Don’t languish away through the winter cold, celebrate it! Summer holidays get most of the glory, but I think a winter escape can be just as enriching for your soul. If you’re looking for a perfect winter getaway, submerged in nature but with all the creature comforts, then Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania (Australia) may be what you’re looking for.
I found that a long weekend getaway here was the perfect place to unwind – it ticked all the boxes on my very precise, but not extensive list of holiday necessities: a unique experience, great food, log fire (winter holidays specifically) and points of interest to explore at close range.
What we found was an understated wilderness oasis submerged amongst World Heritage listed national parks, a short 2 hour scenic drive from Launceston airport.
Here are some of the highlights from our stay:
I love the warmth, the smell and the light bouncing around the room from a crackling fire. It’s mesmerising and i’m definitely one of those people that can sit there watching a log fire for hours like a deer caught in the headlights. The rest of the decor around the guest lounges and restaurants are a perfect blend of sophisticated lodge + cigar room + charming log cabin.
The food and wine served up at the Highland Restaurant is divine! They have a seasonal menu serving up the best of local produce along with matched wines from the region. And when you’ve indulged in a romantic, opulent meal, there is NOTHING more satisfying than snuggling down by the fire with a glass of Tasmanian port.
If you want to mix it up with more casual dining during your stay, then the menu at the Tavern Bar and Bistro also serves up a delicious selection.
Those that visit in July will get to sample their “Christmas in July” menu with a traditional medley of mulled wines, mince pies and Christmas pudding mixed up with some fresh Tasmanian produce like Freycinet Oysters.
The walks are easy, uncrowded and blissful. I know it sounds a little cliche, but being submerged in the fresh mountain air and the ancient beauty of the moss covered old-growth Tasmanian forest really does change you. You know you’ll be back to the hustle and bustle in no time, but for those moments in the wilderness, you feel at one with something much, much bigger than yourself.
For me, it’s so important to get back to nature when I can and the walks around cradle mountain certainly provides the perfect platform for a cathartic experience.
For those that are a little more adventurous, there are more strenuous overnight highland treks across the mountain tops and many flock to this location from around the world each year to experience the surrounds. I hope to be back one year when the weather is a little warmer and my fitness level is a little more conducive to such a hike… because what I saw from my easy stroll must be nothing compared to a a trek overland.
The Waldheim Alpine Spa is the perrrrrrrfect place to unwind and rejuvenate after a day of walking through the national parks. The spa treatments are all eco-inspired and earthy decor, herbal scents and enchanting forest views are just the perfect heady mix that epitomises relaxation.
I hope I’ve inspired you to head to Cradle Mountain… or at least to get started on booking your next winter escape!
Cradle Mountain Lodge