Iconic Cradle Mountain is a must for every visitor to Tasmania, and choosing the perfect luxury Cradle Mountain accommodation is the ideal way to take your experience to the next level.
Wood fires, alpine spas, and wildlife at your door – this is Tasmania at its very best. Couples or families, budget or luxe travellers, using my experience as a local Tasmanian I have created this guide to help you choose the perfect accommodation at Cradle Mountain!
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When I use the word ‘luxury’, no doubt you’re probably thinking personal butlers, silver service and all that guff, right?
When it comes to accommodation in Tasmania – Cradle Mountain in particular – I like to think of ‘luxury’ as meaning something a little bit different. Something more accessible, more meaningful, and more rejuvenating than money can buy.
It is about the experience – the sights, the sounds, and the smells of being immersed mind, body and soul in such an ancient and inspiring landscape that is always presenting a different face depending on the seasons and even the time of day.
Just a 1.5hr drive from the Spirit of Tasmania ferry in Devonport, 2hrs from Launceston or Strahan, 2.5hrs from Stanley, or 4.5hrs from Hobart – Cradle Mountain is very accessible from all corners of Tasmania and absolutely zero hiking is needed to get yourself some of the most iconic views in Australia!
Are you wondering how long you should stay at Cradle Mountain?
- Day Trip – This is possible, but not recommended as you will be incredibly rushed and it doesn’t leave enough time to experience the best parts of Cradle Mountain.
- 1-Night – An overnight stay is the minimum I recommend, but most travellers will still find this to be restrictive.
- 2-Nights – A much better decision, as it provides a full day of exploration, plus a little bit either side.
- 3-nights – Perfection! Day 1 can be spent exploring Ronny Creek, Dove Lake, Crater Lake, Marion’s Lookout and other sights in and around Dove Lake. Day 2 can be a more easy-going day, relaxing at Waldheim Alpine Spa, visiting Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery and doing many of the short walks to be found near the Cradle Mountain Interpretation Centre.
Of course, your time in Tasmania is likely limited, so please don’t get concerned if you only have a day at Cradle Mountain, as your memories will still last a lifetime!
How to choose the best luxury Cradle Mountain accommodation
In some ways choosing the best luxury Cradle Mountain accommodation is easy because its remote location means limited options.
But at the same time, these options are all so amazing that you will very quickly realise you’ll need more information to help select the perfect place to stay that suits both your preferred style of travel, and your budget.
That’s where I can help 😊
Together with my wife I’ve stayed in accommodation at Cradle Mountain three times now, so I can speak with personal experience on the best aspects of each, and things to watch out for.
The table below provides a handy overview of the six Cradle Mountain cabin and hotel options, and further down I provide a detailed review of each, helping you make the right decision for your holiday.
|#1 - Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village Resort
|Nature, comfort, romance, luxury - it's got the lot!
|#2 - Cradle Mountain Lodge
|Luxury - at a price
|#3 - Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain
|Caravanners and campers
|#4 - Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cabins
|Those who love the simple things in life
|#5 - Cradle Mountain Hotel
|#6 - Waldheim Cabins
|Nature lovers who don't mind 'roughing it'
To give you a feel for how my cost ratings have been calculated, at the time of writing the cheapest accommodation is Waldheim Cabins where the cost of a room for a 2-night stay in January (peak season) ranges between $280 and $560. While at the other end of the scale the most expensive accommodation is Cradle Mountain Lodge, with costs starting at $1,044 and escalating to an eye-watering $4,182 for their luxury King Billy Suite.
My two personal favourites sit in the middle – Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village Resort and Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain – with both hitting that ‘Goldilocks’ zone of the perfect balance of comfort and cost.
Keep reading to learn more about each option, and how I’ve been working behind the scenes to help keep your accommodation costs as affordable as possible with some exclusive offers for Lappers!
1. Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village Resort (CMWV Resort)
Perfect for: Couples in search of a romantic escape – AND – Families seeking affordable comfort with the option to self-cater
Whether it is for the location, the beautiful rooms, or the fantastic customer service, Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village Resort – or CMWV Resort for short – is easily the best all-round accommodation near Cradle Mountain for both couples and families.
