A new fee introduced for the shuttle bus to Dove Lake in Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain has caused quite the upset.


The $15 charge will be added to the daily National Parks Pass fee as well as the Overland Track booking fee from the 15th of November 2023, and has been introduced as a cost recovery strategy.

Dove Lake is a major destination for visitors and is a World Heritage Site. The free shuttle service was introduced 20 years ago to limit vehicle access to help protect the area.

More than 300,000 people visit the park each year and 80% of those are interstate and international visitors. The free shuttle bus service has been costing Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) more than $3 million each year to provide its service to tourists.

About the Fee

The fee will cost $15 and provide access to the shuttle service for 72 hours from the time of purchase. Visitors will still need a valid National Parks Pass to access the area in addition to the shuttle bus pass. An annual $45 shuttle bus pass is available for frequent users who also hold a valid National Parks Pass.


Visitors to Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain Will Now Pay for the Shuttle Bus to Dove Lake, Mandatory credit: Tourism Tasmania and Chris Crerar, people, lake, Tasmania

Photo by Tourism Tasmania and Chris Crerar

Shuttle Fee Has Caused Backlash and Confusion

Since the announcement of the new fee, PWS has faced public backlash, with locals calling it ‘over the top’.

Local Nikki Atkins told ABC, ‘This is absolutely outrageous. As a local family, we’ve enjoyed the various walks over many years by paying an annual family pass…This is a disgrace to Tasmanians who have supported Tas Parks for decades’.

Others commented how the no-drive-in option is already limiting people who want access, and the new fee will make it too expensive for people with smaller incomes, like pensioners.

The Tourism Industry Council has requested more information and a meeting with PWS on how the additional money will be used and calls the new fee a ‘shock’.

In a statement, PWS said, ‘This cost recovery initiative means that parks pass revenue is reinvested directly into maintaining critical infrastructure and protecting Tasmania’s natural and cultural values’.

Amy Hills Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania believes the fee won’t deter interstate and international tourists.

‘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 told the ABC.

For more information head to Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.


Feature image by Tourism Tasmania & Adrian Cook