New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

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New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby weetbix456 » Sat 22 Feb, 2020 8:37 pm

Peoples thoughts on the new visitor centre?

It’s all happened pretty quick - and did seem to get rushed through. New toilets were a plus. Parking should be better once finished, but currently it’s a bit chaotic. Long drive/walk with conflicting arrow directions. Staff also didn’t really seem to know where I should park a commercial vehicle with trailer whilst sorting out all on arrival paperwork. Has anyone been through the new mandatory briefing pre-Overland track yet?

Quite a large area of bush appears to have been cleared behind the new site (behind where cradle canyons have their storage shed) for no real reason? Currently it’s just a rubbled wood pile. I want to be positive, and I think in time these things will be sorted out - but what’s the game plan? It all seems very disorganised and whacked together in a rush. Feeling sorry for the front of house staff as they have to deal with all the current confusion during this peak season period..any other good or bad experiences thus far?
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 24 Feb, 2020 8:06 am

I went for a short overnight walk through there a few weeks ago. I felt like I part of a herd of cattle. Quite an unpleasant experience.

I understand the need for it though. Just makes me miss the freedom we used to have in our national parks.

There was a distinct lack of signs and information in general to help figure out what to do where to go. But I expect that's all still under development. There were plenty of helpful staff about everywhere.

The lady at the desk was very concerned that I didn't have a PLB. She was also very kind in providing me with a band aid for my finger that was bleeding all over her desk (I have no idea how it got sliced).
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby timh » Mon 24 Feb, 2020 8:50 am

I went through the briefing back on 30 Jan. Apart from a weather update they didn't tell us anything I didn't already know (thanks largely to this forum), but I guess they have to account for people who don't do their research.

They made a strong point about keeping our gear dry (repeated a few times), and avoiding getting our food stolen by wildlife. It was a well presented briefing, light hearted but made sure we knew what we were in for.

Having never been there before I don't have anything to compare it to - seemed modern and well presented apart from the roadworks and construction. Apparently the shuttle buses were leaving an hour later than normal due to roadworks (?) - I was with Overland Track Transport so it didn't affect me, but some on our bus were going to stay there overnight and get an early start the next day, messed their plans up slightly.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby headwerkn » Tue 25 Feb, 2020 12:23 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:The lady at the desk was very concerned that I didn't have a PLB.


That's reassuring. We ended up loaning our spare PLB out on the track to a trio of young Queeslanders who were told by Cradle NP staff there was no need to rent one in early October :roll: . This was the day before a forecast blizzard that dumped over a foot snow at Waterfall Valley. Thankfully they made it through to the end OK and duly returned our PLB.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Overlandman » Wed 26 Feb, 2020 8:06 am

“Quite a large area of bush appears to have been cleared behind the new site (behind where cradle canyons have their storage shed) for no real reason? Currently it’s just a rubbled wood pile”

I had a look through all the buildings the other day, the cleared area behind Cradle Canyons shed is for the skyway cable car.
Only issue I can see is the cafe is too small,
all buildings were nice and warm, with hydro floor heating.
Helicopters were flying flat out supplying building materials for new Waterfall Valley Hut.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Nuts » Wed 26 Feb, 2020 10:45 am

I would do a loop through the carpark to have a look at the mountain, there's now a building in the way. It appears to have a remarkable design yet manages to be remarkably bland. And I can only think of renovating old houses and why steep pitched roofs and wasted space went out with open fires in every room. The reception area is a bit depressing, i'd not want a long shift in there. The sheep race is (not new) a truly ironic advancement, visionary capstone for the commodity of 'wild places'. The bus stop design acts as a scoop to the south, a well designed wind tunnel. I too would like to think of positives but they are not what is immediately noticable. And I doubt it would be offensive to more than one or a couple of (well reimbursed) people to pick the place apart. Like post-consultation kinda thing.. bits can always be fixed. (Not related to the building, but it's good to hear of mandatory briefings)
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby weetbix456 » Wed 26 Feb, 2020 6:13 pm

Is the cable way still actually in the works?? Has this all passed DA stage? I really enjoy the cradle valley boardwalk and would be saddened to see it pass over head through there.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby lefroy » Wed 26 Feb, 2020 6:46 pm

