Sunday 7th February 2016
Water, snacks and picnic lunches packed, along with sunscreen and mossie spray, we set off on foot for the bus stop at the Visitors’ Centre. On the way we discussed whether we would be too tired later to do the evening wildlife spotting tour and visit to ‘Devils@Cradle’, the Tasmanian Devil sanctuary. We thought that neither would probably be too physically taxing, and as it was highly unlikely that we would see a Tassie Devil in the wild as their numbers have been depleted by 80% in recent years, we decided to stop in at the Visitors’ Centre and book our places for later.
That done, we hopped on a bus and were shortly stepping off at Ronny Creek bus stop. We wrote our walking plan in the register, and set off on the very easy walking of the boardwalk at the beginning of the Overland Track.
The Overland Track is a 5-7 day walk through the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair NP from here to Lake St Clair. We just did a tiny section!
The boardwalk made for easy walking through button grass. We started at the purple arrow and planned to end at the red.
The plan was to follow the Overland track past Crater Lake and up to Marion’s Lookout where we would have lunch. Then we would return along the same path before turning off on the track past the Wombat Pool and Lake Lilla to join the Dove Lake circuit down to the boat shed, and then along to the car park where we would sign off our arrival in the register and catch the bus back.
We could not have asked for better weather - the sun was shining and the sky a beautiful blue. We were surrounded by vast expanses of open space, with all the shades of green, yellow and brown you could possibly imagine. Wonderful. This is the true meaning of the word ‘awesome’ – so jaw-droppingly beautiful one literally stands and stares in awe. Created entirely by the earth and its natural forces, it truly puts people in their place and reminds us we can manipulate our environment only to the extent that Mother Nature allows us, and we would be foolish to think otherwise.
The tracks were clear and well-signed, making it easy to find our way once the boardwalk ended.
Crater Falls, from bottom...
Looking down on Crater Lake as the track went along its edge and up to the top of the crater.
The sign said 25 minutes to Marion’s Lookout at the top of this rock. Well, there are two people in this picture to give scale...see below.
Someone taking in the view at the top, and someone half-way up (or down?) on the path where it widens above the orange post.
As we looked up, we realised that 25 minutes might be a little optimistic...
These steps were fairly easy to climb.
Frequent rest stops were called for. And of course photo stops – looking down on Crater Lake.
Looking back down the track. The start of the tricky bit – hold on to the chain!
Come on slow-coach! Not much of a track here!
Are we there yet? No people-made steps here, just natural rock steps. Bit of a scramble.
Made it! Cradle Mountain from Marion’s Lookout.
Views from Marion’s Lookout:
We sat and took in the views as we ate our picnic lunch and had a rest. It had taken us two hours to get to this spot from the beginning of the Overland Track, and we had risen from 870 metres above sea level at Ronny Creek to 1035m at Crater Lake and finally to 1223m here at Marion’s Lookout. The next leg would take us back down to 920m at Dove Lake, so hopefully not too much uphill, and lots more stunning views to look forward to on the way.