OVERVIEW

Few places in the world offer such pristine scenery than the world heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It's a paradise for photographers, wildlife and outdoors enthusiasts, but, most of all, it's a haven for walkers.

Filling a valley carved out by ice during several glaciations over the last two million years, Lake St Clair is Australia's deepest lake and the Derwent River's headwaters. It is ringed by some remarkable mountain peaks covered in snow for much of the year. We will walk the northern and southernmost sections of the world-famous Overland Track, plus some of the best of Tasmania's great short walks of this region.

Highlights

  • Walk the iconic Cradle Mountain walks, including the Face Track, Dove Lake and Mnt Rufus at Lake St Clair
  • Admire glacier-sculpted mountain peaks, river gorges, lakes, ancient rainforests and alpine heaths
  • Boat ride to Narcissus on Lake St Clair and trek back to your accommodation
  • Take in the region's best walking, including parts of the Overland Track
  • Excellent 4-star accommodations right in or next to the park and chef-prepared food

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
6 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate

Grade 3 – Moderate

Short, steep hill sections. Chance to ride out on longer walks greater than 12km. A moderate active lifestyle and some walking experience is recommended.  C

PRICE FROM
$ 2695

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 1495

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of a room when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6

DAY 1
CRADLE MOUNTAIN: ENCHANTED FOREST OR WALDHEIMS WALK

At 11:30 am Overland Track Transport will privately transfer you from your Launceston hotel to Cradle Mountain (Option to use your vehicle at reduced cost).

The walk today through the valley up to Waldheims is an excellent area to spot wombats, native hens, echidnas and, of course, an opportunity to explore Waldheim Chalet. The walk at Enchanted Forrest is surreal as you travel through a beautiful moss-covered rainforest featuring old King Billy Pines. We extend the day by taking the King Billy Track back to the hotel.

Walking: Easy / 5km / 2.5 hrs

Meals: Walkers lunch and à la carte dinner at your choice of restaurant at Peppers

Accommodation: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in ensuite rooms

DAY 2
CRADLE MOUNTAIN FACE TRACK WALK ON PART OF THE OVERLAND TRACK

Today’s hike on the Face Track is a world-class walk and is somewhat challenging, but the payoff is immense as awe-inspiring views dominate virtually the whole journey. The walk begins in a pleasant gully of beech forest and small waterfalls and ascends to the alpine plateau via Crater Lake and a button grass moorland. At Kitchen Hut, beneath the summit, is a magical place to take lunch and admire the view over the lake and the magnificent valley below. Here’s your chance to summit Cradle Mountain. However, it requires scrambling, a head for heights and a high fitness level, so it is not recommended unless you are strong and fit. We head home via the Face Track passing Lake Wilks while taking in the magnificent alternate views out towards the Walls of Jerusalem. If you wish, there are further options to continue walking.

Walking: Moderate to Challenging / 12km / 6–7 hrs / shorter or easier option available

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast, walkers lunch and à la carte dinner at your choice of restaurant at Peppers

Accommodation: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in ensuite rooms

DAY 3
CRADLE MOUNTAIN: DOVE LAKE AND CRADLE VALLEY WALK

It’s another iconic Cradle Mountain hike today at Dove Lake, with fabulous views of the lake and the mountains beyond. The walk makes its way through a magnificent cool rainforest around the lake and right up close to the mountain. The boardwalk through Cradle Valley is a nice contrast to the first walk as we make our way to Ronnie Creek, where you can take the opportunity to dip your feet in the crystal-clear mountain water. It is also undoubtedly one of the best places in Australia to spot wombats.

Walking: Easy to Moderate / 11.2km / 4–5 hrs / short version available

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast, walkers lunch and à la carte dinner at your choice of restaurant at Peppers

Accommodation: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in ensuite rooms

DAY 4
TRANSFER TO LAKE ST CLAIR: WATERSMEET TRACK AND ABORIGINAL CULTURAL WALK

Today we start the day after breakfast with a transfer to Lake St Clair at 9:30 am ( drive there if using your car). We loop together three of Tasmania’s Great Short Walks in the afternoon. We start with the Platypus walk, with the hopes of spotting one of two of these very shy monotremes. The Aboriginal Cultural Walk and then the Watersmeet Track.