Past history shows that the govt doesn't really care what people think sadly weetbix. I have said my goodbyes to dove lake as it is too late to save that place. Within a year it will be a cradle mountain theme park, kind of like those themed restaurants that show people an exaggerated perspective of how things used to be. The new viewing 'shelter' and skyway will be built and the area will be lost forever.
Too cynical?
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 27 Feb, 2020 8:23 am

I'm already booked into do the Overland Track with my kids (11 & 13) in a few weeks time. But after having to be herded through the system for my one night walk a few weeks ago, I'm really not looking forward to that process again.

After this already-booked next visit to the Overland Track, I'm not sure if I really want to go back. It's kind of depressing when you know what it used to be like. I've done the OT more times than I can count (although this will be the first time I've had to pay for it), and it's been worth going back again and again. But I'm not sure it's going to be worth it anymore. This is the kind of thing I go bushwalking to avoid.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Mechanic-AL » Thu 27 Feb, 2020 10:58 am

I havent been on the OT since any of these new developments have taken place but I cant see any of it affecting people setting off for the first time.

A lot of first timers will probably be reassured by flash infrastructure and briefings at the beginning of the walk. Its really only the people who have been there in the past and walked the track in earlier times that will be dismayed. The popularity of the place will continue to soar.
I believe that regardless of whatever is happening at the start and/or finish it will still be possible to make a walk down the OLT a unique experience. We Just might have to put in a little bit more effort for the rewards.

The day they talk about increasing daily walkers numbers is the day we can kiss it all good bye. Hopefully that day will never come.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Nuts » Fri 28 Feb, 2020 4:54 am

Mechanic-AL wrote:The day they talk about increasing daily walkers numbers is the day we can kiss it all good bye. Hopefully that day will never come.


Come and gone unfortunately. Talked about, done.
But OT is only a tiny role there. Busy directing hordes, protecting income streams and money trees with hands on hearts.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Mechanic-AL » Fri 28 Feb, 2020 8:16 am

What sort of numbers were they allowing when restrictions on daily departures were first imposed ?
(and do you know how many times this has been increased since then ) ?
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Nuts » Fri 28 Feb, 2020 5:07 pm

The increases have been /will likely be in the commercial realm, i'm not exactly sure what is planned or numbers. It goes without saying, given the ideal shift to income over protections, increases and capacity will be transient, and as many as the developers and their cohorts can get away with.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Mechanic-AL » Fri 28 Feb, 2020 8:30 pm

One of the first things you would learn as a fledgling politician is how to answer a question without really answering the question......

Are you sure your not a politician Nuts ?? :D :D :D
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby north-north-west » Sat 29 Feb, 2020 6:52 am

Mechanical--Al:

There are plans to increase the number of private huts. In order to make this financially viable for the relevant guiding company, commercial walker numbers have to be increased. This can be done only two ways - an equivalent reduction in the numbers of independent walkers or by increasing walker numbers overall.
Now, considering first the recent improvements of facilities with regard to public huts and camping areas, and also that the fees paid by independent walkers fund track rangers and ongoing track/facility improvements, which do you think is the plan?
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 29 Feb, 2020 8:28 am

The plan is quite obvious.

What I was hoping to gauge from the NUMBERS was how fast things have been increasing in fairly recent times.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Nuts » Sat 29 Feb, 2020 11:00 am

Group size limits were always 10 for established tracks, one of the groups seems to have gained exclusive rights to now take 12.
I'm not being cagey on numbers. Proposals certainly involve an increase in numbers that will have to be catered for somehow.. but certain operators seem to enjoy a higher level of secrecy and facilitation. Really don't know what to expect... going forward ;
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 29 Feb, 2020 11:20 am

Nuts wrote:Group size limits were always 10 for established tracks, one of the groups seems to have gained exclusive rights to now take 12.
I'm not being cagey on numbers. Proposals certainly involve an increase in numbers that will have to be catered for somehow.. but certain operators seem to enjoy a higher level of secrecy and facilitation. Really don't know what to expect... going forward ;


