Cradle Mountain walks – Marions Lookout via Wombat Pool
Tannin stained lakes and ponds the color of a cup of tea, alpine ranges and spectacular, wide open views on Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake are all part of one of the park’s best short walks – the hike to Marions Lookout via Wombat Pool. Within a couple of hours, this delightful 3 km walk will give you a little taste of the famous Overland Track and take you up, down and around some of Cradle Mountain’s best features.
Start out your walk at the Dove Lake car park – don’t forget it might be a good idea to register your intentions in the day walk book at the shuttle shelter. The trail to Marions Lookout via Wombat Pool is rated as moderate, and although it is steep in places, most people can tackle it with confidence. Boardwalks, stairs and chains have been set up to assist hikers during the hardest climbs, and with so many magnificent views to take in, there’s always time and an excellent excuse to take a breather!
From the car park, a gentle rise leads up the hill on the right-hand side of Dove Lake, then down along beautiful Lake Lilla and on to Wombat Pool. From then on, it’s up onto the ridge. Trees quickly disappear, replaced by alpine scrub and meadows covered in swarms of colorful wildflowers during spring. Splendid views reveal a mountainous landscape speckled with lakes, including impressive Crater Lake – in autumn, a great place to see the gold and copper foliage of fagus, stunning beech trees.
The last climb is the hardest, but at the top the view is well worth the effort: look down on the other side of Dove Lake, and straight into the craggy peaks of Cradle Mountain.
The easiest way back is to return via the same path. However, if you are feeling energetic and adventurous, you may consider walking straight down to Dove Lake on a rough, extremely steep track.
Whichever path you choose, remember to take a warm jumper, a raincoat, some snacks and a good bottle of water. Oh, and don’t forget to sign that day walk book again on the way home!
To immediately receive a free guide with more day walk ideas and a great day walk map click here and register.
Stephanie Cotteret is a freelance travel writer and photographer from France. She specializes in writing about Australia, where she has lived for several years, and is a regular contributor to Australia-Australie.com , France’s leading website for Working Holidaymakers and backpackers. Check out her photography portfolio online , or contact her on toothbrushnomads[at]gmail[dot]com.
Image: Vern and Skeet – via Flickr