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Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

A 6 day Pack-Free walk

Tasmania has some of the best examples of true alpine and rainforest environments in Australia. The Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park showcase these ecosystems with some of the best purpose-built hiking trails in the country. While there are several 100 World Heritage sites throughout the globe, Tasmania’s wilderness is one of very few which satisfy UNESCO’s criteria for both natural as well as cultural significance. That makes the park particularly special and you’ll enjoy discovering just how unique it is when you spend some time exploring its immense natural beauty. Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is rich with geological heritage with massive dolerite peaks, deep valleys and glacial lakes that have been carved out during several glaciations over the last two million years.



Follow our Walking APP

Exclusive to Life's An Adventure

Life’s An Adventure has designed an easy to use self-guided walking app that allows you to follow along with GPS maps, walking notes, photos and points of interests. The App gives you average walking times and distances between each section with optional side
trips as well as giving you control to shorten and lengthen each day’s walk. The App will be accompanied by a hard copy that also contains directions, photos and walking notes. This copy also has extra information on relevant human and natural history that will help bring the track to life.

Cradle-Mountain-National-Park- self-guided-walk-Tasmania

Pack Free Self Guided Walk

Leave the heavy packs behind & walk in comfort with only a day pack

Our self-guided walks are Pack-Free. Each day your luggage will be transported to your accommodation leaving you free to walk with a little day pack with your water and lunch.


Personal Emergency Beacon

For extra safety

An emergency personal locator beacon will be available for hiring. This extra safety feature is recommended when hiking in the
high country of Tasmania.



To the trail

Our self-guided walks include transfers to get you to the trail. On the morning of day 1 you will be met by your driver in Launceston Tasmania who will drive you to the start of the trail and deliver your overnight bags to your accommodation. On the final day, a transfer will be provided to get you back to Launceston.


Flexibility and Freedom

Choice of shorter and more challenging walks each day

Our Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair self-guided tour offers you the flexibility and freedom to tailor walks to suit your fitness ability and preference with the option to extend or shorten days. Our experienced guides have picked out their favourite walks within the National Park for you to explore along with interpretative information to give you a good insight into the human and natural history of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site.


Superb Accommodation

Stay on the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage area

Your first three nights will be spent at the award-winning Lake St Clair Lodge in a private ensuited cabin. All the trails are in walking distance from your accommodation and on day three you will be transferred via a ferry across the lake to begin your walk. The final two nights will be enjoyed at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in private ensuited cabins. A short walk across a bridge to the Rangers station and Interpretation Centre where you can catch the National Park shuttle bus to all trailheads.


Gourmet meals included

Qualified chefs prepare all meals

During your stay, all meals are included in your walking package. In the evenings at Lake St Clair Lodge indulge in two-course à la carte dinners at Organic Restaurant. At Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge you will dine at the Highland Restaurant each evening enjoy two-course dinners featuring local Tasmanian produce. Special dietary requirements will be catered for.

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Tour Itinerary

Walk Inclusions
Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

  • A walking APP with GPS coordinates to help you find your way
  • Detailed maps and track notes
  • Transfers to Lake St Clair, Cradle Mountain and back to Launceston
  • 5 x two-course dinners at quality restaurants
  • 6 x packed walkers lunches
  • 5 x hot and cold breakfasts
  • Accommodation at Lake St Clair Lodge and Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
  • Ferry from Cynthia Bay to the beginning of your walk on day three.
  • Option for an Airport drop off
  • National Park Pass which includes shuttle bus transport for the Cradle Mountain hikes

Optional hire of an EPIRB/PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) is available if at an additional cost.

Day 1: Launceston – Lake St Clair
Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk


TRANSFERS: Morning: 2.5 hour transfer from Launceston to Lake St Clair Lodge. Stop enroute for a toilet break if necessary.

WALK GRADE: 5.4kms. Easy. 1.5hrs walking.

TERRAIN: Flat walking. A combination of wide, formed gravel management trails and well-worn natural trail with some uneven rocks.

