are moments in a walker’s life when your feet stop and your jaw drops as if
controlled by external forces. Gaining Marion’s Lookout, in Cradle
Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, is one of them. Directly below is Dove
Lake, its deep, dark water filling ice-carved Cradle Valley, and to the right
rears Cradle Mountain, a chipped, time-worn crown of rock.
You can gain this
elevation on a 16km day walk from Ronny Creek Car Park, which starts on boardwalk
traversing buttongrass plain, continues through lichen-covered King Billy pines
to Crater Falls, and tests nerves with a chain-assisted climb to Marion’s
The Overland Track,
Australia’s most popular long-distance walk, heads south from here but for this
day walk you’ll retreat down the chains and walk via Wombat Pool, a golden gem
set among trees, to Dove Lake.
Climbing headlands and
waltzing through Ballroom Forest, a refuge of verdant leaf and immature pencil
pines, the 6km Dove Lake circuit is one of Australia’s best short walks and a
fitting end for your day out.