So we made it to Dove Lake, along with every other tourist in the park and, even though it was windy, we decided we’d attempt the Dove Lake Circuit.
Juniordwarf near Dove Lake
It’s recommended that you do the circuit clockwise. Unlike other walks we’ve done recently, we saw this sign so decided to do it as recommended. I’m not really sure why they recommend this, but that’s the way we went.
Cradle Mountain & Dove Lake from the car park
Off we go!
The first stop on the way round is called Glacier Rock, to the east.
Apparently it is evidence of glacier action in the region during the last Ice Age. It’s a big rock above Dove Lake that you can step up and out onto to get a nice view of Cradle Mountain. If you dare.
Glacier Rock – if you dare
It’s not a pleasant place to be in gusty winds and I was terrified. I went as far onto the rock as I dared (not very far), took my photo and sat down because I was terrified of being blown off. I wasn’t prepared to die for a better angle. (Did I mention I’m not good with heights?) Then I gradually edged my way off the rock and left it to the people who were less worried and stayed on there for ages taking selfies.
From the top of Glacier Rock
We were glad to be off it (I can’t speak for the others. I was mighty relieved to be off it) and back on the walking track. Even though it was windy, we were protected from that for most of the walk, so it wasn’t as unpleasant as it seemed like it might have been. It was a lovely walk.
The outward leg of the walk was mostly boardwalk. It wasn’t a particularly challenging walk, so Juniordwarf had no trouble on the walk, and we saw kids even younger than him out there too.
Me and Juniordwarf
I loved watching our view of Cradle Mountain change as we approached it. It dipped in and out of cloud, and as we got closer some of its features became more obvious.
As we were walking we saw some white streaks on the rocks on the mountain on the other side of the lake. I thought they might be waterfalls, but they were too far away to be sure. As we got closer we started to hear the water and could see it moving, so I knew I’d been right. From a distance they could have just been streaky white rocks!
Waterfalls or white rock streaks?
Rounding the top end of the lake you get as close as you’re going to get to Cradle Mountain on this particular track. It looks quite different from this angle.
Nearing Cradle Mountain
Looking back at Dove Lake
Looking back at the board walk
At the top of the circuit
Stunning rock formations
A different perspective of Cradle Mountain
The return track is less consistent than the outgoing track and is a bit more hilly. A lot of the track is gravel, and because of the amount of water on the ground, Slabs remarked that it felt a bit like walking in a creek bed. It was a bit tricky to negotiate in places.
We passed through the beautiful Ballroom Forest, which is a cool-temperate rainforest with predominantly Myrtle Beech trees.
We could see Horrible Glacier Rock over on the other side of the lake.
Glacier Rock from a distance
The views from this side of Dove Lake are possibly the most commonly photographed.
Towards the end of the track you get to the Boat Shed, which was built in 1940. It’s no longer used, but it’s a particularly popular photo spot. In fact it’s compulsory to take a photo of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake with the Boat Shed in the foreground. They check your camera on the way out, and if you haven’t taken a photo of that scene, you have to go back and do it*.
Boat House and obscured mountain
And that was the end of the walk. We arrived back in the car park, signed off our walk (you’re supposed to register every walk you do before you go) and waited for the bus to take us back to the Visitor Centre. We worked out that the whole circuit had taken about 2 hours 15 minutes, which we thought was good going with a little person who hasn’t done a lot of this type of walking.
We enjoyed a well-deserved refreshment at the bar before dinner, and Juniordwarf played (and won) his first 8-Ball game.
And with that, our holiday was over. We headed back home the next day, which (of course) was the most beautiful warm and sunny day.
*Might not actually be true.