WALK ITINERARY: Your private transfer will collect you from your Launceston hotel and take you to Lake St Clair Lodge, stopping along the way to stretch the legs. After you have arrived at Lake St Clair and collected your packed lunch you will set out on your walking adventure for the day, a great introduction to the region and give you a small taste of what’s to come. After your walk return to the lodge and indulge in a two-course a la carte dinner at Organic Restaurant. The end of a wonderful first day.

Day 2: Mount Rufus via Shadow Lake
Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

WALK GRADE: Choice of two walks. Option one is a medium grade walk 13km. 4-5 hours Option two is a hard grade walk, 21kms.  7-8 hours.

TERRAIN: Natural trail which is uneven underfoot with rocks, exposed tree roots, some wet and muddy sections. There are occasional sections of boardwalk. There is a steady, long ascent then descent on both short and long options. For those heading to the summit, there are several more steep climbs and then steep descents. Total elevation climbed to the summit is 740m.

WALK ITINERARY: Enjoy a hot or cold breakfast before collecting your packed lunch and setting out. There are two options offered today as a medium or hard grade walk. Explore landscapes of beautiful Myrtle Beech forest, sub-alpine environments, glistening tarns, lakes and rivers. For those that take the harder challenge, you will be rewarded with magnificent views from the top of Mt Rufus, a summit dominated by strange and fascinating weather-sculpted sandstone formations. The views extend all the way to Frenchman’s Cap and the head of the Franklin River. After your walk, return to your accommodation and let the chefs at Organic Restaurant spoil you with a two-course dinner.

Day 3: Lake St Clair ancient rainforests
Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

TRANSFERS:  Ferry transfer of 15- 25 minutes today depending on your walk choice.

WALK GRADE: Choice of walks. Walk Option 1: 17kms. 6 -7 hours. Medium to hard Grade. Option 2: 11kms 3-4 hours. Medium Grade.

TERRAIN: This the track can be rough, slippery and damp with lots of roots and creeks to navigate. A couple of boardwalk sections. Lightly undulating, but no big climbs.

ITINERARY:  After breakfast, head down to the jetty to catch the ferry to the start of your walk. Today is a true adventure taking you through the dense and ancient rainforest that skirts the shoreline of Lake St Clair. You will take the ferry across the lake with the option to choose a longer 17kms or shorter 11km walk. This walk takes you through lichen and moss-covered forest of Sassafras and Myrtle Beech and then into a more open Sclerophyll forest dominated by black peppermint and other eucalyptus which form the final stage of the Overland Track.  After your walk, return to your accommodation to relax. Tonight dine in at the Organic Restaurant for your final evening at Lake St Clair.

Day 4: Cradle Lakes
Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

TRANSFERS: Morning transfer from Lake St Clair to Cradle Mountain 3hrs. Stop en route in Queenstown for a break if necessary.

WALK GRADE: Easy to Medium Grade. 11kms. 4-5hrs. Short version available.

TERRAIN: Well formed gravel trails with compact surface and long sections of boardwalk. Some stairs. Slightly undulating terrain.

ITINERARY:  After your last breakfast your driver will be waiting to transfer you to Cradle Mountain stopping off at the old mining town of Queenstown en route for a break along the way. You will arrive at Cradle in time to do some substantial walking. Our walk today explores the stunning alpine countryside of Cradle Mountain National Park with its pretty lakes, large Myrtle Beech and ancient King Bill forests, alongside sandy beaches and interesting geological formations. Afterwards check-in at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge where your bags will be waiting. Tonight enjoy dinner in the charming Highlands Restaurant, indulging in a two-course a la carte dinner.

Day 5: Cradle Alpine Mountains
Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

TRANSFERS: Morning transfer from accommodation to start of the trail 15mins Afternoon: Short transfer back to lodge at the end of the walk.

WALK GRADE: Hard grade. 13km. 6-8 hours. Short versions available.