Walking: Easy / 5km / 2 hrs

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast and walkers lunch

Accommodation: Lake St Clair Wilderness Lodge in the upgraded Lakeside ensuite rooms

DAY 5
CATCH THE FERRY OUT TO NARCISSUS AND WALK BACK ON THE OVERLAND TRACK TO THE LODGE

Today’s walk is a real adventure because not only do you get to be entertained with enlightened commentary as you are ferried out to Narcissus Bay on Lake St Clair, but you also get to walk the entire day on the south end of the Overland Track. This delightful walk takes us back along the lake to Cynthia Bay and the lodge. The walk starts out in an ancient rainforest amongst a world of lichens and mosses. As the day progresses, we walk out of the Sassafras and Myrtle Beech and into the more open Sclerophyll forest dominated by black peppermint and other eucalypts.

Walking: Moderate / 17km / 5–6 hrs / shorter 11km option available from Echo Point

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast and walkers lunch

Accommodation: Lake St Clair Wilderness Lodge in the upgraded Lakeside ensuite rooms

DAY 6
SHADOWLAKE CIRCUIT AND BACK TO LAUNCESTON

Today’s walk is on the Shadow Lake circuit. Pademelons, Antarctic Beech Forest (Myrtle Beech), Alpine moorland, pineapple grass, cushion plants, and high alpine moorland are just the beginning of what you will see today. Among the highlights are the magnificent views as you walk, of course, the lake and the dense verdant Tasmanian rainforest. The walk is followed by a private transfer back to Launceston, leaving at 2.00 pm and arriving at approx 5.30 pm. For a transfer to Hobart, please get in touch with the office, this may incur an additional cost as the service does not run daily. If you use your own car, this transfer is not required.

Walking: Moderate to Challenging / 13km / 4–5 hrs

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast and walkers Lunch

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Five nights in 4.5 and 4-star excellent accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • Private transfers from Launceston and back, all luggage and vehicle transfers on the trip (for Hobart, speak to the office. There is an option available to use your own car at reduced cost)
  • The best Cradle Mountain hikes and walks at Lake St Clair, including sections of the Overland Track
  • Boat trip on Lake St Clair
  • 6 packed walker’s lunches, 5 cooked breakfasts and 3 à la carte dinners at your choice of restaurant at Peppers Cradle Mountain
  • National Park admission
  • Worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s transfer company and representatives on the ground

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

Both Wilderness Lodge accommodations are truly excellent and have a 4 or 4.5-star rating. Above all, the accommodation locations are superb. They are both on the national park boundary and provide a welcoming and comfortable base to relax and recount the day’s highlights. All rooms have their own ensuite. The rooms we use at Lake St Clair are Studio Cabins which have their own balcony and a king size bed. At Cradle Mountain lodge we use The Pencil Pine Cabins which offer a Queen sized bed, gas fire place and beautiful views looking out over the Cradle Mountain wilderness.

All the meals are chef-prepared by the in-house lodge chefs. Then included dinners are a la carte – with your choice of restaurant at Peppers Cradle Mountain either the Rustic Bistro or the high end Highlands Restaurant. The cooked breakfasts are the perfect preparation for each day’s walk. There’s an emphasis on local produce and wine from the region. We have not included dinner for the two nights at Lake St Clair Lodge to give you more freedom as there is an onsite restaurant and also a cafe.

Each day whilst you’re walking, you’ll be provided with a packed walkers lunch, and more importantly, you’ll get to eat it at a fabulous location on the track. A walker’s lunch is varied and may include a high protein type salad, roll or a wrap, muesli bar, cake or muffin and a piece of fruit.

Alcohol or drinks with meals are not included (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).

 

  • NIGHTS 1,2 & 3

  • NIGHTS 4 AND 5

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ~AVERAGE

Elevation training should be a consideration in your overall training program.

Try to include some form of elevation in more than 40% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a blend of physical and mental readiness.

Begin with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is especially important, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement.

