There has been a long public debate about the re-development of the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lakes St Clair national park. The Tasmanian government has previously approved a revitalisation of facilities, which will see a new “gateway precinct” for the park. This will happen outside the park boundary and is generally not seen as being contentious.

What is more contested is a proposal to build a cable car from the new ‘gateway precinct’ to Dove Lake.

It has now been announced that the government is “sounding out interests for a public-private partnership to undertake the redevelopment of the Cradle Mountain visitor centre, as part of its potentially $160 million “Cradle Mountain Master Plan” to give the area a much-needed facelift”.

Su-Lin Tan, writing in the Australian Financial Review reports that:

The government “has appointed Colliers International’s hotel experts Karen Wales and Guy Wells to manage the expressions of interest for the project, to which it will contribute $5 million. Marketing will commence in a few weeks.

While the total number of visitors to the area has grown, Cradle Mountain’s share of interstate trips has dropped to 25 per cent from more than 30 per cent before 2012, the Cradle Coast Authority’s master plan document says.

To increase visitors to the area, the government plans on not only redeveloping the Cradle Mountain arrival and visitor centre but to improve transport between the centre and one of its key attractions, Dove Lake. Instrumental to the plan is a new $60 million cable car service which will open up the enjoyment of the area to more visitors. [NOTE from Cam: this claim is debatable, as Dove Lake is already accessible by car]

It will also improve the ranger and interpretation centres.

The state has already lodged a development application for the new visitor centre, including a new viewing platform at Dove Lake, village hub and commercial centre, all offering “an alpine village feel”. It is scheduled to complete in 2019.

The centre will act as the launch point for Cradle Mountain through to Lake St Claire and is designed with an upper level where panoramic views can be enjoyed from a lounge bar or cafe, just before a cable car ride. Surrounding the centre will be an events courtyard with a central open fire to host plays and performances.

The Cradle Mountain redevelopment may also require a further 206 hotel rooms to accommodate visitors. The master plan has looked at the possibility of a new $60 million hotel, to be privately funded.