8 Magical Things To Do In Cradle Mountain In Winter

When the antarctic winds bear down on Tasmania and the majority of travellers flee north to find warmer weather, Cradle Mountain transforms into a magical winter wonderland. Visiting Cradle Mountain in Winter is a whole new experience and one we strongly recommend.

Call us crazy, but winter is our absolute favourite time to visit Cradle Mountain. If you can brave the cold, you’re rewarded with crisp days exploring snow-dusted trails and nights curled up beside a roaring fire indulging in mulled wine – plus, you’ll share your adventure at Cradle Mountain with a much smaller crowd.

While the downside to winter is the potential for some alpine hikes to become unattainable, it’s a small price to pay to witness the majestic mountain range cloaked in snow. If we haven’t managed to persuade you to visit in Winter just yet, wait until you finish reading our list of the best things to do in Cradle Mountain in winter – we’re confident you’ll change your mind!

Cradle Mountain's dolerite peaks all covered in snow on a trip to Cradle Mountain in winter

For all the information you could possibly need for Cradle Mountain, read our Local’s Guide To Visiting Cradle Mountain next.

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8 Things To Do In Cradle Mountain In Winter

Quick Tips For Visiting Cradle Mountain In Winter

  • Check the road conditions before driving to Cradle Mountain, you can learn about any road closures or warnings through the Tasmania Police website
  • Pack all your winter woollies, including rain gear, snow gloves and waterproof hiking boots if you plan to hike in the snow
  • The best chance of experiencing snow at Cradle Mountain is between June and August, but snow in May or September is not uncommon
  • You can check the webcam on the Tasmania Parks website to determine whether Cradle Mountain is cloaked in snow
  • If you visit in May or June, you could have the chance to view the final orange fagus leaves covered in snow
  • The shuttle bus operates between 9:00am to 5:00pm every 15 to 20 minutes in Winter (1 April – 30 September). Find the current prices here.

Witness Cradle Mountain Covered In Snow

Hiking to the base of Cradle Mountains Summit in winter

The ultimate reason for visiting Cradle Mountain in winter is for the chance to view the iconic dolerite peak dressed in white. It’s a truly magical experience that simply takes your breath away.

For the bold, hike to Marion’s Lookout for the best view of Cradle Mountain or even spend the night at Scott-Kilvert Hut via the Lake Rodway Circuit if you’re game – and have experience hiking in the snow

Hiking in my waterproof hiking gear next to a frozen fagus tree
Hiking in the snow along the Lake Rodway Track from Scott Kilvert Hut

And for those that would rather avoid soggy feet, take a walk around Dove Lake to gain various viewpoints of Cradle Mountain. Plus, you can add on the Lake Lilla track and grab the bus from Ronny Creek for a strong chance to see wombats in the Cradle Valley – which we’ve fondly renamed the ‘wombat highway’.

Cosy Up Beside A Roaring Fireplace

Reading a book in front of a rustic fireplace in the Cradle Mountain Hotel in Winter

No matter where you choose to stay in Cradle Mountain, you’ll have access to a cosy woodfire to settle down beside with a glass of Tasmanian wine or a hot chocolate. It’s the perfect way to end a day of adventure – especially if you’re lucky enough to watch white flurries fall beyond the window.

Each of the hotels in Cradle Mountain is equipped with a lounge and a fireplace, some even offering fireplaces within the rooms. But if you’ve decided to stay in the caravan park or camp nearby, the best place to enjoy a warm drink next to the fire is at the Tavern Bar & Bistro located in the Cradle Mountain Lodge.

Wander Along The Smaller Walks At Cradle Mountain

Dove Lake Circuit on a misty day, one of the best day walks in Cradle Mountain National Park

Not all of the day walks in Cradle Mountain leave from Dove Lake or Ronny Creek, there are a few hidden gems that begin right beside Cradle Village and stay at a lower elevation. These are the perfect option when the weather is wild in the alpine and the need for dense forest protection is paramount.

Our all-time favourite walk near Cradle Village is the King Billy Pine track, which leads you into an enchanted world of myrtle beech trees, sassafras and king billy pine – all cloaked in brilliant shades of green moss and lichen. This is one of the most vibrant temperate rainforests we’ve seen in Tasmania and an easy 40-minute walk will guide you through the circuit, passing by an ancient king billy pine that towers above the canopy.

Hiking the King Billy Pine Walk in Cradle Mountain in winter

Below is a list of the various walks that begin from Cradle Village, we’ve completed all but the Speeler Track and highly recommend them when the winds are gusting in the alpine.