Thanks Nuts.
However it works out the natural enviroment is sure to be worse off.
And as you stated it's about more than just the OT.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby weetbix456 » Sat 29 Feb, 2020 11:40 am

Third option NNW is that other group site/tent based commercial groups have their numbers or trips cut - keeping the numbers the same but pushing out small local companies in the process. It's actually one of the things that grinds me currently with the EOI cheap leasing saga - so many operators who have for years tried to simply follow the set rules (and have ripper products) are getting shafted...and consequently losing overall and going out of business.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby matagi » Sun 01 Mar, 2020 8:40 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:I'm already booked into do the Overland Track with my kids (11 & 13) in a few weeks time. But after having to be herded through the system for my one night walk a few weeks ago, I'm really not looking forward to that process again.


What's this system for a one night walk you are referring to?
This makes me the first man to climb Mount Everest backwards, without oxygen...or even a jumper.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 02 Mar, 2020 8:39 am

matagi wrote:
Son of a Beach wrote:I'm already booked into do the Overland Track with my kids (11 & 13) in a few weeks time. But after having to be herded through the system for my one night walk a few weeks ago, I'm really not looking forward to that process again.


What's this system for a one night walk you are referring to?


It's the Overland Track management system (2005), in which some limited alternative uses are permitted as clarified in PWS' more recent Overland Track Usage Guidelines
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby weetbix456 » Mon 02 Mar, 2020 11:21 am

I've heard of numerous annoyances with this system - they ask for bushwalkers to make courtesy contact to explain trip intentions, only to have someone on the other end essentially tell the walker that this is not possible nor advised. This is simply not the truth 99% of the time, and it really bugs me! I've had friends from interstate not do their planned walk because someone from Parks relayed falsehoods about off-track walking or even options on that above list ^^^ not being allowed..

Obviously Parks should not openly/publicly promote these options - but they have no place to make the process more difficult and confusing for well prepared and organised walkers - especially those from interstate who may not fully understand the way of things down here and are simply trying to do the right thing.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 02 Mar, 2020 11:51 am

Yep. I had to undergo a thorough interrogation at the visitors centre before I could pass through to do my last non-full-OT walk. It was unpleasant. I felt like I just scraped through this time and I'm not sure if a different staff member would let me through.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby matagi » Mon 02 Mar, 2020 12:07 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:Yep. I had to undergo a thorough interrogation at the visitors centre before I could pass through to do my last non-full-OT walk. It was unpleasant. I felt like I just scraped through this time and I'm not sure if a different staff member would let me through.

That sort of thing just encourages people to bypass the system. How far were you walking on the OLT? For partial walks, I've only ever come in via Arm River and spent the night at Pelion, so I've not encountered this. We did the OLT last week (finished on Friday) and found the process fairly painless if a little tedious, certainly weren't interrogated - although it may have helped that hubby used to be a guide and we were the only two people there at the time.

I must say I am astonished at the speed with which the pulled down the old Visitors' Centre. It was there at the beginning of Jan when we did a day walk up to Twisted Lakes and just over a month later - gone!
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 02 Mar, 2020 3:28 pm

matagi wrote:How far were you walking on the OLT?


Approximately one "OT Segment" worth of distance although some of that was off track. (I did not camp at Waterfall Valley, and did not walk further south than that general vicinity.) I was on a very particular "mission" to see a specific location which is some distance from the track. No further comment. ;-)
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Overlandman » Sun 22 Mar, 2020 2:33 pm

Just announced yesterday that the Visitors centre is closed until further notice due to Corona Virus :|

From the Advocate

Some of the state's busiest National Park visitor centres have been closed by Parks and Wildlife due to COVID-19.

The Cradle Mountain National Park visitor centre closed on Saturday along with the Freycinet and Mount Field centres.

The parks remain open for public use.

"The safety of visitors, volunteers and staff is the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service's highest priority," said PWS deputy secretary Jason Jacobi.
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Re: New Cradle Mt Visitor Centre

Postby Nuts » Sun 22 Mar, 2020 5:52 pm

Lake St. Clair too. It's probably worth passing on that there's still a staff member hanging around to inform visitors.
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