The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritise options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

GENERAL INFO

The holiday starts and finishes in Launceston, we pick you up from the airport or your hotel (more information below). While the walking terrain is mostly easy to navigate, there are a couple of days where the walks are long. On one of the Cradle Mountain hikes, there are some rocky sections and involves a very small amount of scrambling over rocks. There are other options this day. The walk is rated as moderate overall as there are options to shorten the walking on each day.

We can recommend that you incorporate an extra day at Cradle Mountain to visit other tourist attractions, enjoy a spa treatment, tackle more of the fabulous walking or simply rest and relax.

For what to bring please refer to Gear Advice on our FAQ section.

GETTING TO AND AWAY FROM THE TRIP

The walk starts in Launceston at 11:30 am. It is possible to fly into Launceston in the morning from Melbourne and Sydney. Although it might make sense to fly in the day before as there is a nice walk at Cataract Gorge which is very central to Launceston CBD that is worthwhile. We pick you up from either the airport or your hotel. Please let us know what arrangements you have made once you get closer to departure, so we can inform our transfer people.

The trip ends in either Launceston or Hobart on the last day at 5:30 pm. If you intend to return to Hobart this may incur a fee as this service does not operate 7 days a week. Please speak to the office.

If you decide to use your own car then you drive to the beginning of the walk and to and from the end.

WEATHER

Locals will tell you that November to May is suitable, but it’s Tasmania so you need to have the right clothing. Spring and autumn are the most popular times to walk on the Tasman Peninsula. Summer can be a little warmer, however, the average temperature is only 18 degrees. Please come prepared with warm clothes and good rain gear (realistically year-round). See the gear advice section in our FAQs for more information.

See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

Cradle Mountains Ave temp graph

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions about the Cradle Mountain walks or any other of the walks or logistics, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants or to speak with one of our guides. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

MAP

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Oct 2023 - 30 Apr 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $3195

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1495

    Please note there is a surcharge for High Season

  • 1 Oct 2023 - 30 Apr 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2695

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1495

    WITH USE OF OWN CAR: Please note there is a surcharge for High Season

  • 1 Oct 2024 - 30 Apr 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $3295

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1570

    Please note there is a surcharge for High Season

  • 1 Oct 2024 - 30 Apr 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2795

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1570

    WITH USE OF OWN CAR: Please note there is a surcharge for High Season

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

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  1. Margaret O

    15 July, 2022 at 11:09 AM
    5

    Having just completed the self guided Lake St Clair/ Cradle Mountain walk with Auswalk I have only the highest regard for how well the holiday was put together. From the outset the contact with the staff, mainly Sanyana was most efficient and friendly. There was the on again off again Covid related travel issues also at this time for her to deal with. The pre travel information booklets and maps were very detailed and all information for both areas was to be found within them.The lunchbox and eating utensils provided were an added extra. All our transfers provided by Overland Travel were excellent. All three drivers had great local knowledge and were prompt and friendly. The accommodation was fantastic and the meals were great. Certainly didn’t go hungry. I can highly recommend Auswalk to anyone who is perhaps wondering if this is for them.I am well over 70 so don’t let age hold you back. Thanks to all the Auswalk Team.

  2. Lucy de F

    11 February, 2021 at 11:45 AM
    5

    We were very happy with our walking experience and are very likely to book another walk in the near future. One thing that impressed us was the high level of attention to detail that had obviously been paid, so that we didn’t have to think of anything ourselves from start to finish but just go with the flow and enjoy ourselves. The level of detail included such things as opening times of every restaurant or information centre etc that we encountered, suggestions where to stop along the trail, detailed maps highlighted by hand with landmarks to look out for and even the name of the driver of the lake transport boat and suggestion to ask him to recite some local poetry! Even more impressive was the swift and caring response received from staff at Auswalk when early in the trip we experienced a small hiccup with food at the first accommodation provider, arising due to us being the first Auswalk group to stay there since the covid shutdown. I received a phone call within minutes of emailing, the issue was fixed the same day and I received another phone call to follow up later that same day. The staff were very obviously sincerely concerned, had a lovely, caring manner and did their very best to help. The drivers from OTT, Steve, Sean and Dan, were also very friendly, polite and helpful and we greatly enjoyed chatting with them and learned a lot about the local area and other places in Tasmania that we might visit. We also felt that they were all very good, extremely safety-conscious drivers with a lot of experience on the local roads as well as the walking routes that we were undertaking. Our whole family really had a great time and we only wished we could have extended the walk by a few more days.

