How to elope at Cradle Mountain
I’ve decided to create a simple step by step guide to help anyone who’s been inspired to consider how to elope at Cradle Mountain. I’ve been blessed to photograph quite a few elopements at Cradle Mountain. You can check some of my favourites here and here. But what you may not know is I actually got married there myself, just over a month ago! It was so wildly beautiful and wonderful I’m still pinching myself.
I’ve been lucky enough to photograph elopements all around Australia and some crazy spots across the ocean as well over the past 5 years and it’s such an incredible thing to be part such an intimate celebration. I’ve got so passionate about photographing elopements I’ve started writing a lot of guides like this one.
If you’re looking for my top 50 elopement locations in Australia there’s a post for that. As well as a post about how to elope in Australia with all the tips and legal things you need to know, even if you’re flying in from overseas to elope in Tasmania.
If you’ve not been to Cradle Mountain before. Or you’ve never got married at Cradle Mountain before… There’s going to be some things that you’ll need to know. I’ve decided to compile all of that information on how to elope at Cradle Mountain here.
The very first stop when you’re thinking of eloping at cradle mountain is deciding whether you will have your ceremony inside the national park or not. If you’re going to have your ceremony inside the park. You’ll need to get a permit approved from the Parks & Wildlife peeps.
The permit will set you back around $175-$190 depending on whether you want to get married on a weekday or weekend. There are 5 spots within the Cradle Mountain, St Claire national park where you can choose to hold your ceremony & each location holds a maximum guest number (usually under 30) But if it’s just the two of you. (as above) you can pretty much get as adventurous as you feel like.
If you aren’t too fussed about having your ceremony onsite. What a lot of my couples do is have the celebrant come to their airbnb or meet them somewhere else for a ceremony outside of the park before they head into the park for more photos.
Reception / Post elopement hangs:
If you’re having a few of your closest people join you at your elopement you’ve got a few solid options of where to celebrate afterward with your crew. Tasmania has an amazing food scene and a lot of the local restaurants really know how to put on a feed. We had 20 guests at our elopement. So that helped us narrow down the options for our dinner plans.
If you have a lot less or a lot more, then that changes things. We had our dinner at The Wilderness Village restaurant and enjoyed some of Tasmania’s finest local produce with our family and friends.
If you’re rolling deep with a bigger crew then Cradle Mountain lodge has some bigger function rooms which you can have anything from small groups to up to 90 guests for a full on wedding.
Elope in Tasmania
Time of year & difficult weather. Tasmania & Cradle Mountain in particular kinda play by their own rules when it comes to weather. I’ve photographed at Cradle Mountain in the middle of the Australian Summer and it’s been 30+ degrees Celsius.. and I’ve photographed there in Summer and it’s been 3 degrees. It just depends on the day.
In the Winter the park is occasionally closed because the access road gets too much snow. But we got married there in June with only a dusting of snow on the peak and a “warm” 7 degree winters day in the sun.
For more info on the conditions throughout the year checkout this website.
Where to Stay:
There are a bunch of incredible Airbnb’s all over Tasmania. None of them are incredibly close to Cradle Mountain as it is a bit of a remote location which is part of its charm. However there is quite a lot of incredible accomodation close to the mountain itself. Perhaps the most classic alpine feeling place to stay is Cradle Mountain Lodge. (The chances of you running into a wombat to say hi to in the driveway is about 100%)
Almost anywhere you stay near Cradle Mountain will be teaming with wildlife out your window in the morning and at dusk so make sure to keep your eye out. Particularly worth noting is driving very carefully. A lot of beautiful Tasmanian furry locals lose their lives by getting hit by cars that aren’t paying attention on the roads.
The other great place to stay with Alpine feels is the Highlander Cottages.
Hit THIS LINK to see about a billion more options of places to stay for your elopement.
How to Elope at Cradle Mountain – Getting In And Out
Cradle mountain is definitely on the more remote end than most wedding locations… But nothing worth having is easy. Closest airport is Launceston. Which is a beautiful sleepy little city that’s well worth some exploring on your way in or out. The airport is conveniently located so you can get straight on the road to Cradle mountain without having to go through the city.
The drive in to cradle mountain is one of the most beautiful roads in Australia. The journey should take you around 2 hours straight. If you don’t stop off in any of the cute little towns along the way.
How to Elope at Cradle Mountain – Chasing the perfect light:
The best light to photograph in is the hour before sunset and half an hour after sunset. If you’re feeling fit and game hiking, cradle mountain is well worth the effort. Marions lookout is beautiful and takes about 2 hours to get up to in wedding gear which will slow you down somewhat. It’s fairly steep in parts but the view is well worth it if the skies are clear.
This creates some super unique lighting but also means you should always be prepared both with what outfits you choose and what gear you might bring incase the weather takes a turn.
One thing to keep in mind with hoping to be up the mountain for sunset is getting down the mountain when its cold and dark. You want to coordinate your timeline to allow time to come back down from wherever you’ve hiked up to before it gets dark.
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If you’re super keen on the hiking aspect.. think hard about your shoe choices also. If you’ve got a long dress you can probably hide some hiking shoes under them for at least the way up the mountain like these guys did. A solid pair of leather boots that have good tread on them can still be dressy and look great for the hike and photos at the top too.
A final important reminder for people eloping at Cradle Mountain in 2021. You currently do need to register your travel with the Tasmanian Government if you’re arriving from interstate. So make sure you look at their entry website to make sure you’re not coming from a hot-spot and can actually enter the state.
If you need any more information about how to elope at Cradle Mountain don’t hesitate to shoot me an email so we can start the conversation.