Up bright and early on Christmas morning for a quick hostel breakfast before hitting the road on our way to the mountains. Slight panic when K announced he couldn't find the car keys and turned everything upside down to no avail. Just as he was calling the police to report them lost, I found them in the place they were meant to be all along – his bag!!
The sun was shining bright and warmly as we started off on our travels. We meandered our way towards Cradle Mountain, our destination for 3 nights over Christmas, via a small sojourn through the Highland Lakes region. The scenery was stunning and it was great to see real mountains in Australia (instead of the pretendy plateau things that the Blue “Mountains” in Sydney pass themselves off as). Did our first walk of the holiday, just a short hour or so to Liffy Falls and back, followed by Christmas lunch of sandwiches and fruit!
Arrived at Cradle Mountain and checked into Cradle Mountain Chateau, our base for next 3 nights. This was only place left when we got round to booking and it was extortionate so we were hoping for big things! Massive king size bed, spa in the bathroom and beautiful view out onto woodland grounds – so far so good.
Walked a km or so down to the entrance to the national park, where we picked up a shuttle bus into the park itself. Visitors are encouraged to use the free shuttle bus service instead of driving themselves, as the roads are narrow and wildlife is a-plenty. A good idea I reckon.
Arriving at Dove Lake we got our first proper look at Cradle Mountain, a jagged and very impressive monster rising above the glacial lakes around. Its multiple peaks and knife edge ridge were quite a sight in the late afternoon sun. Another short walk around the lake and then it was time to head back in time for our Christmas Buffet Dinner!
The buffet promised much but sadly delivered disappointment, especially on the lack of roast potatoes front! Still, we stuffed ourselves silly and after a quick nightcap and one-sided game of snooker in the bar, it was time for bed.