I’ve wanted to summit Cradle Mt for the last 8 years (ever since my in-laws moved to Tasmania) but every time we visit it’s either 1. Winter or 2. Storming. Finally this time around we have a good weather window.
It’s peak season so we had to take the shuttle in. The good news is that this allowed us to start and end from different trailheads.
We got dropped off at the Ronny Creek trailhead and started walking on the Overland Track (sidenote: someday I want to do the full overland track, 51 miles to Lake St Clair to the south). It’s late December but it was a chilly start as the trail steadily climbed up to Marion’s Lookout. At one point I saw a snake on the trail, probably deadly, this country is horrifying.
From there the trail heads to Kitchen Hut and shortly after we turned onto to the Summit Track. All of these trails are very well travelled and heavily used. After some steep climbing the trail turns into scrambling for the rest of the way to the top. We had a blast on this part and some sections are fairly challenging. There is a main route most hikers take but at points it becomes a bit of a choose your own adventure -- awesome!
The views from the top are stunning, much of Tassie can be seen, mountains in every direction.
The way down is nitpicky. Scrambling down, IMO, is much freakier than going up. I wouldn’t want to be going down this in rain let alone ice or snow.
We headed back via Kitchen Hut and Marion’s Lookout and then took the Wombat Track back to Dove Lake to grab the shuttle back to the park entrance. If you have the time I’d recommended taking Face Track at Kitchen Hut to the Lake Rodway Track and out that way. Overall it’s longer but you get to stay high for the views for more of the hike.