Carved out by glaciers over millions of years, Lake St Clair is Australia's deepest freshwater lake. Located at the southern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, it forms part of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area and offers spectacular scenery, an award-winning visitor centre, and a range of beautiful walks to suit every ability.
The environment around Lake St Clair is among Tasmania's most spectacular. Deep glacial lakes are fringed by dense forests of ancient pines, and the high mountains provide a dramatic backdrop. Native wildlife is abundant in the area – Bennetts wallabies and pademelons are easily spotted by visitors to the lake, and wombats, echidnas, quolls, and platypus are also resident.
There is an excellent visitor centre at Cynthia Bay where you can learn about the history of the area, from the effects of glaciation to the ways in which Aboriginal communities interacted with the land. Information officers at the centre can provide advice about activities in the park.
The passenger ferry which operates from Cynthia Bay to Narcissus Bay at the northern end of the lake is Australia's highest altitude ferry service, and offers a leisurely way to enjoy the area's impressive scenery. The ferry timetable and booking information are available at Lake St Clair Lodge.
Several of Tasmania's Great Short Walks are within the Lake St Clair area. These include Echo Point, Mount Rufus, and Shadow Lake, which range from 3-7 hours. There are also several short walks of less than 2 hours that let you explore the striking landscapes closer to Lake St Clair: the lamairremener tabelti walk offers an insight into the Aboriginal communities who lived around the lake, the Watersmeet Walk takes you to the confluence of the Cuvier and Hugel rivers, and beyond that is a loop to Platypus Bay.
In late spring and summer, you can expect to see brilliant displays of colourful wildflowers, including waratahs, orchids and banksias.