Cradle Mountain Hike

Tasmania Take 2 Tour: Day 31

Sunday February 3, 2019

We are almost the end of our Tassie Take road trip. We had a full, free day in Devonport before departing the island. We were a little disappointed to be leaving without having hiked in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. Today, favourable winds – from the northwest – meant that smoke from the wildfires was being blown down to the south. And as Devonport is only an hour long drive from the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, we took a chance that skies would be clear to hike to the top of Cradle Mountain.

The trail to the mountain is a detour off the Overland Track. When we hiked the Overland Track in 2016, Hammer climbed to the top of Cradle Mountain while I piked, stopping where the track became an almost vertical rock scramble. This time the goal for me was to make it to the top.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and the air was clear, perfect conditions. It was warm when we left Devonport and by the time we made it to the carpark inside Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park the thermometer read 32°C.

The drive from Devonport to the mountain was pretty spectacular. Undulating roads through pasturelands punctuated with gobsmacking views of craggy mountain peaks. We were so pleased we decided to take this daytrip. The drive alone was pretty special.

Arriving at the Cradle Mountain carpark we were keen to get going and make the most of the cloudless and clear blue sky conditions.

We took daypacks and loaded up with water. The roundtrip to the peak is estimated to take about 5 hours.

It was such a joy to be out on this trail on such a beautiful day. Wildflowers carpeted the button grass meadows. I had to stop countless times to take a photo, just couldn’t get enough. Even the pincushion plant was in flower – bliss.

I think I was also subconsciously delaying the start of the climb. The memory of my pounding heart and sweaty palms from the last time we were here, was still fresh as we approached the vertical rick scramble. But I was committed and slowly, with much patience from Hammer, I made the summit of Cradle Mountain.

The elation of overcoming my fears and reaching the top was incredible. The views from the top, on such a magnificent day made it even more special. It was so nice we did not want to leave.

Eventually we had to face the descent which I thought would be just as difficult. But it turned out to be far, far easier for me then the hike up. Hammer with his long legs, had no difficulty going either up or down the rocky scramble.

I was so happy to have to completed this summit, that I ran all the way back to the trail junction. Stopping only near the end to watch a healthy looking wombat graze by the side of the board walk.

To bring our island visit to an end we had dinner at Mrs Jones, a beautiful restaurant located above the Devonport Surf Club. The food was as good as we remembered from our 2016 visit. We walked back to our accomodation on a lovely balmy evening, with full bellies and hearts bursting with joy.