Walking around the Famous Cradle Mountain in Tasmania with kids

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Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania has a list called “60 Great Short Walks”.

Awesome, I thought. We love to walk and hike but our days of strenuous walking are over for now with having young kids.

One of the most popular short walks is the Dove Lake Circuit beneath Cradle Mountain. We’d already done the other popular walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout without the kids, but today was the four of us enjoying some of the best natural scenery in Tassie.

We were craving some exercise, and some sunny weather, as we’d been eating and drinking our way around Tassie and the weather had been very inconsistent.

Luckily, at four of the most famous places in Tasmania, we had GREAT weather. Our day at the Bay of Fires was warm and sunny, the day of our cruise on the Gordon River was a cracker, and Bruny Island was kind to us too! Cradle Mountain didn’t let us down either.

Cradle Mountain is a mountain in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, and is one of the most famous destinations in Tasmania, thanks to its natural beauty and the area around having over 20 different self guided walking tracks, ranging from 20 minutes to 9 hours.

It’s also the starting point for the world-famous Overland Track, a magnificent 6 day walk that takes you through the heart of some of the finest mountain terrain.

We’d love to come back and take on that walk when the kids are older, but for now, we’ll settle for the pleasant short walks.

Introducing the Dove Lake Circuit, Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

This is a great introductory walk to the park. From the Dove Lake carpark, we took the track towards the left and walked clockwise around the lake.

The 6km track takes you under the shadow of Cradle Mountain, through the tranquil Ballroom Forest and back along the western shore of the lake to your starting point.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

The track is a boardwalk for much of the way and a fairly easy grade, which was awesome for us and makes it suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

It was such an easy walk that Kalyra had the breath to talk our ears off for the twoΒ hour duration, so much so that the passers by would comment on how chatty she was. Which was great, when the kids are happy exploring it makes for a great family outing.

We stopped for a lunch break on one of the little sandy beaches, and a fellow walker was kind enough to take a family portrait for us.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Towards the southern end of Lake Dove you will enter a magnificent cool temperate rainforest known as the Ballroom Forest nestled against the slopes of the mountain.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

One of the best stops along the walk is the most-photographed boatshed in Tasmania, on the northwestern shores of Lake Dove.

There’s a lovely sandy spot to sit and have a drink, the kids can have a play, and the views back over Dove Lake to Cradle Mountain are brilliant.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Cradle Mountain 125

They recommend it takes 2 hours. But with kids and taking tons of photos we allowed three hours. All up it was a very easy walk, with just one short moderate hill.

Your only challenge on the Dove Lake walk will be getting a sunny day!

Cradle Mountain 136

Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake walk details

Cradle Mountain is 1 1/2 hours drive from Devonport, or 2 1/2 hours drive from Launceston.

The Visitor Centre at the entrance to the park provides details on walks and other activities in the area. Otherwise, visit the official website for all the details.

We stayed in a small cabin at the nearby Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village. It’s 7k from Dove Lake.

Check out these tips for hiking with kids.Β 

Plan Your Trip in Tasmania

We’ve been traveling consistently for 17 years and have come to rely on a few trusted websites that save us money and time when booking accommodation, flights and car rental. Below are our preferred partners:

Accommodation

  • Booking.com has 5 properties in Cradle Mountain. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.

Flights

  • Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, book directly through the airline (no extra fees).

Car Rental

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The Dove Lake Circuit beneath Cradle Mountain is one of Tasmania's "60 Great Short Walks". At 6km The Dove Lake is great to do with kids.

18 thoughts on “Walking around the Famous Cradle Mountain in Tasmania with kids”

  1. Amazing landscapes, beautiful flowers and great pictures. I’m wondering what is the weather like there? You are all wearing jackets πŸ™‚ and somehow I thought all countries near Australia are always warm!

    1. Hi AkwaabaGolden,

      We were there in November and it was a little cool (for us). Depends on where you come from, but Tassie is not know for it’s warm weather. And the weather can change quickly at Cradle Mountain.

  2. Wow, wow, wow….Australia is so incredibly beautiful. I have come to discover its natural beauty only through your blog! I hope to make it to at least some of these places.

  3. What a beautiful spot you’ve found there. The landscape looks fantastic and walking around a lake is something I find to be very relaxing.

    I’ve never been to Tasmania. It is also often under reported so you are doing us a great service by telling us about the place.

    I can also see why that boat shed is so popular for photos, it is very picturesque with that background.

  4. Hello! I just found your travel blog site and being disabled I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be able to see these beautiful places through your eyes. What a beautiful world we live in! Many thanks and God bless you and your precious family.

  5. This is bringing back some memories. I did that walk when my parents visited me in Australia. Funny is that I have 2 pictures very similar to yours: the one with the dead tree & the one with the cabin πŸ™‚
    Cradle mountains is beautiful, but I must admit us French were a bit disappointed by it.
    This photo with both your kids and the cabin is really great! I love the depth of it.

  6. Looks beautiful. On our list for next time we’re in Tassie. Do you think you could do it with a pram. We’ve got a giant toddler – getting a bit big for the ergo, but the legs aren’t willing to do all of a walk. πŸ™‚

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