Carved out by ice during several glaciations, Lake St Clair is the deepest lake in Australia and the headwaters of the Derwent River, upon which the capital city of Tasmania is located. It has an area of 1,114 km2 , and a maximum depth of 200 m. The area around Lake St Clair offers a wealth of walks, ranging from leisurely strolls to overnight bushwalks, as well as beautiful forests to explore.
Lake St Clair is at the southern end of the world famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The area around Lake St Clair offers a wealth of walks, ranging from leisurely strolls to overnight bushwalks, as well as beautiful forests to explore. Lake St Clair is also the end point of the famous Overland Track, a long-distance walk which runs from Cradle Mountain in the north to Cynthia Bay on the southern shore of Lake St Clair.
Visiting Lake St Clair
Start your visit to Lake St Clair by calling in to the park centre. There, via innovative displays, you can take a trip through time that shows how the Lake St Clair area has developed from ancient times through to the present day. To help you make the most of your stay, information officers are available at the centre seven days a week. They can advise you on what to do and where to go and assist with general enquiries.
There are picnic facilities with barbecues at Cynthia Bay. Wheelchair accessible toilets are located at the park centre. The area also has a general store and restaurant, public telephone and outdoor seating facilities.
Through a Private Operator, canoes, bicycles and motorised dingies are available for hire. Contact the Private Operator on (03) 6289 1137 for details.
Camping is available at Cynthia Bay. For further details please contact the concessionaire on ph (03) 6289 1137.
A Backpacker/Travellers Hostel is also available at Cynthia Bay with 2 & 4 bunk rooms and refectory kitchen. Unique alpine-style units are also operated privately by the concessionaire – phone (03) 6289 1137.
Accomodation is also available outside the park at Derwent Bridge.
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A passenger launch operates from Cynthia Bay to Narcissus Bay at the northern end of the lake. It provides a leisurely way to experience the lake and mountains of the Lake St Clair area. For the more energetic it is possible to walk back via part of the Overland Track. Launch bookings can be made at the general store or by phoning (03) 6289 1137. Contact the concessionaire – phone (03) 6289 1137
How to get there
Lake St Clair is at the southern end of Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. It is 2 1/2 hours west of Hobart via the Lyell Highway (A10) and a similar distance from Launceston via Longford and Poatina. At Derwent Bridge turn right onto the 5 1/2km long access road to the lake at Cynthia Bay. From Queenstown the Lyell Highway is a winding and narrow 1 1/2 hour drive.
Both the Lyell Highway and the access road from Derwent Bridge may occasionally be closed by snow in winter.
There is no direct road link through the Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park to join the two ends of the park. Visitors may most easily reach Cradle Mountain via the Cradle Link Road (C132) and the Murchison and Lyell Highways (A10).