Rainforest Walks at Cradle Mountain
The most often photographed scenes at Cradle Mountain are the classic “postcard” shots of the mountain and Dove Lake, with perhaps a rock here or a boatshed there. The “hidden” beauty at Cradle Mountain, and what makes it such a great place to photograph – in any weather – is the rainforest.
Depending on the time of year you travel you could also be rewarded with tiny little fungi or fagus leaves (autumn) or delicate and beautiful flowers, such as sassafras, waratah or leatherwood, all flowering through spring & summer.
There are some great short walks which you can easilly rush around in 15 minutes or so, but the best way to appreciate these places is slowly, soaking up the atmosphere and looking at all the things that make this environment so spectacular and unique. The Enchanted Walk, the Waterfalls Walk and Weindorfers Forest are all great, and deserving of well more than the 15 minutes recommended walk time. Crater Falls is perhaps the main waterfall in the daywalk area, and is found within a lovely little patch of rainforest, complete with fagus, around 40 minutes from Ronney Creek.
The rainforest in Tasmania is classified “cool temperate” and is known for a wonderfully relaxing cooler temperature than steamy tropical rainforests. The leaves of the trees tend to be a lot smaller too. Rainforest in Tasmania grows mostly in the western (mountainous) half of the state and as an understory to the giant eucalypt forests alongside the World Heritage Area. Leeches can be a pest, especially in the wetter months, and especially when sitting still composing a shot. It can be quite unnerving and distracting to spy one out of the corner of your eye as he rears back “sniffing” you out, slowly but surely getting closer and closer…
Rainforest photography is best undertaken when the clouds are in, and the light is nice and even. Cradle Mountain is in the high country, in Central Western Tasmania, and clouds, rain and other forms of inclement weather are not particularly uncommon here. While it might be disappointing to not capture Dove Lake & the mountain, the more time spent in the forest the better – in my humble opinion.