Having visited the Rocky Mountains in Canada several times – I have dear family there – I was not overly excited to visit Cradle Mountain in Tasmania – I thought it’d be just a hill compared to the Rockies – It wasn’t. And there is also a wonderful little side story to the mountain the story of The Weindorfers.
We’re visiting beautiful Launceston, Tasmania’s second largest city in the north of the island state, and off to Cradle Mountain. It’s a 2.5 hour drive and the first stop for morning tea is a quaint little town called Sheffield.
Sheffield is known as the town of Murals with over 100 painted throughout it. There is a yearly competition and Muralists come from all over the world. I certainly wish we had more than a 20 minute stop here.
This was my favourite – and you’ll understand why later – was the Gustav Weindorfer mural. Note the wild animals keeping warm by the fire in a log cabin surrounded by snow. It’s part of the story of an immigrant from Austria and part of the modern story of Cradle Mountain.
I’m absolutely stunned at the beauty when we walk around to the boat shed on Dove Lake. Cradle mountain was formed during the last ice age when the ice itself was in a very slow whirlpool motion.
Dove Lake is pretty cold and the guide tells us a story of how he was once kayaking and fell into the water….it was colder then than it is now as some +5 degrees c! Bbbbrrrrr.
After lunch we head to Waldheim – German for Forest Home – the home Gustav Weindorfer built. So who was Weindorfer? He was an Austrian immigrant who arrived in 1900. Known as ‘Dorfer’ to his mates, in 1906 he married Kate, a Tasmanian and they lobbied government to make the area around Cradle Mountain a national park. After Kate died some 10 years into their marriage and with the First World War raging, Gustav having a Germanic accent built Waldheim, not far from Cradle Mountain, where he saw out his years.
The forest surrounding Waldheim is pretty spectacular, no wonder Kate and Gustav lobbied for it to be a national park. We’re here in summer, imagine what it’d be like in winter.
“For the people, for all time.”Gustav Weindorfer
I come away feeling pretty awed with the scenery in and around Cradle Mountain National Park. This place is special, not only to Dorfer but to all and it certainly isn’t anything like the Rockies. Thank you Gustav and Kate Weindorfer.
MattySomewhere traveled to Tasmania and Cradle Mountain at own expense.