7 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HIKE CRADLE MOUNTAIN IN TASMANIA
It’s no secret I love hiking. I’m one of those nature lovers who’d rather be climbing mountains than sitting at a café in Bondi eating quinoa pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, I really love good food but there is more than sitting in a café weekend after weekend. I was recently in Tasmania exploring Strahan and Cradle Mountain. Hiking Cradle Mountain has been on my bucket list for a long time and I was thrilled that I finally got the chance to hike the summit. But before I continue, there is something you need to know. Hiking Cradle Mountain National Park is not a walk through a park. It’s tough, demanding and the weather changes with the blink of an eye. In the seven hour hike, I experienced snow, ice, sleet, wind, rain, mist and a mere splash of sun. It was the toughest hike I’ve ever done – or perhaps ask me when I come back from South America next month!
I went in July, smack bang in the middle of winter but regardless of the time of the year, my biggest tips are to wear the proper gear (Nike sneakers are not enough), pack enough water and appropriate food, and start the day early as daylight closes in quickly come 5pm in the late afternoon.
If this sounds a little daunting, below are my top eight reasons why you should put hiking Cradle Mountain National Park on your bucket list.
#1 Tasmania is Australia’s best kept secret I really think that trsvellers rush to explore the east and west coasts of Australia so quickly that sometimes they forget Tasmania! Part of me is quite happy about this because I want it to stay that way, but that’s really selfish! If you’ve been reading Mister Weekender this year, then you’ll know how much I love Tasmania, including Wineglass Bay, Strahan, Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet Marine Park and Roky Hills Retreat. I’ve been twice this year and I am going back in January. So excited!
#2 Adventure is good for the soul No matter when or where you go, or the difficulty of the trek, there is something wildly beautiful about hiking and being in the wilderness. Climbing a summit, scaling a ridge, seeing animals in the wild and trekking over new landscapes gives an unspeakable adrenalin rush – even more so when solo hiking.
#3 Hiking is great for fitness Pilates with friends and running along the beach is a lot of fun, but sometimes you need to mix it up a little! So go hiking. It’s the perfect way to lift your fitness whilst exploring nature.
#4 It’s affordable Have I mentioned hiking is cheaper than a pilates class? Well it is! Depending on where you go, most hiking trails are free and some national parks require an admission fee (usually up to $24 in Australia). But it’s well worth it!
#5 It’s perfect for stress relief After a hectic and stressful week, the first thing I want to do is switch off from technology, get amongst nature and go hiking. Adventure can have some seriously positive effects on stress levels and when combined with the other great aspects of hiking, including overall fitness, I start feeling immediately better. You will too, promise!
#6 Oh thy beautiful nature The main reason why I go hiking is nature. No matter the hike, no matter the location – nothing beats fresh air, wide open spaces and nature. It might be a cloudless sunset, the view on top of a mountain or swimming in a creek – nature RULES.
#7 You’ll never travel the same again Once you start hiking, your holidays will start looking a little different. You’ll start looking for adventure and more hiking trails, rather than paving the pavement looking for coffee. Puhhh-lease, there is so much more beauty in the world than that! My friends and I are planning a big trip overseas next year and my only requirement is going hiking to several beautiful national parks. As long as I have that, I know I’ll be a happy traveller.