Hiking Cradle Mountain, picnics in the sky + gingerbread.
From Melbourne, a road trip to Tasmania is easy, accessible by an enjoyable overnight cruise on the Spirit of Tasmania. I’d been to Tasmania years ago when I joined a musician friend on his tour of the island. We had driven all around and stopped off in cute little pubs and villages, discovered local musicians with hugely unique styles (try Halfway to Forth), and eaten probably more than our fair share of fresh, local food. I’d always intended on returning and visiting some of the places I had missed last time around.
In the past year I’ve been reading a lot about the Overland Track, the five day long hike from Lake St Clair, through the Western Wilderness, and finishing up at the breathtaking Cradle Mountain. Named as one of the top hikes in the world, much of the track is a boardwalk over streams, beaches, mountains, plains and through rainforests.
While I couldn’t get enough time to do the whole of the Overland Track, I booked three days at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village in a gorgeous spa cabin and did many short walks and day hikes around the Cradle Mountain area.
The Dove Lake hike was my definite favorite, an easy half day hike that takes you around the lake at the base of Cradle Mountain. Through temperate rainforest, across sparse plains, rocky beaches and up onto Glacier Rock, it is an easy ten minute drive from the information centre where you can purchase park passes and access the complimentary shuttle bus.
We made our way up onto Glacier Rock, a short way from the entrance to the Dove Lake Circuit for lunch. We brought some salmon rillettes from 41º South Salmon Farm, locally made Port & Tarragon mustard from Country Larder, market fresh pumpkin, garlic, spinach, green beans and dutch cream potatoes, and wrapped it all in fresh local wholemeal bread.
It is so easy to find exceptional food and produce in Tasmania. Every supermarket stocks locally made items and produce from local farmers, or it is just as easy to turn off the highway and buy it direct from the farmers themselves. Culinary road trips around Tasmania are easy as pie: just search for farm gates Tasmania online and you will find a wealth of brochures, links, websites and tools to help you plan your foodie trip.
We finished our long day of walking in the Cradle Mountain Lodge Tavern, popping in to try some of their house made cakes for afternoon tea. We went for the beautifully moist gingerbread, and their scones, served with mixed berry jam and double cream. Servings were quite large, and at AU$10 with a tea, coffee or hot chocolate it is quite good value for a tourist area.
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village
Cradle Mountain Rd, Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain Lodge Tavern
4038 Cradle Mountain Rd, Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
41º South Aquaculture
323 Montana Rd, Deloraine, Tasmania
Country Larder Preserves and Fine Foods
12 Mertonvale Circuit, Kingston, Hobart, Tasmania