6 Mar 2020
Discovery Directory: Things to See, Eat & Do in Cradle Mountain
With its majestic stone fireplaces and log cabins on the edge of a world-heritage listed national park, Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain is the perfect base camp for all the epic outdoor adventures this region has to offer. Balance all the adventurous activity with some lighter options: indulge in a spa treatment (or two!), feast on a gourmet dinner, or star-gaze into Tassie’s pristine sky.
Experience the best Cradle Mountain and its surrounds has to offer and a stay at Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain is a very comfortable way to See, Eat & Do it all. _________________________________________________________________________________
Take the shuttle bus from the Dove Lake Visitor Centre to see Cradle Mountain reflected in the beautiful Dove Lake. Visit in winter and take the popular 2-hour Dove Lake Circuit walk beneath the snow-topped Cradle Mountain. The area is spectacularly gorgeous in snow, rain and shine but, best at sunrise. Take the long walks, or the short if you prefer, either way you’ll be richly rewarded.
If you want a sense of scale and an understanding of the rich natural history of the area, you can’t go past the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery. An immersive 12-room gallery on the fringe of the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which features exhibitions, a kid’s room, displays, film and large art installations, and an extensive gift shop.
You might have heard of Tassie’s famous Devils but the Eastern and Spotted Quolls are also carnivorous marsupials worth knowing – their acquaintance is probably best made in the safety of the Devils@Cradle Conservation Sanctuary.
Just as cute, but much less feisty, are the penguins at Bicheno on the east coast, where the Bicheno Fairy Penguin Night Tours let you watch the little guys emerge from the ocean and head to their rookery after a hard night’s fishing.
Hellyer’s Restaurant in Cradle Mountain has a selection of small plates designed to share with family or friends to showcase the region’s famed produce. Altitude Restaurant and Bar also features the best of Tassie fresh flavours but has a kids’ menu (including nuggets and chips and pasta) to keep the little people happy. Or there’s the Highland Restaurant at Cradle Mountain Lodge with everything from burgers to a mountain buffet, while the lodge also offers the Tavern Bar and Bistro with a roaring log fire and cosy rustic feel.
Drive to Mole Creek for the gorgeous Marakoopa Café which crafts an ever-changing menu from fresh seasonal produce, ranging from their famous kransky hotdogs to homemade soups and salads to handmade brownies and locally made gelato. It’s a hive of activity on Open Garden days with live music and movie screenings.
The Cradle-to-Coast-Tasting Trail (from Cradle Mountain right along the north west coast) is also a must-do activity get a sense of the incredible world-class food and produce Tasmania is famous for.
Walking at a leisurely pace taking in the grandness of the wilderness is a great TAS experience and will definitely fill your camera roll with some of the most envious and surreal landscapes.
With its moss-carpeted forest floor, soaring rainforest canopies, waterfalls and wombats, the Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls walk has the air of an enchanted forest. It’s fabulous bang for buck – especially as it is free! Let’s face it – we’re not all Burke and Wills expedition walkers so it is wonderful to have a world-class nature experience with a 20-minute stroll, with a boardwalk track, viewing platform and even a seat where you can practice a moment of mindfulness in the rainforest tranquillity.
Lake St Clair National Park at Cradle Mountain is a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area – which spans over 1 million hectares. It’s one of the world’s last remaining stretches of temperate rainforest and people come to marvel at the ancient treasures formed by glaciers and ice. There are short walks and epic hikes such as the 65km, 6-day trek along Overland Track, through tree-canopies, moss carpeted forests and waterfalls, ending a Lake St Clair. These walking trails are well-served by shuttlebuses, boardwalks and lookouts.
For the adrenaline junkie, from November to April, take a Canyon Tour in St Claire National Park and ride nature’s waterslides down waterfalls, abseil down cliffs with experienced guides – there’s no experience necessary, just an adventurous soul. Kids as young as eight can have a taste of canyoning in the Lost World Canyon, while action lovers can tackle the jumps and slides of Dove Canyon. Explore the mountain or the Mersey Valley with a leisurely horse-back trail or quad bike adventure or take a guided walk to Marion’s Lookout on the edge of a glacier-carved plateau.
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With the wilderness on the doorstep of your cabin or caravan, you’ll instantly feel relaxed in this remote location. Stay at home in the park by the fire with a book while the kids throw snowballs at Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain.
Book your own family chalet with a Standard Cottage that sleeps 4 people. Just like a cosy cabin in the woods, you’ll feel completely relaxed in this authentic wilderness setting with cosy lounge completed with gas log heater, full kitchen and ensuite bathroom.
The temperatures can drop into minus degrees during a winter’s night in this alpine region so perhaps leave pitching a tent on an unpowered site to a summer getaway between December and February and bring your caravan/motorhome to park on a powered site for the other month’s of the year.__________________________________________________________________________________
Experience Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain for yourself.
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