Cradle Mountain

Date: January 9th-14th, 2015

I spent quite a bit of time at Cradle Mountain, and walked most of the tracks there. I loved it. It’s beautiful. I had been there before, but not solo and not with time to explore whatever took my fancy. I also spoke to a lot of people at the park I stayed in, and found a common theme; if you’re alone, you can do whatever you like. If you’re with a friend, or family, you feel compelled to compromise and just do things you agree together. It’s OK to do things apart, even if you’re travelling together. If you want to go to the summit, but they don’t, GO. If they want to do an extra walk but you’re too tired, tell them to GO. Don’t miss out on things because someone else says NO. Especially don’t not do something because someone says you’re a girl and girls shouldn’t do that, especially not alone. It’s not true. Girls do it. I do it. I met lots of other girls who do it. You can do it too. Stop being a bore.

The first day back from the Penguin Cradle Trail was stunning; a perfectly cloudless sky so I took advantage of it to do the Cradle Mountain Summit. I was a little annoyed, because I could have gone to Reynolds Falls from Fourways, but…next time.

The bus warns that anyone doing this track solo should find a friend on the way up. I wholeheartedly agree. I climbed up alone, and its a long, slow crawl. Literally, I crawled up on hands and knees. A lot of the spaces between the rocks are too large for me to get across and I would have to climb down into holes between them and somehow try and climb back out on the other side. It was frightening and dangerous and I don’t recommend doing it that way at all. Suck up some courage, find a friend and do it that way. The view is gorgeous and worth the effort, on a good day. Others went on bad days and saw nothing.

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Also, take a lot more water than you think you need. I ran out by the time I got to the top, with another 10km to go before I could get near more, and everyone up there was in the same situation, so we couldn’t even share. Everyone I spoke to this week that went to the summit said the same thing; I ran out of water.

I came down via several of the lakes, and ended up finishing on the dove lake circuit which I was SO happy about because that afternoon was the best weather ever and I got these:

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Dover Lake. And:

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The Boatshed.

The next few days it rained on and off, and the weather report had no more sunny days for weeks. Oh, well. I didn’t mind, it didn’t stop me from walking and it meant I found the Cradle Mountain Pepper’s Lodge, and took full liberty with their fireplace and lounge and their wifi.

I also did the pencil pine walks and the various waterfall walks, and the path from the ranger station down to ronny creek and then ronny creek down to dove lake, and the twisted lakes….you get the idea. If there is a path at Cradle Mountain, I probably walked it. Except the Horse Track…

I even snuck out behind ronny creek to look at Mount kate hut before going to the waldheim chalet.

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…and then back for another look at the waterfall…

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Cradle Mountain is stunning. If you haven’t been, go. The best part is seeing families with small children, hiking for 20km a day. Fit families rock. The worst thing is the bad advice you’re given at the information centre. Don’t ask them questions; read the information. It’s written by the rangers, and it’s accurate. I’ve said it before but it bares repeating, Tasmania is not like the rest of Australia. If the sign says the track is hard, it’s hard. If it says it’s going to take you an hour to go a hundred metres, its going to take you an hour to go a hundred metres. Trust the information on the signs. Don’t trust the person at the desk.