Tasmanian adventures #2 – Cradle Mountain

The original idea of travelling to Tasmania was to hike the Overland Track, one the nicest week-long trek in the world. We had to postpone that as we didn’t have much time and wanted to see more of Tasmania, but we did spend a few days hiking up and down around there:

Cradle Mountain, from Dove lake

This part of Tasmania regularly gets covered by snow in the wintertime and the surrounding summits are usually comfortably snuggled in layers of clouds. But 52 days a year, the sky clears up totally allowing you to get a full view around the park. Randomly enough, that happened when we were there. Make sure to get maps from the Ranger Station, they’re cheap and very good.

map

Listed trails around Cradle Mountain

Living the campsite, we followed Lake Rodway up and around Little Horn to meet the Overland Track that we left straight away to hike up Cradle Mountain summit. It’s a really nice hike with diverse landscapes and varied trails.

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Root trail

There are some huts along the way that serve as emergency shelters. If you are hiking with all you gear you can leave them there while you do the summit hike. They often have (amazingly clean) pit toilets and some of them have huge (rain) water tanks, don’t forget to refill your bottles, it will be needed.

The Kitchen hut, by the junction of the Overland track and the Cradle Mountain summit.

The first part of the trail up the summit is quite pleasant, an easy trail going more and more uphill.

Almost there!

The trail disappear for the last bit (an long hour or so). Then it is basically hopping from one stone to anotheron the dolerite narrow ridge which is fun at the beginning but gets a bit tiring after a while. The closer the summit the more it becomes scrambling on boulders with some rock climbing parts. If you have vertigo you’re likely to have given up at this point. It was challenging but definitely worth it, as always:

Summit view towards the Barn Bluff

Summit view from Cradle Mountain, 1545m.

Going back to the campsite is mostly downhill, which doesn’t mean easier. The heat made the hike more difficult than expected on my side as I really don’t like hiking when it’s 25°-30°. The sun in that part of the world is different from Europe and I get sunburn even faster here, or so it seems.

Going around the mountain, that vegetation!

We follow the overland track south, which is a nice walk with stunning vistas of the side of Cradle Mountain with an ever-changing vegetation. The sun is setting while we’re walking down the other side of the mountain back to lake Rodway:

Sunset over birch trees

Back to the tent, a group of French people desperately try to connect with an Australian lady, as far as their English can go, that is to say not very far and understanding both sides of their conversations makes the whole scene pretty pathetic but anyway, I fall asleep quickly enough.

The next day, the temperature reaches 30° and above, so we decide to wait for the late afternoon to go for a sunset hike. It’s one of my favourite part of hiking, being able to read or write or do nothing in the middle of nowhere with no one around.

Last sunset in Cradle Mountain national park

We decide to leave the morning after for new adventures.

 

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