Did you know ? Tasmania is as big as England for only 500 000 inhabitants. In Launceston (north) we drink the James Boags only In Hobart (south) we drink Cascade only !
Cradle Mountain is 2h30 drive from Strahan. It is one of the most visited national park of the Island and it rains 250 days a year. Even in December during summer Time, you can have 25 degrees one day and snow the next day. Here the nature is stunning. Mountains are covered by bush and « Button Grass ». That’s the tannin of this plant which gives the Brown color to the lakes but the water is Still 100% drinkable.
2 main hotels where you can stay. Both of them are located at 30 mins drive maxi from where the tracks start. Cradle mountain hotel is a standard type of accommodation.
Big lobby, big public areas, big restaurant which looks like a school canteen, not very cozy then. However, it is important to point out that food is really good ! You can easily see that it is the place where big coaches and groups stop. The hotel has also a big art gallery interesting to visit.The plan for the hotel is refurbish public areas with new furniture and they need it. However, happily surprised by the rooms. They are all spacious, clean with not too much old fashion touch.30 standard, 15 king (with a little lounge area) and 15 Deluxe (the mid range category). Surrounded by a beautiful nature, at night, you Will see many wallabies and wombats from your room and this is quite magic. Treat yourself with a massage before dinner. The Spa of the hotel is actually pretty cute. (120 aud for 60 mins).
Cradle mountain visitor center is located between cradle mountain hotel and cradle mountain Lodge. 10 mins drive from both hotels. The visitor center deserves a stop. You can still buy hiking gear, maps and all the different walks of cradle mountain are really well explained. You can easily spend 1 hour to read all the information. You can self drive to cradle mountain national park but there is a limited number of car spots. Better to go there early in the day, If the car park is full (the Rangers will let you know) then you have to park in a bigger car park located outside the national park and use the free shuttle.
Cradle Mountain offers different walks: 2 or 3 hours easy walks, half day or full day walks. You can also climb up the summit (full day walk). This is also where the 7 day walk (overland track) starts. Be really aware that some of the walks require very good physical conditions and always check the weather forecast before heading of.
I did the lazy one: Dove lake track at the bottom of the mountain around the lake.
1h30 if you walk fast.
2 hours if you walk relax
2h30 If you walk relax with photo stops
The scenery is just beautiful.
Cradle Mountain lodge is the other place where I suggest to stop over. The lodge public areas are really nice. Mountain chalet atmosphere, fireplaces to warm the premises. Pictures from the old times on the walls. Few lounge areas with big leather sofas and clubs. 2 bars. A nice restaurant with a huge fire place.
However, being in the middle of nowhere, I found food and wine over prized. Even in the little souvenir shop, you may find nice things but really expensive though. The spa is absolutely superb with very well appointed treatments rooms above a little river. The cellar is amazing too. This is where the lodge organizes wine and cheese tasting. The cabins ? Some of them are located in a pretty long walk from the reception and no little buggies to take you there. You have to walk and sometimes under a heavy rain! As you can guess, no room service available. Well, I found the cabins a bit disappointing compare to the public areas. The spa rooms which are the mid range category are actually very average. Clean and space but no particular charm. There’s something missing. 86 cabins all together. The King Billy suite which is the highest category is nice but once again certainly over prized for what it is and still, no room service available and the mini bar is poor and expensive. Spa suites are ok. Surprisingly, the pencil cabins (the leading category) are for me the best ones. Well appointed, cozy and charming. They don’t have any balcony and they are gas heated (no fire place) but who cares ?! Cradle Mountain Lodge is certainly the best place where to stay at Cradle Mountain but don’t have too many high expectations compare to the price you paid. That though the price to pay in those remote part of the world. The lodge is however surrounded by a beautiful unspoiled nature. Between you cabin and the reception, plenty of wallabies and wombats which makes the place also very special.