Cradle Mountain Camping
Cradle Mountain has camping facilities for a totally wild outdoor holiday.
While camping is not allowed in the National Park, there is a very good private campground in a picturesque bush setting an easy two minute walk from the park entrance.
Cradle Mountain Tourist Park and Campground (formerly Cosy Cabins) has tent sites for $25 – $30, all tucked away in quiet bush alcoves. Camping near Cradle Mountain is a great budget friendly option, especially in the warmer months between November and March. Outside these months, be prepared for some chilly nights and possibly snow!
The Campground office stocks a good range of reasonably priced groceries and snacks, an admirable selection of wines, free internet, and a pay phone, but check opening hours. There are great BBQ sites and a very generous camp kitchen with a huge fireplace to keep warm and chat with fellow walkers after exploring the national park. The toilet blocks are clean with hair dryers and clothes drying racks, and the showers are hot. You can get good drinking water from taps near rainwater tanks dotted around the complex.
Part of the Discovery Holiday chain, book on Free call 1800 068 574, phone 03 6492 1395, fax 03 6492 1438 or check out their website. But remember, summer and school holidays are usually busy, so make your booking early.
Parks Tasmania don’t like visitors driving within the park. A shuttle bus service runs every half hour until about 8pm from the Visitor Centre across the road from the campground. It takes you to Ronnie Creek and the start of the day walk to Cradle Mountain, or further on to the Dove Lake car park. Most of the bus drivers are a wealth of interpretive information and will keep you amused and informed for the duration of the trip. The shuttle is not free with 24 hour or 3 day passes, but is free with Holiday Vehicle Pass, Backpacker Pass or Tasmanian Annual Pass. A picturesque and free alternative is to walk the very scenic 5km boardwalk from the visitor centre to Ronnie Creek.
Hot food, drinks and coffee are available at the restaurant or tavern at Cradle Mountain Café, Cradle Wilderness Café or Cradle Mountain Lodge, and petrol at the Cradle Mountain Café, or at Wilmot, Tullah or Sheffield.
There are picnic shelters with electric barbecues close to the Visitor Centre, and a picnic shelter and tables at Waldheim, as well as plenty of great spots in Cradle Valley. The Visitor Centre has toilets and safe drinking water but National Parks Tasmania recommend you treat water if you get it from other sources.
Image: Richard Munckton – Flickr Creative Commons