Wombats On The Enchanted Walk
Cradle Mountain forms the northern end of the wild Cradle Mt - Lake St Clair National Park, itself a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The stunning landscape, natural and cultural diversity and amazing heritage make a visit to Cradle a must on all family trips. Wildlife are abundant and with a great range of accommodation, we recommend staying at least one night to enjoy exploring Tasmania's most popular wilderness destination.
One of our top favourite kid friendly activities within the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is the Enchanted Walk. Commencing at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, the track then winds its way via boardwalk through alpine forest alongside the beautiful Pencil Pine Creek looping its way back to the Lodge. You can drive and park there, with the car park literally no more than 50 meters to the start . As its a shorter walk in the National Park, making it perfect for little feet!
Images: Enchanted Love, supplied by Lovisa Stagoll |Two Little Wildlings, supplied by Andrea.
The Enchanted Walk offers spectacular rainforest. Kids will feel like they are walking through a magical fairy or elf land. Buttongrass and alpine plants line the edge of the track of various descriptions- big leaves, small leaves, even prickly ones. Its a great track to use for identifying plants - Myrtle, Leatherwood, Native Laurel, Pandani, Bracken, Man Ferns and more.
Along the track are little tunnels with educational information for children; featuring pictures the wildlife and plants to look out for and find along the way. There are many endemic animal species such as wombats, wallabies, Tasmanian Devils, Quolls, Possums and an array of birds as well.
Images: Glimpses, supplied by GOG Captured and Wombat burrows,supplied by Katie McGuinness
We saw a pademelon (wallaby) along the track and there was a lot of wombat poo. Along the western bank of the Pencil Pine Creek you will come across several wombat burrows just on the edge of the track.The type of wombat in Tasmania is the Common Wombat. Our kids were delighted in making it a game of finding the next of poop piled up high on the walk. A great question to find the answer to is 'why do wombats have piled poo'? Extra points if you can find out why they are the shape of a cube!
Check out these two videos catptured on the walk. A mother and baby, and a curious echidna.
With a lot of rainfall, Pencil Pine Creek can rise quite high. We have traveled along the track when its really flowing. A spectacular sight; it pays to be careful and keep the children close. Not all the path has hand rails with easy access to the river in places. The flooded creek offered a lot of excitement to our little ones. When it's calm it offers a completely different experience. If the track is closed off do not attempt to walk it. The Parks Rangers have deemed it unsafe. Closing the Enchanted Walk, however is very rare.
Images: Heading indoors, supplied by Jean Travels and, Friendly Wombat, supplied by Ashastott
From the bridge half way along, the forest opens up providing more opportunities to find wildlife. We have walked it in the middle of the day and at twilight; both times we have found wallabies. The walk ends at the main river crossing to head into the National Park area near the Information Centre. This is approximately 50 meters walk from the lodge carpark.
The Enchanted Walk takes around 20-30 minutes to complete, comfortably. You could take longer or do it in around 15 minutes if you rushed (1.1km) You can also take a pram. All ages will have a wonderful experience on this short walk. Wear a raincoat and good walking shoes.
Images: Family Adventures, supplied by Lisa King, and Weather rolling in, supplied by Jill Summers.
The Visitor Centre at the entrance to the park provides details on all walks and other activities in the area. Interpretation displays reveal the many natural wonders of the area. Many of the natural and cultural values of the area have been recognised through the listing of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
A current park pass must be purchased for entry. Please see the Parks and Wildlife National Parks Entry Fees page for full details. At Cradle Mountain, park passes can be purchased at the Visitor Centre, two kilometres before the park entrance.
For all snow and road closure or condition advisories, please contact the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre: phone 03 6492 1110.
Maps supplied by Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. Not to be used for navigational purposes.