Some people dream of heading to Cradle Country to explore this region on foot. Personally, I had no real desire (any more) for long, arduous treks- no matter how scenic, but even short walks around this area was a little more problematic than I’d assumed, with a one year old. Fairly heavy to be in the pack (I carried him most of the time) and too little to walk on his own for long periods of time. So, we were somewhat inhibited yet did as much as we could. Do I have any interest in heading back to this area child free? Probably not, but, I’d be happy to take the kids back when they’re older and maybe do some longer walks.
It terms of accommodation, I didn’t choose all that wisely for access to Cradle Mountain, mainly because I’m a sucker for a hot spa so got caught on an Airbnb place on Claude Road and couldn’t really move past it. It was roughly a 50 minute drive into the National Park, so that also limited our visit times or how long we could stay. We stayed in this incredibly awesome artist retreat near Sheffield that was much too big for three people, but did have a wicked view of Mount Roland, and of course, an awesome outside deck and spa. The house was super colourful and funky (aka arty), with a fully equipped kitchen and two bathrooms, but it was the surrounding area which really made it. Large windows and sweeping views (became problematic at night with no blinds at all to shut out light… fun times getting bubs to bed at around 10pm…) revealed mountains, bushland, wallabies, bird life and horses. We enjoyed walking down to the horses and sheep and having a pat, thought we failed to see any platypus in the property water holes.
During our two nights here we tried to visit the ‘local’ Mole Creek Caves, namely King Solomons Cave, but unfortunately we were 5 mins too late (even though they had word we were coming) and left without us. A bit frustrated after the 45 minute drive I asked the ranger if there was anything else close by we could do. She mentioned there was a short walk back to the carpark through the bush. It was actually one of my favourite walks of the trip. It took about half an hour and it was just this gorgeous moss-filled walk through rainforest. From here we drove back to Sheffield which is a town known for i’s murals, and had a walk around taking in the wall art which was quaint, but I wouldn’t say ‘well worth the visit’ though I guess it depends on what your interests are, as there wasn’t really much else there.
We did venture to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park on the second day in the area but it was freezing. Well, you know, freezing for us- around 9 degrees (during Summer!) At this National Park you cannot drive in unless it’s before 7am and then you can’t drive out until the evening, so, transport is by bus (included in the parks and services cost). So, we bussed it up to the last stop which was the highly photographed Dove Lake and walked around to the boat shed to take some of those iconic Cradle Mountain shots, and enjoyed the mist and wildflowers. This took around 15 minutes. We knew our son was starting to get a little sleepy so decided to head back to the interactive centre (which wasn’t all that interactive) and then completed a short walk from here to see the Pine Needle trees which had a small waterfall at the end and then the acclaimed Enchanted Walk near the Peppers Resort (and one of the 60 Great Short Walks of Tas) but didn’t enjoy it as much. There were little information ‘booths’ for little ones to walk through and check out the pictures, but I couldn’t help feeling like Pepper’s had paid a good amount of $ for this walk to be on the list. Regardless, it was pram accessible the whole way but we sort of rushed the latter half as our son had indeed fallen asleep.
We were going to visit Tasmazia on the way home (a kind of theme park… kind of) but alas our son fell asleep, again, upon arrival (talk about bad timing) so we checked it out and decided it probably wasn’t worth the $40 for us to enter as he was probably a bit young. Maybe a place that is more suited to children 4-5 years and up.
There were undoubtedly more walks and more areas to explore but we were happy with what we did here. It was manageable with a baby and the weather was pretty dreary which affected our motivation to do much more. Instead we enjoyed our beautiful surrounds near Mount Roland.