Spot Tasmania’s wild residents.
If you are an indecisive soul, beware of Tasmania’s pinnacle tourist spot, Cradle Mountain. Reason being, Australia’s answer to Iceland’s splendour spoils you with various stunning terrains embodied in one smallish natural wonderland. The area almost defines the term aging beauty as its current, no-filter required impressiveness is a result of three glacial phases over the last two million years (pretty impressive, right?!).
With that said, it becomes a hard choice to explore (maybe slightly less than the two million years it took to be shaped) if on a day trip from Tasmania’s main hubs, Hobart or Launceston (2.5 hours drive from both cities). There are just too many meandering trails, hikes, lakes, viewpoints to visit and many (cute) furry friends to make along the way to fully appreciate this World Heritage Listed site.
To help solve the issue of frantically ticking off the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clare National Park tourist checklist, an easy solution to this natural problem is to stay overnight.
Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain is a great spot to kick start the adventure in Tasmania’s mountainous playground out of convenience and budget. The region’s untamed wilderness is at Discovery Parks’ gravel doorstep, being only a two-minute car ride to the visitor centre. It is from the visitor centre that the famous Overland Track commences, encompassing over 161,000 hectares (a lot of ground to cover one day!).
The park caters to all types of rovers – from campers, caravans and the ones opting to lap up simple luxuries (think quaint cabins with electric fireplaces). The communal kitchen within the site grounds is large yet cosy with its proper wood fireplace aiding the cool mountain vibes.
Heaters aside, another thing to warm the cockles of your heart is meeting with the park’s local residents – its native animals. Tasmania is home to some of Australia’s most distinct (and adorable) marsupials, and its brushtail and ringtail possums, pademelons, wombats, echidnas, eastern quolls, Bennett’s wallabies are regulars to the park. (So forget the need to visit a tourist wildlife park when you have the wild coming to you).
Once the sun goes down, the torches are out to spot the residents under the stars. (A good place to start playing marsupial bingo is to scout the parks’ camping barbeque area!) It isn’t uncommon either to have a curious possum skirt the doorstep of your accommodation (like one did with mine, just lurking along the wooden railing outside the cabin front door waiting to greet me).
With both wildlife and the wilderness on your doorstep, Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain serves as a perfect springboard to experience Tasmania’s natural best.
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Image source: Discovery Park – Cradle Mountain & Julia D’Orazio