Cradle Mountain is one of the top tourist destinations in Tasmania, attracting many visitors to the mountain and the national park which surrounds it. As well as enjoying the views of the impressive Cradle Mountain, you can hike the famous Overland Track, enjoy the lakes, and the plentiful flora and fauna.
About Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
As the name suggests, the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is really two parks in one – Cradle Mountain making up the northern part of the park and Lake St Clair the southern.
The national park was established in 1922, due mainly to the efforts of Kate and Gustav Weindorfer who had visited Cradle Mountain and loved the natural scenic beauty here. They purchased some land in 1910 and built a house and guest chalet here in 1912, calling it Waldheim (meaning Forest Home). Realising how important the area was they, and acquaintances, campaigned to have it made into a protected area.
In 1935 the first permanent ranger was appointed for Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. He bought the land and buildings back from the Weindorfer’s and continued to develop the chalet. In the following years hiking trails, including the famous Overland Track were established, roads added to improve access and more.
In 1971, the park was declared a State Reserve and in 1982 it became part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The Visitor Centre and Accommodation in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre
Start your visit to the park in the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre which is just inside the park entrance. You can find out lots of useful information on the park before venturing in too far, including maps, information on walks, displays, an art gallery, videos and more.
If you’re planning to hike along the Overland Track (more info later) you will need to check in at the visitor centre if between the months of November and April as you need to get a pass for both the track and the national park.
Inside the visitor centre you will also find the park shop. You can buy some excellent pictures of famous scenes within the park from here. If you forgot to bring all your gear for walking and camping you’ll be able to buy some useful items here as well as clothing and other bushwalking gear.
Accommodation in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
To really make the most of the park and enjoy it to its full potential you can stay within the park boundaries. Although camping is not offered within the park you can stay at the rustic Waldheim Cabins for a true wilderness experience!
There are eight cabins altogether, sleeping between 4 and 8 people. The cabins, although rustic, do have heating and small fridges, but no power outlets for general use. There are bunk beds, a gas stove and basic utensils, crockery and cutlery. You should bring your own bedding and toiletries, and can use one of the two shower blocks which has showers and flushing toilets.
Our next entry will talk about all the great things you can see and do in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
‘Touring Tasmania – Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park’ by Claire Bolgil