  3. Nicola R

    11 February, 2021 at 11:31 AM
    5

    My Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair trip was the first time I had used Auswalk. Very impressed with their professionalism. Very good communicators. Any questions are answered very promptly. Very easy to navigated booking and payment systems and best of all – all the arrangements they had made for my trip in Tasmania ran like clockwork. A good team using good people to deliver the promised services. Once you are in their care at the agreed starting point, you have no further worries, just enjoy the wonderful scenery of your walk until they deliver you back to an agreed finishing point. very impressed, would certainly use Auswalk again and have no hesitation in highly recommending them.

  4. David R

    11 November, 2020 at 3:14 PM
    5

    We recently completed the Lake St Clair/Cradle Mountain walk in Tasmania. All the arrangements by Auswalk went perfectly. The maps/walk notes etc were all detailed and made for trouble free walking and the routes were a good balance of challenging/easier. The scenery is spectacular. All the accommodation was of a high standard, we particularly liked Peppers at Cradle Mountain. We would highly recommend Auswalk and would certainly use them again for walking holidays in the future.

  5. Meredith S

    11 November, 2020 at 3:09 PM
    5

    We were a bit apprehensive doing it on our own but the maps and walking notes were great and it proved to be a wonderful alternative which gave us flexibility to do short or long walking days, different walking destinations in the areas we were staying and change our days to suit ourselves. The two accommodation offerings at Lake St Claire Lodge and Peppers Cradle Mountain were both wonderful, the service was great and the food was excellent, including our walkers lunch that was prepared for us in the mornings to take with us in our backpacks. The shuttle transfers worked like clockwork and it turned out to be a fabulous way to see that part of Tasmania. I will have to go back now to see the rest of Tassie!

  6. Fred D

    16 March, 2019 at 4:52 AM
    5

    Just completed the Lake St Clair/Cradle Mountain self guided walk with Auswalk. Would highly recommend this walk/company. Beautiful scenery, walks suitable for experienced/novice trekking. All arrangements went like clockwork, excellent documentation and maps. Accommodation all of a high standard

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Overview

OVERVIEW

Few places in the world offer such pristine scenery than the world heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It's a paradise for photographers, wildlife and outdoors enthusiasts, but, most of all, it's a haven for walkers.

Filling a valley carved out by ice during several glaciations over the last two million years, Lake St Clair is Australia's deepest lake and the Derwent River's headwaters. It is ringed by some remarkable mountain peaks covered in snow for much of the year. We will walk the northern and southernmost sections of the world-famous Overland Track, plus some of the best of Tasmania's great short walks of this region.

Highlights

  • Walk the iconic Cradle Mountain walks, including the Face Track, Dove Lake and Mnt Rufus at Lake St Clair
  • Admire glacier-sculpted mountain peaks, river gorges, lakes, ancient rainforests and alpine heaths
  • Boat ride to Narcissus on Lake St Clair and trek back to your accommodation
  • Take in the region's best walking, including parts of the Overland Track
  • Excellent 4-star accommodations right in or next to the park and chef-prepared food

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
6 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate

Grade 3 – Moderate

Short, steep hill sections. Chance to ride out on longer walks greater than 12km. A moderate active lifestyle and some walking experience is recommended.  C

PRICE FROM
$ 2695

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 1495

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6

DAY 1
CRADLE MOUNTAIN: ENCHANTED FOREST OR WALDHEIMS WALK

At 11:30 am Overland Track Transport will privately transfer you from your Launceston hotel to Cradle Mountain (Option to use your vehicle at reduced cost).

The walk today through the valley up to Waldheims is an excellent area to spot wombats, native hens, echidnas and, of course, an opportunity to explore Waldheim Chalet. The walk at Enchanted Forrest is surreal as you travel through a beautiful moss-covered rainforest featuring old King Billy Pines. We extend the day by taking the King Billy Track back to the hotel.

