Hiking the forests of Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park is on the to-do-list of many travellers exploring Tasmania. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is perched on the perimeter of the park, a two-hour drive from Launceston.
Austrian immigrant Gustav Weindorfer built The Lodge in 1913. It’s since been rebuilt as a luxury retreat and today is part of the Peppers chain of retreats, resorts and hotels. Friendly wombats scurry about the grounds, while wallabies can be found nibbling buttongrass outside your window as you light your evening fire.
Choose from four styles of accommodation, including the King Billy Suite, a one-bedroom suite with enticing features such as the double-sided fire, king-size bed and outdoor spa overlooking the National Park. Phone reception is limited out here, but board games are available in case the stunning teatree thickets, eucalypt woodlands and mossy myrtle forests aren’t enough to keep your mind occupied.
A full lodge breakfast is served each morning. In the evenings, there’s the rustic Tavern Bar & Bistro for a casual meal or post-walk beer, or the Highland Restaurant for a five-course degustation.
Treatments at the adjoining Waldheim Alpine Spa are highly encouraged. The Alpine Escape Package includes a salt body-scrub, hour-long massage, revitalising facial and nourishing milk bath. You'll probably need it – the national park contains more than 20 self-guided walks ranging from 20 minutes to 9 hours. Or you can hire a mountain bike from reception if you’d prefer to explore the wilderness on two wheels.