May 17, 2022
Jacquie Petrusma, Minister of Parks
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park as a protected area in Tasmania, providing an opportunity to reflect on the significance and importance of this site to Tasmania.
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is one of Tasmania’s iconic tourist destinations and a major draw for visitors to the state.
Long before Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair was proclaimed a protected area in Tasmania, it was home to the Big River Tribe and the site is of immense cultural significance.
It is a place of deep spiritual connection to creation stories, especially as Tasmanian Aborigines first lived, cared for and protected this beautiful land for at least 40,000 years.
One couple who understood the need to carry on this legacy and ensure this area continues to be cared for and protected were Gustav and Kate Weindorfer who built their rustic alpine chalet ‘Waldheim’ in 1912.
It’s not too hard to imagine how Gustav fell in love with the park, declaring in 1910 from the top of Cradle Mountain, “It must be a national park for the people forever.” It’s beautiful and people need to know and appreciate it.”
It was this call to action that launched the land reservation in 1922, with 158,000 acres between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair proclaimed a scenic reserve and wildlife sanctuary.
Then in 1927, 63,990 hectares, including Cradle Mountain, were set aside. In 1971 ‘the reserve’ became what we now know as Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
It is important to note that the growth in visitor numbers to the National Park over the years has been significant, which is why continuing to invest in improvements is a priority for the Tasmanian Liberal Government.
A series of projects to limit and manage visitor impacts to the park and the Overland Track have been invested in to protect the park’s natural and cultural values while ensuring a world-class visitor experience.
This includes the new Cradle Mountain Visitor Center and amenities, walker cabins and shelters, improved road access and parking facilities, an extensive network of walking trails, the introduction of the shuttle bus and the new Dove Lake Observation Shelter, which will open in the spring. This year.
We have really come a long way in 100 years, and I would like to congratulate all the staff of the Parks and Wildlife Service for the work undertaken to preserve this very special place.
As this week is also National Volunteer Week, I would also like to thank the strength of our volunteers committed to parks and wildlife, including Wildcare Friends of Cradle Mountain, and all of our other individual volunteers as well as other groups of volunteers throughout our beautiful state.
For more information on Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, please visit the PWS website
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