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12
Dec
Walking around Dove Lake – Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park Tasmania in the summer

Walking around Dove Lake – Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park Tasmania in the summer

Tasmania island (65,022 sq.km.) is of around the same size as Sri Lanka (67,655 sq.km.) or approximately twice the size of Taiwan (35,883 sq.km.) The whole island got only around half million inhabitants mostly descendants of western settlers. Somehow the first settlements by the Aborigines don’t appear to have created any impressive remains, much the same as on Australia’s mainland. There are no big cities in Tasmania. The largest city, Hobart, is 25 times smaller than Sydney (in terms of population). This basic information gives a guidance of what can be expected from Tasmania.

Parking at Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair National Park Visitor Centre.

Parking at Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair National Park Visitor Centre.

Our stay in Tasmania was only 7 days. Although the island we did not expect it to have so many attractions. Being in Tasmania means enjoying the pure nature and the peaceful environment. Travelers like us can find plenty of nature as half of the island is protected as World Heritage, wilderness areas or other reserves. The other half mostly consist of farming and agriculture lands. Agriculture is one of the main sources of income of Tasmania, but the number one income contributor is still the mining. While over 80% of Australia’s mainland is barren desert and the only fertile land is on along the coastlines, the whole island of Tasmania appears to among the most verdant that can be found in Australia.

Getting in shuttle bus to Dove Lake.

Getting in shuttle bus to Dove Lake.

A gas station.

A gas station.

8 km. away from Visitor Center or 11 minutes drive there is a first shuttle stop at Ronny Creek car park for the Overland Track: one of the long walking tracks.

8 km. away from Visitor Center or 11 minutes drive there is a first shuttle stop at Ronny Creek car park for the Overland Track: one of the long walking tracks.

Dove River and Overland track.

Dove River and Overland track.

We were at Cradle Mountain- Lake St. Clair National Park, which is one of the most famous tourist sites in Tasmania. There are some nice attractions and activities in the National Park such as Mount Ossa (the tallest mountain in Tasmania) and Cradle Mountain: a beautiful mountain and surrounding area with many walking tracks. It is among the highlights of the tourist attractions in Tasmania.

2 km or another 3 minutes later from the first stop we were arrived at Dove Lake Parking where we started our walking tour.

2 km or another 3 minutes later from the first stop we were arrived at Dove Lake Parking where we started our walking tour.

Dove Lake Parking facilities.

Dove Lake Parking facilities.

This is what Mānuka tree and flowers look like.

This is what Mānuka tree and flowers look like.

Dove Lake Parking

Dove Lake Parking

Cradle Mountain is the fifth highest mountain in Tasmania (1,545 meters). It is a dolerite capped mountain that was sculpted by glacier gouged around 10,000 years ago, as all other mountains around the island. The mountain was named by Joseph Fossey, an English born land surveyor, in 1821 based on the peak’s resemblance to a baby cradle. This place was set aside as a scenic reserve and wildlife sanctuary in 1922 and finally became a national Park in 1971.

Just a few step from the parking, this is already best view of the circuit.

Just a few step from the parking, this is already best view of the circuit.

Melaleuca squamea or swamp honey-myrtle (1).

Melaleuca squamea or swamp honey-myrtle (1).

Melaleuca squamea or swamp honey-myrtle (2).

Melaleuca squamea or swamp honey-myrtle (2).

Dove Lake is a beautiful corrie lake located at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It is possible to drive directly into the lake on a good sealed road. However, the parking space is limited so visitors are advised to park at the Cradle Mountains and Lake St. Clair National Park Visitor Centre located 10 km from the lake and to take the Dove Lake shuttle bus from there (included in the national park fee).

Direction and length of each walking track.

Direction and length of each walking track.

Look towards the Cradle Mountain.

Look towards the Cradle Mountain.

Beautiful wild flowers.

Beautiful wild flowers.

A small pond surrounded by button grass bushes.

A small pond surrounded by button grass bushes.

Starting point of Dove Lake Circuit with a small bridge across Dove River.

Starting point of Dove Lake Circuit with a small bridge across Dove River.

We had limited time to explore the whole island and moreover I don’t like walking too far (activities such as climbing mountains or jungle walking are not my cup of tea, I would prefer a nice comfortable sign-seeing tour instead) so we selected one of the shorter walks: the Dove Lake Circuit.

Dove River and Manuka trees.

Dove River and Manuka trees.

Manuka flowers.

Manuka flowers.

Side of the lake walking track.

Side of the lake walking track.

Dove Lake is one of the best places to spot the beautiful shape of Cradle Mountain over the water. Like every other lake around this region it was formed by glacial ice over 20,000 years ago. Its water is still and crystal clear. The site is very beautiful with unique ancient plants such as Richea scoparia, Gleichenia alpine, Eucalyptus coccifera (Tasmanian snow gum), Decidous beech (Fagus) and Pandani. Some of these plants can only be found in Tasmania.

