People playing with snow near Cradle Mountain Hotel

Cradle Mountain Walks: Marion's Lookout | By Laura Wilson

Five Girls by dove lake near Cradle Mountain Hotel
Cradle Mountain with a rainbow at Cradle Mountain Hotel

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!

I thought I was well and truly prepared, bringing my warmest winter coat and walking tights - boy was I wrong! Lucky for me, among my friends were a couple of seasoned bushwalkers, who happened to bring a spare Kathmandu thermal jacket. When we popped into the Visitor Centre to get our park passes, I thought this might be a good opportunity to purchase some necessary bushwalking accessories: gloves and ear warmers.

As we were a mixture of avid to intermediate walkers, the Park Ranger recommended we tackle the Marion’s Lookout Bushwalk (approx. 2.5 - 3 hours). You guessed it: I am not an experienced walker… So, not knowing what to expect I was starting to feel a bit nervous. But regardless, I was determined to walk the whole distance. And then, I looked up and saw the peek we were climbing to…

Despite the walk feeling more suited to the “avid” than “intermediate”, every level we climbed felt like such an accomplishment and motivated us for the next. It was like nature kept teasing us with a little bit more beauty to keep us going. It was one of the most magical places I had ever been. The entire mountain was covered in snow. And if this isn’t idyllic enough for you yet: in the distance, we saw a beautiful rainbow.

The higher we got, the more we saw our surroundings change and the weather conditions get harsher.  As I noticed us getting closer and closer to the rainbow, it really hit home just how high we were climbing. It was then that I felt pretty damn grateful for my friend’s spare jacket and my last minute purchases at the Visitor Centre!

My recommendation is to be prepared to get down and dirty. Give in to falling on your butt, or having an unsuspecting snow fight with your cheeky bushwalking companions. As at the end of the day, that is what nature is all about! You are literally walking through some of the most protected rainforests in the world, seeing views that are only accessible to those willing and eager to tackle the tracks.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Cradle Mountain’s peak due to fog, but we still enjoyed our picnic on top of Marion’s Lookout, overlooking our accomplishment – this was truly an experience that we will take away with us forever!

As our Park Pass was valid for another 2 months, we decided to do a shorter walk the next day to check out the infamous Dove Lake Boatshed (easy 20-30 minute walk). It was the perfect end to our trip, with nothing but clear blue skies and the perfect view of Cradle Mountain in all its glory.

Tasmania, you beauty!