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Cradle Mountain Huts 'Art Walk' with Peter Gouldthorpe

Departs January 30, 2021

The Tasmanian Walking Company and Handmark Gallery are offering a series of 'Art Walks' in the heart of nature, hosted by Tasmanian artists.

On Australia's iconic Overland Track, at the height of summer, Peter Gouldthorpe will share opportunities to paint and learn in the field. 

In this 'Art Walk', walkers will complete the 68-kilometre hike along the Overland track. The long days of summer offer moments to pause on the trail and before and after each day's hike. Walkers are encouraged to take time and paint what they observe. Peter will work with walkers to produce small paintings that record their journey through the landscape. A number of locations are selected on each walk where direct observations can be recorded. These range from small scale plant details through to the grand landscapes.

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk is a six-day walk along the iconic Overland Track, retreating each evening to the comfort of the only private accommodation along the trail.

  Direct bookings only.  For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company on (03) 6392 2211 or email bookings@taswalkingco.com.au

Trip Notes   Walk Map

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Peter Gouldthorpe

Peter Gouldthorpe studied art at East Sydney Tech for two years but ran away to Tasmania at 19 to paint landscapes. Since then as well as exhibiting his paintings, Peter has written and illustrated many children’s books, painted murals and worked on a wide variety of commissions from scientific illustration through to work for film and television but his abiding passion is painting landscapes. He has painted en plein air, often around Cradle Mountain and at Lake St Clair.

Peter Gouldthorpe writes...

'The Tasmanian environment is fabulously aesthetic and wildly varied, perfect for someone like me interested in painting landscapes. Added to that is the extra spice of dynamic weather, four defined seasons and something about the quality of light that is often special. 

As a landscape painter my subjects change but two standout themes that I enjoy playing with are composition and colour'.

Handmark Gallery

Handmark is more than a gallery. It is a portal through which we meet Tasmanian artists, are introduced to their art and Tasmania reveals it's beauty, majesty and moods. The Tasmanian Walking Company cherishes its relationship with Allanah Dopson and her team. Our lodges, huts and lounges feature the work of Handmark's artists. 

The gallery has two locations and features exhibitions at both Salamanca, Hobart and Evandale galleries. 

Handmark has curated three walks for the first season of Art Walks. Julie Payne will launch the program with a four-day walk on the spectacular Three Capes Track in Spring. We'll host a summer workshop with Peter Gouldthorpe on our Cradle Mountain Huts Walk on January 30, 2021. And in autumn we'll offer a special lodge-based "en plein air" workshop with Jock Young.

Overland Track 'Art Walk' with Peter Gouldthorpe (6-days)

Tasmania’s Overland Track is famous the world over and our signature trip is the way to experience it in classic style. Across six days, our most popular Overland experience completes the full journey from World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair.

The fully guided walk begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley and journeys some 65 kilometres through to Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest natural lake. Our signature adventure does not include multiple side trips, but there is the opportunity on Day 4 to summit Mount Ossa.

The Overland Track is challenging and takes time. Our guides are responsible for time management. Our first priority is to complete the track safely. We're thrilled to have Peter join us and offer his experience. It helps to plan for and make the most of each day's opportunities. It's best for you to expect to be flexible so we can adapt to weather conditions and the capacity of the group.

Peter writes...

The luxury of this walk is that it enables us to take painting and drawing equipment right into the heart of the park at a time of year that is statistically the driest period, yet still has long daylight hours. This gives us the best chance to draw and paint as we pass imposing mountains and walk through a complex variety of vegetation. In my mind’s eye, I have earmarked iconic places where I hope we can work along the way but ultimately Mother Nature will decide where and when we stop. Our guides receive daily weather updates, which will help shape our painting itinerary each day. At every opportunity, I will be painting beside you. In the evenings, around the table, we will be able to review and reflect upon our output for the day and to discuss art and landscape in general.

I imagine that most people undertaking this walk will already have a preferred medium and I am happy for each participant to go with that, bearing in mind the length and nature of the walk, so weight and bulk are the two criteria to keep uppermost in your thoughts of what to bring. I don’t like to be prescriptive but for the sake of practicality, I would recommend avoiding working in oils, (with eight to ten planned painting sessions, that’s a lot of wet paintings to be carrying) I suggest opting for drawing in the medium of your choice or painting with watercolour, gouache or acrylic on paper. 

Nearer to our departure I’d be happy to send a list of the art materials I’ll be taking or talk to anyone who is in doubt about what to bring.

