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Where? Lake St Clair!

2 November 2011 No Comment

Lake St Clair Tasmania
Last week, a guest came to the desk looking for information on Lake St Clair. They were under the impression that they could drive through Cradle Mountain National Park and reach Lake St Clair. This would involve somehow finding a vehicle that could drive through the Overland Track and do so without getting caught.

Probably not a realistic option.

I have not enquired about visitor’s plans and received Lake St Clair as an answer on many occasions. I am not sure why this is, especially since the West Coast is a natural destination to follow Cradle Mountain.

I am ashamed, as a native Tasmanian and a resident of the Cradle Mountain area, to admit that I have never in my life visited Lake St Clair. This is a terrible oversight on my part, and as a result of realising this, I have been doing my research –

  • Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park, as a whole, spans 161, 000 hectares
  • Lake St Clair is Australia’s deepest freshwater lake
  • The ‘Ida Clair’ is a ferry which travels 13 kilometres to Narcissus Bay (I will get back to you on the origin of that name) to pick up those avid bushwalkers adventurous enough to tackle the famed Overland Track. This is also a cruise open to visitors, and if you are prepared, willing and able, you can walk from Narcissus Bay back to Cynthia Bay yourself. The ‘Ida Clair’ also makes the round-trip of Lake St Clair during the summer season.
  • Similar to Dove Lake at the foot of Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair is a glacial lake. It is also a popular trout fishing destination, but only if you are the holder of a fishing licence and plan on visiting sometime between August and April.
  • There are various accommodation providers offering numerous options in the area, if you would like to stay a little longer

One of the most prevalent misconceptions that visitors to Tasmania as a whole have is that they can come to Tasmania, stay for a week or so and see every corner of our state, and experience it in detail.

This is about as realistic as driving through the Overland Track.

Yes, Tasmania is a small state. But there is much more to see than you can fit in in that kind of time frame. I once had a couple ask me for directions to Hobart, as they were planning a day trip there from Cradle Mountain.

Even though Lake St Clair is part of the same National Park as Cradle Mountain, it is probably not a good idea to factor it in to your Cradle Mountain itinerary. My advice is to either plan a short stay in a smaller area of interest, or give yourself at least 2 weeks if you would like to travel around the whole state.

There seems to be a trend amongst Tasmanian residents that we are guilty of neglecting our own attractions and destinations in favour of visiting other state’s. This has been pointed out to me by guests before. Lake St Clair is definitely now on my to-do list, along with numerous other Tasmanian experiences.

Is it on yours?

Koby Blizzard is a born and bred Tasmanian who works and lives in the Cradle Mountain area. She loves all things Cradle and Tasmania and is just embarking on a writing career. This is her fourth piece about her exploits working at Cradle Mountain.
Image by Lazellion via Flickr

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