Route: Penguin Cradle Trail

Submitted by Lincoln Quilliam on Sun, 11/29/2020 - 11:13pm
Tasmania, AU
94 km
Vertical Gain
4,000 m

PCT is one of the most challenging established multi day bushwalking traverses in Tasmania, crossing 3 mountain ranges. 

Starts with 3km of road from the Penguin statue at the beach. The 20km of Dial range trails are then very pleasant with well built and maintained trails through varied beautiful forest types making for comfortable running flow - although not officially part of the PCT, the FKT route includes the summits of Mt Dial and Gnomon which add around 3kim and 200m vert. Then 11km of rural roads. 

Leven Canyon is just absolutely awesome!! Generally very technical and super steep yo-yoing narrow formed trail. 15km of trail (4-5hrs) then 2km road to Taylors Flats. 

Black bluff range is something else... a nice long climb on a great track brings you to a lovely alpine lake then unformed alpine heath track at >1,000m elevation super exposed to weather for 25+kms. This can be a very serious section if bed weather or low visibility as the track is very faint. Even in good weather, it's very slow going with high ankle rolling potential at every step, occasional hidden knee deep holes, and the slightest southerly squall tears through you and slows you to half the slow pace you were already doing at 60-80km in... what an experience! On a clear day you can easily see Cradle from just past Black bluff - it certainly doesn’t look 30kms away, but takes around 7hrs to reach!

Cross the Belvoir Rd and only 21km to go. Speelers track to Cradle Mountain Lodge is magical with rainforest, pandani, and waratah. Grab a well earned drink, then onlly 6km on the really spectacular cradle valley boardwalk finishing at the start of the Overland track at Ronny Creek. 

Massive thanks to the North West Walking club for designing and building the Trail in the 1970s and maintaining it to this day. Penguin Cradle Trail - North West Walking Club (

GPS Track


Hi Lincoln, awesome run man! I noticed your data is a bit different to the info I've been looking at for the trail. Do you think that the official trial without any side trips and accurate GPS data, finishing at the lodge, would be closer to 80km?

yeah maybe @dbyrne, the 94km is the distance mapped on the suunto app for the route taken. Strava recordings were between 96km and 108km. Would definitely recommend the FKT route set to gain the high traverse of the northern part of the Dial range and also to finish at the start of the Overland track