In the late 1960s, the North West Walking Club considered providing a walking track through the Dial Range. At this time, the Penguin Council was in the early stages of planning the Dial Regional Sports Complex and readily agreed to include walking tracks in the overall plan. At about the time that the Dial Range tracks were nearing completion, the Club decided it would be a great opportunity to carry on with the track through to Cradle Mountain and help to fulfil the ambition of the then Federation of Tasmanian Bush Walking Clubs to have a north-south track across the state.
The Penguin Cradle Trail was never officially opened, but 40 years ago it was completed to a stage where it could be put into operation. Recently, we celebrated this wonderful achievement and the work done by the dedicated members of the North West Walking Club (NWWC) who had the vision and will to construct the track. As part of the celebration the Caves to Canyon Tourism Association and the Ulverstone Visitor Information Centre had an information display to showcase our area.
The continual efforts of the NWWC and in more recent times, Wildcare, have kept the track open for local, mainland and overseas bushwalkers to enjoy the experience. What a wonderful asset we have for the Central Coast area.
The trail is 76km and takes five to seven days to complete. It is suitable for experienced bushwalkers only, however, the Dial Range is good for family groups and people starting in this great activity. A Penguin Cradle Trail Route Guide with Maps is available to purchase from http://wildcaretas.org.au/product/penguin-cradle-trail-map-notes/
From the log books on the track, here is one quote:
“We always knew you Tasmanians were a hardy bunch and this track proves it. Started from Penguin and heading to Cradle and the Overland Track. We expect to see Hobbits jumping out from the mossy knolls. Love the scenery but finding the narrow traverses and steep climbs a bit of a challenge. Very grateful to NWWC for track notes and signage. Thanks for a fabulous wilderness experience.”
Liz & Peter (Perth Bushwalkers WA)