Treks: Dove Lake And Canoeing, Cradle Mountain
|Route:||End of Cradle Mountain Road (Circuit Jaunt)|
|Distance:||5.7 km (3.5 miles)|
|Average Walk Time:||~ 3.5 hours (with plenty of time to take great shots)|
|Scenery:||🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂|
How to get there?
From our stay at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, an approximately 15 – 20 minutes drive along Cradle Mountain Road, led us to the end, and marked the start of one of Tasmania’s premier walks- the Dove Lake Circuit Track!
(FYI, taking the free shuttle service can also bring you to Dove Lake, and this is advisable since parking spaces are limited. The frequency for these shuttle services are reasonable too.)
Upon arrival at the parking lot, the partial view of the cerulean waters of Dove Lake was enough to keep us enraptured for a moment or two. Not to mention the backdrop of the 2 leading spires of Cradle Mountain protruding high up against the sky. What a picturesque vista that no image captured on camera could ever do justice to. Seriously, you need to be there to see it in full view.
Hiking Highlights and Views
We were swooned as we got closer to the start of the circuit track, though the waters ain’t as blue as it was for view at the parking lot, it looked really clear, clean and super refreshing- to an extend that J and I wanted to douse ourselves inside for a refreshing late morning splash. It only we could… … We just might… …
Between the both of us, J was a tad excited than I was. She had done research on Cradle Mountain many months before we embarked on this odyssey, so she was extremely excited for this part of the entire Tasmanian vacation.
Since it’s a circular track, venturing from either side would be the same. However, we decided to start from the left, as that was what the signage stated. Very typical, I know.
After experiencing the walk (starting from the left), I suggest that everyone should do the same. WHY?
The initial part of the walk allowed us to spend an interminable amount of time up on the Glacier Rock taking pictures with natural late morning sunlight! Furthermore, we got to have an unobstructed view of Cradle Mountain, and a pseudo bird’s eye view of Dove Lake.
It was a perfect way to start off a walk, don’t you think?
If you looked closely at the surface of the Rock, you will see parallel grooves engraved into it caused by debris within the glacier that moved down from the slopes of Cradle Mountain many moons ago.
TIPS? Try to stay rooted to the uneven rock, and try not to plunge into the lake, though how inviting it may look. The tracks may be slippery too, so don’t get too carried away with photo takings that you accidentally plunge.
Getting tangible with Dove Lake
Walking on the boardwalks around the Lake led us to a mini outlet or two where we could sit by the sandy shore with the waters of Dove Lake just a pebble’s throw away. It was a great instant to stay serene with nature, and stare at the waters with the two spires in the far distance.
This was the moment where we all took a deep breath and wished time could just pause forever.
Since the waters was just within reach and all so alluring, I couldn’t resist not putting my hands in for a cold swirl. Hey, if I can’t douse my whole body in it, at least let my hands have a go at it, huh? 😀
Angular view of Cradle Mountain
Sauntering around the Lake gave us angular views of the 2 jutting spires of Cradle Mountain that ensorcelled us as we stood beneath. After awhile we came to realised the tons of photos of Cradle Mountain we had as the backdrop- viewed from different parts of Dove Lake. Haha… … 😀
A walk cannot be complete without admiration of the flowers that grow so perfectly along the boardwalk. And what about appreciating the little streams that trickle from the rainforest? Oh yes, what about the wildlife, insects and amphibians too? 😀
Nature is just beautiful like that. If we could spare some time to pause and absorb, we would be awe-stricken.
Another popular icon in many photographs of Dove Lake would be the boatshed that stands humbly by the shore of the Lake; with Cradle Mountain afar.
The boatshed was build mainly out of King Billy pine. It was built back in the 1930s, as boating was popular back then.
Canoeing on Dove Lake
Our stay- Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge offers canoe trips on Dove Lake during Summer. It was pretty easy for us to enquire and book a slot with them upon our arrival at check-in.
The costs is not exactly cheap- it’s approximately AUS$80- ish? However, this trip provided by the Lodge, includes afternoon tea, life vests (not for keeping afterwards, of course), tips of how to manoeuvre the canoe, and a dash of insights of the Dove Lake area.
