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A hike to the summit of Cradle Mountain


Getting there

Dove Lake car park. 


You don't need a map for this walk. However, you can purchase one from the visitor centre.

Route/Trail notes

Starting from the overland track starting point, either at Waldheim car park, Ronny Creek car park or Dove Lake car park.

First check point is Marion's Lookout, following the signs along the way on the eastern side of Dove Lake. 

From Marion's Lookout following the track towards Cradle Mountain. Soon you will reach the Cradle Plateau. The track brings you closer to the mountain until you reach Kitchen Hut. It should take around 3-4 hours to reach this point.

From Kitchen Hut it is a three hours return to climb to the summit. This is the most challenging part as it involve steep boudler climbing. Do leave you backpack at the Kitchen Hut as it will limit your mobility. It is highly not recommended for inexperienced hikers.

There are multiple ways back to the car parks. Follow the clearly marked track of your choice.


Permit is requried.

Other References

Trail note link: Cradle Mountain Summit Photo Track Note


Probably the best views of any mountain I've climbed so far. The summit track is a sidetrack away from the main tracks that circumvent Dove Lake. It starts off as a steep hike, then becomes light rock hopping, then more intense rock hopping, and then scrambling over large boulders. I would rate the difficulty as similar to Tibrogargan with less exposure. Definitely worth heading up there on a clear day, the view is absolutely phenomenal - 360 degrees!

Vonsnrub on 15 Feb, 2020

We started at Ronny Creek and followed the Overland Track the summit base at Kitchen Hut. Marion's Lookout was a great snack stop. Crater Creek and Crater Lake were beautiful on the way. The climb up the summit is hard. Big rocks, big gaps between and big drops but so very, very worth the effort to make it to the very top. We climbed it with a 9 and 12 yr old. Slow going at times but plenty of chances to enjoy the view.

Curry Bunch on 24 Dec, 2019

Summitted in winter conditions. The final ascent involved steep snow gullies rather than scrambling over boulders. Traction aides (microspikes or crampons) are a must at this time of year, and an ice axe would be wise for self arrest. Leaving your pack behind is poor advice in this kind of environment - a PLB, first aid kit or water/windproof layers are not much use to you back at the hut if you have an accident or conditions change quickly (as they easily can in this area).

Michael on 17 Aug, 2019

There is a LOT of steep bouldering in the last hour of the climb. My partner and I aren’t very experienced climbers and we still made it, but you have to go at a slow pace and try not to get overwhelmed at the amount of climbing at the end (it feels like it goes on for a while).

We did this in the middle of summer in normal joggers and exercise gear which was enough. It got very windy just before the summit so take a jacket. We did the summit track via Marion’s Lookout which took us 5.5 hours. Take food because you’ll get hungry. It was a rewarding trek, definitely recommend but take your time doing it!

Kristy on 6 Jan, 2018

My son (11) and I did the summit from Dove Lake via Marion's Lookout on Boxing Day 2017.
My father reckons we are probably one of the first families to have five generations reach the summit. Starting with R.E. Smith who was instrumental in the production of the circular plaque at the summit.

Generations are : R.E. Smith
His eldest son - R.A.H. Smith
His eldest son - P.D. Smith
His eldest son - D.R. Smith
His eldest son - E. Smith

It's an interesting idea. Would love to know if it's true (or not)

d.smith on 26 Dec, 2017

Just recently completed my first attempt at Cradle Summit. Wow, what an experience. I was blessed with ideal weather, blue skies and sunshine. I had done the walk to Marion's Lookout the previous day, so I didn't stop for many photos this time up. I completed my trip up in less than 6hrs return, having had a rest and food break for 15mins on top. There was a scary part near the top which was quite slippery and steep as there is always snow on top of Cradle, even in summer. I just had a light backpack and tennis shoes and found that to be fine. I have a great deal of endurance and was able to traverse the mountain fairly quick, but I was full of adrenaline so that helped too!
Whatever the conditions, I highly recommend extreme respect for the mountain and always know your limits. Feel sure of yourself and confident that you can do it. When you are, you will be blessed with magnificent views and feelings of accomplishment. And of course, it's always worth the hard yakka.

Dawn Sunrise on 12 Nov, 2017

Returned for another go at it and weather was much better...that is to say clear-ish yet snow and wind on summit made it for a fun hike !
To make it more challenging use Marions lookout link track !

J on 2 Oct, 2017

So much snow! But well worth it with the right gear.

Laura on 13 Oct, 2016

Nice cool hike during winter , not much of a view as low hanging clouds....will need to return on more sunnier time of the year.

J on 8 Aug, 2016

Great walk. Was hot in summer. Took our 8 year old boy who did very well. Lots of big boulders to climb and scramble up on.

Luke Oglethorpe on 12 Jan, 2016

Difficult but rewarding climb! A great experience.

RollingKarn on 1 Dec, 2014

An amazing walk! 14km including the summit. We walked from Ronny Creek and the entire hike took us 6.5hrs. We absolutely loved it. Amazing scenery. The summit was challenging but you just take your time.

S K on 16 Apr, 2014

A fantastic walk! I didn’t go to the summit - there was a boulder that was just a bit too big for me to get my nerves over! However, I enjoyed sitting on the side taking in the amazing view. Really loved seeing the wombats in the late afternoon. Highly recommended.

Anoogle on 16 Apr, 2014

Amazing walk with no peer on the Australian continent. Did this one in jeans and apparently ill-kitted for possible rainy weather later in the day - had some strange looks from the information centre - but the gamble paid off well and it stayed dry through the few hours' walk. Spots of snow up the top still in November were a novelty coming from Qld.

kodama on Nov, 2013

Fantastic walk, truly spectacular! Very cold at times (even in Summer) and also very wet at times. Challenging but highly rewarding. Good level of fitness required.

Catherine on Dec, 2012

Just spectacular, best in Tassie, especially on a sunny day!! Allow plenty of time.

Hugues Debeyser on Jan, 2009

Nice hike and a fun finish scrambling over big boulders. Awesome views.

Anonymous on 18 Sep, 2000


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