CRADLE MOUNTAIN STORIES
News and stories from Cradle Mountain in Tasmania
Festival of Fagus returns in 2022
Our annual Festival of Fagus is returning to Tasmania’s alpine wilderness this autumn between 24 April and 8 May. Now in its second year, Festival of Fagus celebrates the turning leaves of Australia’s only native deciduous plant – nothofagus gunnii – more commonly known as fagus.
Chocolate Masterclass at Festival of Fagus
We’re really excited to be hosting you at Cradle in early May. Can you give us a quick background on your chocolate story?
Federation Artisan Chocolate has been operating for over thirty years in Tassie and we were fortunate enough to be able to buy the business in 2014. Since then, we have been really focused on becoming involved in the whole chocolate making process. Some people call this ‘bean to bar’. It has taken time to achieve our goal but we’re now really proud of what we’re able to produce, with a hand in every step of the chocolate making process.
Iron Man sets new Tassie record
Cradle Mountain’s iron man, Piotr Babis, recently set off on his biggest challenge yet – taking on the Tasmanian Trail to break the current ‘on-foot’ record of 4 days, 7 hours. As we expected, Piotr didn’t just break the record, he smashed it, completing the run in 3 days and 23 hours. Whilst breaking the record was a goal of Piotr’s, the main reason he decided to take on this mammoth challenge was to explore his physical and mental limits.
Family Friendly Activities at Cradle Mountain
School holidays provide the perfect opportunity to pack up the car and take the kids to explore the alpine wilderness of Cradle Mountain. Whether you’re travelling with nappy-bound toddlers or energetic teenagers, there’s so much to see and do. Here are our top picks for activities to add to your itinerary.
Reopening Q&A With Michael Krueger
Coronavirus has had a major impact on Tassie tourism. How was the lockdown period been for the Cradle Mountain Hotel team?
As a team, we've done our best to make the most of a not so desirable situation and made some updates across the property to help improve the guest experience. From repainting, to redecorating and a new menu in Altitude Restaurant + Lounge Bar.
Hibernation Updates at Cradle Mountain Hotel
We have reopened our doors to Tasmanians for a winter getaway, after nearly 3 months in hibernation because of the Coronavirus pandemic. We used this time to update a few things across the Hotel to help make your next trip to Cradle Mountain even more special!
Newly renovated rooms at Cradle Mountain Hotel
We recently re-launched our Split Level King rooms after they enjoyed a significant renovation. Overlooking alpine woodland surrounding the northern end of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, these rooms are the premier room type at Cradle Mountain Hotel and are now some of the most stylish and contemporary at the destination.
Artists in Residence - Cradle Mountain
With the call-out for artists as part of the 2019 annual exhibition program underway, we caught up with Jessie Pangas of the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery to hear a bit more about the Gallery itself and what it's like to be an artist in residence at Cradle.
Altitude Restaurant Wins Tasmanian Tourism Award 2017
In November 2017, Tasmania’s best tourism operators came together for the annual Tasmanian Tourism Awards. The awards program covers everything that makes Tassie tourism special, from wineries to wildlife tours and festivals to scenic flights. We are very proud to say that we took home the state award for Tasmania’s best ‘tourism restaurant’ that night and we are ready to take on the rest of Australia in February when we contest the Australian Tourism Awards in Perth, WA!
How to cook the perfect steak
With Michael Kreuger, executive head chef, Cradle Mountain Hotel
It all starts with the right meat and the right cut of the beef. At Cradle Mountain Hotel we use our local Mt Roland Range Beef, which is just in front of our doorstep and has a good quality in tenderness, fat and taste.
Christmas lunch and dinner at Altitude Restaurant, Cradle Mountain Hotel, 2017
Celebrate this festive season in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness. Relax and enjoy a Christmas lunch or dinner in the award winning Altitude Restaurant at Cradle Mountain Hotel. Complete with a hot carvery with traditional Christmas meats and seafood, vegetables, salads and of course dessert.
Cradle Mountain Wildlife - Lizards, Snakes and Frogs
In spite of our generally cool climate, Tasmania is home to a number of reptiles and amphibians. At Cradle Mountain, these range from small, jewel-coloured skinks to a variety of frogs and three species of snake. All Tasmanian reptiles are mainly active during the warm summer months.
