Tasmania is not very big, especially to Queenslanders like us, but Cradle Mountain is as hard to get to as Strahan, and for similar reasons: it’s at the end of several hours’ drive into wild country whether you start from Hobart or Launceston. Launceston is the closer of the two but the trip still takes a couple of hours – down the highway towards Burnie, then through Sheffield, past Mt Roland and up into the northern edge of the highlands. It’s worth the effort.
The entry-point to the park is a big new visitor centre with a carpark to match. Free shuttle buses run from it all day to Dove Lake, the end of their run, with stops at accommodation, walking tracks and the ranger centre.
We fitted the Dove Lake walk and two shorter walks (Enchanted and Waldheim) into the two long half-days we had there. Another day would have been nice, but I’ve already said that about several other places we saw, so I guess we really needed a longer holiday.
There aren’t many campervan sites on Freycinet Peninsula (previous post) and over-casual visitors are bumped out to free camping areas on the Friendly Beaches or near Moulting Lagoon, or to commercial van parks around Coles Bay. I therefore spent one night at each of the National Parks locations before heading North to Bicheno and then South again to the Three Thumbs and the Tasman Peninsula.
Lurking quietly between Coles Bay, Bicheno and Swansea is a large shallow estuarine area, a RAMSAR-proclaimed wetland and bird sanctuary. As Wikipedia says,
The Freycinet Peninsula (map) is one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania, which I think makes it one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Nearly all of the Peninsula, plus some nearby coastal areas, is National Park. There are access roads, camping grounds and day-use areas within the park but nothing else man-made apart from a network of walking tracks.
I admit that beauty is somewhat subjective but it’s hard to resist the claims of scenery like this:
Fulfilling a promise I made soon after my visit to Undara Lava Tubes in Western Queensland in June, here are photos of the local wildlife. Like my collection of Cobbold Gorge wildlife photos, it was posted very late but has been back-dated to keep it with the other post from that visit.
As usual, clicking on the images will bring them up at full size in a lightbox and reveal a little extra information.
If you want more, this link will take you to a collection on iNaturalist of about 200 images by dozens of visitors to Undara.