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Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

Byron Shire...
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Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

I have 3 nights' accommodation booked at Cradle Mountain Lodge in mid-July, with a fourth night in Hobart. This gives me a full day to drive from Cradle Mountain to Hobart.

I'm the type of person who always likes to take the scenic route when i drive. I'm thinking that going via Strahan and Queenstown will be a bit too long to do in one day (probably 6-8 hours driving with minimal stops).

So, how does the A5 compare to the main Midlands Hwy (aka Route 1) in terms of scenery and driving pleasure? (we're renting an Audi, so looking forward to some winding mountain roads). I've seen conflicting reports as to the quality of the A5 - some say it's an excellent, sealed, all season road and others say it has unsealed sections (no problem for me to drive on...just don't tell the rental company ;-) and areas prone to thick snow drifts and thus impassable in winter (major problem!). Obviously if we have a lot of snow at Cradle Mountain Lodge (c900m elev??) while I'm there, chances are the A5 will be difficult to negotiate safely. How much higher does the A5 go? Assuming the road is open to 2WD vehicles, how long would it take from Deloraine to Hobart on the A5 compared to Route 1?

I'd love to hear from anyone who has driven the A5, as there seems to be little reliable information about it online.

Hobart
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1. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

I've driven this one going north, really nice route to take and very scenic. Don't think snow would be an issue as it's quite a dry winter. Some unsealed sections, but with well-graded gravel. No problem for us in an Astra. A couple of interesting places to stop on the way, I'll look them up and post later.

Kyogle, Australia
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2. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

Hi Sydney Stephen

On our last trip, three years ago, we based ourselves at sheffield for 5 days, then went through to Hobart via A5. This was in the month of Feb. It was a lovely road, some gravel but good drive. I remember we stopped at a lake up top in the alpine region, and went along a board walk. We were frozen, even then with our thick jackets on. The central plateau region is very different country and quite spectacular (from what I remember) and some of the rocky outcrops are amazing and remember that all along the shore line of a lake (not sure which one) there were all these quaint, very very small shacks, that were obviously home to many people. But they looked so interesting. We actually stayed at New Norfolk for the night before going on to Hobart. I would imagine that it would be very very cool in July, and possibly some icey road conditions, but once you've done your research, it would really be a matter of checking with locals etc at the time and/or road conditions for you to determine which way you go.

As you must be aware, tassie weather can change dramatically in one day.

Hope this helps, even if just a little

Cheers

Hobart
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3. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

The Lake Highway's highest elevation is 1220m. Here's a few hopefully useful links about what the lake Highway has to offer:

…tas.gov.au/recreation/…pine_lake.html

www.tasmaniacentral.tas.gov.au/site/page.cfm…

…tas.gov.au/factsheets/…LakeHighway.pdf

http://www.rathogolf.com/

Byron Shire...
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4. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

flossy & aardvark, thank you for your helpful replies. I think so long as the weather hasn't been dicey I'll head down to Hobart via the A5.

Any advice on how travelling time will compare to using the main highway?

Hobart
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5. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

I cant remember how long it took, but we did Hobart to Burnie in a reasonable time. Google Maps shows Deloraine to Hobart via A5 as 203 km, via the Midlands Hwy (route 1) as 229 km and both at slightly over 3 Hours driving time. I'd guess at 3.5 - 4 hours driving time via A5 to allow for road conditions and scenery viewing.

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

I just rode over the Central Plateau, with a friend, on 40+ year old scooters fully loaded with Luggage. It was fantastic, although a bit cold going across the central plateau itself. Even the dirt tracks didn't slow us down too much.

Biggest danger? Sheep moving grazing lands (twice) and lack of petrol stops. Deloraine to Bothwell was 130km - that's a long way on a small tank.

Byron Shire...
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7. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

Although this is an old thread, now that Siobhan has revived it, I might answer my original question.

We drove up over the Central Plateau on the A5 and it was one of the best drives I've done in a very very long time. There'd been a bit of snow in previous days and a couple of flurries as we were up on the plateau, but the road was clear and completely fine in a 2WD vehicle, including unsealed stretches which had a few nasty pot holed stretches, but nothing too horrible. The scenery is spectacular and changes dramatically as the road climbs through forest, up on to the bare plateau and back down through agricultural land closer to Hobart. We spotted plenty of wildlife and saw very little other traffic which meant that I coud really enjoy the hired European car ;-) The trip from Cradle Mountain Lodge to the Islington Hotel in Hobart took around 5 hours all up including one or two brief stops.

I'd highly recommend this route for anyone going from North to South in Taswegia.

Kyogle, Australia
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8. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your comment. Glad to here that you enjoyed that route. Its always hard to pass along info of what something is like, to help others, like yourself make a decision on travel routes.

Cheers

9. Re: Driving from Cradle Mountain to Hobart

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