Wildlife - Paddies, Possums and Potoroos
The Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park has a huge range of diverse landscapes that ensure protected habitat for many of Tasmania’s wildlife species.
At Cradle Mountain, wombats, wallabies, quolls, Tasmanian devils, echidnas, platypus, possums and small native rodents thrive alongside dozens of species of birds, reptile, fish, frogs and countless insects. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area provides crucial protected habitat for these animals, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
Wildlife - Echidnas and Platypus
As you explore Cradle Mountain, you may be lucky enough to encounter a couple of the area’s most intriguing residents—the platypus and the echidna.
Echidnas and platypus are monotremes, or egg-laying mammals. Rather than bearing live young, monotremes lay eggs and then nourish their offspring on milk.
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park protects some of the most significant areas of cool temperate rainforest remaining on Earth.
Temperate rainforest, such as those found in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, occur in places of high rainfall, where the risk of bushfire is low. These protected forest are cool, dark and damp—peaceful havens where the trunks of rare trees are cloaked in velvety green moss and where some of the world’s most incredible animals and birds live in peace.
Cradle Mountain Pioneers
The human history of Cradle Mountain is more than 35,000 years old, and extends to the earliest presence of Tasmanian Aboriginal people—the most southerly dwelling human culture on the planet.
Over the centuries, many people have been drawn to Cradle Mountain, from the land’s original inhabitants, to early European explorers and hunters, passionate naturalists who fought for the area’s protection, and the many thousands of bushwalkers and holidaymakers who now visit this extraordinary place each year.
Alpine landscapes are rare in Australia. In Tasmania, most mountainous areas occur in the west of the state, making up around 3% of the state’s total landmass, and 11% of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The highlands of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park include some of the world’s most unspoiled alpine environments, and are home to plants and animals that are found nowhere else on earth.
Cradle Mountain's Seasons
There’s a saying in Tasmania that there’s no such thing as bad weather here—just the wrong clothing.
Cradle Mountain is an alpine environment, and the weather here can change quickly and dramatically. Warm, settled days, hot sun, rain, wind and snow can all occur here at any time of year.
Wildlife - Birds of Cradle Mountain National Park
The forests, valleys and highlands of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park provide habitat for many of Tasmania’s abundant bird species—from the mountain-dwelling black currawong to soaring wedge-tailed eagles and tiny robins.
Endemic Tasmanian birds found in the Park include the delicate dusky robin, Tasmanian thornbill and scrubtit; the nectar loving strong-billed and yellow-throated honeyeater and yellow wattlebird; several parrots, including the green rosella; and the ground-dwelling Tasmanian native hen.
Tasmania’s moorlands are found in the protected wilderness of the state’s west. Moorlands are wet environments, dominated by low-growing rushes and grass-like sedges, the most common of which is buttongrass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus). Buttongrass moors are found throughout Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and occupy around one million hectares of land across Tasmania.
Tasmania’s deciduous beech—or fagus (nothofagus gunnii)—is Australia’s only cold climate, winter deciduous tree.
Found only in Tasmania, fagus is a descendant of ancient plants that first emerged in Gondwana, around 100 million years ago. Today, other species of nothofagus found in South America, New Zealand and mainland Australia provide a clue to that ancient link. In fact, it was this connection that first led scientists to believe that those landmasses, including Tasmania, were once part of a giant supercontinent. Fossil remnants of nothofagus have also been discovered in Antarctica.
Cradle Mountain Aboriginal Heritage
Tasmanian Aboriginal people have been part of this land for more than 35,000 years. Sometime during the last ice age, Aboriginal tribes crossed the land bridge spanning Bass Strait, becoming the most southerly-dwelling humans on Earth. When the glaciers retreated and sea levels rose around 12,000 years ago, Tasmanian Aboriginals became isolated from the mainland, developing a rich culture unlike any other on the planet.
Cradle Mountain Plants - A Walk in the (Edible) Forest
When you stay at Cradle Mountain, you’re surrounded by an ecosystem of forests and plant life that is unlike any other on Earth.
