Cradle Mountain National Park Day Tour with McDermott’s Coaches
Spending more than a week in Tasmania is one of the most memorable parts of my recent trip to Australia. Home to a vast and rugged wilderness areas and most spectacular mountains, I fell in love with this incredible place instantly. Tasmania has a lot of interesting sights and beautiful natural landscapes. One is the Cradle Mountain National Park.
Part of Tasmanian Wilderness, Cradle Mountain National Park is consisting of protected rainforests, alpine heathlands and mountainous terrains. This national park has diverse and lush vegetation including grassland and ancient plants. The park also provides a rich habitat for wildlife. Cradle Mountain National Park also has many walking trails, making it a popular among tourists and hikers. This is also where hikes along the renowned Overland Track usually begin. It is a famous hiking track in Australia that runs for 65 kilometers. But visitors are not required to do this extreme activity to enjoy the beauty of Cradle Mountain National Park. There are also other walking trails inside the park that can be done for only few hours. And that’s what I did when I joined a day tour to the Cradle Mountain National Park.
Where to Book a Day Tour to Cradle Mountain National Park?
With only a few days to spend in Launceston, I thought of doing the Cradle Mountain activity for just a day. Lucky enough, I found a group tour that I was able to join. The tour is organized by McDermott’s Coaches, which is a highly recommended operator in Tasmania.
Departing and returning to Launceston, the highlights of the Cradle Mountain National Park Day Tour operated by McDermott’s Coaches are of course, Cradle Mountain, then Dove Lake circuit walk, Waldheim Chalet and King Billy Pine Forest walk. The rate of the tour starts from $168 per person. The package also already includes national park pass and entrance fees, transfers, lunch, water and complimentary snacks. The tour is also accompanied with professional guide/s.
Cradle Mountain National Park Day Tour
The tour starts between 7:30am to 8:00am, with an aim to arrive back to Launceston between 5:30pm to 6:00pm. Ben, the driver and our guide, picked me up at the hotel before 8:00am. Surprisingly, the shuttle wasn’t full. We were only about 6 inside the bus going to the Cradle Mountain National Park. Three of which will be doing the hike for several days while the rest was part of the day tour including myself. I was expecting that there would be more people joining. But I must say, it was perfect! The tour suddenly felt like a private and exclusive one.
The drive to Cradle Mountain National Park was already an enjoyable experience itself. There are a lot of stunning scenery on the road. We also made some stopovers like in Sheffield and in a cheese farm when we were on our way back to Launceston.
Before going to the main part of our tour, we made a short stop in Sheffield. A town of mural, Sheffield has become a tourist destination in Tasmania. The town has hundreds of murals showing the area’s rich history and beautiful natural scenery that are painted on walls.
Ben gave us 15 minutes to see the town. I went for a walk and was able to see some of the artworks.
Dove Lake Circuit Walk
It was around 10:30am when we finally arrived at the Cradle Mountain Visitor Center. Few more minutes driving, we reached the Dove Lake. It’s a cirque lake on the foot Cradle Mountain. Dove lake is a famous attraction circled by well-maintained walking paths that offers one of Tasmania’s best walks.
This was the main part of our day tour. Accompanied by our guide Ben, we went for a hike for three hours around the lake. It was raining with ferocious winds when we started. I was freezing but still able to manage. I should have worn right clothes for this activity but to tell you honestly I wasn’t really prepared for the weather of Tasmania. The weather was like winter. I didn’t realize that it would going to be this cold.
The track around the Dove Lake is well maintained. There are a lot of stunning views along this walk and stop off points for photo opportunities. The six kilometer track includes views of Cradle Mountain, nice waterfalls, unexpected beaches on the side of the lake, rainforest, area for Tasmania’s notorious horizontal scrub and the occasional echidna or platypus. Our guide, Ben, also allotted times to take a break and tell us about interesting facts about the lake, Cradle Mountain and some of the native plants around us.
The second half of the track also consists of rocky paths and sections of stairs and rock steps. It was exhilarating but good thing when we were already half way, the sun finally come out. The hike felt so much better. The scenery also had become more spectacular.
It was past 1:00am when we finished the Dove Lake circuit walk. It was a long and challenging hike but definitely, a fantastic experience. The lake is extremely picturesque. It was an amazing day tour and certainly, a must-do activity when in Tasmania.
Waldheim Chalet and King Billy Pine Forest Walk
After our group had our lunch in a cabin near the Waldheim Chalet, we went for a forest walk in a short cool climate rainforest that took around 15 minutes. Our guide, Ben, gladly explained the nature around us and about the King Billy Pine. It’s a Tasmanian endemic softwood tree found in cold and wet sub-alpine forests.
We ended the short tour by visiting the Waldheim Chalet. Inside visitors are provided with an insight into the early history of the Cradle Mountain area and the people who played important role in the establishment of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park.
Ashgrove Cheese Farm
Before going back to Launceston, we dropped by the Ashgrove Cheese Farm. Here we were able to taste different styles of cheese, try its very own creamy farm ice cream and other locally produced Tasmanian products. I didn’t buy anything but I was able to enjoy the free taste.
We spent about 15 minutes here. It was around 4:30pm when we resumed our journey back to Launceston.
One of Australia’s most beautiful national parks, I had an amazing time joining the day tour to the Cradle Mountain National Park. McDermott’s Coaches provided me the greatest experience to enjoy the scenery around the lake and the remarkable views and know more about the Cradle Mountain. Ben, our tour guide, made it also a fun and educational tour experience by showing us some of the native plants and telling us more about the environment at the Cradle Mountain National Park. This day tour from Launceston is certainly one of the best and unforgettable experiences I had in Tasmania.
Tasmania’s largest coach tour and specialist transport service provider supplying tours, transfers and coach charter for large and small groups around Tasmanian and interstate. To know more of its tour offerings, please visit the link below.
35 Legana Park Drive
Legana, Tasmania 7277
Phone: (+03) 6330 3717