Treks: Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain
If you are a novice in walks/ hikes, then a great place to start would imperatively be at the Cradle Mountain vicinity. This place offers grade 1 walks to higher level intensity and challenge. After some hikes in Hobart, up Cape Raoul and Fluted Cape, the walks and hikes in Lake St Clair National Park does seem to be really no kick at all. Not trying to vaunt, but it is what it is. 😀
Of course, I am not referring to the Overland Track which requires me to pitch tents, bring my own food/ water supplies and live in campsites for days as I (that is, if I can) advance further up the mountains.
This national park has made the trails tracks within the Cradle Mountain vicinity so family-friendly. With most trails on levelled boardwalks (J’s favourite walk paths), a few uneven inclined steps and rocky fissures, this is definitely child’s play- literally. We saw many families on the hikes, with kids as young as 5? 6 maybe?
I remember vividly of a family of 5 from Hong Kong – Dad, Mum, Grams and 2 kids. The preschooler in the family was adamant he was the next Christopher Columbus that when his Pops made a wrong turn sending them in the opposite direction, “Little Columbus” decided it was time to take charge and exclaimed, “Dad, I told you, it’s this way. This way!”
Exhilarated, the little boy trotted along the path and passed us. His dad meekly allowed himself to be led, while the other 3 family members jaunted some distance behind. What a heart-warming sight I must say.
Prelude: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
We arrived at our stay close to late afternoon. By the time we settled the checking in and other miscellaneous, I was already quite bushed (probably from the long ride from Launceston city). Too beat to even feel enraptured by the largest stay we ever had.
Frankly I didn’t even want to go out after we checked it. I laid on the day bed facing the somewhat angular high ceiling and the picture mounted to the wall- I could fall asleep then and there.
“So what now? Do you want to go out?”
I ignored J’s question. Shut my eyes and try to find some sort of serenity.
She asked again. Duress to reply, we ended up heading out for an evening walk towards Ronny Creek.
Snake Hill to Ronny Creek Walk
|Route:||Snake Hill -> Ronny Creek|
|Distance:||2 km (1.3 miles)|
|Average Walk Time:||~ 35 mins|
As it was evening, taking an easy walk seems the right way to end off a languorous day. We took the free shuttle service from the Rangers Station/ Interpretation Centre, which was just a 5 minutes’ walk from the Lodge. The walk from Snake Hill is super clear cut; boardwalks throughout. In truth, I was kinda taken aback by how easy the walk really is. I am sure J would differ otherwise- she really adores boardwalks. I reckon the only 2 worries you need to fret during this harmless walk are:
|Animal poopies||Don’t want to soil your track shoes, now do we? Prime suspect? Wombats, maybe? I’m sorry cute stuffs, but I seriously believe the poopies left at intervals on the boardwalk belongs to you guys! Haha! 😀|
|Black Currawong (a.k.a Black Jay)||Black Currawong (a.k.a Black Jay)- My first encounter with this bird was during this seemingly risk-free evening stroll. I was walking way faster than J, and unfathomably I didn’t notice the Currawong standing stationary on the perch at the end of the bridge! So I continued on, and by the time I noticed it, I was about an arm’s length and half away from it!It glared straight into my eyes as I did in its. Only difference was, mine was more of gawking than glaring. What a fearsome looking creature it was. I sort of froze for a few seconds, uncertain of what to do next. I turned behind, and saw J paused at the other end of the bridge as she espied what was ahead. I gingerly made my way towards her, and we waited for it to take flight.
I can still remember distinctly the death stare it gave me. I read in a hotel brochure somewhere that Currawongs can recognise faces? So whether or not it is true, better be save and not stare at one for it may register you- if you are hapless!
After an approximately half hour’s walk, we arrived at Ronny Creek. The view at Ronny Creek is definitely way better than during the walk through Snake Hill in my opinion.
With large pasture of open spaces filled with patches of button grass (Wombats’ food source, FYI), this is definitely a nice place to respite and soak in the moment in all its glory.
It is mentioned by the driver in the shutter service that Ronny Creek is the best place to spot Wombats! And aren’t we lucky? Our first day in Lake St Clair National Park, and we saw cute stuff! 😀 Just soak it all in people. Just soak it all in… …
The Enchanted Stroll (Guided Walk- Lodge’s Complimentary)
|Route:||Front of the Lodge (Circular Track)|
|Distance:||1 km (0.62 miles)|
|Average Walk Time:||~ 20 mins|
What I love about the stay (aside the huge room), is the activities the Lodge provides, and the very strategic location. After our walk through Snake Hill, we decided to go on this guided stroll since it is just located adjacent to the Lodge. How very so convenient huh?
Even the King Billy Track is just a few metres from our room! We popped by and went on this walk on one of the other evenings before dinner. I still remember I could even go back to our room and grab an apple to munch as we meander through the rain forest! Haha…!
The guide was really amiable and informative as he got the group engaged- for me at least; since I love to listen to stories and histories- even the histories of the ancient rain forest and the Pencil Pine river seemed to intrigue me somehow! He talked about the age of trees that he pointed to, and plants to look at in detail etc.
During the tour, we all spotted another wombat (minding its business) and the entire group was all busy gawking at it instead of listening to the guide. So he decided to pause a moment and let us be amused by the cute stuff before he continued. How thoughtful! 😀
We were on a streak here when it comes to spotting Wombats! Yay!
Hope this inspires you to do more walks in Lake St Clair National Park! Travel whenever and spot for cute stuffs (a.k.a Wombats) at Ronny Creek!