Cradle Forest Inn is a short drive from many of the Cradle Mountain attractions which include stunning alpine wilderness, abundant wildlife, quaint historic towns, beautiful gardens and several local produce suppliers. For lovers of gastronomic pleasures, there are several boutique wineries and breweries, artisan cheese and chocolate producers. You will make delicious discoveries and sample the delights of this region and understand why it has world heritage listing.
Enjoy the fresh country air and work up an appetite then treat yourself to a delicious picnic hamper specially prepared by our talented chef. If you need advice on attraction planning, there are several guided tours or our friendly staff can offer assistance.
The historic town of Latrobe is situated on the banks of the Mersey River and is known as “the town of antiques”. It is home to several antique shops. Grange Antiques and Claren Antiques have furniture, jewellery and silver, collectibles, traditional dolls and Teddy Bears. Latrobe is located approximately 45 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn past Sheffield.
Cethana Bridge is situated between Moina and Gowrie Park at the base of the Cethana Dam and the start of Lake Barrington. The drive from Sheffield to Moina features some of the most spectacular scenery in the state. Mt Roland, Mt Claude and Mt Vandyke feature snow caps in winter and showcase spectacular sunsets in summer. From the Staverton intersection (C140) along the C136, the road descends 100m to the Cethana Bridge through thick forests, then climbs over 150m to Moina at 580m above sea level.
Leven Canyon is a spectacular canyon and lookout for the adventurous at heart. The walk, which is a round trip, meanders through temperate forest featuring giant man ferns. As you depart the car park the path takes you past the towering fern glade. This is an enjoyable and cool walk in summer. At the lookout, the Leven River rushing through the canyon is a truly impressive sight. The walk requires average fitness level, and is well marked with a good surface. Leven Canyon is only a 40 minute drive from Cradle Forest Inn.
The Mole Creek Caves are in Mole Creek Karst National Park, which is situated below the spectacular Great Western Tiers. As one of the first Karst National Parks in Australia, the area is surrounded by rich green farmland. Much of the water flowing off the Tiers disappears into a network of underground streams which, over thousands of years, have created several caves with superb calcite formations. These limestone caves are ranked amongst the most decorated in the world. The caves are home to creatures which cannot be found anywhere else in the world plus a diverse range of flora, which is the result of our calcium rich soil.
King Solomon and Marakoopa Caves are the most popular, and are open to the public for guided tours through the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service. This extensive limestone cave system is well worth a visit as the caves feature underground streams, glow-worms, rim pools, reflections and stunning stone formations. Tours take approximately one hour and operate almost every day of the year. Cave temperatures are consistent and around 8 degrees Celsius.
For the more adventurous cave enthusiasts, privately operated Wild Cave Tours can provide half day or full day tours through undeveloped caves using headlamp lighting.
Anvers Chocolates are Tasmania’s premium handmade chocolates and are a popular attraction for lovers of chocolate. Situated on the Bass Highway (Highway 1) at Latrobe, it is approximately 10 minutes drive from Devonport and 45 minutes drive from Moina via Sheffield. Turn right to Railton Road through to Latrobe then on to the main Highway.
Ashgrove Farm Cheese specializes in the production of award winning English Country style cheeses. Using traditional recipes and manufacturing techniques, the cheese is manufactured from milk produced on the farm by a herd of 800 dairy cows. Ashgrove Farm ensures that the highest quality standards are maintained throughout the cheese making process. Visitors can view the cheese making area and sample the range of cheeses available. The factory is located on the Bass Highway 20 minutes from Devonport and 10 minutes from Deloraine, and is approximately 45 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn.
Lion Tasmania produces a range of specialty cheeses equal to any in the world. Each cheese created by their Master Cheese Makers is an original with its own special qualities and character. Visitors can enjoy tasting these Award winning cheeses at the Cheese Shop at the Makers’ Workshop. Makers Workshop is located on Bass Highway, Burnie, and is approximately 90 minutes drive from Cradle Forest Inn.
Tasmania is renowned for its gardens which are the result of a temperate climate. Villarett Gardens at Moltema is situated en-route to Cradle Mountain via Sheffield. This picturesque and beautifully tendered garden features a vast variety of trees and shrubs and provides a delightful walk, tea rooms and gallery. It is just 40 minutes drive from Cradle Forest Inn.
