I know its Winter and out of season in Tasmania but I never expected to be the only one on the Gray Line day tour to Cradle Mountain. Thats what I was though as driver Dave and I made our way west of Launceston to cradle county. I didn’t know until I left Tasmania but it appears that I was very lucky with the weather there as its supposedly only nice for about 20 days a year. The upside of being the only tourist was that I had more control over what we did and this included such cheesy tourist photos of the wombat and kangaroo road signs.
Once at Dove Lake I could see the beauty of Cradle Mountain standing before me. The only decision I then had to make was whether to walk around the lake or climb up to the Marina Lookout. Thankfully I took the latter option and chose the ‘easy’ track which wasn’t so easy for the fact that the middle of the path was very icy plus it was also very boggy in places and my foot went in a couple of times which wasn’t too pleasant.
Unlike Mount Fuji a couple of weeks before this mountain hardly had anyone on it. I must have only seen about a dozen people on the whole climb and descend which took about two and a quarter hours and it was lucky that I did see them as a couple pointed out a wild wallaby to me which I would probably have missed. Another pairing were on hand to take some photos of me at the top which was great as the views were magnificent with the reflections of the mountain in the lake waters providing an amazing spectacle.
I inadvertantly took the ‘difficult’ route down which was actually a lot easier as it wasn’t so icy and with the steps and chains to hold on to it was far quicker than the other route which was important as I was needing to get back to the driver fairly quickly to move on to the next place.
As we left the beautiful serenity of the mountain and lake behind we saw a wild wombat which was a bonus for me and further benefit was seeing the famous Tasmanian Devil albeit at a conservation sanctuary.
We stopped off at Ashgrove Cheese farm on the way back to Launceston to sample a wide variety of cheese (and honey too) made on the premises and I even purchased a few wild wasabi cheeses as novelty presents for a few of my students. All in all it was a very pleasant day trip and I was pleased with what I had seen.