We heard that the weather for the next three day was going to be excellent at Cradle Mountain, so instead of heading North to the coast, we arrived at this special place at 11am. After coping with a very winding road for the first 15kms, there were loads of steep ascents and descents, meaning Russ used 1st gear and travelled slowly, keeping me (and him) pacified.
The mountain is a vibrant place, full of tourists from all over the world and there is a real buzz. They use a shuttle bus system to transport everyone to all the walks and to Dove Lake. It really works well. Buses every 10 minutes. The first day we took the shuttle to Dove Lake and walked to the Boat shed and Lilla Lake. This is where you view Cradle Mountain at its best. We were standing in exactly the same place as Russ’ brother, Lynton did, nearly 50 years ago. We don’t think any of the habitat would have changed – it’s surrounded by a few snow gums and button grass. Button grass grows in half metre clumps and sends up a flower, resembling a button.
Then we got off the shuttle bus at the Ranger’s Station and did the Pencil Pines Fall walk and the Rainforest walk. A short walk with a good view of the falls and a boardwalk through Pencil Pines, Myrtle Beech and Celery Top Pines. The ‘leaves’ look like celery leaves, but in fact are not leaves, but stems. Everything is extremely well set up. The Interpretation Centre, at the Ranger’s Station showed some very old photos, with women walking in their cumbersome long dresses.
Today we went out for breakfast to the picnic area at the Ranger’s Station – delicious bacon and egg muffins! Then walked it off doing the lovely Enchanted Walk, alongside a beautiful creek and through another forest of older trees, with moss and lichen growing over every everything!!