Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is located in the Central Highlands area of Tasmania (Australia), 165 km northwest of Hobart. The park contains many walking trails, and is where hikes along the well-known Overland Track usually begins. Major features are Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff in the northern end, Mount Pelion East, Mount Pelion West, Mount Oakleigh and Mount Ossa in the middle and Lake St Clair in the southern end of the park. The park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Access and usage fee
Access from the south (Lake St. Clair) is usually from Derwent Bridge on the Lyell Highway. Northern access (Cradle Valley) is usually via Sheffield, Wilmot or Mole Creek. A less frequently used entrance is via the Arm River Track, from the east.
In 2005, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service introduced a booking system and fee for use of the Overland Track over peak periods. Initially the fee was 100 Australian dollars, but this was raised to 150 Australian dollars in 2007. The money that is collected is used to finance the park ranger organisation, track maintenance, building of new facilities and rental of helicopter transport to remove waste from the toilets at the huts in the park.
The Tasmanian Government has moved to allow development in national parks and conservations areas. An 'In principle' permit has been granted for the establishment of an 'eco-friendly' resort at Pumphouse Point at Lake St Clair.
The Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is a significant location of Tasmania's endemic species - 40-55% of the park's documented alpine flora is endemic. Furthermore, 68% of the higher rainforest species recorded in alpine areas in Tasmania are present in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The park's alpine vegetation is very diverse and, has largely escaped forest fires that have caused neighboring regions to suffer.
Animals and birds present in the park include: pademelons, Bennett's wallabies, quolls, Tasmanian Devils, echidnas, wombats, possums, ravens and currawongs.
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