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How to get to Cradle Mountain

The drive to Cradle can be a treacherous, long and stressful trip for a lot of people.

Tasmanian roads are notoriously windy and complicated, and GPS systems are not hugely reliable, and have been known to lead people up gardens paths, 4WD tracks and 1 way roads on more than one occasion.

So, below is the best way to get to Cradle Mountain from each of the major centres/regions, from a local’s point of view. (All routes start in the CBD of each city)

Launceston to Cradle Mountain

You should allow 2 – 2.5 hours for this journey

  • Head North-East on Brisbane St towards Quadrant (120m)
  • Turn right onto George St (160m)
  • Take the 1st right onto York St (500m)
  • Turn left onto Wellington St/National Highway 1 (signs for Burnie/Hobart) (800m)
  • Slight right onto Midland Highway/National Highway 1 (signs for Devonport/Burnie/Hobart) (2.5km)
  • Merge onto Bass Highway/National Highway 1 via the ramp to Prospect/Devonport/Burnie
  • Drive for approximately 56kms, making NO turn offs
  • At Elizabeth Town, take the left hand turn signed onto Railton Road / B13 (signs for Sheffield, Railton, Cradle Mountain)
  • Follow this road until you get to Railton, approx. 21kms
  • At Railton T-intersection, take the left hand turn to Sheffield, Sheffield Rd/B14
  • Follow this road until you get to Sheffield, approx. 12kms
  • Take the first left hand turn to Gowrie Park, Moina, Cradle Mountain (West Kentish Rd/C136)
  • Follow this road, making no turn offs, until you get to Moina (approx. 30kms). The road to Moina is VERY windy; please take it as slowly as possible!
  • At Moina T-intersection, turn left to Cradle Mountain
  • Follow this road, until you reach the Cradle Mountain National Park turn-off (approx. 20kms)
  • Turn left
  • Follow this road until you reach your desired property/Cradle Mountain National Park

View a Google Map from Launceston to Cradle Mountain

Things to See On the Way

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm – just before Elizabeth Town, on the right hand side. Their chocolate coated raspberries are simply scrumptious!

If you are up for a slight detour, continue past Elizabeth Town for about 4kms to Ashgrove Cheese Factory – free cheese tasting plus a pretty substantial range of local and Tassie produce.

Just after Gowrie Park, once you have climbed up some of the hill, there is a turn off to Staverton, on the right hand side of the road. This is also the way to get to Tasmazia, and their legendary Pancake Parlour! This is a great place to wander around if you have a couple of hours to spare, or kidlets that are sick of being in the car!

**** The alternative route to Cradle Mountain from ‘Launnie’ will take you through Mole Creek, which includes the Trowunna Wildlife Park and the Mole Creek Caves. This route is NOT recommended for anyone who gets car sick or anyone who is in a hurry! It is not a great drive, especially for those in tiny hire cars, hence why it is not detailed here, but you may want to look it up if it sounds like it might interest you.

 

Hobart to Cradle Mountain

You should allow 4.5 – 5 hours for this journey

  • Follow Brooker Avenue out of Hobart, following signs to Launceston, for 18kms
  • At the roundabout, take the second exit onto the Midland Highway
  • Keep following the Midlands Highway for approx. 159kms, until you reach Perth
  • Take the left hand turn immediately after the Caltex Perth Roadhouse (Illawarra Main Rd)
  • Follow this road for 1km
  • At the railway crossing follow the road around to the left (Illawarra Rd)
  • Follow this road for approx. 12kms
  • Merge onto Bass Highway/National Highway 1 via the ramp to Devonport/Burnie/Deloraine
  • From here follow the above directions from Launceston

Things to See On the Way

A whole lot of highway! There are a couple of rest stops, and you do drive through the Main St of Campbell Town, which is the best place to stop for coffee, something to eat, and petrol, but that’s about it.

The drive through the Midlands highway to Perth/Launceston is more about getting from one end of the state to the other quickly, rather than about entertaining travellers.

