3 DAY CRADLE MOUNTAIN TRiP
Follow the tasting trail from Launceston Airport, before heading for the high country. Sparkling raspberry liqueurs, crafty Tassie brews, and irresistible cheeses along the way will ensure you won’t leave the trail hungry. Or arrive empty handed.
Launceston to Cradle Mountain
Land in Launceston, collect your car and head towards the highlands. In Deloraine you begin the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail, starting with fresh brewed coffee and breakfast at Deloraine Deli, browse the providore and ask staff to pack a hamper for the road filled with all the best pickings. The trail is all about collecting produce. It’s the perfect excuse to stop in at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm to stash a punnet of fresh chocolate covered raspberries and a bottle of sparkling raspberry.
The next trail highlight is a cheese tasting at Ashgrove Cheese – think bush pepper, lavender and wild wasabi. Try them all as you watch cheese being made through the viewing window.
In Railton, ‘Town of Topiary’, tour Seven Sheds Brewery to learn how to make craft beer. Willie Simpson’s beers are a long way from the usual tastes of big, brewery draughts. Ramble through the hop garden, sample his brews and make for mural-filled Sheffield.
If you come across a local walking his alpaca down the main street or a curious man wielding a yoyo outside the Emporium, don’t be afraid to strike up a chat- the locals are friendly!
Make your way towards Cradle Mountain and check into your accommodation for the next two nights. Dinner might be at Altitude restaurant where meat is seared on a 360°C volcanic stone, sealing in all the natural juices. Retire to the lounge bar, where you can decide which side of the Tassie beer war you’re on. In Tasmania, you’re either for James Boag’s or Cascade (but we’re happy for you to try both).
Overnight Cradle Mountain.
Today step into the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, whether it’s ambling around Dove Lake or jumping and sliding through canyons on a guided tour. If the thrill seeker in you leaps at the chance to venture out on a canyoning quest, Cradle Mountain Canyons will zip up your wetsuit early in the morning and have you floating your way through The Lost World Canyon in the upper reaches of Dove River.
Prefer a slower pace? Dove Lake Circuit walk might be more suitable. This six-kilometre sojourn leads through the Ballroom Forest, full of ancient myrtles, and continues beneath the crags of Cradle Mountain and Little Horn. It’s relatively flat, and you may find yourself joined by a wombat or two. If a short uphill climb takes your fancy, stunning views are afforded at the top of Marion’s Lookout. Not only is it a breathtaking view at the top, it’s a great way to burn off a few calories.
Follow your outdoor exploration with a visit to Waldheim Alpine Spa in the afternoon. To get you in the mood for pampering, treatments include choc-covered strawberries and champagne. There’s something invigorating about slipping deep into a hot spa while fresh mountain air nips around your shoulders, a reminder of where you are. Known as The Sanctuary, here you can move between the steam room, sauna, hot tub and cool vitality pool – all while gazing upon ancient King Billy pines and the Pencil Pine River in the wilderness beyond.
Don’t miss a rare opportunity to watch the local marsupials gather for mealtime at Devils@Cradle – the perfect precursor to your own meal. Book early if you’d like a behind the scenes tour followed up by roasted marshmallows beneath the stars and two courses at the local Highland Restaurant.
Overnight Cradle Mountain.
Cradle Mountain to Launceston
After breakfast depart for Latrobe, about a ninety-minute drive from Cradle Mountain. In Latrobe, immerse yourself in a heavenly chocolate tasting experience at House of Anvers Chocolate Factory. At this haven for lovers of chocolate, you’ll find a world of treats and even a chocolate museum.
After you’ve had your fill, drive east for an hour to Relbia, and the expansive grounds of Josef Chromy Wines. The á la carte lunch menu is, as one could imagine, complemented with award-winning wines. Take a pew in the 1880s homestead and consider Josef’s early beginnings, when he left his war-torn village in 1950 as a 19-year-old before coming to Australia. At the cellar door, taste the range and grab a bottle of Josef’s pinot noir, one of Tassie’s finest.
If there’s time before your flight, drop into the Georgian village of Evandale, right by the airport. Explore the town, home to the annual National Penny Farthing Championships and a saddler’s shop dating back to 1840. While you’re in the neighbourhood, drop into the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company to stock up on tasty mustards, jams and sauces. There’s always room in the outside pocket of a carry-on for handmade Tassie goodness.
3 Day Cradle Mountain Trip
Availability of experiences in this itinerary may be subject to opening times, seasonal operation or booking requirements, please call ahead to plan each day.
Photo Credit: Wai Nang Poon, Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, Supplied Courtesy of Kentish Council, Graham Freeman and Rob Burnett.