Walking: Easy / 5km / 2.5 hrs

Meals: Walkers lunch and à la carte dinner at your choice of restaurant at Peppers

Accommodation: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in ensuite rooms

DAY 2
CRADLE MOUNTAIN FACE TRACK WALK ON PART OF THE OVERLAND TRACK

Today’s hike on the Face Track is a world-class walk and is somewhat challenging, but the payoff is immense as awe-inspiring views dominate virtually the whole journey. The walk begins in a pleasant gully of beech forest and small waterfalls and ascends to the alpine plateau via Crater Lake and a button grass moorland. At Kitchen Hut, beneath the summit, is a magical place to take lunch and admire the view over the lake and the magnificent valley below. Here’s your chance to summit Cradle Mountain. However, it requires scrambling, a head for heights and a high fitness level, so it is not recommended unless you are strong and fit. We head home via the Face Track passing Lake Wilks while taking in the magnificent alternate views out towards the Walls of Jerusalem. If you wish, there are further options to continue walking.

Walking: Moderate to Challenging / 12km / 6–7 hrs / shorter or easier option available

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast, walkers lunch and à la carte dinner at your choice of restaurant at Peppers

Accommodation: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in ensuite rooms

DAY 3
CRADLE MOUNTAIN: DOVE LAKE AND CRADLE VALLEY WALK

It’s another iconic Cradle Mountain hike today at Dove Lake, with fabulous views of the lake and the mountains beyond. The walk makes its way through a magnificent cool rainforest around the lake and right up close to the mountain. The boardwalk through Cradle Valley is a nice contrast to the first walk as we make our way to Ronnie Creek, where you can take the opportunity to dip your feet in the crystal-clear mountain water. It is also undoubtedly one of the best places in Australia to spot wombats.

Walking: Easy to Moderate / 11.2km / 4–5 hrs / short version available

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast, walkers lunch and à la carte dinner at your choice of restaurant at Peppers

Accommodation: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in ensuite rooms

DAY 4
TRANSFER TO LAKE ST CLAIR: WATERSMEET TRACK AND ABORIGINAL CULTURAL WALK

Today we start the day after breakfast with a transfer to Lake St Clair at 9:30 am ( drive there if using your car). We loop together three of Tasmania’s Great Short Walks in the afternoon. We start with the Platypus walk, with the hopes of spotting one of two of these very shy monotremes. The Aboriginal Cultural Walk and then the Watersmeet Track.

Walking: Easy / 5km / 2 hrs

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast and walkers lunch

Accommodation: Lake St Clair Wilderness Lodge in the upgraded Lakeside ensuite rooms

DAY 5
CATCH THE FERRY OUT TO NARCISSUS AND WALK BACK ON THE OVERLAND TRACK TO THE LODGE

Today’s walk is a real adventure because not only do you get to be entertained with enlightened commentary as you are ferried out to Narcissus Bay on Lake St Clair, but you also get to walk the entire day on the south end of the Overland Track. This delightful walk takes us back along the lake to Cynthia Bay and the lodge. The walk starts out in an ancient rainforest amongst a world of lichens and mosses. As the day progresses, we walk out of the Sassafras and Myrtle Beech and into the more open Sclerophyll forest dominated by black peppermint and other eucalypts.

Walking: Moderate / 17km / 5–6 hrs / shorter 11km option available from Echo Point

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast and walkers lunch

Accommodation: Lake St Clair Wilderness Lodge in the upgraded Lakeside ensuite rooms

DAY 6
SHADOWLAKE CIRCUIT AND BACK TO LAUNCESTON

Today’s walk is on the Shadow Lake circuit. Pademelons, Antarctic Beech Forest (Myrtle Beech), Alpine moorland, pineapple grass, cushion plants, and high alpine moorland are just the beginning of what you will see today. Among the highlights are the magnificent views as you walk, of course, the lake and the dense verdant Tasmanian rainforest. The walk is followed by a private transfer back to Launceston, leaving at 2.00 pm and arriving at approx 5.30 pm. For a transfer to Hobart, please get in touch with the office, this may incur an additional cost as the service does not run daily. If you use your own car, this transfer is not required.