The Dove Lake Circuit is an enchanted 6 km scenic walking track parallel to the lake. A quick walk around the track without any steep climbing takes just 2 hours. Unfortunately, I stopped to take some many pictures along the way that it took us over 3 hours to complete the track.

Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain.

Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain.

Standing on the glacier rock view point.

Standing on the glacier rock view point.

Glacier Rock and Cradle Mountain in the background.

Glacier Rock and Cradle Mountain in the background.

Cradle Mountain range.

Cradle Mountain range.

View from the Glacier rock back to the walking track surrounded by bushes

View from the Glacier rock back to the walking track surrounded by bushes

Lichen and moss on the rock, an evidence that the air is not polluted.

Lichen and moss on the rock, an evidence that the air is not polluted.

The rock of Cradle Mountains dates back to the Jurassic period.

The rock of Cradle Mountains dates back to the Jurassic period.

Cradle Mountain Peak.

Cradle Mountain Peak.

A small hidden beach.

A small hidden beach.

Foliose Algae lichen.

Foliose Algae lichen.

Beautiful white flowers.

Beautiful white flowers.

Cradle Mountain (1).

Cradle Mountain (1).

Manuka Flowers.

Manuka Flowers.

Wooden walking path covered by anti-slide net.

Wooden walking path covered by anti-slide net.

Me and the Mountains.

Me and the Mountains.

A group of tourists stop for taking pictures

A group of tourists stop for taking pictures

A hidden beach.

A hidden beach.

Walking track (1).

Walking track (1).

Pink Mountain-berry.

Pink Mountain-berry.

Pink Mountain Berry.

Pink Mountain Berry.

Walking track (2).

Walking track (2).

Walking track (3).

Walking track (3).

Lake side walking track.

Lake side walking track.

Dolerite column of Cradle Mountain (1).

Dolerite column of Cradle Mountain (1).

Dolerite column of Cradle Mountain (2).

Dolerite column of Cradle Mountain (2).

Anti-slide wooden ladders walking track.

Anti-slide wooden ladders walking track.

Levitation picture of me.

Levitation picture of me.

Walking track and Richea pandanifolia (Pandani or giant grass tree).

Walking track and Richea pandanifolia (Pandani or giant grass tree).

View over the forest to the peak of the Cradle Mountain.

View over the forest to the peak of the Cradle Mountain.

Kayaking on the lake.

Kayaking on the lake.

A tall Manuka flower tree and Cradle Mountain.

A tall Manuka flower tree and Cradle Mountain.

To Face Track via Lake Wilks.

To Face Track via Lake Wilks.

A tiny flower on the rock.

A tiny flower on the rock.

Wooden bridge walking track side of the cliff.

Wooden bridge walking track side of the cliff.

Ballroom Forest (cool temperate of ancient myrtle-beech trees festooned forest).

Ballroom Forest (cool temperate of ancient myrtle-beech trees festooned forest).

Amber color of Dove Lake and the famous Cradle Mountain.

Amber color of Dove Lake and the famous Cradle Mountain.

Cliff.

Cliff.

Wild yellow flowers.

Wild yellow flowers.

Dove lake surrounded by the mountains.

Dove lake surrounded by the mountains.

White flowers on the lake.

White flowers on the lake.

Other tourists on the way.

Other tourists on the way.

Asians tourist caught a wild animal on the walking track.

Asians tourist caught a wild animal on the walking track.

A wild echidna.

A wild echidna.

Dove Lake Boatshed (1)

Dove Lake Boatshed (1)

The Dove Lake Boatshed is located just around 300 meters walk from the Dove Lake Parking. It was built in 1940 by Lionel Connell, the first ranger at Cradle Mountain. It is a nice place for taking pictures of the lake and the mountain.

Dove Lake Boatshed (2)

Dove Lake Boatshed (2)

Over all, this place is the closest to a “New Zealand vibe” that I could experience in Tasmania. An extraordinary nature experience which was more worth spending time on than all other places I have visited in the whole island. I could have walked further as there are many other beautiful spots that I have seen from other travel pictures and would have liked to see with my own eyes. I still regret that I didn’t spend more time here.

Button grass: Australia’s native tussock grass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus or the button grass plains of Tasmania.)

Button grass: Australia’s native tussock grass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus or the button grass plains of Tasmania.)

*** For those who enjoy walking there is a walking track up the hill that leads to the view point of Crater Lake (Marions Lookout) and other attractions on the way but for me it was more than enough just walking around the Dove lake. For those who would like to capture good pictures of the Cradle Mountain rather than walking a lot I recommend taking the track to the first view point and then walk back straight to the parking instead to taking the Dove Lake circuit. Actually I believe that some of the best pictures can be taken already from the parking.

#Cradle365

#Cradle365

A typical Australian sign board.

A typical Australian sign board.

Leaving the National Park.

Leaving the National Park.

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