Cradle Mountain in 1 Day

Destinations, Travel With Kids

We left Cradle until the very end of our trip to Tasmania in the hope of seeing some snowfall. Whist cold, we weren’t quite lucky enough to see any white magic on the days when we visited. It didn’t stop us from absolutely loving our time at the park though!

 

IMG_3215

Hikes

We couldn’t visit Cradle Mountain without completing the Dove Lake Circuit! This 6km track walks you in a clockwise direction around Dove Lake, finishing at the famous Boat Shed. I had so looked forward to that special pic, but had not once considered the hundreds of other tourists that might have looked forward to it also. Im still getting used to Instagram vs. reality when it comes to major natural tourist attractions like this. I have no idea how some people manage to get the pics that they do, people free and looking like they’re the only soul within cooee. But I did manage to get one quick shot before the next bus load pulled up.

 

IMG_3386

 

Anyway, after snagging a single pic of the Boat Shed we turned down the path to complete the next leg our our hike, a 3.2km stretch which would take us back to Ronny Creek. We were told by a Park Ranger that this would be the best location from which to spot a wombat in the wild. After trekking about 3.1km we certainly did see a wombat! Not just one either, 13 was the final count! Right at the end of the track, just before the bus stop. So if travelling with little kids and or on a tight schedule, perhaps just catching the bus out to Ronny Creek will do the trick.

 

IMG_3534

IMG_3470

 

From Ronny Creek we caught the bus back to the Ranger Station so that we could then go on to do the Enchanted Walk, another short 1.1km stroll. After browsing through the Ranger Station Information Centre, we headed south and enjoyed an easy hike through the Enchanted Woods. A beautiful little hike that hugged a small stream and looked like something out of a Harry Potter movie! Popping back out at the back of Pepper’s Lodge, we popped inside for a sneaky mulled wine before catching the last bus of the day back to the car park at the main entrance.

 

IMG_3288

IMG_3248

 

After 10.3km of hiking, we called it quits for the day. That was enough for this little family. I would love to go back and do more of Cradle Mountain one day, in fact the kids and I made a pact that for Seb’s 18th birthday we’d come back and do the Overland Track whilst Dad hold’s the fort back at the Derwent Bridge pub! Im actually really looking forward to it. Hopefully we can make it happen….

 

IMG_3614

Pelverata Falls

Destinations, Travel With Kids, Vanlife

Our First Family Hiking Experience

The day started on a good note. Lots of giggles were coming from atop the ute bonnet where the three kids had perched themselves to munch on sandwiches before the hike got underway. We eat well on big adventure days. We pre-pack lunches that usually consist of salads or salad sandwiches, maybe tubs of yogurt, fresh fruit or snack boxes containing nuts, cheese, dip and veggie sticks. We always feel uber organised on these days, a far cry from life back at the farm. Today was no exception. All the camera gear was charged, everyone had remembered to put the correct shoes on, and we had even got away before 11am! A super human effort amid such a laid back new lifestyle.

There was not a lot of research to be found on Pelverata Falls. I had oohed and ahhed over Insta-worthy pics of towering rock faces with gushing water bellowing from above, but otherwise could not find any practical, real life information or experience from which to base my expectations. So off we set, on a 3 hour return sign posted walk. A baby hike by many standards, but our first ‘proper’ hike as a family nevertheless. Little did we know that this hike had the potential to scare us off hikes for years to come!

As we began, the track was quite easy, slightly uphill but otherwise nothing of concern. A leisurely stroll through a picturesque forest, as many hikes in Tassie seem to be. The initial half hour of any walk with our children is always filled with some degree of moaning, and today was no different. Grace had, however, only recently begun reading The Hunger Games series, and somewhere around 20 minutes into the walk force took over her like nothing we had ever seen before. The child that dislikes most physical activities and would instead rather have her head securely wedged in a book, began jogging! She continued to run the vast majority of the track, which scared the absolute life out of me as you will surmise if you read on.

00000IMG_00000_BURST20190313160751901_COVER

By around the halfway mark, this casual ascent quite suddenly morphed into a one foot wide goat track hugging the side of a rather steep hillside. With nothing but chunky grey rocks beneath our hiking boots, we began to tread with a little more caution, shuddering at the sound of rocks tumbling what seemed to be hundreds of meters down and finally reaching an echoey THUD below. My anxiety didn’t take long to completely overcome me and before I knew it was forcing me to grasp in desperation at any shrubbery that was within arms reach, just for some sort of security measure. 

The kids and Nathen all handled the near death experience (probably not an accurate description, but the only way in which I can remember that moment in time) with absolute ease. In fact, they were initially quite perplexed at my sudden change in demeanour, and as the track continued on in this terrifying form, became quite entertained and even highly amused at my ‘state’. I will be the first to admit that there was more than one occasion that I could be found on all fours, sweat coming from my brow, as I focussed on slow breathing my way to the next point of relative safety. That point was not reached until approximately 30 meters to the falls lookout. It was mentally a very long and tiring day for me!

00000IMG_00000_BURST20190313153708493_COVER

We arrived at the falls with a huge sigh of relief, well I did anyway, but as we edged closer Nathen pointed out one vital piece of information. He could not hear flowing water! My heart kind of sunk at that point in time. Mother Nature can be a cruel bitch when she wants to be. And as we stepped onto the timber viewing platform, low and behold, she was dry! Spectacularly tall, she must be a hell of a sight in full flow, but today we got to see her in a very different light – DRY! We took the drone out for a fly in the hope of capturing her mighty stature, but in all honesty, the pics do not do her any justice whatsoever. Would I walk (semi crawl) the 6km return hike again to see her in full flow? HELL NO. But I can imagine with some certainty that she is truely majestic in her prime. 

IMG_0975

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0234.JPG

After getting the token family shot and safely packing away all the techie gear, we turned on our heals, I took a big breath, and off we went to do it all over again! I have to admit though, the way back was far easier than the way in. I think from memory, the walk into the falls took us around 2 hours, whereas the walk back out was closer to 1 hour. All up, including our time taking photos at the other end, we were on the track for about 4 hours. Not too shabby for a 3 hour sign posted walk with 3 kids and a Mum needing to say her last words multiple times throughout the walk. 

Pelverata Falls will be one of those days that we will never forget, for an array of unique reasons. Not my favourite of hikes, we have now completed two others which have somewhat cured me of my hiking distain, but it has certainly changed the way in which I now research future family hikes! Thanks for teaching me a valuable lesson Pelverata, you’re a spectacular sight! But it’s safe to say that you and I will never meet again!