Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park#2 in Best Things To Do in Tasmania
Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area, this national park comprises two regions: Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair. In the northern Cradle Mountain section, you'll find the bulk of the attraction's facilities, including a visitor center, a gift shop and multiple cabins. Cradle Mountain is also the starting point for the Overland Track, a 40-mile path that takes at least six days to complete. The southern Lake St Clair area, meanwhile, features Australia's deepest lake, plus hiking trails and picnic areas. Lake St Clair is also the ending point for the Overland Track.
Past visitors said Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is "a definite must when visiting Tasmania." On top of jaw-dropping forest and mountain scenery, you may see wild critters like wombats, wallabies and platypuses while trekking the park's trails. If you plan on hiking the Overland Track between Oct. 1 and May 31 (peak walking season), remember to make reservations in advance. A trail fee of 160 to 200 Australian dollars (or $126.50 to $158) also applies during these months. The trail fee does not cover park entrance fees.
Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park welcomes visitors 24 hours a day, but facilities like the visitor center and the rangers station are not open at night. The daily entrance fee for adults is AU$16.50 ($13), while each child between 5 and 17 is charged AU$8.25 ($6.50) per day. Family passes for two adults and three kids cost AU$41.25 (less than $33); children 4 and younger get in for free. On-site parking and the Cradle Shuttle Bus, which travels between Dove Lake and the visitor center, are both covered by admissions. You'll find the park's Cradle Mountain entrance about 48 miles southwest of Devonport; the Lake St Clair entrance is roughly 105 miles northwest of Hobart. To learn more, visit Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania's Cradle Mountain page and Lake St Clair page.
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#1 Freycinet National Park (Coles Bay)
Occupying a peninsula just south of Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park is a prime spot for bird-watching, camping and scenic drives. The park also features white-sand beaches surrounded by pink granite peaks that are just as popular with photographers as they are with swimmers, kayakers and snorkelers. If you'd rather hike while exploring this protected area, you'll find multiple trails for short, half-day and overnight hikes on-site.
Visitors rave about this national park's scenery, adding that locales like Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach are so breathtaking that you could spend several hours admiring your surroundings. If you're short on time or new to hiking, travelers recommend trekking the Wineglass Bay Lookout path; for a more challenging hike, several suggest taking the path to Mount Amos. Reviewers also rave about the sunsets at Honeymoon Bay and Cape Tourville's lighthouse.
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