Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania

Spectacular scenery all the way as you climb Tasmania’s iconic Cradle Mountain (1545m), and return via the Face Track and Twisted Lakes.

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania

Climbing Cradle Mountain (1545m) is one of the best day walks in Australia, and making a circuit of it by returning along the Face Track and by the Twisted Lakes maximises your scenery. There are excellent views pretty much the whole way, including views of the mountain from various angles, of numerous lakes, and there are extensive views from the rocky summit over the northern end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

One potential downside is the unpredictable weather, but on both occasions I’ve done this walk there have been cloudless skies, which is rather unusual in one of Tasmania’s wettest regions. We had more authentic weather a few days earlier climbing Barn Bluff, but that was fun too. The walk is justifiably popular, but not so much as to ruin the experience. The crowds really thinned as well once we set off on the return portion of the walk along the Face Track. Track notes at the end.

Cradle Mountain Circuit: The Scenery

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Early-ish morning at Dove Lake, the start of the walk.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Lake Lilla

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Sophia having a moment’s rest at Wombat Pool. I think she was actually just waiting for me to finish taking pictures.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Crater Lake. looking a lot different than a few days earlier when we came in overcast weather to climb Barn Bluff.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Crater Lake

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Weindorphers Towers showing themselves.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Cradel Mountain from Marions Lookout.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
The summit of the mountain is on the right.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Little Horn and Weindorphers Towers.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
If you see this view then you’ve gone the wrong way. The track is further down to the left (to the right as you walk it).

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
The route up to the summit, (although we were returning from it here)

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Rocks encountered on the way to/from the summit.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
The route to/from the summit requires a bit of scrambling, but nothing difficult, at least in dry weather.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
En route to the summit. You can just see a person up high to the right. Looking NNE here.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Near the summit.

 

Weindorphers Towers and The Horn viewed from behind.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Sophia admiring the view from the summit. The summit area is actually a very small plateau that you can walk around for different views of the area.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Barn Bluff

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Distant Peaks in the Pelion Range to the south.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
A picture that proved to be popular on Instagram. Barn Bluff in the distance, viewed from the summit of Cradle Mountain.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Looking north from the rocky summit.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
The view west from the summit.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Returning back from the summit.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Sophia looking out over Lake Wilks and Dove Lake from the Face Track.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Lake Wilks and Dove Lake. Lake Wilks is actually about 150m higher than Dove Lake.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Looking back at The Horn from nearby the turn off to the Twisted Lakes.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Some of the Twisted Lakes

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
A wide angle on some of the Twisted Lakes.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
The south-eastern end of Lake Hanson.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Interesting tree roots on the track.

 

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Lake Hanson

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain viewed from near the end of the walk.

Track Notes

All of the major tracks in the area are obvious and well marked, and you can pick up a map from the visitor centre, which is where you park your car and catch a frequent shuttle bus to Dove Lake. Doing a clockwise circuit will take you past Lake Lilla, Wombat Pool (or Wombat Poo as the signs often say), Marions Lookout, and then up to the summit through large boulders. Return back down and turn right at the junction to take the Face Track, and right again later to go past the picturesque Twisted Lakes and Lake Hanson, or else you can take a short cut over Hansons Peak (steeper descent). You can see some of these landmarks on the Google Map below. And there’s various information available on the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service website.

 

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.