Lake St Clair Park Centre
Start your visit to Lake St Clair by calling in to the impressive park centre. There, via innovative displays, you can take a trip through time that shows how the Lake St Clair area has developed from ancient times through to the present day. Discover the effects of glaciation on the highland areas of Tasmania, learn how Aborigines and early white explorers interacted with the environment and explore the relationship between animals and their habitat.
To help you make the most of your stay, information officers are available at the centre seven days a week. They can advise you on what to do and where to go and assist with general enquiries.
Other day visitor facilities
There are picnic facilities with barbecues at Cynthia Bay. Wheelchair accessible toilets are located at the park centre. The area also has a general store and restaurant, public telephone and outdoor seating facilities.
Through a Private Operator, canoes, bicycles and motorised dingies are available for hire. Contact the Private Operator on (03) 6289 1137 for details.
Camping is available at Cynthia Bay. For further details please contact the concessionaire on ph (03) 6289 1137 or email email@example.com
A Backpacker/Travellers Hostel is also available at Cynthia Bay with 2 & 4 bunk rooms and refectory kitchen. Unique alpine-style units are also operated privately by the concessionaire - phone (03) 6289 1137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tariff.
Accommodation is also available outside the park at Derwent Bridge.
A passenger launch operates from Cynthia Bay to Narcissus Bay at the northern end of the lake. It provides a leisurely way to experience the lake and mountains of the Lake St Clair area. For the more energetic it is possible to walk back via part of the Overland Track. Launch bookings can be made at the general store or by phoning (03) 6289 1137. Contact the concessionaire - phone (03) 6289 1137 or email email@example.com for details of cost and running times.
At Cynthia Bay fires are only permitted in the constructed fireplaces. Use fuel stoves elsewhere. Please do not collect wood from the bush as fallen wood is a necessary part of natural cycles.
Day visitors have a number of contrasting walks to choose from. Whether walking to an alpine lake, a mountain summit or an ancient rainforest, staff at the park centre will be able to assist you. A day walk map can also be purchased there if you want to go on one of the longer walks.
Important! The weather here changes by the day, sometimes by the hour. As well, conditions on the lake and along the tracks can be windier, wetter and colder than at Cynthia Bay. Be prepared and seek advice from park staff about weather forecasts or check the latest weather details.
A good map is essential.
A gentle stroll around the lake shore at Cynthia Bay will suit just about anyone. The views across the lake provide panoramas of Mount Olympus, the legendary home of the Greek gods, and of the Traveller Range and Mounts Rufus and Hugel. Cynthia Bay is named after the Greek goddess of the moon.
This easy walk follows the crest of a glacial moraine for part of its route. It also takes you through six different vegetation communities. Visitors in late spring and summer should see many of the wildflowers out, including waratahs, orchids, banksias, hakeas and leatherwoods. The return point is the junction of the Cuvier and Hugel Rivers. Allow 1 hour for a leisurely return walk.
Platypus Bay and Larmairremener tabelti - Aboriginal cultural walk
Continue on from Watersmeet. A circular route can be taken which follows the Platypus Bay track to Lake St Clair. There you'll have wide, uninterrupted views across the lake to the Traveller Range.
Follow the track back to Watersmeet and then take the signposted Larmairremener tabelti - Aboriginal cultural walk. This track, most of it dry underfoot, takes you back to Cynthia Bay via fern glades, moorlands, rainforest and towering eucalypt stags and provides interpretation of the Aboriginal heritage of the area. Allow 1 1/2 hours for the return trip.
Some of the most spectacular areas of the park are accessible by longer day walks. A walk to Shadow and Forgotten Lakes normally takes 4-6 hours return and is suitable for families as long as suitable clothing is worn. The Mt Rufus Circuit is a more demanding day walk that takes 7 hours. Talk to park staff about what you need for these and other longer walks as track and weather conditions can vary. A detailed map is essential for longer walks.
There are a number of options for walkers wishing to do overnight walks in the Lake St Clair area. Popular walks include Echo Point and Pine Valley.
Lake St Clair is the end point of the famous Overland Track, which runs for 65km from Cradle Mountain. To ensure a quality experience for all, walkers setting out on overnight walks from Cynthia Bay 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.
Licensed trout fishing is permitted in the lakes and rivers in season and licences can be obtained from the general store. Private boats may be used on the lake. Signs indicate the location of the boat ramp.
Ranger led activities
Usually during summer and autumn, 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.