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Published: October 12th 2006
This guy kept an eye on Cradle Mountain despite the spring melt.
Today we headed north toward Cradle Mountain. The weather was still cool and a little rainy, but we decided to brave a 10km Montezuma Falls walk. The track was along the side of a mountain with a river running far below - it was cut out of the rainforest in the 19th century an originally used for hauling timber and ore. We were quite thankful for the early morning rainfall, as it made the trek a little more interesting. Along the way, we passed 18 or more small falls or significant weeping walls of rock and moss. When we finally reached Montezuma Falls, we were awed. The falls were more than 100 metres tall, and spanned by a suspended steel footbridge. The walking path on the footbridge was only 30 cm across, and the signs at each end insisted that the maximum load for the bridge was two people (possibly due to the plastic zip ties securing the bridge to the suspension cables) but it looked safe enough. On our way back to the car, we ventured into an old abandoned mine. Just inside the opening, we found a rare cave spider, Hickmania troglodytes
- it was blind, but I’m sure
We're in love
The mountainous, green countryside lured us to stay several days in the central north of Tasmania. It was beautiful.
it knew we were there.
We continued on to more mountainous driving (it felt like we were back in France!) right past Cradle Mountain to our B&B. The mountain was in cloud-cover today, so we hoped for the best tomorrow. We arrived at our B&B, Cradle Vista B&B, and we felt like we were at a home away from home. Jim and Janette were very friendly and helped us plan tomorrow's trek.
We woke to a beautiful clear day and armed with a map, guidance and suggestions for our walk from Jim, we began our day at Cradle Mountain. We were pleasantly surprised when we met our first wombat guarding the boardwalk just as we began our day. He was huge (nearly a metre long) and looked stuffed. One of the more interesting facts about wombats - they have cubic droppings. Yes, cubic. Very interesting! Our walk took us up past crater falls (pretty, but nothing in comparison to the day before) to crater lake. The lake was very nice - situated in front of dark grey, rough cliffs. It felt like we were walking in western Canada. We stopped at a fork in the path and were
In the distance - cradle mountain overlooking Dove Lake.
admiring the lookout over Dove Lake and considering our path back down when other tourists encouraged us to continue up the path to Marion’s Lookout. They enticed us with stories of an incredible view and snow patches.
We continued up, at and times, we were going more up than across - we had to pull ourselves up on a chain at one point to get to the top of this lookout! The view at this spot was beautiful. We ate our lunch with a totally unobstructed view of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake below. There were some small snow patches melting in the spring sun, and we managed to throw a couple of snowballs before deciding to continue up the mountain. As we continued to higher altitude, we encountered a lot of snow, but with the spring melt, it was a very muddy, wet walk. The slush and snow were fun - we had forgotten how slippery it can be! We even came upon a snowman keeping watch over the face of Cradle Mountain. Instead of venturing right up to the peak, we decided to take the face track - a rough track that follows right along the stone face
A panorama view of Crater Lake, nestled in the mountains.
of the mountain. We ended up right along the solid rock wall in the actual cradle of Cradle Mountain! At times, the track was so rough, we weren’t sure if we were still on a track. Instead of following the full track all the way around, we decided it was getting late and we’d need to take a shortcut down the mountain. On Jim’s map, this shortcut was marked “very rough” - and it was! It was pretty much straight down. We needed at least 3 points of contact at all times - our two feet were not enough to keep safe. It was very hard going, but was certainly a huge adventure. It was a great relief to hit the bottom track and walk the boardwalk back to the carpark! We started walking at 11am and ended at 5:30pm - a long, but fun day. Fish and chips at the Cradle Mountain lodge never tasted better.
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