Celebrate Christmas In July

Enjoying the buffet feast at Altitude Restaurant in Cradle Mountain Hotel

Each year in July, the Cradle Mountain Hotel comes alive with festive cheer to celebrate winter with a white Christmas – hopefully! It’s a reason to dress in your best Christmas sweater and fill your bellies with a traditional feast topped with all the trimmings.

Along with a delicious buffet feast, Cradle Mountain Hotel’s Christmas in July includes live music, a welcome drink and a visit from Santa. Keep an eye out for information about this year’s Christmas in July via their website and Facebook page.

Visit Pencil Pine Falls And Knyvet Falls

Pencil Pine Falls With a heavy flow in Winter after snowfall

Winter is the best time to explore waterfalls, where you have the best chance of experiencing them at full force. You’ll find two waterfalls close by Cradle Village and they’re truly magical in Winter – especially if there’s snow clinging to the surrounding myrtle beech trees and mossy boulders.

Pencil Pine Falls is located just 200 m from the road and Knyvet Falls is 300 m beyond that, flowing into the same creek that passes beside the Cradle Mountain Lodge. Both waterfalls are found along the Dove Canyon Track, which provides the opportunity to view another stunning waterfall just off the track – but it’s a touch trickier to get to and requires sliding down a very steep embankment!

Splurge On A Helicopter Ride Around Cradle Mountain

Moody snowy day above Crater Lake in Cradle Mountain National Park

If you’re after an experience of a lifetime, book a Cradle Mountain helicopter ride and sit back in awe as you fly over the magnificent mountain range. While it will cost a pretty penny, soaring beside the snow-dusted dolerite peaks of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park will be an adventure you’re not likely to forget.

Cradle Mountain Helicopters offer five unique flights, the most popular being the Cradle Mountain and Fury Gorge adventure which flies over the immediate area on a 20-minute flight. Other tour options involve flying over the Walls of Jerusalem, the Southwest and the entire Overland Track.

For a list of current prices and additional information on booking a helicopter flight, visit Cradle Mountain Helicopters’ website.

Cuddle The Devils @ Cradle

Tasmanian Devil on a log at the Devils at Cradle Wildlife Sanctuary in Cradle Mountain National park

The perfect wintry activity that will warm your heart is a visit to the Devils @ Cradle sanctuary, located 4 minutes south of the Visitor Centre. We visited the Devils @ Cradle last winter and couldn’t recommend it enough.

You’ll not only have the chance to learn about these funny little animals, but the proceeds of your ticket go directly to saving the Tasmanian devils and the native quolls. The keepers do an excellent job in providing a tonne of information on the animals they care for and the issues that they’re facing.

Spotted Quoll chewing on hoodie draw string at Devils at Cradle Wildlife Sanctuary

An admission ticket allows you to wander freely through the sanctuary, with the option to tag onto a free keeper’s tour at 10:30 am or 3 pm. But if you’d rather have a more interactive experience, you can book a feeding tour or a joey encounter.

For current prices and tour times, visit the Devils @ Cradle website.

Soak In The Waldheim Alpine Spa

What could be more relaxing than soaking in a spa after a frosty day exploring Cradle Mountain!?

The Waldheim Alpine Spa is the epitome of luxury and indulgence, where you can recharge in their hot tub overlooking a forest of king billy pine and myrtle beech trees. Treat yourself to a spa treatment or an experience for two, or simply book a private sanctuary to enjoy the hot tub all to yourself.

The spa is located at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and often books out in advance. For a detailed list of packages and prices, visit Waldheim Alpine Spa’s website.

Indulge The Tastebuds At Cradle Mountain

To top off a perfect day exploring and warming beside a fire or in a spa, treat yourself to a delicious dining experience at either the Highland restaurant at Cradle Mountain Lodge or the Altitude restaurant at Cradle Mountain Hotel.

Both locations offer a sensational seasonal menu of local produce creatively prepared in a two or three course experience. And to top it off, pair your dinner with a bottle of Tasmanian wine.

If fine dining isn’t your thing, never fear. There is a number of delicious restaurants and bars that cater to all, our favourite being the Tavern Bar and Bistro in the Cradle Mountain Lodge.

Epic rainbow over the boat shed on Dove Lake in winter at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Final Thoughts

Cradle Mountain is a magical destination no matter what time of year you choose to visit. But if you’re looking for a quieter experience and don’t mind the frosty weather, we strongly recommend visiting Cradle Mountain in winter.

Have you visited Cradle Mountain in winter? We’d love to hear about your favourite experiences in the comments below and as always, feel free to drop any questions you might have regarding Cradle Mountain in the comments section.

Happy Adventuring 🙂