As we aren’t adept canoeist (I have never held a paddle before in my life), we weren’t so on the ball of things, and were actually behind the “class” in all tasks. It was mad hilarious. We were practically laughing our ass off during the entire 3.5 hours trip.
Let me describe to you in detail of what was actually happening, so any first-timers out there could be prepared and not face the same awkwardness as we did… … Haha…
You know the movie Dump & Dumper? The one where the pair was acting all weird, clumsy and goofy? Well, imagine them being girls, and younger.
When the rest of the “class” had already advanced further towards Glacier Rock and were there listening to the insights by the guides, we were still way behind struggling to join the pack. We were laughing half the time to even get the canoe to move, and when we did move, we were going in circles! It was seriously quite an embarrassing sight. LOL!
Finally we made it close to the Rock, but by that time, the guide had finished speaking and the “class” was ready to canoe to the next location.
This was after J tried to murder me (yes, she did) by canoeing us way too close to the Rock that had protruding sharp branches. By the time, I yelled for her to stop paddling and me trying to use the paddle to stop the canoe from advancing, the branch was already so close to me it slit my wrist a little during the mini struggle. Flies started fluttering in front of me for our canoe had perturbed their afternoon slumber. (-.-)”
Ah yes… …Definitely a Dump & Dumper moment. Don’t judge.
As J had done some really minor canoeing in Vietnam, of course I took the cue from her. Her miniscule experience in canoeing was our only asset to bring us through the 3.5 hours. Sounds like torture huh? But it was not, really. It was like a self-entertained sitcom. We did way too embarrassing things that tickled us silly. We saw ourselves being extremely way behind the “class” that it was pricelessly comical.
We were constantly reverent that the “class” could paddle like some sort of pro-athletes. Way to go people!
So I paddled when J instructed me to, and also stopped even when she wanted me NOT to. I was tired alright. I needed a break to embrace nature, leave me alone. LOL.
I felt real bad that I was at the front seat gawking at Cradle Mountain, and splashing the waters when she was at the back struggling to keep us on track with the class. So I offered to take over, with full on enthusiasm and energy thinking that I could paddle for at least awhile longer while J rested. But this determination lasted a few seconds, and in the end, we both weren’t paddling as we saw the “class” float into the horizon, while we were left at the centre of the Lake.
Okay, I exaggerated here. The guides aren’t that mean. When they saw as “liabilities” of the “class” stranded, they paddled back to get us and tied our canoe to theirs so we won’t be left behind! Hooray for the invention of ropes, seriously!
As they were tying the ropes, I could still remember I asked a very cheeky question- probably I was too tired to think straight.
“Yay. So, this is like a free pass right?”
“Oh no. You still have to paddle ya? Or we will all be here until sunset.”
After being tied to them, and knowing now there was no way we will be behind the pack, I spend most of the time playing with the waters by making mini waves with my hands as the canoe moved. J, on the other hand, was a “good student”. She paddled, and only took short pauses to rest.
For that, I would like to laud her. She has some serious determination when it comes to canoeing. You go girl!
As I was having my moment with the waters of Dove Lake, J was at the back reminding me to paddle. So trying not to be a freeloader, I mustered all my energy left in my arms, and paddled with all my might- which of course lasted for a few seconds. How feeble my arms are.
Okay people, I’ve tried. My arms just can’t. Make me walk for miles up slopes and down, but don’t make me canoe.
Would I want to experience this again? Sure! Why not? Not the part where J tried to murder me of course. The other parts of this are definitely good to relive. Haha…!
Since I was not the one doing most of the paddling (thank you J and the guides), and I could enjoy Cradle Mountain from a unique perspective. So why not? 😀 And not to mention all the laughs and embarrassing actions we did- I honestly don’t mind reliving them.
Life is all about new experiences and laughter, and so what if we “humiliated” ourselves in front of the “class” and guides? What matter most was that we had a ball of a time laughing at each other’s stupidity.
At least now I can tell people I have canoed before? Or does this not count? 😀
Hope this inspires you to insert new experiences in your life, embrace nature and travel whenever!