cradle mountain Lake St Clair - TAS


Not that many people know this, but our first time to Tassie (plus a trip to Rotorua 6 months earlier), is very much where our love for weekend getaways and the idea of starting Let’s Go Somewhere began. The two of us had been together for almost a year, so we were in that phase (we still are!) where we both do the nicest, sweetest things you can think of doing for each other. It all started when Andrew surprised me for my birthday with a 3 day weekend in New Zealand. He’d made up this little booklet to go with it which had the complete itinerary on it (and even our heads photoshopped on the tourism stock photos), for maximum anticipation and excitement. As someone who liked getting away, he knew the way to my heart. It was the perfect gift. In turn, 6 months later, it was his birthday and his time for a surprise. This time Tasmania!

Having both never been and having 4 days over the June long weekend, I wanted to fit as much in the itinerary as I could. I usually start with a google drive, seeing how far away the towns are and if we can fit it all in. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea to do multiple things, but when you suffer from wanderlust and feel daunted by all of the beautiful things you need to see in this world, trust me, you got to see a few things.

Being the middle of Winter, I knew it would be amazing to fly from Sydney to Hobart that morning and be seeing snow in Cradle Mountain by the afternoon. So that was our first day sorted, then to change up the pace again I booked Wineglass Bay for the Saturday/Sunday leg before getting a quick glimpse of Hobart and heading to Mona on the Monday. Seems adventurous, but Tassie is pretty small, plus how often do you get down there?! So this guide is really two parts over 4D3N but you can do them individually (and for much longer obvs). For this post we’ll just focus on getting from Hobart to Cradle Mountain.

  • Getting there Cradle Mountain is a 2 hour drive from Launceston and a picturesque 5 hour drive via Queenstown. Flights from Sydney and Melbourne average from $100 return per person.
  • Where to stay We stayed at Highlanders cottage for $220pn (July prices) which is featured below. It was really cheap and perfect for 2 but check out our 'Where to stay' section for other options.
  • What to do Stand in awe of this gorgeous mountain all year round. Climb it, do the 4 day Overland Track Walk. Or just sit snug in front of the fireplace with a hot chocolate and great book.
  • How much We hired an Audi A3 from Hobart airport which costs around $400 for the 4 days. We averaged about $200pn for 3 nights accomm. So realistically anywhere from $1000-2000 4D3N.

The drive from Hobart to Cradle Mountain is long and windy but so, so picturesque. If we had our time again we would probably fly straight to Launceston just to save time, but we did get an onslaught of the most perfect scenery imaginable. And nothing got us more excited than turning around one mountain to find snow capped mountains off in the distance. It took us all up around 5 hours but to be fair we had to stop every 10 minutes for a photo.

The further up the mountain we got the more slippery (and cold) the road became and we just couldn’t wait to get to our cosy little cottage at Highlanders to settle in for night. Luckily we had the Audi, the perfect car for these conditions – I wanted to take it home ;).

The cabins at Highlanders are just around the corner from the mountain, so from only $220 per night they are the perfect place to stay. Each self contained cabin comes with a full kitchen, fireplace, comfy king bed and spa bath for two. The owners were nice enough to get our fire started for us before we arrived, so all we had to do was make up a cheese plate, pour the wine, sit back and relax. Heaven.

It snowed pretty heavily the night we stayed and having not seen everything in the light yet, it was like waking up in a real winter wonderland. The cottages were like little gingerbread houses and we did what any civilised adults would do. We had a snowball fight.

After leaving Highlanders it was time to hit the mountain. Now we’d seen many, many pictures of Cradle mountain on Google before, but none like the above. It was so surreal and although freezing we just had to get out and take a walk.

After a quick bite at Cradle Mountain Lodge we set off for the second part of our journey towards Wineglass Bay.

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If you’re thinking about heading to Cradle Mountain for next weekend away we’ve got plenty of options for accommodation under our ‘where to go section’. Coming very soon to the site you’ll be able to download a more packaged version of this guide that you can take with you, as well as some him/her/blank printed guides for that special gift in our soon to be shop.

Of course we’re only two people and can’t get to see everything that this region has to offer so if you have any other tips feel free to leave them in the comments below as we’d love to hear from you. And if you can’t get enough of Tasmania check out our other adventures in Wineglass Bay or a much warmer mid Summer guide to Bay of Fires. Happy holidaying!


Leave a comment - 5 Comments Posted on by admin
Luke says:

Great entry, thanks for sharing.

You can confirm, did you need snow chains to move about the highlands?


Sharni says:

Great article, it’s a truly beautiful place.
I saw your comment about the further up the mountain you got the more slippery it was in the car.
If you could tell me, did you have snow chains on your tyres, or was your tyres fine enough to drive in the conditions to Cradle Mountain without them? Going up there for the weekend for my partner for a surprise for his birthday, and the accommodation place told me that mot people in winter just drive normal rental cars up there with no issues, just wondering if they need chains as no where else as information about this.
If you could let me know via email, that would be greatly helpful and appreciated. :)

Min says:

Hello! Thanks you so much for your blog post, it helps me a lot in planning my trip to Tasmania this year july. May i know where did you rent your car? Thank you very much

KAt Paize says:

Bison get Melbourne in early April. All guides welcome. Thanks

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