Cradle Mountain is located in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania's northwest, Australia's southernmost state. It is a pleasant two-and-a-half hour drive from Launceston and is Tasmania's most famous national park. It is also one of Australia's most beautiful national parks.
You can get the park pass for $24 for a day or $60 for an 8-week holiday pass. We got a day pass at Freycinet but were able to upgrade to the eight week pass at Mt Fields National Park by paying the difference when we showed the original receipt. This pass gives you access to all parks and a complimentary shuttle into Dove Lake from the visitor center as well. The shuttle departs every 10-15 minutes, and the last shuttle back to the visitor center from Dove Lake is at five 30 pm.
There is parking available right at Dove Lake itself, further in from the visitor center but you don't know if there are any spaces left until you get in, so recommend the shuttle. We started the Dove Lake circuit at about 1 pm. And took about 1 and 1/2 hours in a clockwise direction to get to the start of Marion's Lookout, which took another 45 minutes up.
A very steep climb, a basic level of fitness required. Some scrambling involved but there are metal chains higher up to help. View at the top was worth it! The Dove Lake circuit itself is very mild and smooth, occasional moderately steep slopes but very easy to do. Saw people of all ages and fitness levels doing it. For those who want a bit of a challenge, add Marion's lookout to your trek! Took another 45 minutes to an hour to get down from Marion's lookout, and then another half an hour back to the carpark from there. We then took the shuttle back at about 5 pm. If doing both circuits, give yourselves a good 4-5 hours to have a comfortable, no rush walk/hike with time at the top of Marion's lookout to relax/take photos as well.
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