Tasmania is also home to Leatherwood Honey which is produced from the scented Leatherwood Tree (Eucryphia Lucida). The tree is so named because of its leathery type leaves and it can grow to heights of up to 100 ft or 30m. Leatherwood honey, with its unique aroma, is considered to be a natural health food. Trees are harvested between January and April. At Melita Honey Farm visitors can watch thousands of bees making honey in an indoor exhibition hive, enjoy free honey tastings and purchase gourmet honey ice cream and other products. Honey Farm in situated in Chudleigh which is approximately 5 minutes from Mole Creek.
Highland Trails capture the spirit of the spectacular Tasmanian High Country with horse riding along bush tracks, horse trails, quiet roads, and uncharted bush. Riders traverse the area bounded by the triple peaks of Mt Roland, Mt Van Dyke and Mt Claude, as well as the Forth River and Lake Barrington. Enjoy fresh mountain air, unique Tasmanian forests, and magnificent scenery. Horses are well cared for and matched to each rider’s style and ability. Highland Trails is at Staverton approximately 15 minutes drive from Cradle Forest Inn.
Cradle Country Adventures offer trail rides for beginners through to advanced rider with the option of half-day, full-day or multi-day rides. Trails are on the back of Cradle Mountain in the beautiful Mersey which is approximately 40 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn.
Tasmazia is a colourful miniature village within a complex of mazes and is one of the most visited attractions in the region. Tasmazia is on the scenic route to Cradle Mountain from Sheffield located on the C140. The Promised Land is at the entrance to Lake Barrington International Rowing course. It is only 20 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn.
Sheffield is known as The Town of Murals and is considered to be Tasmania’s Outdoor Art Gallery. Over 60 murals depicting various interesting and historical events are featured on the town’s buildings. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beauty of the murals along with the backdrop of Mount Roland’s magnificent hues in the distance.
Cradle Forest Inn is situated 580m above sea level and is surrounded by lakes, many of which have hydro dams to provide electricity. The hydro system is quite unique. There are seven hydro dams in our region which start at an elevation of 1100m at Lake Mackenzie, Lake Rowallan and along Lake Barrington. Lake Gairdner is our closest lake at only 2 km and is tunnelled through the mountain to Lake Cethana.
The lakes create beautiful areas for recreational fishing, rowing, boating and photography. Dove Lake is at the base of Cradle Mountain where the famous board walk around the lake is a must for every visitor. Refer to walking tracks.
Lake Barrington is located in the north west of Tasmania and is nestled in the base of the Forth River Valley. It is an artificial lake that was created by the building of the 84m high Devils Gate Dam on the Forth River for hydro-electric power production in 1969. The lake is 20 km long and features an international standard rowing course with comprehensive competitor and spectator facilities. The course is used for local, interstate and international rowing, skiing and canoeing competitions and is approximately 20 minutes drive from Cradle Forest Inn.
The Island State of Tasmania features rugged mountains, pristine wilderness, and an abundance of native animals and unique plant life. It has often been called “the world’s best temperate island” and with over 3000 lakes, rivers and streams it is an anglers’ paradise. Tasmania is Australia’s wild trout capital and boasts the best trout fishing in the country.
Salmon and Trout were brought to Tasmania by ship in 1864 and although the salmon failed, the brown trout thrived in the Tasmanian environment and were later used to stock the waters of other States of Australia and New Zealand. Lake Barrington is a popular fishing lake brimming with black fish, brown trout and rainbow trout.
Please note - a recreational fishing licence is required from Inland Fisheries Service.
Wilmot Hills Distillery is a small distillery nestled in the hills at Wilmot about 20 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn. It is owned and operated by John and Ruth Cole, who have a long-held passion for creating wine and spirits. In recent years they have chosen to concentrate on a range of spirits which includes Gin, Pomadoras (apple brandy), Grappa, Basilico and Absinthe.
In January 1999 the first barrel of whisky was filled at Hellyers Road Distillery. The single malt whisky has its own distinct Tasmanian flavour, attributed to the clean local water and high quality ingredients. It is located in Old Surrey Road, Burnie about 90 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn and visitors can experience the distilling process first hand with an interpretative behind the scenes tour. Whisky tasting is a must, then relax in the café overlooking the lush pastures of Emu Valley.
The Blustery Banks Vineyard is situated on a windswept hill on the Northwest Coast of Tasmania. It overlooks Bass Strait to the North and rich, fertile farming ground to the East and West. With a long growing season, their cool climate, award winning wines, deliver exceptional flavours to the palate and it is just 45 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn.
Three Willows Vineyard at Deloraine is about 1 hour from Cradle Forest Inn, and offers exciting, cool climate wines, grown and hand-made in the traditional way. The first vines were planted in spring 2003, with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris being the main varieties. This was followed by plantings of the rare French hybrid Baco Noir in 2005.