Walking: Moderate to Challenging / 13km / 4–5 hrs

Meals: Chef-cooked breakfast and walkers Lunch

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Five nights in 4.5 and 4-star excellent accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • Private transfers from Launceston and back, all luggage and vehicle transfers on the trip (for Hobart, speak to the office. There is an option available to use your own car at reduced cost)
  • The best Cradle Mountain hikes and walks at Lake St Clair, including sections of the Overland Track
  • Boat trip on Lake St Clair
  • 6 packed walker’s lunches, 5 cooked breakfasts and 3 à la carte dinners at your choice of restaurant at Peppers Cradle Mountain
  • National Park admission
  • Worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s transfer company and representatives on the ground
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

Both Wilderness Lodge accommodations are truly excellent and have a 4 or 4.5-star rating. Above all, the accommodation locations are superb. They are both on the national park boundary and provide a welcoming and comfortable base to relax and recount the day’s highlights. All rooms have their own ensuite. The rooms we use at Lake St Clair are Studio Cabins which have their own balcony and a king size bed. At Cradle Mountain lodge we use The Pencil Pine Cabins which offer a Queen sized bed, gas fire place and beautiful views looking out over the Cradle Mountain wilderness.

All the meals are chef-prepared by the in-house lodge chefs. Then included dinners are a la carte – with your choice of restaurant at Peppers Cradle Mountain either the Rustic Bistro or the high end Highlands Restaurant. The cooked breakfasts are the perfect preparation for each day’s walk. There’s an emphasis on local produce and wine from the region. We have not included dinner for the two nights at Lake St Clair Lodge to give you more freedom as there is an onsite restaurant and also a cafe.

Each day whilst you’re walking, you’ll be provided with a packed walkers lunch, and more importantly, you’ll get to eat it at a fabulous location on the track. A walker’s lunch is varied and may include a high protein type salad, roll or a wrap, muesli bar, cake or muffin and a piece of fruit.

Alcohol or drinks with meals are not included (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).

 

  • NIGHTS 1,2 & 3

  • NIGHTS 4 AND 5

Fitness Guide

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ~AVERAGE

Elevation training should be a consideration in your overall training program.

Try to include some form of elevation in more than 40% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a blend of physical and mental readiness.

Begin with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is especially important, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement.

The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritise options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

The holiday starts and finishes in Launceston, we pick you up from the airport or your hotel (more information below). While the walking terrain is mostly easy to navigate, there are a couple of days where the walks are long. On one of the Cradle Mountain hikes, there are some rocky sections and involves a very small amount of scrambling over rocks. There are other options this day. The walk is rated as moderate overall as there are options to shorten the walking on each day.

We can recommend that you incorporate an extra day at Cradle Mountain to visit other tourist attractions, enjoy a spa treatment, tackle more of the fabulous walking or simply rest and relax.

For what to bring please refer to Gear Advice on our FAQ section.

GETTING TO AND AWAY FROM THE TRIP

The walk starts in Launceston at 11:30 am. It is possible to fly into Launceston in the morning from Melbourne and Sydney. Although it might make sense to fly in the day before as there is a nice walk at Cataract Gorge which is very central to Launceston CBD that is worthwhile. We pick you up from either the airport or your hotel. Please let us know what arrangements you have made once you get closer to departure, so we can inform our transfer people.

The trip ends in either Launceston or Hobart on the last day at 5:30 pm. If you intend to return to Hobart this may incur a fee as this service does not operate 7 days a week. Please speak to the office.

If you decide to use your own car then you drive to the beginning of the walk and to and from the end.

WEATHER

Locals will tell you that November to May is suitable, but it’s Tasmania so you need to have the right clothing. Spring and autumn are the most popular times to walk on the Tasman Peninsula. Summer can be a little warmer, however, the average temperature is only 18 degrees. Please come prepared with warm clothes and good rain gear (realistically year-round). See the gear advice section in our FAQs for more information.

