Mission #5: Cradle Mountain
When it comes to Tasmania, there are many iconic places that people will urge you to visit. Cradle Mountain was high up there.
Whilst researching the area, my friend discovered Cradle Mountain Canyon tours and it sounded so full of adrenalin and action. The more difficult tour involved abseiling, high jumps, and needed you to be able to swim – let’s just say I’m not the strongest swimmer.
With this in mind, I opted for the easier Lost Rivers tour, ideal for families and beginners and it would only last us half a day.
But what is canyoning? It is basically getting through a river/canyon using various techniques, from swimming, to abseiling and floating.
We didn’t have to abseil or swim for our tour, but it involved a lot of floating along a rocky river. I can’t remember the exact technique names but yes, your butt will be sore after!
You lie back in a way so that your behind doesn’t stick out too much and you keep your arms tucked in so as not to hit those on the rocks too. With a life jacket on, it’s perfect for non-swimmers.
You also have to walk in some parts of the river, but carefully because the rocks are extremely slippery. There were optional jumps along the way – they aren’t very high but the fear factor still remains for us less brave humans. You know you will regret if you don’t do it, and the jumps make excellent photo opportunities, so why not?
In addition to this, we stopped every now and again for our tour guides to tell us a little about the nature surrounding us. I found this consistent in Tasmania – most of our tour guides had been young, but passionate about the wilderness around them, which was very inspiring.
Overall it was a great half day spent – it wasn’t too difficult but it was still fun and would physically test us with soreness in the following days. With life jackets on, you don’t really need to know how to swim, but the current can be strong at some points. Even whilst we were trying to hold on to walk along the rocks, my friend managed to get carried away, so watch out!
Our campervan was parked at the Cradle Mountain camping site, so after the tour we changed and came back to the information centre to take the shuttle bus. I mentioned the $60 parks pass in my previous post, and this gains you access to the shuttle bus. Definitely worth purchasing if you are visiting several national parks.
The bus stops at a few places in the park but most people were there to reach the Dove Lake circuit – a two hour walk around Dove Lake where you also get to see the spectacular view of Cradle Mountain.
It’s not a difficult walk, although at some points there were a lot of stairs. There are lots of different points to take photos and take in the awesome scenery of Cradle Mountain.
What made it difficult was that I didn’t want to miss the last shuttle bus back to the info centre at around 5.20pm. Hence we were rushing towards the end of our walk, especially when there were stairs going uphill! It seemed we were not the only ones who thought this, as the bus stop had a long line of people.
We didn’t really need to rush because instead of one last bus, several buses had to keep coming back and forth to cater for all the tourists! I think this is a sign that they may need to increase the buses during peak season or send several up at the end of the day.
It was a good day spent at Cradle Mountain, we got to go canyoning and see the spectacular views. If you are a little more adventurous you could consider a full day canyoning tour OR a climb up Cradle Mountain!
Canyoning photos were by our tour guides and Cradle Mountain photos were taken by me and the.adventouriist