Cradle Mountain – Hiking At Dove Lake Tasmania

Cradle Mountain is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Tasmania, Australia.  It encompasses a vast area of wilderness that is of high value to the world environment.

This mountain region is part of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair World Heritage National Park and is highly protected.  It features a number of endemic alpine plants, lush reserves, mountainous landscape and glacial lakes.  One of these lakes is called Dove Lake, which stretches two kilometers and is situated at the base of the Cradle Mountain. The lake was formed by the glaciation process, and the habitat around it is quite distinct.

Dove Lake is a very popular hiking destination. The walk around the lake is 7.5 kilometers long and is one of the most renowned hiking circuit in Tasmania.  Because the Dove Lake Circuit Track is a flat boardwalked track, it is relatively easy to follow it. The most challenging part of the route is the ever changing weather, which can alter in a short period of time. The track takes about 2 hours to complete and it usually goes around the lake following a clockwise direction.  Hiking the Dove Lake circuit exposes you to various terrains like sandy beaches, streams, and scrubby grass.

Some of the reasons this route is one of the most famous is because it is the most accessible short walk in the region and it offers amazing panoramic views of the Cradle Mountain landscape. You can also encounter an incredible variety of flora and fauna along the way. Some of the wildlife you will most likely meet include pademelons, wombats and echidnas. Basic facilities like toilets and a park shop complete with hiking items are available during your walk.

One of the areas you will pass through while walking the track is the captivating cool temperate Ballroom Forest, which is known for its beautiful deciduous beech and ancient myrtles. While here, you will be enchanted by myrtle-beech trees forming a moss tower, looking like a natural cathedral. Going through the thick Ballroom Forest is like living an adventure of a folklore.

The Glacier Rock is one of the highlight structures you will encounter as you hike the Dove Lake Circuit.  This rock is a proof of the glacier formation that occurred in the Ice Age.  Glacier Rock’s surface bears some similarity with that of Dove Lake’s. Just south of Lake Dove is another wonderful glaciated lake called Lake Wilks. Another landmark to watch for while hiking the Dove Lake Circuit is the picturesque Boatshed, which stands just on the northwestern shore of the lake.  Built in 1940 by Lionell Connell, Cradle Mountain’s first ranger; the shed is made of King Billy pine. It has mostly kept its original form.

Most visitors who come to Cradle Mountain Park and Dove Lake drive Road C132 after going southwest of Devonport. You can reach the entrance of the Cradle Mountain National Park by driving 20 minutes from Cradle Chalet. Dove Lake is specifically located 8 kilometers from the park’s visitor center at Pencil Pine.

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