Cradle Mountain is a relatively low mountain from most peoples' point of view; it rises a mere 1545 meters. But for Australia, it's high. Cradle Mountain sits in the beautiful Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park almost in the center of the island state of Tasmania, Australia. Cradle Mountain is a jagged peak that sits over the dark waters of Dove Lake. It's easily climbed in a day and requires no climbing equipment in the summer, just a good pair of shoes. The hardest part about Cradle Mountain is its unpredictable weather; Tasmania sits in the "Roaring Forties" and so weather can change from sunny and warm to cloudy and snow in a day.
From mainland Australia, take the 14 hour ferry from Melbourne to the town of Devonport. There are daily buses to the Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park northern entry point. Tasmania's Redline bus service is one of the cheaper ones.
If flying, there are flights from Sydney and Melbourne to the city of Launceston (about an hour to two). From Launceston, there are daily buses to Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park northern entry point. Virgin Blue and Jetstar are the cheapest air carriers and has daily flights from both Sydney and Melbourne.
Getting to the National Park from Launceston can be done on the daily bus run by Tassielink.
Cradle Mountain sits at the start of the popular Overland Track, so it is a popular route to travel to.
There are no permits required to climb the mountain, but there is a National Park fee of A$16.50 per person which includes the shuttle service.
When To Climb
Cradle Mountain can be climbed any time of the year, though it is easiest during the summer (Dec. - Feb.) It can snow anytime of the year. If climbing during the winter, full winter and mountaineering kit is needed.
Due to the number of visitors, there are backcountry huts built by the National Park for hikers to use for a fee. You can camp near the huts, but you must still pay the same fee. Fresh water is available. Kitchen Hut, which is the closet to the peak is only for emergency use. Given that the mountain is close to the trailhead, overnight stay isn't normally needed. Wild camping is not permitted in the area.