My wife and I have stayed here twice now because, quite simply, it is amazing – especially the spa suite!
The first thing that strikes you is its location, with all its cabins nestled as close as you can possibly get to the ancient, gnarled alpine gums and moss-draped myrtle beech trees. It is an absolute joy each evening to see little pademelons forage for herbs and shoots among the lush undergrowth, and in the morning to sip on a hot cup of coffee while listening to the forest come alive.
There are a variety of chalets and cottage available, catering to couples, families, and even larger groups of bushwalkers. All are positioned very cleverly, offering privacy and a calming sense of seclusion.
The Premium Luxury Spa Chalet is an absolute treat for couples, and this has been our ‘go to’ choice when we have stayed there recently. The rooms are light and open, with captivating views of the forest from your romantic private spa, and the gas fireplace adds such a warm ambience in winter (without having to worry about chopping wood and keeping it going through the night!).
One thing I love is that no matter which chalet or cottage you choose, each comes with its own mini-kitchenette, providing you with not only a coffee pod machine with supplied pods, but also the option of preparing your own stove-top meals. The on-site dining at CMWV Resort Restaurant and the Wilderness Lounge shouldn’t be missed (they are easily the highest quality and best value options in the region), but if you’re like us, sometimes it’s nice to save a dollar and cook up your own meal.
Free WiFi and electric blankets are available in all chalets, and guests travelling by electric vehicle can rest assured that there are charging facilities on-site for all vehicle and charger types (advance booking required).
I see a lot of travellers commenting on how expensive it can be to stay at Cradle Mountain. The remote location and the need to minimise impact on the surrounding wilderness make this inevitable, but that is also why I’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to secure an incredible offer from CMWV Resort.
Andy and the team at CMWV Resort are offering a very generous 10% OFF for all Lappers when you use my LAPOFTAS code, or mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking over the phone!
As you can probably tell, I love this place so much and I can’t wait to get back for another stay. It truly is a magical place to relax and explore 😊
What I love… : The chocolate and Tassie bubbles package. Oh, and the MASSIVE spa bath for two!
Watch out for… : Phone reception can be spotty at times, but that’s going to be the same for all the accommodation options at Cradle Mountain due to its remote location.
10% OFF – Discount Code: LAPOFTAS
LAPOFTAS Offer: Valid until 31 March 2025
2. Cradle Mountain Lodge
Perfect for: Couples seeking a luxurious, romantic escape with access to one of Tasmania’s very best spa facilities.
Staying at Cradle Mountain Lodge offers a unique opportunity to combine the pristine wilderness of Tasmania with luxurious comfort, and this reputation as the best Cradle Mountain luxury accommodation is exactly why my wife and I chose to celebrate our wedding anniversary here!
Its prime location at the edge of the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park provides unmatched access to the park, with many gorgeous walking trails starting just metres from your room.
We would have loved to stay in the King Billy Suite, but it was waaaay outside our budget, so we stayed in one of their cabins instead.
The euro chalet-style lodge complements its surrounds, offering cosy, well-appointed cabins and suites with wonderful views and the opportunity to see local wildlife feeding after dark. Relaxing walks and exciting wildlife encounters are guaranteed, and after a day of exploration, you can relax at Waldheim Alpine Spa, one of the very best spa experiences to be found anywhere in Australia.
Gourmet dining is always a great option at Highlander Restaurant or for a more laid-back family meal you will love the Tavern Bar and Bistro.
What I love… : The King Billy suite is ridiculously popular, and for good reason. You can look forward to enjoying your own private outdoor hot tub with views of the alpine forest, double-sided wood fire, king size bed and oversized bathroom with freestanding bath. Book at least 6 months in advance – even earlier for Christmas and New Years.
Watch out for… : As one of the first accommodation options to be built in the region, some of Cradle Mountain Lodge’s rooms and facilities are starting to look a bit dated and worn. Most high-end rooms have been renovated and are in great condition, but other cabins and suites are yet to receive the same attention.
3. Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain
Perfect for: Campers, caravanners and anyone else seeking incredible value and very comfortable accommodation – it might not be uber-luxurious, but there’s something here for everyone.
Accommodation options at Cradle Mountain might be few in number, but the one and only caravan park at Cradle is probably one of the best you’ll find anywhere in Australia!
Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain has been cleverly designed to get you as close to nature as possible, with each site among the twisted snow gums and myrtle beeches providing maximum privacy, with Tassie’s gorgeous, mossy wilderness right on your doorstep. Walk around the site after dark and I guarantee you will bump into heaps of native Tasmanian animals like pademelons, possums, and even the occasional wombat.
Being so close to the outdoors doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your creature comforts either, as they have a fantastic general store on-site (the only one at Cradle Mountain) and the chance to grab a bottle of wine if you forgot to pick one up back in town.
It isn’t all about the camping either, as they have a really good range of cabin options for couples, families and backpackers. Accommodation in Cradle Mountain can be super expensive, but these cosy cabins, cottages and dormitories offer excellent value if you are trying to keep your budget to a minimum.
Oh, and this is also one of the closest accommodation options to the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre. It is literally just across the road, meaning you can easily walk from your site/cabin to get the shuttle bus to Dove Lake!
Discovery Parks are a proud supporter of the Lap of Tasmania and they are offering Lappers 20% OFF their standard rates when you use my LAPOFTAS code – a great way of keeping your budget in check!
What I love… : The camp kitchen is the heart of this wonderful park, and it’s an absolute ripper. Not one, but TWO huge open fireplaces provide plenty of warmth and the chance to toast marshmallows with the kids.
Watch out for… : Wi-fi can be a bit patchy in the older cabins and outdoor areas.
20% OFF – Discount Code: LAPOFTAS
LAPOFTAS Offer: Bookable from 6 February 2023 to 5 February 2024. Valid for site or cabin stays until 30 April 2024 (excl. Deluxe Cabins).
4. Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cabins
Perfect for: Budget-conscious couples and families who want to be close to nature while still enjoying a comfortable stay.
Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cabins offer a cosy and secluded retreat for visitors wanting to be close to nature.
Nestled amidst native bushland near the entrance of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, these sixteen self-contained cabins provide a perfect blend of comfort and rustic charm. Each cabin is uniquely designed, featuring natural timber interiors, warming wood fires, and private verandas with stunning bush views.
Ideal for couples, families, or solo adventurers, the cabins ensure a tranquil and intimate experience. With easy walking access to the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre, bushwalking trails and the park’s natural wonders, these cabins are an ideal base for exploring the breath taking landscapes of Cradle Mountain and beyond.
What I love… : Relaxing in front of your own private wood fire and watching the snow gently fall.
Watch out for… : Some travellers have found the rooms to be a little on the small side, and during the coldest winter nights the wood heaters can struggle.
5. Cradle Mountain Hotel
Perfect for: Auto-club members seeking value accommodation with multiple on-site dining options.
Located at the edge of the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain Hotel blends modern comfort with stunning natural beauty.
Couples and families will enjoy spacious, elegantly furnished rooms with sweeping views of the surrounding wilderness. The hotel features top-notch facilities like the Altitude Restaurant and Lounge Bar where guests can taste local Tasmanian cuisine, pick up a Tassie souvenir from the well-stocked gift shop, or just kick back with a book on the reading lounge and listen to the crackle and pop of the massive wood fire.
Some auto-club members will receive a small discount on nightly rates – it’s worth a check!
What I love… : The onsite Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery is an absolute must for every traveller (entry is free when you stay at Cradle Mountain Hotel), featuring stunning artwork and photography by Tasmanian artists – my wife and I have one of their prints hanging in our house!
Watch out for… : The insulation between rooms, and between your room and the hallway isn’t fantastic, with many guests reporting hearing noise from people talking, footsteps in the hallway, and children playing.