It may surprise you to know that many of these native plants have edible parts—and you can find several growing just outside your door at Cradle Mountain Hotel.
Gustav and Kate Weindorfer
Kate and Gustav Weindorfer were a pioneering couple who championed the protection of Cradle Mountain and were the first to bring tourism to the area.
The keen naturalists first saw Cradle Mountain from the summit of Mt Roland during their 1906 honeymoon. Gustav resolved to visit the area, and he, Kate and two friends first climbed to the summit of Cradle Mountain in 1910, making Kate the first white woman to do so.
Cradle Mountain Walks
Cradle Mountain stands at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. This dramatic mountain is comprised of a series of jagged dolerite peaks, and is thought to be named for its resemblance to a miner's cradle.
Cradle Mountain Wildlife - Wombats
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park contains ideal habitat for many of Tasmania’s native creatures—from hundreds of bird species to our enigmatic marsupials.
Most Tasmanian mammals are nocturnal, and more likely to be seen at dawn and dusk. As the sun sets, Cradle’s forests and plains come alive with foraging wallabies, pademelons, quolls, Tasmanian devils, and perhaps our most lovable resident, the common wombat.
Dove Lake is one of the best-loved and most frequently visited places within the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Local pioneer, Gustav Weindorfer named the lake in 1905, after an official of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. The loop walk around Dove Lake is one of the best short walks in Tasmania, and is a must-do activity when you stay at Cradle Mountain Hotel.
Tips for visiting Cradle Mountain in Winter
Cradle Mountain is a popular destination at all times of the year but we think winter in the mountains is extra special. Cradle Mountain’s summit is 1545m above sea level and the peak receives regular snowfalls in winter. Cradle Mountain Hotel is at approximately 860m above sea level and even at this lower altitude, the Hotel generally sees snowfalls every month from late autumn until spring. It’s not unheard of to see snow in every month of the year!
Adventure Docos In A Wilderness Setting: Successful 2017 Cradle Mountain Film Fest
Cradle Mountain has many hidden secrets within its stunning landscape. Perhaps an even greater secret is the number of events and festivals visitors can enjoy when visiting the area. Recently, visitors were treated to the Cradle Mountain Film Fest held over three days from March 31 – April 2.
Go Loco: Sheffield Fires Up For SteamFest
Visitors to Cradle Mountain are always pleasantly surprised by the easy day trips which can be made to nearby towns. Less than an hour from the Cradle Mountain Hotel, the picturesque mural town of Sheffield plays host to the historic SteamFest celebrations from 11- 13 March. This multi-award winning festival is a traction engine enthusiast’s dream; however, those who also love history, great food and lively music will not be disappointed.
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery Update #3
Something quite extraordinary is occurring at the Wilderness Gallery. Over the last few months as the gallery has evolved we have seen a wonderful coming together of business, hospitality, tourism and the arts, along with a healthy dose of local community support and good will. This venture has been testament to the immense talent and diversity of artists in Tasmania and the willingness for tourism operators to be open to new ideas. It has been a massive few months and as we head toward the finale, with the opening of the Tiger Room, there is no sign of slowing down.
Cutting-Edge Photography: "Extreme" At Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery
Tasmania is renowned for its festivals and one of the first for 2017 will be the Ten Days on the Island Arts Festival held in March. From 9th March – 31st May, visitors to Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery will be able to view Extreme, a photographic exhibition which captures the essence and harsh beauty of landscapes that have been forced to the edge by natural or man-made environmental factors.
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery - Update
Redevelopment of the Wilderness Gallery has begun under the trusted guidance of Curator and Arts Manager, Kylie Eastley. While Kylie would love to wave her magic wand and have the new spaces finished instantly it is going to take a little time, but it'll be worth it. We can't wait to share the new look shop and gallery with visitors soon.
Altitude Restaurant + Lounge Bar
We're very happy to say that Altitude Restaurant + Lounge Bar at Cradle Mountain Hotel is complete and ready to welcome you.
We've been operational for a few weeks but finishing touches were being made but these are now in place and we're ready to show you Cradle Mountain's newest restaurant.
