IT WADDLED like a tubby little drunk on the walkway.

After struggling up a few stairs to cross a bridge it casually sidled past a small group of hikers who had stopped to let it pass.

We had spotted wombat number 12 during one of our walks in Tasmania's Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

It did not care as we followed behind it, leading us like the Pied Piper, as it continued its merry little jaunt.


Dove Lake in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Dove Lake in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Letea Cavander

It finally took a tumble off the walkway, into a mother and baby wombat by the side of the slatted pathway.

My partner and I were at the start of the famed Overland Track.

Day trippers can walk the beginning of the trek, and even try a half-day jaunt that takes hikers from the open-plain wombat territory to the forest surrounding picturesque Dove Lake.

The wombats were neither skittish nor shy, unlike much of the other wildlife that calls the park home.

Pademelons bounded away from us upon approach and though evidence of echidnas was there, the animals remained elusive.

Earlier that day, we had explored Dove Lake.

In a cauldron of dolerite cliffs, the lake was fed by waterfalls while Cradle Mountain made an imposing backdrop.

Several ecosystems were on show in the park, even for day trippers like us who did not attempt the six-day Overland trek from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair.

Park visitors can explore ferny rainforests, open grass plains, gushing streams and the haunting quiet of Dove Lake.

The region was classified a national park in 1921 after years of lobbying by Gustav and Kate Weindorfer, whom many consider the founding mother and father of the park.

The pair fell in love with the mountainous region. They built their own home there in the early 1900s, carrying in all their furniture including a claw foot bath, and then cut many walking tracks through the valley.

Gustav stated: "This must be a national park for the people for all time. It is magnificent, and people must know about it and enjoy it."

The pair welcomed many visitors into their home, and extended their property to make it into a guesthouse to make the park easier to explore.

Accommodation these days ranges from budget cabins to hotels to top-end lodges.

We thought we would treat ourselves and stayed at the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, only a couple of hundred metres outside the gates that mark the start of the national park.

The lodge's cabins are without televisions or wi-fi, and most phones will not be in service.

It is a perfect place for those in need of a digital detox, with no chance of a sneaky late-night scroll through news feeds or Instagram (believe me, I tried).

But for those who must check their emails, the guest lounges at the lodge do have wi-fi. And what better place to do it than reclining on a Chesterfield, with a hot chocolate in hand, near a roaring fire?

Allow a four-hour drive from Hobart to the national park due to the winding road that leads up and into the region.

Pilot likely ‘spatially disorientated’ before fatal crash

Premium Content Pilot likely ‘spatially disorientated’ before fatal crash

Data showed big variations in rate of climb and descent

Man threatens to kill brother for forgetting to buy bananas

Premium Content Man threatens to kill brother for forgetting to buy bananas

He threatened to kill two people and wreaked havoc on their property

Why Casino meatworks needs 186 new car parks

Premium Content Why Casino meatworks needs 186 new car parks

Co-op looking to its next project after $5 million facility approved