6. Waldheim Cabins
Perfect for: Nature lovers who don’t mind trading mod-cons for proximity to spectacular Cradle Mountain and its surrounding walking trails.
Waldheim Cabins, nestled in the heart of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania, offer a rustic yet charming retreat for couples and families.
These cabins are owned and operated by the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service and are steeped in Tasmanian alpine history, providing a unique and authentic wilderness experience. Perfect for nature enthusiasts, these cabins are as close as you can get to Cradle Mountain, providing direct access to stunning walks and the natural beauty of the park.
Each cabin is modestly equipped, focusing on basic comfort and a close-to-nature feel. They are ideal for those seeking to unplug and immerse themselves in the tranquillity of the Tasmanian wilderness, making Waldheim Cabins a unique and memorable stay away from the bustle of modern life.
What I love… : One of Tasmania’s best locations for wombat spotting – Ronny creek – is just a 5 minute walk away!
Watch out for… : These cabins are very basic and you will either need to bring your own linen or pay a fee for them to provide this for you. Being located inside the national park you will also find that vehicle access is not straight forward.
Final thoughts on Cradle Mountain accommodation
I hope you’ve found my guide to Cradle Mountain accommodation helpful in planning your Tassie itinerary.
As you can see, there are plenty of options available and all of them get rave reviews from travellers for their fantastic service and the overall holiday experience they provide to visitors just like you.
B&B lovers, make sure you check the many options offered by Tasmania’s Best Bed and Breakfast Trail. These are the best hosted B&Bs in Tasmania, and it is easy to join them all together into your own ‘lap’.
And if you’re heading down the Huon Valley make sure you have a look at the stunning properties available through Essentially Tas – perfect for self-catering in comfort.
Best wishes in your holiday planning, and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly Facebook community!
Cradle Mountain Accommodation FAQs
Can I stay right next to Cradle Mountain?
Unfortunately ‘Cradle Mountain Village’ is not right next to Cradle Mountain, so this means it simply isn’t possible to get a cabin or hotel room at the foot of the mountain.
Instead, the village is located about 7km from Dove Lake which sits at the base of Cradle Mountain and where many walking trails commence.
Access to the village by all vehicle types is extremely easy on sealed roads, however getting from the village to Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain requires the use of a shuttle bus from the Visitor Information centre (or a very long walk). More info on this below.
Do I need a ‘Parks Pass’?
If you don’t plan on entering the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park then you don’t need a Parks Pass – but this wouldn’t apply to many visitors, as most would be planning on catching the shuttle bus to Dove Lake or Ronny Creek.
If you DO plan on entering the park (including if you are staying at Waldheim Cabins) then you must have a valid Parks Pass. Information regarding the different passes and their prices can be found here.
I don’t want to take the shuttle bus – can I drive to Dove Lake?
The easiest and preferred way to access Dove lake, Ronny Creek and the many walking trails near Cradle Mountain is to catch the shuttle bus from the Visitor Information Centre. Information on how it works and ticket prices can be found here.
Driving to Dove lake in your own vehicle is only permitted outside the shuttle operating hours (ie. very early in the morning and late at night). If you choose to do this and want to return during the day, then you must time your return drive so that you follow the shuttle bus out.
Parking in the park is extremely limited, and shouldn’t be considered at all if you are towing.
Are there ‘Day Tours’ to Cradle Mountain?
Yes, there are day tours available for travellers staying in Launceston or Hobart.
McDermotts Coaches provide a day tour from Launceston, including a stop to see the murals at Sheffield, lunch and a 1hr guided hike of Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain, and cheese tastings at Ashgrove Cheese on your return.
It’s a long drive, but a Cradle Mountain tour from Hobart is definitely still possible with Sam from The Derwent Experience. Departing at 6am and returning by 9pm, you will stop in beautiful Deloraine for breakfast (and dinner on your return), before arriving at Dove Lake with around 4-5hrs available for you to explore by foot. Sam is a big supporter of the Lap of Tasmania and is offering Lappers 10% OFF all tours when you use my LAPOFTAS code!