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Cradle Mountain

Access


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Cradle Mountain lies at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It is 1 1/2 hours from Devonport via the B19 and B14 south to Sheffield, then C136 and C132 to the park entrance.

From Launceston, it is a 2 1/2 hour drive on the Bass Highway (A1), then the signposted route via B13 and C156 through Sheffield.

From the west, drive 2 hours along the A10 and C132 from Queenstown or 1 1/2 hours from Burnie via B18 through Ridgley, then the A10 and C132 to reach the park.

There is no direct road link through the Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park to join the two ends of the park. Visitors may most easily reach Lake St Clair via the Cradle Link Road (C132) and the Muchison and Lyell Highways (A10).

Caravans, campervans, motorhomes and trailers, as well as vehicles over 6.5 tonnes and/or vehicles over 8 metres in length are not permitted in the national park. These vehicles must be left at the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Transit Terminal car park. Visitors can use a shuttle bus or approved tour bus to access Dove Lake and other day walk areas. For commercial and school group vehicle guidelines click here.

Private vehicle access changes to Dove Lake

Visitors are advised that from 22 October 2018, private vehicle access between the visitor centre and Dove Lake (along Dove Lake Road) will be restricted during shuttle bus operating hours.

From 22 October 2018, a new fleet of larger hybrid diesel/electric shuttle buses will be introduced to increase carrying capacity and meet Disability Discrimination Act 1992 legislation for public transport at Cradle Mountain. The introduction of the new buses will deliver a higher standard of service for visitors to the park and improve the visitor experience.

These medium-sized buses are not able to navigate the road safely with the number of private vehicles currently using the road. These changes are in the interest of providing a safe and efficient bus service into the park, and ensuring the safety of all road users.

The restriction for private vehicles will generally occur between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm each day over winter (1 April to 30 September); and 8:00am to 6:00pm over summer (1 October to 31 March).

Visitors wanting to drive to Dove Lake in their private vehicle may enter the park before or after shuttle bus operating hours for that purpose, although all visitors are strongly encouraged to use the shuttle bus service.

Private vehicles will NOT be required to carry a UHF radio. This requirement only applies to commercial operators. Those vehicles leaving the park before the end of the daily shuttle service can only exit with shuttle bus escort (follow the bus out).

Visitors wanting to access Dove Lake for short day walks will not be inconvenienced as the shuttle bus service operates to a very frequent timetable during the peak periods. The shuttle also provides the opportunity for visitors to enjoy the scenery without the challenge of navigating the narrow, winding road. Ample car parking is provided at the visitor centre where the shuttle bus departs.
For a larger version, click on the map

Further information is available in our Dove Lake Access Change FAQs document.

Cradle Shuttle Bus 

McDermotts Coaches operates the shuttle bus service on behalf of the Parks and Wildlife Service. The shuttle bus service operates between the visitors centre and transit terminal, located at the former airstrip to Dove Lake. The service is aimed at protecting the important values of the World Heritage Area while also preserving the visitor experience.

The shuttle service operates seven days a week and is free to use if you possess a valid National Parks Pass. However, a separate valid shuttle bus service ticket is required to board any shuttle bus - this can only be obtained from Parks and Wildlife staff. To obtain a shuttle bus ticket please present your National Parks Pass in the Visitor Centre

Due to the high visitation at Cradle Mountain throughout the year, visitors are encouraged to leave cars at the visitor centre (located 2km before the park boundary) and take the shuttle bus service to the Interpretation Centre and Ranger Station, Snake Hill, Ronny Creek, Waldheim, and Dove Lake. 

Please note that from 22 October 2018, private vehicle access between the visitor centre and Dove Lake (along Dove Lake Road) will be restricted during shuttle bus operating hours.

Road Conditions

For information on roads leading to Cradle Mountain, and access within the park, please see the DIER website.

Public transport and tours

Visitors wishing to use public transport or tours to access the park should visit our web page on Access to Tasmania's National Parks, Reserves and Walking Tracks.