Our rental car was actually a pristine silver SUV, the Australian make that everyone drives that I can never remember the name of. The logo is a lion and that's about all I've got. We were so happy to just get a car at all though after Bipeen had gotten a call the day before saying that the car we were supposed to be getting was actually was returned damaged. Thank you Hertz for sorting that out!
Don't think we ever agreed on a name, pretty sure we just called it her the entire time…
After a quick stop for groceries and breakfast we hit the road North out of Hobart to eventually make out way to Cradle Mountain National Park. It was a stunning drive for the first half, full of rolling green hills dotted with little towns. We made a quick break in the gorgeous little town of Perth nestled between bright green grass-covered hills for coffee and booze (already had food covered, that was the other necessary part). After that we figured we'd suck it up and head straight to the park instead of our cabin first, best to get as much out of the short hours of daylight as possible right! That drive was way more interesting though, teeny tiny little lanes of switchbacks winding through the mountains. It proved for some absolutely stunning views but it was definitely a little scary seeing the cliffs right off the side of the road.
View from one of the lookout points - so beautiful and it went on forever!
Managed to make it to the park mid-afternoon despite almost running out of gas. We assumed we'd eventually hit a town on the way to fill up… not our brightest idea that's for sure. Thankfully the park entrance station had a gas pump! We decided to do a hike around Dove Lake, it promised incredible views and it fit with the amount of time we had. It was a 6.5km hike so it wasn't small by any means, and actually quite challenging and steep in some places! It was absolutely incredible though because you not only got a view of the infamous Cradle Mountain, but you also got a view of the entire lake from all angles as well as some waterfalls that are nestles in between the rocky faces.
I swear this isn't photoshopped at all, it was just that breathtaking
By the time we actually managed to finish our hike the sun was on its way down and it was time to find the cabin. The directions we had said it was about a 1 hour drive away, which seemed a little strange, but it had to be the right place because it was the address right? Wrong. Leaving the park we saw a sign saying Cradle Mountain cabins and campground, the same name of the place we were apparently staying, so we were confused to say the least. After much debate we decided to see if we could get ahold of someone (the office was closed because it was after 9pm by this point), only to find that there was a key and map with our groups name on it in the late arrivals box. Thank goodness we stopped there and didn't listen to google maps! That would have been a whole lot of driving for no reason what so ever. And turns out the cabin was actually very nice, and spacious too, for what we had expected.
One thing we hadn't thought of was food. We figured we'd stop at a store for dinner on the way to the cabin, but because we didn't actually need to leave the national park we were about 45 minutes away from the closest town. And everything would be closed by then because it was a Sunday. Oopsies. So we had a wonderful dinner of toast with jam, chips, cookies, and bananas. That was all of our "car snacks" from earlier that day so thank goodness we at least had that! It was surprisingly filling so no one actually went to bed hungry which was great. After much chatting and attempts at playing some card games it was time to hit the hay because tomorrow would be an early morning again (I'm starting to see a pattern with that).