We are a large family group of 9 adults, 5 children and 1 baby on a 10 day Tasmania self-drive trip in Mid Nov 2013. We didn't want to drive nonstop 5 hours from Hobart to Cradle Mountain, so we decided to break journey midway i.e. Derwent bridge/ Lake St Clair. As we have kids and babies, we were looking more for rooms with kitchenette but with restaurants facilities nearby. I managed to find this "Lake St Clair Lodge" with a rather impressive website but unimpressive tripadvisor ratings-though admittedly most of the poor ratings are of the campsites type and we were more interested in the cabins and bungalows. Worse still, there is also another Tripadvisor " Lake St Clair Wilderness Lodge"??
Anyway, I emailed them and they were real prompt and helpful in their replies and we finally settled in 3 of the lakeside bungalows ( 2 bedrooms with king beds,2 baths and a kitchenette, dual access).
I was told that these were new buildings and so new they had not had tv installed. It was also one of the most expensive places we were to stay on our Tasmania trip as well too. But seriously , as a big group and in a remote location, we had not much of a choice.
It was with great trepidation that we arrived....but my oh my... are we totally blown away!
The lakeside bungalows were gorgeous and huge....the fireplace was up and ready, and they had nice Oil Reed diffusers that made the whole place smell heavenly, and they even made up a extra sofa bed in the living room. Every thing was brand new and it felt that we were probably one of the first few occupants living in them. Everyone in my big group were really happy with the stay despite being just one night. It was really worth our splurge.
BTW, just to clarify, this lodge is now know as "Lake St Clair Lodge" . It used to be called the "Lake St Clair Wilderness Lodge" . It is in Lake St Clair NP and in fact the reception and restaurant is just next to the national park office. Lake St Clair is beautiful and the walk around the lake is breath-taking , no to be missed.
Some thing to note - Some of the bungalows and lodges are a little challenging to access....long boardwalks or have to walk across some gravel grounds before boardwalk/wooden steps.. this I fine as long as you don't have huge luggage like ours with wheels :)
The accommodation does not come with breakfast. A simple continental breakfast is about $15, though if you have brought food supplies...the bungalows have self-catering facilities.
During this trip, we stayed in Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and Freycinet Lodge- both national-park themed accomodations and I would say that the quality of the accommodation is on par if not better. But to sweeten the deal, Lake st Clair Lodge should consider throwing in free buffet breakfast as the other 2 lodges.
Restaurant- We ate dinner on the evening we arrived and the service is impeccable and attentive . Food wise, it is slightly over-priced as expected in such remote location but can do better in taste. I was glad that food was warm and low salt but some of my group members felt that the pasta could do better.
Next day lunch , we ate at the Hungry Wombat just 5 min drive away and it was great, pity they close at 4pm.
In summary, if you should break journey ( and I think you should as the subsequent drive from Lake st Clair to Cradle mountain was really windy), don't mind splurging a little with a wonderful view, stay at Lake St Clair Lodge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the heart of the Tasmanian World Heritage Reserve. We welcome you to tranquility wrapped in outstanding natural beauty. Located on the shore of Australia's deepest freshwater lake. Our home has a serenity which promotes a connection with this wild and globally significant World Heritage Area. So hold your breath, open your eyes and enter a world away... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lake St Clair Lodge Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania