Visit Cradle Mountain with Cradle Coast Tours, Tasmania, Australia
Cradle Mountain is one of my favourite places on the planet to spend time at! There are various walks and hikes to be undertaken, the freshest air on the planet to inhale, the natural beauty to experience and the awe of nature to absorb.
At 1.58 million hectares, almost a quarter of Tasmania, this site is one of the largest World Heritage Areas on Earth.
As you approach the visitor centre there are 7 standing Jurassic dolomite pillars that represent the 7 World Heritage Area criteria that Cradle Mountain meets.
"To become a World Heritage Area, a site must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one of ten criteria. The Tasmanian Wilderness meets a remarkable seven criteria - four for its natural values and three for its cultural values - equal highest in the world." from a sign at Cradle Mountain. (The only other 7/10 scorer is Mt Taishan in China)
This day, my visit was on a tour with Cradle Coast Tours, hosted by Howard Smith. It was an enjoyable way to experience the day. Instead of driving myself and concentrating on the road, I could let Howard do the driving. It was lovely to be able to look out the window and watch the scenery changing as we drove along. Chatting with the other 5 tourists on the mini bus was also enjoyable. We drove through several small towns and had a morning tea stop in Sheffield. Howard kept us entertained with stories and tales of the areas we passed through.
Even before we reached the Cradle Mountain area we were begging Howard to stop so that photos could be taken of the beautiful serene environment.
What is the best time to visit this area? Anytime, according to the poster at the visitors centre.
My visit this time was on a cold 2 degree celcius winter day. Everyone was all rugged up, beanies, coats and gloves donned. The day had its beauty, even though it was chilly. The air was so fresh and clean. The misty, cloud kissed mountains were still beautiful above Dove Lake.
The grounds were tundra like, marshy and wet. Boardwalks and paths allowed visitors to experience the walks without damaging the environment.
We passed by flowing streams that has swelled due to recent winter rains. I love the sound of the water as it meanders its way along.
3 of Tasmania's 60 great short walks are here. This day our group walked to Dove Lake, the most photographed spot in Tasmania. With the boatshed and the lake in the foreground and the mountains in the background, it is a truly amazingly beautiful view.
Our tour group posed for the almost obligatory picture. I stand out with my hand knitted yellow beanie.
After the walk to the lake, our group visited Peppers resort nearby for a well deserved lunch break. A roaring fire kept us toasty warm on the outside and a lunch of delicious pizza kept me warm on the inside. The setting at Peppers is relaxing and left me wishing I was staying the night, sitting by the open log fire.
After lunch we visited the short Enchanted walk nearby and were delighted to spy a small waterfall. You can hear the tinkling water as you approach.
Then it was back on the mini bus for our journey home. Again, I was glad that I wasn't doing the driving. It meant I could relax and relish the sights along the road. Howard dropped everyone off at their doors. Such excellent service!
Cradle Mountain is certainly a glorious site to visit at any time of year, and one that I will be back to again and again.
www.cradlecoasttours.com.au (mention the code MST and receive a 15% discount)
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