On Monday 10th December, we packed up our tent and left Wynyard – bound for Cradle Mountain. We took a fairly scenic route through the country to Cradle Mountain. We stopped at Hellyer Gorge for a quick look and a walk to a beautiful river.
On the way to our next we stop, Natalie started feeling car sick (which she occasionally does on winding roads (and when she’s tired)). Unfortunately she vomited – which was the first car sickness we’d had on our whole trip. Luckily, Natalie’s Aunty Kath had given us some sick bags, so nothing got on the car or on Natalie. After a quick stop to freshen up, we kept driving and headed to Waratah to find the Waratah Falls. These were quite spectacular falls in a very historic town (named Waratah). We had lunch in Waratah near the river and the kids had a play on some play equipment nearby, then it was time to drive to our accommodation at Cradle Mountain.
|Waratah Falls are right in the middle of town|
We setup our tent at the Cradle Mountain Holiday Park, and then walked around the park to explore the facilities. We walked to reception and then realised that the Cradle Mountain Visitor Information centre was only 200m down the road, so we walked there and picked up our National Park pass.
Once we got back to the car, we had a drive toward Dove Lake. The kids were all very tired, and Sam was almost falling asleep (after our Penguin outing the night before) so we headed back to the tent for dinner and bed.
|The Masons in Cradle Mountain National Park|
We wanted to do the 6.6km walk around Dove Lake, and we decided that the morning of Tuesday 11th December was to be the day we would do it. So after breakfast, we drove out to Dove Lake. The day was a bit cloudy to start with, but the forecast was sunny and about ½ way through our walk the sun came out and it was a beautiful, warm day. All 3 kids did really well walking around the lake. Sam didn’t even need to be carried once. We had a great walk around the lake as we admired Cradle Mountain in the distance.
|Sam, Natalie and Josh at Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain in the background|
|Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain National Park|
After our walk, we drove to Waldheim for lunch in a picnic shelter there. We then did a quick rainforest walk before heading back to the tent. The kids played happily together in the bush behind the tent until it was time to go and start cooking dinner at the well resourced camp kitchen. We had an early dinner because we had booked ourselves onto the 5:30pm tour at ‘Devils@Cradle’ which is a Tasmanian Devil and Quoll sanctuary. We went to the sanctuary and had a very fascinating 1 ½ hours learning about and watching Tasmanian Devils and Quolls.
|A Tasmanian Devil in the 'Devils@Cradle' Sanctuary|
|Two Quolls at the Sanctuary|
After a fairly slow start on Wednesday 12th December (which can be very hard in a tent when the sun sets at 8:50pm and rises at 5:30am!) We decided that we would go to a place called “Tasmazia” – which is about 45 minutes from Cradle Mountain. Tasmazia is an amazing attraction that has lots of Mazes (among other things). We were so glad that we decided to go there because the kids (and adults) had a ball, and it has been done so well. There are many little sections to the attraction and we all loved exploring and trying to find our way through some pretty impressive hedge mazes! It is well worth the stop for anyone going by.
|Josh, Sam and Natalie at the Post Office of Lower Crackpot|
|Enjoying the 'Balance Maze'|
|Sam amongst the village of Lower Crackpot|
|Natalie and Sam with one of the hedge mazes in the background|
After we’d had enough fun at Tasmazia, we drove to Sheffield and had a late lunch. After we’d had a brief look around Sheffield, we headed back to the caravan park in Cradle Mountain. It was quite late when we got back, so we had dinner and then went for an after dinner walk in the National Park along the ‘Enchanted Forest’ track. While we were walking we saw our first Tasmanian wombats.
|A wombat in Cradle Mountain National Park|
We also saw a few Wallabies and some Paddymelons (which are also small kangaroo-like animals) and at one stage, Natalie couldn’t decide whether to call it a Wallaby or a Paddymelon, so she called it a Watermelon!
The Cradle Mountain area is really a special place, with so much untouched wilderness and lots of wildlife. We really enjoyed our time there.