Enjoy Tasmania’s pristine wilderness and diverse forest and mountain ecosystems while hiking around glacial lakes and to snowcapped peaks.
The breathtaking landscape of Tasmania’s Central Highlands is preserved in the vast Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. There are many ways to explore this special environment. Tackle the famous Overland Track, climb the dolerite peaks of Cradle Mountain or enjoy shorter walks to stunning lakes. You’ll pass buttongrass meadows full of wombats and ancient temperate rainforest.
Take a helicopter ride to get a bird’s-eye view of the spectacular Crater Lake, mountains and gorges. See the diverse ecosystem up close during the half-hour Enchanted Nature and Weindorfers Forest trails. Another moderate walk is the 2-hour Dove Lake Circuit through a myrtle beech forest. Take pictures of the wooden 1940s boat shed and rugged mountain peaks mirrored in the blue lake.
Adventure seekers can join a canyoning tour, which includes abseiling down waterfalls and rafting. Between November and April, wilderness lovers from all over the world come to the Cradle Valley to hike the 6-day Overland Track to Lake St. Clair.
You can visit the national park in one day or on a coach tour, but most prefer staying overnight because it is a 5-hour drive from Hobart and a 2-hour drive from Launceston. Enjoy a glass of Tasmanian wine, dine by a wood fire or relax in a spa in one of the many basic cottages and upscale chalets near the park.
Slow your pace upon arrival, because wombats graze near the roads. Buy a vehicle permit from the visitor centre near the entrance or park your car and take a shuttle bus to the trails. The weather can go from perfectly sunny to wet, windy and cold within minutes, so register for all hikes and bring supplies and protective clothing.
The visitor centre, which sells guide books and all-weather gear, has weather updates and flora and fauna displays. Learn more about Australia’s many special creatures, including quolls, echidnas, wombats, platypuses, pademelons and Tasmanian devils. If you didn’t spot a devil in the wild, stop by the nearby sanctuary to see these stocky beasts up close.