Published: Dec 2023

Shadow Lake, Little Hugel and Mount Rufus

Note: indicated routes and locations are approximate.Use official topographic maps for navigation

This is a fairly easy three day walk, base camping at Shadow Lake in Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park in the Central Highlands of Tasmania. Shadow Lake is an easy morning's walk from the Lake St Clair visitors' centre. This walk is probably  best done during the warmer October to April period. If you're doing this walk in winter, be prepared for snow, and take into account the shorter day lengths.

There are quite a few tent sites just east of the walking track about halfway along the eastern shore of Shadow lake.

On the afternoon of day one we climbed Little Hugel, a rocky peak to the north of Shadow lake. On day two we did the Mount Rufus circuit, before returning to the Lake St Clair visitors' centre on day three. Thanks to Rupert and the Hobart Walking Club for organising this walk.

Mount Rufus reflected in Shadow Lake

From the campisite on the eastern shore of Shadow Lake.

Boulder scrambling on Little Hugel

The start of the Little Hugel ascent. Most of the ascent is like this, and you'll be using your hands quite a bit. It's not particularly difficult, but the rock is quite abrasive and some gardening gloves would not go astray here. Assuming you're doing the walk between late spring and autumn and you arrive at Shadow Lake by lunchtime, you can climb Little Hugel in the afternoon.

Ascending Little Hugel

You can see Forgotten Lake in the foreground and a little bit of Shadow Lake  through the trees in the top left.

Halfway up Little Hugel
Forgotten Lake from Little Hugel
Little Hugel Summit

Looking towards Lake St Clair (centre top) with Shadow Lake and Forgotten Lake on the right.

Pandanis on the Mount Rufus loop

On the Mount Rufus loop walk on day two.

Ascending Mount Rufus
Sandstone outcrops on Mount Rufus
On top of Mount Rufus

Looking west from the summit of Mount Rufus. The distinctive sawtooth shaped peak capped with snow on the horizon is Frenchmans Cap.

Shadow Lake
Shadow Lake

From the Shadow Lake campsite.