Dove Lake, Tasmania, Australia

Lake Locations:

Australia - Tasmania -

One of Tasmania’s most popular natural destinations, Dove Lake greets visitors from around the world. This small glacial lake in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park is one of the easiest destinations to reach and the starting point for many outback adventures. In contrast to much of the national park, Dove Lake is accessible by car.

Many visitors come just to enjoy the Dove Lake Circuit, a 3.5-mile walking circle around the 213-acre lake. The shallow and pristine lake offers reflections of striking Cradle Mountain as a backdrop and a landscape dominated by some of Tasmania’s unique flora such as the Tasmanian deciduous beech. The country’s only deciduous tree, this beech offers brilliant foliage colors in April and May. A section of cool temperate rain forest occupies a spot near the lake’s south end containing some of the most ancient species of plants found in Australia. Dove Lake and its environs seems frozen in time.

Located an hour by car from Sheffield or an hour-and-a-half from Devonport on the north coast, Dove Lake can be reached either by personal vehicle or shuttle bus. The shallow lake is a favorite for kayak exploration. Some lake information reports that it is stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout, although it is unclear whether fishing is allowed. Much of the lakeside circle trail is boardwalk, so specialized hiking gear is not required. The four peaks of nearby Cradle Mountain reflect from the clear waters. In addition to the deciduous beech and the cool temperate rain forest, the Tasmanian environment also contains unique native animals such as the wombat, Tasmanian devil, pademelons, echidnas, Bennett’s wallabies, quolls and tiger snakes.

Trails leading off from the Dove Lake Circuit head into the bush and to local preserved structures built during the era of the national parks’ founding by Gustav and Kate Weindorfer. A boat house remains along the lakeshore from a time when boat rides were provided. A short side-trek takes hikers to the site of a reconstructed Weindorfer Chalet where the founders entertained guests. Although the chalet no longer entertains overnight visitors, there are cabins that may be reserved behind the original structure.

Trails from the Dove Lake Circuit lead to other small lakes and interesting vantage points, including the four named peaks: Cradle Mountain, Weindorfers Tower, Smithies Peak and Little Horn. Although hikers climb the mountain to the peaks all year round, they must be prepared for harsh weather during their climb in nearly all seasons. The trail is strenuous and involves scrambling over large boulders to attain the full view of surrounding points of interest such as Barn Bluff, Mount Ossa and Dove Lake. Cradle Mountain itself is named for its reported resemblance to an old gold mining cradle.

The Park is a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The most extensive hiking trail available from the Dove Lake Circuit is the Overland Track. The entire route takes at least six days and requires a booking pass from Park management in advance. A series of rustic bunkhouses along the trail provide communal shelter, rudimentary kitchens and heating stoves. Although the cabins are usually available, hikers are required to carry their own tent with them in case they are caught in unexpected bad weather and cannot make it to the shelters.

Several guide companies offer guided treks across the Overland Track, known for its spectacular views of the mountains within the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. The 35-mile trail takes adventurers from Ronny Creek near Dove Lake to the head of Lake St. Clair where they board a ferry to the Lake St. Clair Visitors Center. Those who wish to walk through the rain forest surrounding the lake to reach the endpoint add another day to the trek.

A number of adventure concessions provide guided tours to Dove Lake. Canoe treks and helicopter rides over the rugged peaks can be arranged just outside the park entrance. A separate trail just inside the entrance leads to Kynvet Falls. Horseback trail riding facilities are available on the road leading to the park entrance. Several tourist lodgings, an RV campground and organized walking trails are found nearby as well. A popular spa is located near the entrance, and a Tasmanian Devil sanctuary offers visitors the chance to see these unusual creatures up close. Canoeing treks and local exploration opportunities offer even more chances to explore the unusual vegetation, bird and animal life endemic to Tasmania.

The unique flora and fauna of Tasmania were created in extreme isolation from much of the rest of the world, allowing life forms to evolve without outside influence. Some of the plant species, particularly the unusual ferns found in the cool temperate rain forests, are considered to be ‘left-over’ from 60 million years ago when the ancient southern continent of Gondwana existed encompassing much of Antarctica, Australia and Southern Africa. This unique ecology is easily seen at Dove Lake.

Because these unusual species are seen nowhere else on earth and closely resemble fossil remains of plants from the Jurassic time period, the plant and animal life of Tasmania is of great interest to scientists and in need of protection from changes caused by human interaction. For this reason, visitors to the Dove Lake area and other areas within the national park system must be particularly careful to stay on the marked pathways and not disrupt native vegetation. Dove Lake is the most accessible place to experience this unique and rare landscape. Local guest facilities and lodgings can provide comfort and modern convenience while investigating Earth’s most ancient natural habitat.

Things to do at Dove Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • National Park

Fish species found at Dove Lake

  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Dove Lake Photo Gallery

Dove Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 213 acres

Shoreline Length: 4 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,081 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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