Restaurant Update - Cradle Mountain Hotel
The redevelopment of Grey Gum, Quoll's Restaurant and Brushtail Bar at Cradle Mountain Hotel is nearing completion and we want to bring you up to speed on progress. The new restaurant will operate under a brand new name but we'll keep that under wraps for now!
Our night in at Grey Gum restaurant | By Laura Wilson
One of the best things about winter is that you don’t feel so guilty indulging in those warm, hearty (carb-filled) meals. We probably need to add another layer to our winter coat, right?
Cradle Mountain Walks: Marion's Lookout | By Laura Wilson
Instead of staying indoors, counting down the days until summer and feeling sorry for ourselves, a group of girlfriends and I decided to take a trip to Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. Our intentions being to get in touch with our inner nature junkies!
Soft Adventure Or Adrenaline Rush? Top Ten things to do at Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain is one of the most stunning World Heritage sites on earth. Glacial mountains, pristine lakes and eucalyptus forests provide breathtaking scenery and iconic walks. Whether you wish to be energised or pursue more sedate undertakings, Cradle Mountain has plenty of activities to choose from. Here are the top ten.
Girls Weekend in Cradle Mountain | By Laura Wilson
There is something magical about winter. The fresh, crisp air and unpredictable weather conditions which call for fluffy scarves, winter coats, open fireplaces and a glass of Pinot Noir in hand. Tasmania is breathtaking in every season, but given its cool climate appeal it is the ultimate winter destination.
Staying Safe In A Winter Wonderland: Driving Through Snow In Tasmania
A self-drive holiday around Tasmania is rewarding at any time of year. With quieter roads and fewer visitors at tourist hot spots, the winter months are a great time to explore this special state. With a little forward planning and local knowledge, your driving experience will be pleasant and trouble-free. In most, you will be able to use alternate routes to avoid slippery roads. Here are some ways to make sure you stay safe if you do find yourself driving in the snow in Tasmania.
Cradle Mountain Film Fest 2017 - Dates Announced
With the support of the Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Canyons and Cradle Mountain Hotel have teamed up to bring visitors a fantastic weekend of adventure film at Cradle Mountain, to be held on March 31 to April 2 2017.
Cradle Mountain Hotel - Restaurant Refurbishment
We are very excited to be refurbishing Grey Gum and Quoll's restaurants as well as Brushtails Bar this winter. The refurbishment is another step towards Cradle Mountain Hotel becoming your on-mountain experience centre for all-day dining and our magnificent Wilderness Gallery as well as a restful night in our accommodation after exploring the beautiful surrounds.
Hot Blues For Cool Nights: Swinging Times At The Devonport Jazz Festival
Cradle Mountain truly comes into its own at winter time. The crowds have gone, there’s a romantic dusting of snow and the brisk air is perfect for pleasant strolls. When you’ve had your fill of nature, the Devonport Jazz Festival will heat up your soul with an incredible program. From 28 – 31 July 2016, Devonport’s malls, vineyards, cafés, pubs, art galleries and concert halls will reverberate with the sounds of Australia’s best musicians.
Food Of The Gods: Indulge At Latrobe's Chocolate Winter Festival
Tasmania becomes a winter wonderland in July and there is no better base for exploring this island state than Cradle Mountain. With wonderfully crisp air and no crowds, you will be able to enjoy the rugged beauty of the area highlighted with sprinkles of snowfall. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy brisk walks and sample the best of Tasmanian produce and festivities.
An Astonishing Encounter at Ronny Creek | By Kate Butler
Ronny Creek was one of my favourite areas and during my time in the National Park, I made sure to incorporate it into my walking routes every day. The torrential rain had turned the buttongrass moorland into a raging floodplain, with hundreds of streams rushing along past and underneath the boardwalk. This made things a lot more interesting and between spotting wombats, I would also watch the water in amazement.
Night Time Animal Spotting & Devil Feeding | By Kate Butler
When you stay at Cradle Mountain Hotel, be sure to join the animal spotting tour one night. Our bus picked us up from our accommodation one cold, dark, wet evening and began its short journey over to Devils@Cradle, the Tasmanian devil sanctuary. On the way, our driver shone his huge spotlight out of his window, searching high and low for signs of life.