TERRAIN: A combination of well-formed, compact gravel trails, rougher rockier natural trail, boardwalks and stairs. The climb to Marions Lookout is steep and rocky with a metal chain railing for assistance. The climb to the summit of Cradle Mountains involves rock hopping and scrambling over boulders with some exposure. It is extremely steep.

ITINERARY: Enjoy breakfast before lacing up your boots because today’s walk is undoubtedly one of the most incredible hikes in the country. Kicking off your day, hike through button grass moorland passing through Beech Myrtle forest and ascending up to Crater Lake. Making your way up to the alpine plateau you will admire spectacular views looking down onto Dove Lake and the magnificent valley below. You will have the option to summit Cradle Mountain, a hike for the more adventurous as it requires scrambling and a high level of fitness. Heading back enjoy views from the top of Hansons Peak before descending down to Dove Lake, ending your day looking back onto what can only be described as an epic adventure. A well-deserved two-course dinner will be enjoyed at the Highlands Restaurant before settling in for the night.

Day 6: Cradle Valley - Launceston
Self Guided Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Walk

WALK GRADE:Easy Grade. 6km. 2hrs.

TERRAIN: Slightly undulating. Easy boardwalk.

ITINERARY: Indulge in your last breakfast at the Highlands Restaurant, before heading out for your last day’s adventure Today’s walk explores the Cradle Valley and is simple and enjoyable. The valley provides great habitat for wombats, native hens, wallabies & Platypus. The boardwalk crosses the river over some high footbridges that are nestled amongst tall Pencil Pines; the track takes you through some vast button grass moorlands, Eucalyptus groves and then finishing in a Myrtle rainforest.

AFTERNOON TRANSFERS: Your driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you back to Launceston – 2hrs drive time with a stop in Sheffield along the way for a break. Airport drop-offs are offered depending on flight times.

Tour Prices

and selecting a date of your choice

With self-guided walks you are able to choose a date of your choice subject to availability.
This is a seasonal walk - the best times to walk are between late October and early April.
Seasons are unpredictable in Tasmania and snow can still be on the mountains throughout Spring and sometimes even early summer.

Once you make your booking, it will remain pending until we confirm availability at your accommodation, once this is done we will contact you to make your deposit/payment. Please do not book flights until your walk is confirmed.

$ 5199 /p

First time traveller with Life's An Adventure

Normal Price……. $5199

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$ 5099 /p

Travelled with Life's An Adventure previously

Past Passenger….. $5099

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$ Xtras /p

The following extras can be purchased with your walk:

This package includes one night’s accommodation at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston in a Deluxe Room with dinner for 2, breakfast for 2 and a drink each at the bar.
Add $225 per person.
Post walk package can also be booked on request as per above details.


PRE-WALK NIGHT PACKAGE for a solo traveller
This package includes one night’s accommodation at the Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston in a Deluxe Room with dinner, breakfast and a drink at the bar.
Add $323 per person.
Post walk package can also be booked on request as per above details.


Unfortunately due to safety reasons, we require a minimum of 2 walkers on our self-guided walks.

Additional Information

  • Prices are per person in Australian dollars and include GST.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $300 per person is required to secure your booking.
  • Note: If you are booking within 90 days of your departure date – we will require full payment at the time of booking
  • Prices are based on twin share of rooms.
  • Payments must be made online via our NAB (National Australia Bank) secure payment page via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or over the phone.
  • Your detailed self-guided kit will be sent to you in the post 6 weeks prior to your walk.
  • Use of a Personal Emergency Beacon (EPIRB) is complementary however a $250 holding deposit will be charged at the time of booking which will be refunded to you after your tour. This deposit will be forfeited if the EPIRB is lost or returned damaged.
  • We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, lost luggage, illness, etc.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Before you book please read our Booking Terms and Conditions. Click here.

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Contact Us
  • Address: HEAD OFFICE: Shop 7, 1306 Pittwater Road
    Narrabeen NSW 2101.

    Guests can meet this tour at our Life’s An Adventure Premises:
    29/6955 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur.
  • Phone: (02) 9975 4553
    After Hours: 0457 002 482
  • Email: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au
  • Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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