 

Devonport to Cradle Mountain

You should allow 1.5 – 2 hours for this journey

  • Head North on Broadhurst Avenue toward Steele St (100m)
  • Turn left onto Steele St (500m)
  • Slight left onto Don Rd (1.7kms)
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Stony Rise Rd (600m)
  • Continue onto Forth Rd (6.4kms)
  • Turn left onto Wilmot Rd (30kms)
  • Continue onto Cradle Mountain Road (35kms)
  • Take the turn off on the left to Cradle Mountain National Park

Things to See On the Way

Some very interesting letterboxes! Keep your eye out for the unique mailboxes, you will be surprised! You may like to stop in at the Wilmot Shop aka The Original Coles Store, too. Good idea to grab petrol here if you are running low.

 

Burnie to Cradle Mountain

You should allow 1.5 – 2 hours for this journey

  • Follow Mount Street for approx. 1.7kms.
  • At the top of Mount Street, at the T-intersection, take the right hand turn towards Ridgley
  • Follow the road through Ridgley and keep driving on the Murchison Highway for approximately 77 kilometres
  • Take the left hand turn, sign posted to Cradle Mountain
  • Follow Belvoir Road for approximately 26kms.
  • Take the right hand turn to Cradle Mountain National Park
  • Follow along Cradle Mountain road until you reach your desired property/Cradle Mountain National Park

Things to See Along the Way

Not much, just like Hobart to Cradle it is mostly just highway, frequented by trucks. Before you leave Burnie though, if you haven’t already, Hellyer Road Distillery is worth sussing out, even if you aren’t a big whiskey fan! They have a nice café and run tours of the distillery.

 

Strahan to Cradle

You should allow 2 – 2.5 hours for this journey

  • Head north east on Harold St towards Esplanade (230m)
  • Continue onto Harvey St (800m)
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Andrew St (500m)
  • Continue onto Henty Rd (950m)
  • Continue onto Henty Main Rd (1.2kms)
  • Continue onto Zeehan-Strahan Rd (39kms)
  • Turn right onto Main St/Zeehan Highway (4.7kms)
  • Turn left onto Murchison Highway/A10 (signs for Rosebery/Burnie) (61kms)
  • Turn right onto Belvoir Rd (26kms)
  • Turn right at Cradle Mountain National Park turnoff

Thing to See On the Way

In Zeehan you will find the West Coast Pioneers Memorial Museum, which is worth a look if you are interested in the rich history of Tasmanian’s West Coast.

 

Public Transport

TassielinkThe Tassielink bus is probably the best and cheapest option for guests who do not wish to drive to Cradle themselves. It is a very reliable service with experienced – though sometimes grumpy – drivers. The bus leaves Launceston from Cornwall Square Transit, Corner Cimitiere and St John Streets. There is also a pickup from the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport. You can book by phone or on the web. The one ticket fare from Launceston to Cradle Mountain is $58.60pp. It is slightly cheaper from Devonport, at $40.40. The bus service runs most days, except for Sunday. Prices and times are subject to change, so it is advised that you contact Tassielink on 1300 300 520, or visit http://www.tassielink.com.au

McDermott’s Bus Line in Launceston – This Company runs a bus service to and from Cradle Mountain from Launceston. It departs Launceston on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday – including Public Holidays, at 8:30am, arriving in Cradle Mountain 11:20am They will pick you up from your accommodation, if you are in central Launceston, which is a great bonus. The return trip departs Cradle Mountain at 3:00pm travelling via the Bass Highway arriving in Launceston at 5:30pm. (Check their website http://www.mcdermotts.com.au/ or phone them on (03) 6394 3535 as bookings are essential) Fares: $50.60 each way

Tasmania Tour Company – Ph. 1300 659 878 – Simon comes highly recommended from some very experienced users of public transport to and from Cradle and around Tasmania. He provides a very personalised service with a lot of flexibility and local knowledge. For example, a stop for lunch, a coffee or a scenic view is all part of the service. Highly recommended, even though more expensive than just taking the bus to Cradle. Launceston to Cradle Mountain is around $330 for 1-4 people plus $80 per additional person: http://www.tasmaniantourcompany.com.au/

Outdoor Tasmania – Ph. (03) 6391 8249 – Apparently, these guys provide a similar service to Simon at the Tasmania Tour Company, so either may be a good option. In addition, Outdoor Tasmania has a trip matching service that works on an interesting concept for you to coordinate your transport with other travellers: http://www.outdoortasmania.com.au/

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