Quick trip to Cradle Mountain to see “The Fagus”

Late this afternoon we are off to Tasmania for a very quick trip to the Cradle Mountain area in Tasmania.

Why? Because it is Autumn and the Deciduous beech, or Fagus – Nothofagus gunnii is changing colour and putting on a fantastic show. We have never had the chance to see it in full “bloom” so now is the time!

Fagus - Robert Tarn on Tarn Shelf - Gerry Duke - Bushwalk Tasmania

This plan was hatched several weeks ago as we know the colours are generally most brilliant around Anzac weekend. (Anzac Day in Australia is the 25th April) Flights and accommodation were booked and then fingers and toes crossed, hoping our timing was right.

We have been following the Fagus 2010 thread over at Bushwalk Tasmania and enjoying each new piece of information and image that has been appearing. (the images here link back to BWT)

Early Fagus - Tasmania - image - stepbystep - Bushwalk Tasmania

So, what is the plan you ask? Or, alternatively, how do you  ‘do” Cradle Mountain” in a weekend?


  • we’re both working,  so will meet at Melbourne Airport for a 6pm flight to Launceston
  • hire car pickup and a quick shop for some fresh food (and wine) in Launceston – drive to Cradle Mountain
  • arrive around 10:30 pm at Discovery Holiday Parks – Cradle Mountain (Cosy Cabins) – we would have bush camped somewhere but it is just a bit late at night
  • sleep in our hiking tent


  • up and away early…. use money saved on accommodation to have a nice breakfast – probably at Cradle Mountain Lodge (we LOVE that place)
  • Shuttle Sue and our packs up to Dove Lake and then take hire car back to car park.  Catch the shuttle bus, meet her and head off to Scott Kilvett Hut for the night (at a rambling pace)
  • Route will be around Twisted Lakes and Artists Pool. (the “back” of Cradle Mountain)  Stop frequently and enjoy.
  • Arrive hut and have a wine or two (did I mention we will decant a red and white into a couple of Nalgene bottles?)


  • gentle start….
  • do the “grunt” up to the Overland Track junction and then head across the “front” of Cradle Mountain to Kitchen Hut
  • wander across to, and  down,  Marion’s Lookout then around Crater Lake (the Fagus can be great here too)
  • back to the “official” start of the Overland Track at Ronney Creek and a shuttle bus back to the car
  • drive back to Launceston and check in at the Auldington Hotel – we have stayed there before , it is magic (picked up a deal on Last Minute)
  • dinner with some Tassie mates that night (gotta love those internet relationships!)


  • back at the airport by 9 am – (insert very sad face here)
  • arrive Melbourne and then 90 minute drive to Geelong by 1pm, off to watch the footy at Kardinia Park.

We will post about the trip in a few days with some of our own images and maybe a video or two!

Have a great weekend! (we will)


    • Frank says

      It’s only tomorrow so I really hope there is still some colour there – Sue will be gutted if it is all gone!

  1. Georgie says

    Have a wonderful time. I am SOOOOOO jealous! Wow, what a fabulous trip. We tried to organise the same for either Anzac or Mayday weekend, but public holiday airfares far too expensive from Qld. But hope we can do another year. Wow, it will be great for you. Here’s hoping for brilliant weather. Well done. Take lots of pics for us. Regards, Georgie

    • Frank says

      Sorry Georgie, I knew you were trying to do this, in fact thought we might see you there. Yep, have camera AND my new toy, THE VIDEO TAKING THINGY, so watch out…. Weather looks OK, cold nights but fine forecast we think. Cheers and best wishes Frank (and Sue who is now on the airport bus from Geelong, yippee)

  2. Georgie says

    Hope you have treated each other to the ROMANCE REJUVENATION Romantic Getaway at the Audlington. Sounds wonderful.

    Accommodation, Candles , Box of Tasmanian Truffles , Choice of Specialty Pillows, Bubble Bath, Baileys on ice for 2, Free Continental Breakfast Provisions for 2, Free Use of DVD’s from DVD Library

    Love your pic, stepbystep. G

    • Frank says

      What??? Romance??? We are actually dining at SOB’s place Saturday night, should have put the tent up there…….

  3. Trish says

    I don,t think you will be too late, i did the overland track two weeks ago and they had just started to turn in the Labrinth. I was too early, only got a couple of shots. I think you may have timed it well.
    Kind Regards

    • Frank says

      Hi Trish, Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. All limbs and other bits are crossed, pics from a couple of days ago look promising.

      How was your Overland Track wander? have a good time?

      • Trish says

        What an amazing place, can see why people have the need to return many times over to capture the different seasons.
        Just loved it, had so much fun. Good luck for the weekend and take lots of wonderful photo’s.

  4. Georgie says

    Wow, a video taking thingy. Hey, don’t get so distracted with aforementioned new toy to enjoy the fagus-in-the-flesh. So jealous. HAVE A GREAT TIME. Keep warm. Looking forward to hearing how it went. Take a pic of Sue’s HUGE smile from on top of Marion’s please. G

  5. Steve Cockburn says

    I was there last year at this time and got some great shots. Got a bit sick of seeing mountains of the stuff. Have a great trip. I’m off to the classic Spicer’s Gap- Teviot Gap Walk this weekend. Will send you a trip report when back. Steve

    • Frank says

      Aw, Steve! How could you get sick of it? We had a great trip, looking forward to getting your Spicer’s Gap- Teviot Gap Walk trip report. From what I have seen it can be tough! (hope you had a great time)

  6. Georgie says

    Well, you’ll be back by now. Did you have a wonderful time? I bet it was fabulous! Did you upgrade to the Romance Rejuvenation package? Get those piccies and videos up quick smart, we are dying to see them. You are probably watching the Cats play as I type this. What has happened to the Mighty Hawks this season? :( Regards, Georgie

    • Frank says

      Well we are back and almost unpacked – was a terrific weekend except for the THREE hour flight delay from Launceston to Melbourne this morning (became the afternoon)Missed the footy which was a bummer.
      Hopefully will get a post up tomorrow (Fagus was FANTASTIC in real life )

  7. says

    Just a note regarding my image of ‘Twisted Lakes’ above. It is actually Robert Tarn on Tarn Shelf. I was at Twisted Lakes the day before where the fagus wasn’t quite out fully. I was watching a strong front heading in from the west which was due to reach Tassie a few days later. Once the fagus turns is can be quickly blown away. I went back up to Tarn Shelf a few days later with my daughter and it was just about all gone. Only about 6 weeks to go this year. The poplars are already turning here. With Anzac Day over Easter there will be plenty of opportunities to go fagus hunting. A group of us are looking at Pine Valley this Easter.

    • Frank says

      Thanks Gerry, Have fixed it! have a great time this year. Sue is heading down on about the 2nd or 3rd April to do the Overland Track. Hope she gets to see some!

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