A frenzy airfares sale saw me purchasing two return tickets for a weekend getaway to Launceston. The hard task of deciding what to explore in Tasmania for the two days was left upon me. After extensive research and blog readings it was decided that Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park and the Freycinet National Park weren’t to be missed.
Day 1: Conquering Mt. Amos
Mt. Amos is one of the three granite mountains, known as The Hazards (for obvious reasons) that dominate Freycinet Peninsula in the East Coast of Tasmania. The summit walk to the top is not tracked, steep, and strenuous. It has you down on all fours rock climbing to the top of Mt Amos which sits at 454m. If it was hard, everyone would do it, right?
A wallaby that was quite fond of the blueberry muffin that was in my hand greeted us at the carpark. After several mini panic attacks – “Where did I put the gopro?”, “Oh, got it!”, “Alright, have we got enough water bottles?”, “Okay check.”, “Wait! Where is the gopro??”) – the walk had begun. There were no rain clouds in sight and with such perfect weather there was no reason to not attempt this.
From the very beginning beautiful views of the peninsula greeted us and as we began to climb higher, the views just became more breathtaking. At the back was the coast and on either side were The Hazards. If the climb hadn’t taken our breath away, this view definitely would have.
The walk was tough. The beginning section involved a steep incline which required a decent gripping boots and sometimes hands for assistance. The next portion of the walk involved a lot of climbing over and on top of boulders. There was one very steep section where you had to use your hands to pull yourself up. This was the scariest part of the hike, because one wrong step and you’d tumble down – and the drop was chilling (and so a conscious effort was made to never look down).
There were two points where my nerves overtook my calmness – I had both my hands clinging onto a rock far above me and my feet too wide apart slowly losing grip. A little reassurance later, the foot placing was readjusted and the climb continued.
At the summit, the panoramic view hit us instantaneously. There we were, standing on the top, covered in sweat with a smile that couldn’t be wiped on our faces. Wineglass Bay said hello to us from the front, The Hazards looked down on from both sides and the Peninsula was waving from the back. Every single moment of that climb had become worth it.
After spending a few good minutes admiring nature and taking multiple selfies, we turned back. I wish I had much to report on the descent but we actually made it down fairly easily. There were two occasions where I slipped and slid– one where there was a bit of water and I lost grip and the second where I landed on my butt and slid for a few seconds.
The walk took us around about 2.5 hours and that is inclusive of our time at the top and all the photo stops made along the way.
Day 2: Adventuring Cradle Mountain-Lake St.Clair National Park
The weather forecast was disappointing but with sheer determination we decided to give this magical place a chance – it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason! A 2 hour drive from Launceston saw us at the Visitor’s Centre looking for the most appropriate walks for the day. The weather forecast was wrong because it was bright, sunny and beautiful (for now).
I was really looking forward to doing either the Summit Walk or Mariner’s Lookout but we did not leave enough time for the Summit Walk and were discouraged from doing Mariner’s Lookout by the Visitor’s Centre.
After parking, we began our walk from Ronny Creek to Crater Lake. This broad walk introduced us to our very first wombat which was waddling around in the snow! This was followed by a bush track unveiled a beautiful hidden waterfall on the route up to Crater Lake. The track soon became covered in snow and it was becoming difficult to avoid stepping in it.
At Crater Lake a good ten or so minutes were spent admiring the beauty. The Cradle Valley covered with snow, the Crater Lake reflecting the valley, completely surrounded by greenery with a white dusting on it. From here, we continued up to the top and there was no avoiding the snow now – we embraced it.
Once at the top, the Wombat Pool and Lake Lila glistened side by side. I was really interested in trying out Mariner’s Lookout from this point as I saw some hikers going to tackle it. However, it was decided that yesterday was a tough enough hike, and we made our way down to Wombat Pool and towards Lake Lila. This descend was completely covered with deep snow and my butt met the snow a good few times – at least it made for some great footage!
From Wombat Pool was a rocky track descending to Lake Lila. The weather turned and it had started to drizzle, then it became to rain, which quickly turned to hail. This slowed us down a little but we loved the hail!
On the walk from Lake Lila towards Dove Lake we saw the clouds lift and the sun emerge. The snow capped Cradle Mountain was peaking at us from the side. Once at Dove Lake car park we were able to witness the magical view of Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain in the background. To top it all off we were met with a rainbow over the lake!
At this point, we were drenched with both sweat and rain but fully content and caught the shuttle to Ronny Creek and headed home for the day.
Tasmania completely won us over; perhaps because it reminded us so much of New Zealand, nonetheless we are in love with this state. The two days were absolutely perfect to get a taste for the treasure, but we will be back!