Extra charge introduced for visitors using Cradle Mountain shuttle bus

Published: October 23, 2023

Grey nomads and other visitors to one of the jewels in Tasmania’s tourism crown are to be hit with an extra charge.

From November 15, anyone over the age of 18 using the Cradle Mountain shuttle bus service – which has been free since it was introduced a couple of decades ago – will now have to pay $15 for the privilege.

The service takes visitors from the information centre to Dove Lake and is intended to help protect the area by limiting the number of vehicles accessing the park. Vehicle access into the park is only permitted outside of shuttle bus operating hours.

Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) says it costs them more than $3 million dollars to operate each year.

The $15 ticket will be valid for 72 hours to be used in conjunction with a parks pass. An annual shuttle bus ticket will also be available for $45.

PWS says it believes ‘$15 for a return transport service for three days to access this iconic World Heritage Area site represents really good value for money’.

More than 300,000 people visit the park each year and approximately 80% of them are interstate or international tourists.

“Importantly, this cost recovery initiative means that parks pass revenue is reinvested directly into maintaining critical infrastructure and protecting Tasmania’s natural and cultural values,” PWS said.

The ABC reports that the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania has requested a meeting with Parks and Wildlife to discuss the fee change and its impact on tourism at the iconic mountain.

“We’ll be seeking further information about its intended outcome, how it will work, and how it will impact visitors and locals,” chief executive Amy Hills said. “This may have come as a shock to some in the area and in the community and I think we need to do better and the Parks and Wildlife Service and government need to do better in terms of explaining what they’re trying to achieve.”

But Ms Hills told the ABC she didn’t believe the extra fee would be a deterrent for visitors.

“We know that visitors who are coming to our state many of them really value sustainability, and the importance of protecting the environment, so I’d be hopeful that they’d be willing and quite able to pay that $15 fee when they’re travelling on the shuttle,” she said.

  • Do you think this extra charge is reasonable, and will you be happy to pay it? Comment below.

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That would be a big no ! From us

As long as they have a Seniors Card discount for interstate visitors.

I bet it’s $15 no matter how old you are, there has been no mention of Seniors or even less for children. This will deter people, and even if they go to Cradle they will spend less once they get there, so they will lose on it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Garry

Having to pay an additional fee for the shuttle bus would be a deterrent for me. Especially if that is a per person cost, a couple being $30. What is the cost for kids – making it very unrealistic for families. It will make a lot of people think twice when planning/budgeting for a trip to the area.

Been there done that no need to go back & fill pockets

No, no, no. Such a rip off.

Fair enough. Trust there will be pensioner/seniors discount?

That is a steep start, especially for the interstate caravanning grey nomads that just paid around a grand to get to the island. Definitely need a seniors discount.

Tell me how you can take yourself and a car and caravan to Tasmania for $1,000, even for my 12 foot pop-top and Falcon wagon, when I did a blind booking it was over $1,500 with a cabin which I need as I can’t sleep in a chair.

Last edited 1 month ago by Garry

With a fair size caravan and a inside cabin its more like $1000 each way.

No Thank you , and as we cant drive there during operational hours we will give it a big miss,

Dont you realise that it was never free – It was included in the park fees and so you are paying double

What about people who only go there for the day, $15, X 2 for couples, even singles, it’s a no from me As a Tasmanian now living in Victoria I wouldn’t pay $15 for a one off, as I would only be there for the day. And how much will people not spend inside? Not thought through very well

Last edited 1 month ago by Garry

Absolutely not. Visiting from WA the cost to get there is huge. Any further charges such as this is a deterrent.

Nearly went to Tasmania once, but the Wife woke me up and we went to S.A instead. Had a ball and have done it a few times. From Adelaide to Darwin, wow what a trip.

You are not compelled to use this service or any other paid service, so just go somewhere free. Plenty of free stuff in Tasmania and in fact there is no need to pay for camping either.

It’s a bit hard to comment if the charge is reasonable. My gut feeling is, it’s not reasonable. I’d like to view their annual report to see how they are tracking regarding finances.

Their comment “Importantly, this cost recovery initiative means that parks pass revenue is reinvested directly into maintaining critical infrastructure and protecting Tasmania’s natural and cultural values,”

More likely it will slip into general revenue and get swallowed up in admin costs.
They have not (that I have seen) published how much the consultant study cost to arrive at the $15 fee.
Maybe I’m too cynical.

3 million dollars equals $8219 dollars per day, probably the most expensive bus service in the world! Just another so called “national park ” that has priced itself out of business, but we know all states national parks don’t want people in them, just for national parks people to enjoy.

We have just returned from Tasmania and were surprised that you could not drive up to Cradle Mountain and needed to use the shuttle bus, as our previous visit 10 years ago did not have this restriction. In saying this the drive was pleasant and we understood the reasons for the change. to now be asked to pay for this service when you have no other option I think is a bit rich, especially considering you already have to purchase a National Parks Pass to enter. the extra $30 per couple is not reasonable in my opinion and I would not be visiting Cradle Mountain again with the costs being this high.

Seems to be a money grab. We’ve just booked the ferry for next Feb and Cradle Mountain is on our itinerary.
We’ll be on motorbikes and only have time for one day of walking so $15.00 seems a bit steep. Needs A daily rate option.
Also needs a seniors/pensioners discount.

We won’t return. Thought everything in the park was a total ripoff including the camping ground and the haughty attitude of some staff who seemed to forget what they’re there for.

What is happening we our national, parks Australia wide fees keep going up and up for the people who visit these areas that where set aside for us to enjoy but it’s getting to a point the older people can’t afford to enter them anymore and you never see any rangers now just grey nomads that are asked to collect money to hand over to the authorities for doing what
the parks looked after them selves before so what is going on with the income that they are getting now

Going to Tasmania next year. Will no be going to cradle mountain. Why not make it $5
and $15 for a family? There plenty of other places to see for free around Australia.

Another government tax on tourism. For 3 to travel on bus it will cost $30.00. And most only use for one trip due to high cost of accommodation in area. Surely a $5.00 cost per person would be sufficient. As all government taxes go each year they will argue the cost has to increase due to whatever reason they can think of.

What a joke, cutting access to vehicles then charge to catch the shuttle bus into the park. We were there in 2018 and the queue for the shuttle was ridiculously long, so did not go into the park. Thankfully we have been to Cradle Mountain years prior and will now not return.

Once again the National Parks putting their hand in the tourist pocket. Funny that not long after finally opening the centre on the lake they introduce a charge to get to it unless your fit enough to walk there and back (We are not). We usually visit Cradle Mountain when we visit Tasmania (this summer will be our 6th) and we usually have something to eat and drink at the Café and often buy something in the shop. I thought that the upkeep of the National Parks was covered in the expensive Parks Pass but surprise surprise another Tasmania tourist attraction charge adding to the significant cost to get over Bass Strait and back with a caravan. We will not be visiting Cradle Mountain this time and probably this will be our last trip to Tasmania.

Just as well we have been there twice before so, at that price we will not be returning to Cradle Mtn.

One can assume the free shuttle service was first adopted to ensure tourism to the area was encouraged. And no doubt this was done at some cost to the community. But my concerns are over yet another fee being introduced to slug us grey Nomads who wish to explore and enjoy our own country instead of spending our money abroad.


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