Day 206 - Devonport to Cradle Mountain

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October 19th 2015
Published: October 26th 2015
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We awoke to the sound of cockatoos and took a few photos before leaving Mersey Bluff Caravan Park.

After re-stocking the bus with fruit and vegetables at the local supermarket, we had a cooked breakfast at the local cafe and then headed off towards Cradle Mountain, one of Tasmania's icons.

Our first stop was at Sheffield where we checked out the murals before driving to Mount Roland and Gowrie Park. Each Easter Sheffield has a mural competition so there are always heaps of murals to see whenever you visit. Gowrie Park was to be our camp site this evening so we still had plenty of driving to do. We started to climb as we left Gowrie Park and soon we were down to second gear (and 20 kmh) on some of the hills. It was quite a slow trip to Cradle Mountain. We had to convince the Parks people that we had a current pass in order to access the shuttle bus to the Dove Lake carpark. Although the road is still open to the Dove Lake carpark our Coaster was too big to share the road with the shuttle bus Coasters!

Georgi made and packed some lunch into the daypack and we were ready to go. The Dove Lake circuit walk was our goal but the boardwalk was being repaired and a section was closed (so the loop was broken). We walked to the boathouse instead and then caught the bus back to the interpretation centre (previously the Parks office) where we did the rainforest walk and the the Enchanted Forest walk. Then another wait for the bus back to the (new) Visitor Information Centre. I don't think the shuttle bus thing works very well. While we were waiting for the bus we met a couple who had been visiting Cradle Mountain for fifty years. They too, think that Parks have made some poor decisions at Cradle Mountain. It is still a fabulous place and we will be visiting again (hopefully around Christmas or New Year to do some walking).

We had afternoon tea at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Hotel and then visited their Wilderness gallery.

A slightly less slow drive back down the mountains was next on the list, although we took time to detour to the Cethana Lookout from where we could see the lake and the hydro dam.

We arrived at Gowrie Park at dusk and settled in for the night.

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