Opened in May 2008, the Seven Sheds brewery, meadery and hop garden provides a purpose built tasting room, brewery tours and cellar door sales. Located in Railton, about 40 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn, it has been owned and operated by a prize-winning home brewer, mead maker and beer industry commentator for over 20 years. Willie Simpson wrote The Beer Bible in 2006 before turning his hand to brewing hand-crafted beers in small commercial batches in his Railton backyard. With a focus on fresh local produce to create great flavours, Seven Sheds grows hops on-site using organic methods, local honeys, and where possible, local malts.
When Spreyton Fresh – the parent of Spreyton Cider Co. was established in 1998 for the purpose of making fresh apple juice, Spreyton also became synonymous with fantastic real apple juice that tasted like apples! In 2011 Spreyton Fresh began experimenting with their first cider ferments, and on the strength of those early experiments, the Spreyton Cider Co. was launched. The company decided to keep the entire cider production process in-house to ensure their products’ quality and integrity. In 2012 they began construction of a cider manufacturing facility and cellar door, and employed a full time cider maker.
Trowunna Wildlife Park is located in Mole Creek and offers the experience of interacting with the many animals and birds. Visitors can see a Tasmanian Devil being hand fed, hold a baby Wombat and a variety of other animals, including Kangaroos, Waterfowl, Echidnas, Eagles, Koalas, and Quolls. There is also a Nocturnal House. The Park is open daily from 9am to 5pm and is approximately a one hour drive from Cradle Forest Inn.
Devils @ Cradle is a unique Tasmanian conservation facility focusing on Tasmania's three carnivorous marsupials, whilst concentrating primarily on the Tasmanian devil but including both the Eastern and Spotted - tail Quoll. The sanctuary is located adjacent to the Cradle Mountain National Park. Visitors can view these animals from the comfort of the Visitors Centre or wander through the sanctuary on a guided tour, which ensures a close up encounter with a Tasmanian devil.
Dove Lake is a 2 km long glacial lake at the base of Cradle Mountain at an altitude of 940m. The 7½ km walk around the lake is unquestionably one of the most popular National Park walks in Tasmania. The Dove Lake Circuit Track is suitable for people of all ages and is relatively easy, mostly on a board walk. It is recommended that visitors walk in a clockwise direction, which takes approximately 2 hrs.
Along the way there are spectacular views of Cradle Mountain and a wonderful variety of native plants and animals. The track passes through an area known as The Ballroom Forest with its ancient myrtles and deciduous beech (the Fagus). This is definitely a highlight of the walk. In late autumn much of the area around Dove Lake is aglow with the spectacular gold and copper hues of the Fagus before leaves fall in preparation for an icy winter ahead. The weather can change very rapidly and it is recommended that visitors be prepared and take warm, weatherproof clothing all year round. There are many other walks which lead from the car park at Dove Lake. It is a 20 minute drive to the Visitor Centre then 7 km to Dove Lake.
15 minutes from Cradle Forest Inn in the Sheffield direction.
Walking time is 3-5 hours return. This track is very steep and awkward in places and requires a high level of fitness and mobility due to the large boulders. It is not the recommended approach to the Mt Roland summit as it can be dangerous. The track begins 1 km up Kings Road, which is 200m north of the Claude Road hall.
Walking time is 4-6 hours return. This is the best track to the summit. It is well maintained through the forest and the incline is generally moderate. From Gowrie Park (14 km from Sheffield) drive in the Sheffield direction. Turn right on O’Neils Road and drive 2 km to the end of the road to the car park for the start of the track. The walk initially passes through a section of private land, but after 20 minutes of steady climbing you will reach the forest. From here there is a 30-45 minute walk uphill to reach a saddle at 900m elevation.
In fine weather there are excellent views to the south, and after rain you can see Reggies Falls cascading from the rocks close by. From this point take a left turn heading north to cross the Plateau. There is a very gentle rise from here and the Mt. Roland summit is just an hour’s walk away. Trig point at the summit provides spectacular views in all directions including Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff to the south, Sheffield Township below, and the coastline stretching from Tamar River to beyond Wynyard. About 400m from the saddle reached earlier there is a track (unclearly signposted) which leads east (right) to Minnow Falls. The detour to the falls will take approximately 2 hours return. The falls are spectacular following rain, but the track can be muddy and overgrown.
