This four-mile undulating track in Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park, is one of Tasmania’s most popular ones. Going right around Dove Lake, the path is a boardwalk for much of the way, with occasional stairs and takes you through special Tasmanian vegetation of sassafras, Fagus, King Billy pine, myrtle beech and button grass. With beautiful views out over the lake, plus the majestic Cradle Mountain towering above, the scenery is superb.
Head out from the carpark on the well-signed path and go around the lake clockwise. Glacier Rock is a very short side shoot off the track and bears testimony to glacial activity in this area during the last Ice Age; look closely and you will see the striations where the receding glacier carved its way over the hard quartzite rock and created the basin that is now Dove Lake. The views of Dove Lake from here are worth the 5-minute detour. Further on the majestic Ballroom Forest looms, a cool temperate rainforest with myrtle beeches, an evergreen tree once found growing extensively in Australia, South America and Antarctica. Covered in hanging moss they are a spectacular sight. Look out for the famous boatshed as well, built by the first Ranger of Cradle Mountain, Lionell Connell, from King Billy pinewood, it is a well-photographed landmark on Dove Lake.
To get to this trail, follow road signs to Cradle Mountain, then Dove Lake Car Park. The car park has limited space and fills up quickly so get there early to ensure a space. Access to the park also requires a Tasmanian Park Pass, these can be purchased either online or at the visitor centre. Buses also run into the park from the centre, helping with the limited parking. There are toilet facilities at both the car park and the visitor centre but none on the trail itself.
This is a great trail for youngsters, although due to the stairs it is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs. Dogs are also not permitted. The trail is graded as being of Medium difficulty. For information on how we grade trails, please click her
e. The circuit takes around two hours to complete although caution is advised on trail times as this depends on multiple variables. For more info, click her
e. The weather here can change quickly so be prepared!