On the way from Somerset to Queenstown I had to go past Cradle Mountain NP so I decided to have another look as it was earlier in the day and should not be so crowded. I arrived there at 10:00 and the car park was less than half full. First I had to go into the Visitors Centre and show them my Parks Pass and received a Shuttle Bus Ticket in return, you will not be allowed on the bus without this ticket. Another day of drizzle, 15 minute ride to Dove Lake, off the bus in a drizzle and walked along a boardwalk to the Lake, could not see a thing, took one photo and back to the bus stop, disappointing. I have included a photo from my last trip to Dove Lake in 2001, I was lucky that time 4 days and no rain hahaha. It also used to be a dirt track from the main road and you could ride right up to the Lake. So far 4 days and rain every day.
Queenstown was where they mined copper for many years and in its heyday had a population of 10,000. The landscape has still not recovered but it is in better shape than it was 20 years ago with some of the barren mountain slopes starting to get covered in forest. Copper mining continues but they are not damaging the environment now.
The Empire Hotel in Queenstown has a very elaborate staircase that is heritage listed and there are some other old buildings that have been restored. There are also murals if you take the time to walk around the town in the rain.
The Gordon River cruise from Strahan is one of the touristy thing you are required to do when you visit this area. There are two cruise boats and I went with World Heritage Cruises and I have only good things to say about them. The boat is new and immaculate and you are allowed to wander anywhere even join the Captain in the bridge and sit up there with him for the best view in the house. I booked the most expensive ticket ($185) which was top deck window seat but in hindsight I should have booked the cheapest ticket ($135) and spent my time on the bridge or anywhere else on the boat and only gone back to my seat for lunch. The cruise was interesting but again with the mist and drizzle views were limited and the guided tour around the Sarah Prison island interesting but miserable in the rain. There was another stop for a rain forest walk but it was raining and I did not get off the boat, The cruise leaves at 0900 and returns at 1500 hours.
The Wilderness Railway another touristy option, you have to book weeks in advance to get a seat on one of the trips. I did not but they managed to find me a seat on one of the trips and it was of course the most expensive class $185, same view but better seats and food included. This railway was built to carry the copper from Queenstown to the port at Strahan and it was not an easy task. The tracks run along the mountainside with a cliff on one side and a steep drop to the King River on the other. Very well organised, the trains are immaculate and overall an interesting experience. The train leaves at 0900 and returns at 1300, there are three stops, Lower Landing, Dubbil Barril and Lower Landing on the way back. There are longer trips to Queenstown.