The summit of Mt Van Dyke is more a protuberance on the Plateau rather than a distinctly separate mountain. However, the Plateau leading to and immediately adjacent from this peak is particularly attractive and has a more remote feel than the Plateau further north. Walking time to the Mt Van Dyke summit along the shortest approach is 3-4 hours return. The first hour or so of the track from the car park to the Plateau is arduous and is best suited for fit walkers with a keen sense of adventure. Visitors are rewarded by the beauty and variety of flora.
The track commences on O’Neils Road 1 km from the main Sheffield Road junction. Its location is well signposted. The track is wide at the start, but soon narrows as it climbs steeply through the forest. After 45 minutes a junction is reached and is a pretty spot, ideal for resting. The track to Van Dyke sidles off to the left and climbs very steeply with a few awkward sections for another 30 minutes before clearing the forest and entering the alpine area above the tree line. This section of the Plateau is very serene and attractive and is enjoyable walking along the clearly defined track.
After another half hour of walking a small rise covered with boulders will be seen to the right. This is the summit of Van Dyke. A 10 minute walk off the main track is needed to reach this high point. A return to the car park could simply be made by retracing one’s route, but for more variety, and only a small increase in distance, a circuit can be made. For the circuit simply keep walking generally north on the main track after reaching the summit of Van Dyke. After another 30 minutes a junction will be reached. From this junction the track continuing on (north) will take you to the summit of Mt Roland. To return to the car park take the track going left (downhill) for approximately 45 minutes for the main car park for the Mt. Roland walk. To reach the Van Dyke car park from here just walk down the gravel road for 15 minutes (1 km). Total time needed for the complete circuit is 4-6 hours.
Mt Claude is at the southern end of the range and its summit can be reached in less time than it takes to reach either Mt. Roland or Mt Van Dyke. The summit of Mt Claude is a straightforward 2 hour return walk from the car park on Oliver’s Road, the main road connecting to the Sheffield Road. However, it is a 4-6 hour bush walk if attempted from O’Neil’s Road. It can be reached by taking the main Sheffield Road south from Sheffield for 18 km, past Claude Road and Gowrie Park. After turning left on Oliver’s Road (C138), drive uphill for 4 km to reach the highest point on the road at a disused quarry, where a concrete road (signposted) goes uphill for 200m to a locked gate. Cars can be either left at the locked gate or the quarry.
The initial 30 minute walk along the gravel road passes the locked gate to the transmitter towers near the summit of Mt. Claude. There is a splendid view of the surrounding countryside from here, but reaching the true summit of Mt Claude requires an additional 30 minute walk. From the transmission towers a four wheel drive track (signposted) is followed. This track climbs gently and then descends down a gully. Take the right turn just before the gully to go to the summit. There is no clear track along this detour, but the route is obvious and requires another 10 minutes to reach the true summit.
The other route to the Mt Claude summit is longer and more difficult. From the Mt Van Dyke car park (see notes for this walk) walk as per the Van Dyke walk until the junction is reached after 45 minutes. Take a right (south) turn from this junction and walk approximately 1 hour to reach the summit of Mt Claude. This walk is quite steep and the track meanders significantly, adding extra time to the journey.
Devils Gullet is located between Lake Mackenzie and Western Bluff. Take the entrance to Lake Parangana from (C138 & C171) for the road to Devils Gullet. The road is gravel and climbs to the top of the Great Western Tiers, about 20 minutes drive on the right. From the car park there is a 15 minute climb to the lookout. This provides one of the most spectacular views in the state featuring a 220m sheer drop. On a clear day the Central Plateau, Cradle Mountain, Mt Pelion and Tasmania’s tallest Mountain, Mt Ossa, can all be seen.
Marion’s Lookout is located part way up Cradle Mountain and overlooks Dove Lake. It is only accessible by foot. It is a three and a half hour return walk. No visit to Cradle Mountain is complete without this walk and the Dove Lake circuit. The summit at the top of Cradle Mountain is 1545m and is seven and half hours return. However, Marion’s Lookout provides an excellent view of the entire valley.
Situated just 2 km north of Cradle Forest Inn, Bell Mountain Lookout is more of a bush track which is very steep, but provides views which are worth the climb.
A few km away is the Cethana Dam Lookout and the Wilmot Power Station which is part of the hydro electric system in this area.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND PROMOTIONS
It’s been a busy few months at the Inn and finally we are ready to unveil our newly renovated Cradle Forest Inn. Be one of the first to enjoy the revitalised Chalets and Suites and our Feathers Bistro.
Online bookings available at start of February 2019.