Lake St Clair, Tasmania

Lake St Clair is a natural freshwater lake, located at the southern end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Carved by intense glaciation over millions of years, Lake St Clair is also the deepest lake in Australia.

The Indigenous name for Lake St Clair is leeawuleena, which means sleeping water. I believe it is a very well fitted name. This peaceful blue lake was so stunning and tranquil when we visited. With slow-moving clouds, the lake looked absolutely enchanted.

Walking Tracks in Lake St Clair

Lake St Clair is where the famous Overland Track comes to an end. 

Overland Track is a multi-day trek (6 days on average), across the heart of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. This is a great option to have yourself surrounded by the wilderness of this magnificent national park. 

However, many of us are not prepared for a multi-day trek. For those who prefer shorter walks, there are also various walking trails available to explore this beautiful park.

Shorter Waking Tracks in Lake St Clair:

  • Watersmeet Loop +/- Platypus Bay: A relatively easy walk around Cynthia Bay and Platypus Bay. 45-90 minutes return walk, depending on routes taken.
  • Franklin Beach Walk: A relatively easy walk along Lake St Clair. 2 hours for a return walk.
  • Mt Rufus Circuit: A hard hike with a breathtaking view. Need advanced planning and trekking experience. Plan at least 7 hours for this hike.
Lake St Clair, Tasmania
Lake St Clair, Tasmania


Dense forests can be found in this national park, hence are various native wildlife.

In Lake St Clair, you can easily spot wallabies, wombats, and echidnas. If lucky, you can even spot platypus from the lake, particularly around the Platypus Bay.

However, when taking a stroll in the park, be aware of snakes as well, especially on those warmer days. 


Weather changes relatively quick and frequently in Tasmania. This is especially true in the alpine regions.

In alpine regions, it can be beautifully sunny one day and deadly the next. Bushfires can also develop in the dryer months (November – March).

Please make sure you are prepared for the worst possible scenario when taking a walk in this national park. Be sure to also bring warm waterproof clothing and sturdy trekking boots when visiting.

How to Get There

Although Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain are under the same national park, there is no direct road linking the two ends of the park.

Lake St Clair is about a 3 hours drive from Cradle Mountain via the West Coast; a 2.5 hours drive from Hobart, via Lyell Highway; just under 2.5 hours drive from Launceston.

If you are interested in driving between Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain via Queenstown, feel free to check out this ‘Lake St Clair to Cradle Mountain Via Queenstown’ for more information on the driving time & attractions to visit along this drive.

Where to Eat in Lake St Clair

Since Lake St Clair is hours away from either end of Lyell Highway, this place felt relatively isolated from the rest of Tasmania.

This is particularly true when it comes to food, as there aren’t many dining options near Lake St Clair. Unless you are a guest staying at Pumphouse Point, there are only 2 restaurants and 2 cafes to choose from near Lake St Clair.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please phone the restaurant/cafe ahead of time to avoid disappointment. 

Dining options available in Lake St Clair for non-hotel guests:


  • Hungry Wombat Cafe (my pick for breakfast).
  • The Wall Cafe (need to pay a ticket to get into The Wall first, before accessing the cafe – Please call The Wall in advance for cafe opening hours).


  • Hungry Wombat Cafe
  • The Wall Cafe (need to pay a ticket to get into The Wall first, before accessing the cafe – Please call The Wall in advance for cafe opening hours).
  • Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel (my pick for lunch).
  • Lake St Clair Lodge


  • Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel (my pick for dinner – their Sri Lanka curry was one of the best curries I’ve had).
  • Lake St Clair Lodge
Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel
Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel

Accommodations in Lake St Clair

Similar to food, there aren’t many accommodations to choose from in Lake St Clair. In total, there are only 2 hotels in Lake St Clair and 2 Hotel/Studio in Derwent Bridge.

Since there aren’t many accommodations near Lake St Clair, these accommodations do tend to get booked out in advance. If you are planning to stay near Lake St Clair, it is worthwhile to book in advance.

In addition, due to its high demand, accommodations near Lake St Clair are generally more expensive in comparison. As a result, many people do end up staying in nearby towns, such as Queenstown. However, these places are mostly a fair distance away from Lake St Clair.

  • Check out accommodations in Lake St Clair on – Within Lake St Clair, but relatively more expensive
  • Check out accommodations in Derwent Bridge on – Budget-friendly & only a short drive away
  • Check out accommodations in Queenstown on – Much cheaper, but > 1 hour & 20 minutes drive away.

Summary of accommodations available near Lake St Clair:

Pump House Point:

  • Within Lake St Clair.
  • The Best Views of Lake St Clair.
  • High-End Accommodations: AUD 560-1750 per night.
  • All-inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
  • Fixed Check-in Days on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Minimum 2-3 nights stay for all bookings.
  • Adult-only retreat.

Lake St Clair Lodge:

  • Within Lake St Clair.
  • A Decent View of the national park.
  • A selection of Studio Cabins and 1-2 Bedroom Suites to choose from.
  • Mid-Range Accommodations: AUD 300s-700s per night, depending on seasons & rooms.

Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel:

  • In Derwent Bridge.
  • Budget-Friendly Accommodations: AUD 145-175 per night.
  • Full Continental Breakfast included.
  • Restaurant on-site, serving decently priced Lunch & Dinner.

Derwent Bridge Chalets & Studio:

  • In Derwent Bridge.
  • A selection of self-contained Chalets & Studios to choose from.
  • Budget-Friendly Accommodations: AUD 185-265 per night.
  • Family Friendly.
  • I would personally pick Derwent Bridge Chalets & Studio to stay, as it’s self-contained & reasonably priced.

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