See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

Cradle Mountains Ave temp graph

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions about the Cradle Mountain walks or any other of the walks or logistics, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants or to speak with one of our guides. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

Map

MAP

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Oct 2023 - 30 Apr 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $3195

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1495
  • 1 Oct 2023 - 30 Apr 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2695

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1495
  • 1 Oct 2024 - 30 Apr 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $3295

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1570
  • 1 Oct 2024 - 30 Apr 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2795

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1570
Reviews

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

5

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  1. Margaret O

    15 July, 2022 at 11:09 AM
    5

    Having just completed the self guided Lake St Clair/ Cradle Mountain walk with Auswalk I have only the highest regard for how well the holiday was put together. From the outset the contact with the staff, mainly Sanyana was most efficient and friendly. There was the on again off again Covid related travel issues also at this time for her to deal with. The pre travel information booklets and maps were very detailed and all information for both areas was to be found within them.The lunchbox and eating utensils provided were an added extra. All our transfers provided by Overland Travel were excellent. All three drivers had great local knowledge and were prompt and friendly. The accommodation was fantastic and the meals were great. Certainly didn’t go hungry. I can highly recommend Auswalk to anyone who is perhaps wondering if this is for them.I am well over 70 so don’t let age hold you back. Thanks to all the Auswalk Team.

  2. Lucy de F

    11 February, 2021 at 11:45 AM
    5

    We were very happy with our walking experience and are very likely to book another walk in the near future. One thing that impressed us was the high level of attention to detail that had obviously been paid, so that we didn’t have to think of anything ourselves from start to finish but just go with the flow and enjoy ourselves. The level of detail included such things as opening times of every restaurant or information centre etc that we encountered, suggestions where to stop along the trail, detailed maps highlighted by hand with landmarks to look out for and even the name of the driver of the lake transport boat and suggestion to ask him to recite some local poetry! Even more impressive was the swift and caring response received from staff at Auswalk when early in the trip we experienced a small hiccup with food at the first accommodation provider, arising due to us being the first Auswalk group to stay there since the covid shutdown. I received a phone call within minutes of emailing, the issue was fixed the same day and I received another phone call to follow up later that same day. The staff were very obviously sincerely concerned, had a lovely, caring manner and did their very best to help. The drivers from OTT, Steve, Sean and Dan, were also very friendly, polite and helpful and we greatly enjoyed chatting with them and learned a lot about the local area and other places in Tasmania that we might visit. We also felt that they were all very good, extremely safety-conscious drivers with a lot of experience on the local roads as well as the walking routes that we were undertaking. Our whole family really had a great time and we only wished we could have extended the walk by a few more days.

  3. Nicola R

    11 February, 2021 at 11:31 AM
    5

    My Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair trip was the first time I had used Auswalk. Very impressed with their professionalism. Very good communicators. Any questions are answered very promptly. Very easy to navigated booking and payment systems and best of all – all the arrangements they had made for my trip in Tasmania ran like clockwork. A good team using good people to deliver the promised services. Once you are in their care at the agreed starting point, you have no further worries, just enjoy the wonderful scenery of your walk until they deliver you back to an agreed finishing point. very impressed, would certainly use Auswalk again and have no hesitation in highly recommending them.

  4. David R

    11 November, 2020 at 3:14 PM
    5

    We recently completed the Lake St Clair/Cradle Mountain walk in Tasmania. All the arrangements by Auswalk went perfectly. The maps/walk notes etc were all detailed and made for trouble free walking and the routes were a good balance of challenging/easier. The scenery is spectacular. All the accommodation was of a high standard, we particularly liked Peppers at Cradle Mountain. We would highly recommend Auswalk and would certainly use them again for walking holidays in the future.

  5. Meredith S

    11 November, 2020 at 3:09 PM
    5

    We were a bit apprehensive doing it on our own but the maps and walking notes were great and it proved to be a wonderful alternative which gave us flexibility to do short or long walking days, different walking destinations in the areas we were staying and change our days to suit ourselves. The two accommodation offerings at Lake St Claire Lodge and Peppers Cradle Mountain were both wonderful, the service was great and the food was excellent, including our walkers lunch that was prepared for us in the mornings to take with us in our backpacks. The shuttle transfers worked like clockwork and it turned out to be a fabulous way to see that part of Tasmania. I will have to go back now to see the rest of Tassie!

  6. Fred D

    16 March, 2019 at 4:52 AM
    5

    Just completed the Lake St Clair/Cradle Mountain self guided walk with Auswalk. Would highly recommend this walk/company. Beautiful scenery, walks suitable for experienced/novice trekking. All arrangements went like clockwork, excellent documentation and maps. Accommodation all of a high standard

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