Cradle Mountain in Tasmania‘s north-west is one of the must-do spots for motorcycle riders arriving at Devonport on the ferry. But remember to be prepared as it has been know to snow there even in December.
From the ferry, chart your course to Cradle Mountain Rd which runs down the western side of the long and narrow Lake Barrington before joining the enjoyable corkscrew that is the C132 route. Follow the signs to Cradle Mountain Lodge and Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park where you need to pay for your park pass. The smartest option is a $30 “holiday pass” which is valid for eight weeks and gives unlimited access to all park venues in the state.
The road in to the iconic Cradle Mountain landscape used to be dirt, but it’s bitumen now and quite fun. However, the rangers are vicious about speeding. If you have time, you can stop and do some short hikes along the way, but the hikes around Dove Lake take a long time and you will need to secure your bike. Another choice is to leave your bike at the national park HQ and catch a shuttle bus although it’s no more secure.
But you’re here for the riding and after you’ve grabbed your happy snaps, backtrack and this time turn left when you rejoin the C132. Head for Tullah on the Murchison then Zeehan highways, an endlessly entertaining romp through beautifully cool forest country down to the armageddon movie scene that is the copper mining town of Queenstown.
Here you turn left and climb the dizzying switchback heights of Mt Lyell on the highway that begins an adventurous ride across the Franklin wilderness to Hobart.