Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

May 29, 2018

The weekend before Easter, I set off early from Melbourne airport on a Qantas flight headed for Launceston, nervously, for a landscape photography trip. I say nervously, because the last couple of times I have flown interstate for photography trips I haven’t had much success, mainly due to excessive rain and terrible weather conditions. The trouble with booking something weeks or even a few months out, is that you never know or can guarantee what the weather will be doing when you finally arrive at your destination.

When I landed in Launceston, the weather was surprisingly good! I hadn’t seen Tasmania with blue skies and minimal clouds for some time and the jacket I had ready to put on went quickly back into my bag.

Cradle Mountain is a popular tourist destination located in the heart of Tasmania, Australia. It is renowned for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife and hiking opportunities. The mountain itself is part of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and is one of the most iconic and recognizable peaks in the country.

Cradle Mountain is a challenging hike, with its steep inclines and rocky terrain, but the stunning scenery along the way makes it worth it. The most popular hike is the Dove Lake Circuit, a 6 km trail that circles Dove Lake, offering spectacular views of Cradle Mountain and the surrounding wilderness. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Overland Track is a 65 km trail that starts at Cradle Mountain and ends at Lake St Clair, taking visitors through some of Tasmania’s most stunning alpine and sub-alpine landscapes.

Cradle Mountain is also home to a wide range of unique and endemic wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, wallabies, echidnas and numerous bird species. Visitors can also spot a range of different vegetation and ecosystems, ranging from temperate rainforests to alpine heathlands.

Apart from hiking and wildlife viewing, Cradle Mountain also offers a range of other activities such as fishing, kayaking and mountain biking. The area is also popular for its scenic drives, with the Cradle Mountain Tourist Road offering breathtaking views of the mountain and the surrounding wilderness.

Visitors can also stay in the area and experience the wilderness up close and personal, with a range of accommodation options available, ranging from camping and cabins to luxury lodges. There are also a number of tour operators that offer guided tours and experiences, such as wildlife watching tours and wilderness walks.

Cradle Mountain is not only a popular tourist destination but also a significant cultural site for the indigenous Tasmanian people, the Palawa. The area has a rich history and is deeply connected to the spiritual beliefs of the Palawa people, and their connection to the land and its natural features.

Dove Lake, located at the base of Cradle Mountain, offers some of the most breathtaking photographic opportunities in Tasmania. The lake’s serene waters and stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains create a breathtaking backdrop for photographers. Here are some of the best photographic opportunities at Dove Lake:

  1. Cradle Mountain Reflections: The calm waters of Dove Lake provide the perfect opportunity to capture stunning reflections of Cradle Mountain and its surrounding peaks. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to take advantage of the reflections as the changing light enhances the colors of the mountains and the sky.
  2. Landscape Photography: The Dove Lake Circuit hike offers panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness, including Cradle Mountain, the Dove River and the lush rainforest. These views provide a perfect opportunity to capture the rugged beauty of the area.
  3. Wildlife Photography: Dove Lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including wallabies, echidnas, and numerous bird species. With patience and a bit of luck, visitors can capture these animals in their natural habitat, making for unforgettable wildlife photos.
  4. Long Exposure Photography: The still waters of Dove Lake are perfect for capturing long exposure shots, creating a dreamlike effect and smoothing out the water for a serene look.
  5. Seascape Photography: The circuit hike also provides opportunities for seascape photography, with breathtaking views of the lake and the mountains in the background. Visitors can capture the beauty of the area from different angles and perspectives.

Dove Lake offers a wealth of photographic opportunities, making it a must-visit destination for photographers and nature lovers alike. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur with a camera, the stunning scenery and wildlife of Dove Lake will provide endless opportunities to capture stunning images.

In conclusion, Cradle Mountain is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife and exciting outdoor activities. Its unique and stunning natural beauty, along with its rich cultural heritage, make it one of Australia’s most iconic and memorable destinations. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, Cradle Mountain is sure to leave a lasting impression, it certainly did for me.