Ancient forests of the Cradle Valley area
(Photography by Steve Johnson)
At certain times throughout the year, rangers offer a variety of activities such as walks, talks and slide shows for both adults and children. Besides being lots of fun these are a great way to learn about our national parks, wildlife and cultural heritage.
The park contains an extensive network of walking tracks to suit everyone's tastes. A day walk map should be purchased from the visitor centre if you want to go on any day walks. Staff at the visitor centre will also provide tailor-made advice to match your walking needs with the tracks available.
Day Walk Planner
Important! Before planning any walks, be sure to check the weather.
SHORT WALKS (Under 2 hours return)
Boots and preferably gaiters are needed. A good map is essential.
Dove Lake Loop Track
A great introductory walk to the park, this walk leaves from the Dove Lake carpark. Take the track on the eastern (left hand) side of Dove Lake and follow it clockwise around the lake. The newly-completed track takes you under the shadow of Cradle Mountain, through the tranquil Ballroom Forest and back along the western shore of the lake to your starting point. Allow 2 hours.
Visitor Centre Rainforest Walk
Leaving from just behind the visitor centre is a short boardwalk that is a must for all visitors to Cradle. Take the time to meander through a patch of cool temperate rainforest and you'll be rewarded with views of the beautiful Pencil Pine Falls. The easy track, suitable for wheelchairs, then circles back to the carpark. Allow 8-10 minutes.
The Weindorfers Forest Walk
Leaves from Waldheim chalet and takes an easy grade through a forest of King Billy pines, celery-top pines and myrtles. The walk takes about 20 minutes at a gentle pace. Take a little extra time and view the displays in the chalet to catch a brief look at the life of the Weindorfers.
This leaves from the bridge at the park entrance and passes by scenic waterfalls, pools, moorland and rainforest before returning to the Cradle Mountain Lodge. This walk takes about half an hour and is mostly dry underfoot.
There are a number of options for walkers wishing to do overnight walks in the Cradle area. Popular walks include a circuit of Cradle Mountain via Lake Rodway (staying in the Scott-Kilvert Hut) and to Barn Bluff and Waterfall Valley. However, to ensure a quality experience for all, walkers should be aware that there are guidelines in place to ensure that overnight walkers and those undertaking the Overland Track do not adversely impact upon each other.
Read our Overland Track Usage Guidelines [PDF 386 KB], which provides guidance to walkers intending on doing walks during the Overland Track booking season (1 October – 31 May) that involve part use of the Overland Track. These guidelines ensure that the quality of the Overland Track experience is maintained for all users. All walkers are asked to respect these guidelines.
The Overland Track
Cradle Mountain is the starting point of the world-famous Overland Track which runs for 65 kilometres to lake St Clair at the southern end of the park. The walk demands a fair degree of preparation and physical fitness and takes 6 days to walk or longer depending on weather delays and the side trips you take.
For full details, see our web pages on the Overland Track.