This is a bold statement, I know, but I honestly think Cradle Mountain is perhaps the most beautiful place in all of Australia. The stunning scenery, the gorgeous accommodation, the serenity, the animals, the history, the volatile weather. It all works together to present you with the quintessential Tasmanian getaway.
I travelled south for Dark Mofo, a Tasmanian art, music and culture festival, and experienced the weirdest and wildest things you could ever imagine (a nude female caramel fountain, anyone?) But you’ll have to wait for my Wild at Heart post… that’s coming next! For now I present to you… Cradle Mountain.
How to get there
Qantas flies several times a day from Sydney to Launceston, via Melbourne, or directly to Hobart. Once you’ve landed, pick up a hire car. From Launceston the drive time is approx. 2.5 hours, and from Hobart the drive time is approx 4.5 hours. Several hotels also offer coach transfers directly to Cradle Mountain.
Where to stay
Cradle Mountain Hotel
3718 Cradle Mountain Road, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania 7306
Cradle Mountain Hotel is a four-star wilderness hotel set in peaceful bush surrounds. The service was impeccable, food top notch and I loved exploring the gallery, shop and library they had on offer.
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
4038 Cradle Mountain Road, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania 7306
Peppers has a variety of distinctive suites and cabins scattered throughout the woodlands, connected by boardwalks. They also have a delicious restaurant, a great bar and a divine day spa. The entire lodge has a very Twin Peaks-feel about it, which I loved.
What to do
Stopover in Sheffield
If you are driving from Launceston, take the route through Sheffield, located on the north-west coast of Tasmania. Known as the Town of Murals, take some time to explore this quaint area’s art and enjoy a huge slice of fudge at Fudge ‘n’ Good Coffee!
Go on a hike
The weather is volatile in Tasmania, and just as we set off for our hike the clouds came in and rain started to pelt down. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, I am glad I had dressed warmly! There are a variety of hike options available depending on the amount of time you have and your fitness level. I would love to return some time and do the full Cradle Mountain Summit when the weather plays nice!
For the Dark Mofo participants, there just so happened to be a pop-up Ritual Coffee stand at the start of my hike. It temporarily made me forget about the cold.
Explore the paths around your hotel
If the weather is really bad, or your fitness levels aren’t quite up to scratch, both hotels I stayed at had paths and boardwalks surrounding them to explore.
I had no reception on my phone and the hotel wifi was expensive so you know what I did? Relaxed! Go for a stroll around the grounds of your hotel, take a spa (there are indoor and outdoor options with gorgeous views), get a massage or read a book by the fire. It was truly heaven on earth.
Meet the locals
This friendly little guy was hanging out the front of Peppers, hoping for some food.
He is a Pademelon, they are located throughout Tasmania and are best described as a small wallaby. What a cutie!
A wombat we met on our hike!
We also visited the Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary. It was fascinating to learn more about this species including their struggle with Devil Facial Tumour Disease which is threatening to wipe their species out. It was pitch black and they were hard to photograph, so here’s a photo of Wanda the Wombat and I, who we also met at the sanctuary. She had just drunk a lot of milk and was very sleepy and I am sure you can see how excited I was from the size of my grin.
My stay at Cradle Mountain was the perfect balance of relaxation, exercise, nature and food and I am already planning a trip back. It’s my happy place.
Stay tuned for my next post on the amazing Wild at Heart experience I had on Cradle Mountain thanks to Dark Mofo. And yes, I will explain about the nude caramel fountain lady then!
Love Swah + 1 travelled, ate & stayed courtesy of Qantas and Tourism Tasmania