Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

26-Nov-2007
   
The Cradle Mountain National Park is located within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area which features mountains, lakes and ancient forests. The Tasmanian Wilderness WHA is one of only two sites that meet seven out of ten criteria for the listing. There are many walking tracks which can take anything from a few minutes up to several days. In order to reduce the impact of cars in the area, parking has been severely restricted and a very efficient bus service has been organised to take you to the various starting points for the walks.

We were very lucky as the weather was excellent with clear skies. A few weeks ago they had several feet of snow. We were told that the mountain is covered in cloud for all but about 20 days a year. As you can see, there weren't many clouds when we visited.

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain We did the three hour walk around Dove Lake at the foot of the mountain.
There were lots of spring flowers in full bloom. Flowers on Cradle Mountain Wild flowers around Dove Lake
Wild Rosemary The yellow on the bushes was Wild Rosemary.
The red flowering bushes were Waratah. Waratah
Currawong

Every now and again you could hear the metallic call of the currawong, a very large crow like bird, echoing around the mountains.

Currawong

One of the top 10 long distance walks in the world sets off from here; it's called the Overland Track. The 80km hike takes about 8 days. We set off on the track and after about 200mtrs turned around and came back! We were on the wrong track and were supposed be going somewhere far less strenuous. We thought about continuing but then Ali remembered that she didn't have her nighty with her. Cradle Mountain track
Tasmanian Devils

In the evening we visited a centre where they were studying Tasmanian Devils. These creatures are on the endangered list as many have been found to be suffering with facial tumours. It's a cancer which is contagious and can spread on contact with other infected devils. The centre is breeding animals from a stock that have been found to be immune from the disease. We listened to a very interesting talk about the creatures from one of the researchers who was carrying one on her shoulder while talking. It looked like a cuddly small dog. After the talk we went outside and watched them being fed and you wouldn't believe that it was the same animal. They were charging around with a carcass of a possum and the noise was horrendous, nothing cuddly about them now. We were told that they can eat up to half their body weight in one meal.

Tasmanian Devils