The Mountain Rock Experience at Cradle Mountain Hotel | By Kate Butler
For a taste of seasonal, local produce whipped up into a carefully thought out menu, visit Grey Gum restaurant at Cradle Mountain Hotel. The dining area is cosy yet spacious, with a large roaring fire and veranda forest views as its two focal points.
Into the Wild: Exploring Cradle Mountain Hotel’s Wilderness Gallery | By Kate Butler
Opposite Cradle Mountain Hotel reception is the gift shop and Wilderness Gallery. As I made my way into the warmth of the gift shop one morning, I sensed the rustic vibes I had been feeling throughout the hotel, following closely at my heels.
Hunting for the Last of the Fagus in Cradle Mountain National Park | By Kate Butler
As a traveller, I was very fortunate to find myself in Tasmania for autumn. The landscape becomes a feast for the eyes, spilling yellows, oranges and deep reds like paint, across an already perfect canvass. Autumn is the time in particular, when photographers and nature lovers get incredibly excited about the deciduous beech tree, best known as fagus, and I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.
Underground Adventure: Explore The Wild Side Of Mole Creek
Those who are seeking adventure in the Cradle Mountain area should not miss the amazing Wild Cave Tours at Mole Creek. This karst cave system contains more than 300 caves, some of which have been developed with walkways and steps. However, this tour allows you to appreciate the magical beauty of smaller caves that are pure and untouched. You will certainly find yourself wiggling through spaces that you never imagined possible.
Outdoor Gallery In Sheffield: Stroll Through The Town Of Murals
Many visitors pass through Sheffield on the midland highway to Cradle Mountain; however, this town, located in the picturesque foothills of Mount Roland, is a worthy destination in its own right. As you drive through the streets, it is impossible to miss the huge paintings which decorate the walls, giving this place its title – The Town of Murals.
Natural Wonders Down Under: Soft Adventure At Mole Creek Caves
From Cradle Mountain, it is a ninety-minute drive through forest and mountain landscapes to the tiny town of Mole Creek. For those seeking a soft adventure with a difference, the caves here will be a holiday highlight. The pace is relaxing with all fitness levels catered for, so you only need a sturdy pair of shoes and a warm jacket to enjoy these dazzling limestone formations.
Spectacular Panorama: Scenic Helicopter Flights At Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain is an iconic image of Tasmania. There are photographs of it blanketed in snow, covered in the golden fagus of autumn and framed by the glorious hues of sunset.
Nocturnal Delights: Animal Night Spotting Tour At Cradle Mountain
By day, Cradle Mountain offers numerous activities such as hiking, cruising and horse riding. Make sure you retain some energy for a night time animal spotting tour as this is ideal chance to see Tasmania’s nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat. Wildlife is abundant and easy to get close to with professional guides to show you where to look.
Hit The Trail: Horse-Riding Adventure On Cradle Mountain
There are many ways to appreciate the beauty of Cradle Mountain- Lake St. Claire National Park. From bushwalking to cruising, there are activities to suit all interests. One popular option for exploring this iconic part of Tasmania is to join a horse-riding adventure. You will have the opportunity to see breathtaking views from a different angle and hark back to the days of early European settlers who had to cut tracks for horses and carts to reach this remote wilderness.
Plan To Make The Perfect Proposal | Engagements at Cradle Mountain Hotel
Planning the perfect proposal can take a lot of time and cause undue stress. Perhaps your biggest decision is finding the right location. Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park in central Tasmania is breathtaking at any time of year with its stunning views of Mt. Osser, tranquil lakes, waterfalls, rainforest and wildlife. This idyllic setting provides the ultimate backdrop to begin a lifetime of memories.
Soft Adventure or Adrenaline Rush - Canyoning Tours at Cradle Mountain
If you would like some adventure to spice up your Tasmanian holiday, consider taking a trip on the wild side through the canyons of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. The tours on offer have various levels of difficulty giving everyone the chance to see the beauty of this area from a unique perspective.
Natural Splendour: Fiery Colours At Cradle Mountain In Autumn
Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park is an incredible destination at any time of the year, but an autumn visit will allow you to experience a unique event. The deciduous beech, or fagus, is a cold-climate deciduous tree that can only be found in Tasmania.