While there's no 'best' time to visit Cradle Mountain–Lake St. Clair National Park, some months may be more suitable depending on the activities you want to do, such as December to February for swimming and nicer weather or June to August for snowy landscapes. The region is known to have unpredictable weather and can even experience four seasons on any given day! But the park has a cool temperature climate with four distinct seasons.
Best for: hiking, swimming and the best chance of getting good weather
Summer is typically the driest and sunniest time of year. However, it's important to bring clothing for all conditions as the weather is still highly unpredictable. (Yes, it can still snow in summer!) You're more likely to enjoy good weather in January and February which see an average maximum temperature of 18°C. February is also the driest month.
Despite being a few degrees cooler than the rest of Tasmania, don't underestimate the UV at higher altitudes where it's easier to get sunburn. Bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt to cover your arms and shoulders.
Summer is the best season to tackle the iconic Overland Track or other hikes in the park. The landscape bursts with colour as most native wildflowers are in bloom. It's also the best time of year to swim in one of the park's lakes or waterfall-fed pools – but note that the water will still be very fresh!
Best for: hiking and seeing the park's changing colours
Dry(ish), sunny weather often continues into March. Rainfall increases in April and May, but that doesn't mean you have to stay inside. Cradle Mountain's natural beauty is on full display with the wilderness turning from bright green to moody orange and brown.
If you're embarking on one of Cradle Mountain's famous walks, then you're in for a treat with Tasmania's deciduous tree, the Fagus, changing the colour of its leaves before dropping and covering the forest floor. Tassie locals call this seasonal event 'the turning of the Fagus'.
Best for: snowy landscapes, dining at world-class restaurants and whisky tasting
With snow blanketing the peaks, the park is a sight to behold in winter. August is the wettest month with 17 days of precipitation on average, but June and July aren't far behind with an average of 14 and 16 days respectively. This means that if you visit in winter, your holiday will likely be set against a misty, rainy backdrop. But we think this adds an extra layer of mystery to the park.
Winter is cold, with an average high temperature of 6-9°C and a low of 0°C. Even on a clear, sunny day, the air is crisp, so pack warm, waterproof clothing. That being said, keep your sunscreen handy as the UV can still be strong.
Trekking the Overland Track in winter can be dangerous as the weather at higher altitudes is volatile. It's not recommended unless you're an experienced multi-day hiker and have winter-appropriate gear. Admire the wintry scenes from lower-level trails or use the weather as an excuse to indulge in Tassie's delicious local produce, whisky and wine.
Best for: hiking, wildlife and waterfalls
The weather in Cradle Mountain is unpredictable all year, but even more so in spring. Expect any and all conditions from sun and wind to snow, sleet and rain. September can be particularly wet, with an average of 17 days of rain, but it tapers down to 13 days in November.
With rising temperatures and drier conditions in November, our trekking season on the Overland Track starts up again. Wildflowers start to blossom and animals become more active, so keep your eyes peeled for wallabies, brushtail possums, wombats, and if you're lucky, a Tasmanian devil. Winter snowmelt and plentiful rain also make spring a brilliant time to see the park’s waterfalls.
Our Cradle Mountain tours