Walk (20 min return), Dove Lake Circuit (2
hrs return), Crater Falls, Crater Lake and Wombat Pool (2-3 hrs
return). Day walks include Cradle Mountain Summit (6-8 hrs return),
and Artists Pool and Lake Rodway (6-8 hrs return).
Dolerite. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
Long Bushwalk - the Overland Track
But the most popular walk in the park (and in Tasmania) is the Overland
Track, an 80km bushwalk that takes about six days. You
have to carry all your supplies including food, and a tent in case the
free camping huts along the track
Overland Track. Poster by AllPosters.
Barn Bluff and Lake Will Cradle Mountain Tasmania
The Overland Track
starts at Ronny Creek (many walkers also
start at Dove Lake), about 5km from the visitor centre. You’ll first
walk high up on the Cradle Plateau, where there is a side trip to Barn
Bluff on your right hand side, and another one to Lake
Will, which passes some 19th-century mining works on the
way to the lake.
Winter. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
Waterfall Valley to Frog Flats
Then the track descends to Waterfall Valley,
where there is the first free camping hut, and a second one, Windermere
Hut, further downhill. The following day’s walk will go
further downhill to Frog Flats, a deep
valley after which there is an uphill climb to Pelion
Mountain peaks. Poster by AllPosters.
Mount Ossa - Cradle Mountain Tasmania
You can camp at the new Pelion Hut nearby, and the next day there are
two excellent side tracks - Mount Ossa,
and the Mount Pelion East. Mount Ossa is
Tasmania’s highest peak, and the most popular side track from the
Overland Track. It is not far, but if you want to climb up to the top,
allow 3-4 hours as the climb is
Lake views. Poster by AllPosters.
Kia Ora to Lake St Clair
Back on the main track, the walk goes downhill to Kia Ora Hut. The
following day’s walk is pretty flat, it goes around the mountain range
of Windy Ridge, where there is another
free camping hut. Further south (the track is now flat for the rest of
the walk) is the turnoff to Pine Valley,
where there is a hut. The next hut south is at
Narcissus in the northern end of Lake St Clair, where there are two
tracks to Lake Marion and Gould
Plateau, and the final day you walk around Mount
Olympus to the Lake St Clair Park Centre
in the southern end of the lake.
Lake St Clair. Poster by AllPosters.
Short Walks around Lake St Clair
If you are not doing the Overland Track and only visit Lake
St Clair, which is easily accessible from Derwent Bridge
in the south, there are some walks around Lake St Clair too. Short
include Watersmeet (1 hr return), Platypus Bay (1 hr return) and
Larmairremener Tabelti Aboriginal
cultural walk (1 hr
return). Longer walks are Lake Circuit (4-5 hrs return), Lakeside
Track (4-6 hrs one way) and Mt Rufus (5-7 hrs return).
Cradle Mountain Tasmania.
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to
Accommodation in Cradle Mountain Tasmania
Accommodation includes AAA Granary
Accommodation, Cosy Cabins Hotel,
Cradle Chalet Botique
Luxury Lodge, Cradle Mountain
Chateau Lodge and Cabins, Cradle Mountain Lodge
Sheffield, Cradle Mountain
Wilderness Village, Doherty's Hotel,
and Voyages Lodge
in Cradle Mountain; and Derwent Bridge Chalets
Hotel and Wilderness Lodge Hotel
in Lake st Clair.
Lake St Clair.
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to
Weather in Cradle Mountain Tasmania
Tasmania is not spoilt by sunny hot weather and the Overlander Track
passes through an area with a lot of rainfall (2800mm) even by
Tasmanian standards, so be prepared for some rain along the track. The
views can disappear in mist for a while, but rains are known to pass
quickly and leave clear skies behind again.
Winter. Poster by AllPosters.
Click on thumbnail
Map of Cradle Mountain Tasmania
Here's a map of Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, where I
have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You can click
on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on
the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move
around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth,
click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.
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