Day visitors have a number of contrasting walks to choose from. Whether walking to an alpine lake, a mountain summit or an ancient rainforest, staff at the park centre will be able to assist you. A day walk map can also be purchased there if you want to go on one of the longer walks.
Important! The weather here changes by the day, sometimes by the hour. As well, conditions on the lake and along the tracks can be windier, wetter and colder than at Cynthia Bay. Be prepared and seek advice from park staff about weather forecasts or check the latest weather details.
A good map is essential.
A gentle stroll around the lake shore at Cynthia Bay will suit just about anyone. The views across the lake provide panoramas of Mount Olympus, the legendary home of the Greek gods, and of the Traveller Range and Mounts Rufus and Hugel. Cynthia Bay is named after the Greek goddess of the moon.
This easy walk follows the crest of a glacial moraine for part of its route. It also takes you through six different vegetation communities. Visitors in late spring and summer should see many of the wildflowers out, including waratahs, orchids, banksias, hakeas and leatherwoods. The return point is the junction of the Cuvier and Hugel Rivers. Allow 1 hour for a leisurely return walk.
Continue on from Watersmeet. A circular route can be taken which follows the Platypus Bay track to Lake St Clair. There you’ll have wide, uninterrupted views across the lake to the Traveller Range.
Follow the track back to Watersmeet and then take the signposted Larmairremener tabelti – Aboriginal cultural walk. This track, most of it dry underfoot, takes you back to Cynthia Bay via fern glades, moorlands, rainforest and towering eucalypt stags and provides interpretation of the Aboriginal heritage of the area. Allow 1 1/2 hours for the return trip.
Some of the most spectacular areas of the park are accessible by longer day walks. A walk to Shadow and Forgotten Lakes normally takes 4-6 hours return and is suitable for families as long as suitable clothing is worn. The Mt Rufus Circuit is a more demanding day walk that takes 7 hours. Talk to park staff about what you need for these and other longer walks as track and weather conditions can vary. A detailed map is essential for longer walks.
There are a number of options for walkers wishing to do overnight walks in the Lake St Clair area. Popular walks include Echo Point and Pine Valley.
Lake St Clair is the end point of the famous Overland Track, which runs for 65km from Cradle Mountain. To ensure a quality experience for all, walkers setting out on overnight walks from Cynthia Bay should be aware that there are guidelines in place to ensure that overnight walkers and those undertaking the Overland Track do not adversely impact upon each other.
Read our Overland Track Usage Guidelines [PDF 386 KB], which provides guidance to walkers intending on doing walks during the Overland Track booking season (1 October – 31 May) that involve part use of the Overland Track. These guidelines ensure that the quality of the Overland Track experience is maintained for all users. All walkers are asked to respect these guidelines.
Hikers have been visiting this scenic area in the heart of the heritage listed Tasmanian Wilderness area for decades, enjoying the day walks near the lake or the famed Overland Track. If you’re already carrying your own tent and sleeping gear, why not make a memorable camp nestled in the trees within short walking distance to the water’s edge. It is the ideal location for both campers and bushwalkers or for schools, clubs and family bookings. There are powered and unpowered sites for tents, caravans and small motorhomes.
Our Bunkhouse provides basic sleeping accommodation in keeping with the style of the rustic timber huts of the Overland track, enjoyed mostly by backpackers and hikers whose modest accommodation requirements can be met with a simple bed and heated shelter.