Cradle Mountain – Walking in the rain

(December 29, 2020 – written by Nancy)

What to do when it rains on your only free day in world heritage Cradle Mountain National Park?

Well, you just get on with it. The hikes take on a different feel in the rain and mist. And while missing out on seeing views of Cradle Mountain with blue skies is a little disappointing there is still a lot to see in the park.  We were up early with the plan to get the first bus at 8:10 up into the park to do the Dove Lake circuit, which provides great views of Cradle Mountain, on a clear day.  It looked quite foggy when we first got up, and by the time we were on the bus for the 20 minute ride up into the park the windshield wipers were running steadily.  It wasn’t heavy rain, but enough to call rain. 

No point in complaining, just rug up

There were only a few other people on the bus, so at least that part of the plan worked out.  It meant that we didn’t run into too many people on the trail that takes you around Dove Lake.  The rain meant rain jackets and rain pants went on before we started out, and we were happy to have them as it was pretty wet after being out there for a bit.  The problem wasn’t so much the rain as it was the low lying clouds/mist/fog that was obscuring the mountain tops.  We were hopeful that it might blow through in the time we were walking around the lake, but unfortunately we were not so lucky.  A couple of times we saw the slightest bit of the outline of Cradle Mountain but the clouds never fully lifted enough for even a picture.

View of Dove Lake – Cradle Mountain is behind in the clouds
We were missing a few items but went anyway – risky
One more of Dove lake – Cradle Mountain in the fog
Waterfall way up on Cradle Mountain

The walk was still a good one though, and we took our time to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.  It is quite a beautiful setting and the path along the lake is well done to cater for the many people that must visit.  There are lots of scenic viewpoints where you can take in the lake, the granite rocks and forests that surround the lake and (in clear weather), the famous Cradle Mountain.  By the time we got back up to the starting point the buses were dropping off lots of people (they run every 10 minutes or so from the visitor’s center).  So, despite the weather it was a good call to go early so we could enjoy the place in peace.  There were quite a few people who weren’t really dressed for the weather – either they weren’t planning to go far or they were going to be very wet by the time they got back!

Central lemon boronia – lots of flowers from the morning because looking up was wet
Pink and white kunzea
Pink mountain berries – clever name eh? Not sure if they are edible
Tasmanian waratah – one of the best flowers we’ve found in Tas
Liken it on Cradle Mountain
Moss and tree roots – Monet perhaps
Sample of the trail – a lot of boardwalk

We spent a relaxing afternoon in our warm cabin looking at our plans for the upcoming few days, trying to figure out how we might get down the west coast of Tasmania without getting pummelled by rain and wind.  I think we’ll just have to take our chances, as there are not a lot of options in some spots to get much shelter from the elements.  Fingers crossed no big storms blow in!

We have a few potoroo around our cabin, completely tame

The skies seemed to clear around 4 or so, Dave took a chance and hopped on another bus up to Dove Lake to see if he could get a view of Cradle Mountain.  I decided to keep watch on the cabin – the bus ride up there is a bit twisty-turny and one of those rides per day is enough for me.

Tomorrow we start making our way up to the northwest coast of Tassie.  We are not sure where we’ll make it to – we have a mid-way location scoped out in a rest area but we may make it a bit longer day and ride all the way up to Wynyard, about 110k from here.

Postscript – Dave is back now and he was successful in getting some photos of Cradle Mountain.

Views from the most famous spot were pretty good as the mist cleared
Just behind me – a solo Frenchman with fancy camera and a massive group of folks from India. The later were hilarious. One of them asked me what we were taking pictures of as they had come here for the beach – too funny.
Closest I got to the full mountain – as light and time for the last bus back down the mountain were running out
Parting shot of Cradle Mountain

10 thoughts on “Cradle Mountain – Walking in the rain

  1. The Moss and Tree Roots really caught my eye. Maybe should be entered into a photo contest somewhere. Great posts. Maybe I should come on down and follow your route in 2022 when this covid mess is over.

  2. The flowers are especially bright and beautiful 🌹. Glad you finally got a few pics of THE Mountain 🏔️!! Have fun & Happy New Year–2021 will be Great!!

  3. Hope you get good weather! Should say; it’s been raining, alot, here in Sydney. A far cry from this time last year. But will always prefer rain any day to the devastation brought by fire.

    Love all the moss and lichen. It gives a prehistoric feel.

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