Hiking in Cradle Mountain & where to stay, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, a hikers heaven! Tasmania is home to many beautiful hiking spots, but nothing beats the incredible Cradle Mountain. We spent only two short days hiking in Cradle Mountain and wished we had more time.
There are numerous hikes you can do while you’re in Cradle Mountain, but because we had some time restraints we could only do a few. It is important to make sure you pack the right gear for Tassie and your hikes. Click here for our ultimate packing guide for Tasmania.
We chose to hike to Marions Lookout as it was a hike we could easily do in one day. We love hiking but aren’t professionals and this one suited our ability. The hike is a 3-hour return journey (but allow for extra time as no doubt you’ll want to take some photos!!)
Where to start your hike to Marions Lookout
The start of Marions Lookout hike is at the Dove Lake car park. It is a good idea to register your hike in the day walk booth which is located at the shuttle shelter at the car park.
Before you set out for your hike, you should make use of the public toilets here because they will be the last ones you see until you return to the car park at the end of the day!
We chose to walk up via Wombat Pool which is the most scenic route.
The hike is rated as a moderate walk and does at times have some steep climbs. Although, provided you have the right shoes on, you’ll get through it.
What to expect from the hiking in Cradle Mountain
The walk includes rocky dirt paths, boardwalks, stairs and in some spots chains have been set up to help hikers throughout the most difficult parts.
From the moment you leave the car park until the moment you get back, you don’t get sick of the incredible views. You will have plenty of opportunities to take a breather and enjoy the views.
As you head down towards Lake Lilla and continue on to Wombat Pool you notice this part of the walk is pretty easy.
From there it is up onto the ridge. You will notice here that the luscious trees start to disappear and you will see plenty of shrub and meadows instead.
This would probably be nearly one of the most spectacular views at this point… it is just amazing (and probably because we needed a bit of a breather before we tackled the next bit).
The tough bit that comes next is probably the hardest. Here you will have to climb up a steep rocky section which has chains set up so you have something to hold on to.
Just take your time and you will be fine. Trust me – the view is worth it when you get to the top! You overlook the other side of Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain!
After you’ve enjoyed the view and had a bit of a rest, you have two options of getting back down… The same way you came up, or you can walk straight down to Dove Lake. We chose this option so we could see something different. The path is rougher and extremely steep. Between Jenna and I we both slipped a little, so had to slow it down.
But, if you plan on hiking around Dove Lake, you may as well head down this way! See the bottom of this post for some more photos from Marions Lookout.
Dove Lake Circuit
This circuit is around 6km and is a fairly easy walk but will take you around 2 hours to complete.
The views are amazing, although it is hard to get a bad view in Cradle Mountain! We were lucky with the weather so the lake was basically a mirror for the mountains – so pretty!
We chose to do this walk after Marions Lookout as we can down the steep side of the mountain and joined up with the Dove Lake Circuit.
We stayed at the Cradle Mountain Lodge and from the hotel, you can do a serious of short walks which are perfect for families. The Enchanted Walk was no exception.
It’s only a 20-minute circuit and has sections dedicated to the kids which makes it a little more fun for them.
King Billy Track
This track is pretty awesome. It features several King Billy pines as well as one seriously old large King Billy pine.
This walk is only a 30-minute track and again, perfect for kids!
Pencil Pine Falls & Rainforest Walk
If you’re looking for a super quick and easy one, or if the kids aren’t behaving then this one is perfect as it only takes around 10 minutes! This particular walk is wheelchair and pram friendly as well.
Click here for Tasmanian Parks brochure and details information on each of the hikes in Cradle Mountain.
Remember, the weather in Tasmania can change hourly. One hour it is sunny, the next it’s rainy, windy or even snowing. You need to be prepared. Click here for our ultimate packing guide for Tasmania.
Where to stay in Cradle Mountain
When it comes to booking accommodation in Cradle Mountain, you have relatively few choices that are in the most ideal location for the above hikes. We chose to spend our few nights at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge.
We stayed in a spa suite and were not disappointed!
The lodge was warm and cosy and the fireplace all ready and set up for us to light. It was absolutely freezing when we arrived and it had snowed a few days prior to us arriving so we were grateful for the fire and heaters!
Biscuits were provided as well as port – complimentary. It was a nice touch. It was nice to wake up to see a local on our porch!
Parking is located directly out the front of your cabin which is really convenient as the grounds are quite large, you could either walk down or drive down the reception area and restaurant. If you walk, you won’t be disappointed, you will come across these guys quite a bit. I wonder what he is thinking as he watches me (the human) jump up!
The bar area was also lovely, plenty of local wines on offer as well if you need something after your hike!
Speaking of the restaurant… it was simply amazing! We ate the buffet breakfast each morning and weren’t disappointed. The quality and variety of the food was fantastic, eggs could be made to your liking and coffee available. We then ate dinner at the restaurant and was not disappointed.
Where else to eat in Cradle Mountain
We also ate dinner at Cradle Mountain Hotel at the Altitude Restaurant. The drive getting up the hotel is lovely. We even saw a kangaroo and her joey!
Also, the view from the restaurant is pretty nice…
We couldn’t fault the service and the menu had plenty of options. We went for the Taste of Tasmania Hot Rocks Experience which is where you cook the meat yourself on a hot stone. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but of course, Jenna overcooked her beef!
The experience was lovely, and the quality of the food was delicious, but next time we’ll probably order something that the chef can cook for us!
To see their current menu, click here.
We would definitely recommend the Devils@Cradle tour one evening you’re there. It was a really great way to get to learn more about these amazing creatures. Click here to read our full post and video.
Hiring a car in Tasmania
You really do need a car to get around Tassie. Click here to read who we went through and what sort of car you will need!
Visiting other parts of Tasmania?
For more posts on the amazing Tasmania, click here.
Do you have travel insurance?
Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.
If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.
Here are some more photos of Marions Lookout hike.
“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” — Peter Hoeg