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On Walkabout On: The Road to Cradle Mountain

Prior Posting: Strahan, Tasmania

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My wife and I continued our tour around the beautiful Australian island of Tasmania after we packed up our camp outside the small Western Tasmanian city of Strahan and headed for our next destination which was the iconic Cradle Mountain:

However, we didn’t leave camp until we took one last look at the scenic Western Tasmanian coast:

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As drove inland towards Tasmania’s central highlands we noticed this mountain that looked very similar to the Cradle Mountain we hoped to see:

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I’m not sure what the name of this mountain was, but it was one of many other scenic mountains that we saw during our tour of Tasmania that doesn’t make it into the tourist brochures, but should.

After a few hours of driving the highway came up to the crest of a tall hill where the heart of the central highlands and Cradle Mountain (to the left) came into view:

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We arrived at late afternoon at the park.  The entrance to the park was actually quite busy with people trying to eat, get to their hotels, or exit the park.  Once we got passed the entrance and drove down the narrow two lane road towards Dove Lake at the base of the mountain, we saw few people and just incredibly beautiful alpine scenery:

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When we got to the Dove Lake parking lot it took us sometime to find a parking place because of how crowded the lake was.  Most people take a shuttle bus to reach the lake, but we did eventually find a park spot:

After parking we walked down to the shore of the lake to appreciate just how stunningly beautiful this part of the island is:

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I had read that about 75% of the time this mountain usually has some form of cloud cover on it, but on this late afternoon day we had a perfect view of the mountain:

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However, as my wife and I ate some dinner that we cooked up with food that we brought with us, we could see the clouds slowly rolling in to cover the summit of the mountain:

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After the clouds covered the summit of the mountain, my wife and I departed the park to go find a place to go camp out at again:

As we drove down the road looking for a place to camp it was quickly getting dark.  We were hoping that we could find some place to stay before night fall.  Fortunately for us when we rolled into the small village of Gowrie Park we saw a campervan park we could camp out at.  However, since we had already been camping for over a week, my wife and I decided to splurge and we went ahead and rented ourselves a cabin.  The cabin was nice with a comfortable bed.  Outside we had a view of the scenic Mt. Claude that backdropped this little village:

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All around the park outside we saw kangaroos and wallabies running around which I never get tired of seeing in Australia.  Besides the cabin, views, and wildlife Gowrie Park held even more surprises for us which was the Weindorfers Restaurant, which just had the greatest smorgasbord you can imagine:

The place didn’t look like much from the outside but the inside  had a real down home country feeling to it:

There was a really nice lady who ran the restaurant with her kids that really created a warm and inviting atmosphere.  The pleasant atmosphere created an opportunity for other people eating at the restaurant to open up and talk to each other.  Additionally the home cooked food was just absolutely delicious and the lady made sure to bring us some fine Tasmanian wine to drink as well.  We had an absolutely fun night stuffing ourselves and talking to fellow travelers at this great restaurant.

We were just looking for any place to camp out at near Cradle Mountain and we really hit the jackpot with this place.  This was the best caravan park experience we ever had in Australia.  However, the next day we planned to head on back to Cradle Mountain, but we made sure to book our cabin again for another night.

Next Posting: Climbing to the Summit of Cradle Mountain

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