Prices $3,995 pp

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Day 1: Waldheim to Barn Bluff Hut

Approximately 7 hours walking

On the summit of Cradle Mountain in 1910, Austrian-born Gustav Weindorfer proclaimed, “This must be a national park for the people for all time.” It’s fitting our journey begins at Waldheim in Cradle Valley, where Weindorfer’s story is told. We set off on the track, venturing through ancient temperate rainforest, passing the dramatic glacially-carved Crater Lake.

We climb the steepest section of the whole Overland Track today fuelled by a hearty lunch. Reaching Marion’s Lookout (1250m) takes about an hour, with steps leading through steeper sections. The reward, providing weather conditions allow, is staggering views of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. Every uphill step is worth it.

We continue around the base of Cradle Mountain along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque before dropping into Waterfall Valley. Our private hut awaits, beneath towering Barn Bluff, having completed the steepest part of your journey (excluding side trips). It’s a welcome retreat after several hours walking over exposed alpine plateau where some days the wind howls - a reminder of nature’s power.

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Day 2: Barn Bluff Hut to Pine Forest Moor Hut

Approximately 6 hours walking

Today we’ll be walking across plains where glaciers once rested, slowly moving and scouring out shallow tarns. Although an undulating trek with a few sections of exposed moorland, there are no significant climbs today.

We take our time venturing across vast button grass plains where ancient pencil pines fringe alpine tarns. Rising from the moors, the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are behind us. Look ahead, and the stately Mt Pelion West comes into view.

Those looking for additional challenge today can take a side trip to Lake Will. Hugged by pencil pines and with its narrow quartzite sand rim, Lake Will is striking. Keep an eye out for gravel mounds along the way, remnants of Joseph Will’s coal mining efforts in the 1890s.

This evening, at Pine Forest Moor Hut, enjoy our outdoor dining setting with views out to Mt. Oakleigh in fine weather.

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Day 3: Pine Forest Moor Hut to Pelion Hut

Approximately 5 hours walking

This morning we venture through gorgeous myrtle-beech rainforest as we descend around the base of Mt Pelion West, down to the Forth River before it plunges into Lemonthyme Valley. We’ll take a break at Frog Flats beside the Forth River, which happens to be the Overland Track’s lowest point.

From here, it’s a gentle ascent back out of the valley. We leave thick Eucalypt forest behind as the trees part to reveal Pelion Plains. Uninterrupted views of Mt Oakleigh’s dolerite spires now come into play.

The Pelion Plains area offers a host of side trips, hugged by mountainous terrain. There are excellent swimming holes, peaceful nooks to rest and abandoned copper mines to explore. Come nightfall, we’ll be nestled amongst dry sclerophyll forest at Pelion Hut.

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Day 4: Pelion Hut to Kia Ora Hut

Approximately 4-9 hours walking (Optional 5hr side trip to Mt Ossa)

Today begins with a climb of almost 300m to Pelion Gap through beautiful rainforest. Pelion Gap is a plateau stretching between Mt Pelion East and Mt Ossa, affording fantastic views to the south as well as back to the north.

There’s plenty of time for side trips from Pelion Gap including the option to summit Mt Ossa. At 1617m, it is Tasmania’s highest peak. There are other less challenging climbs, including Mt Doris.

From Pelion Gap it's a further two hours of gentle downhill to the hut. Today, choose to keep things relaxed or challenge yourself to stand atop the island’s highest point. Once we arrive at Kia Ora Hut, enjoy a Tasmanian drop with spectacular views out to Cathedral Mountain.

One Of The Many Waterfalls En Route

Day 5: Kia Ora Hut to Windy Ridge Hut

Approximately 4 hours walking

Day five is about icy-flowing waterfalls. We depart Kia Ora hut and walk about an hour to Du Cane, where a 1910-built hut remains from the long-gone days of animal trapping. Du Cane Hut is a fine spot to rest, surounded by native gardens and overlooked by the spectacular Du Cane Range.

From here, we wander through some of the oldest forest in the National Park, with King Billy pines as much as 2000 years old. Now, we are above the Mersey River, which descends deeply northward towards Bass Strait, spilling down cliff faces.

There are three major sets of waterfalls in the area. We aim to visit one or more of these, choosing the best to have lunch beside depending on conditions. During the afternoon, we make our way over Du Cane Gap, then descend beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut. Tonight is a celebratory one, our last evening on the track.

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Day 6: Windy Ridge Hut to Lake St Clair

Approximately 3 hours walking

Our destination today is Australia’s deepest natural lake - Lake St Clair - shaped by glaciations over two million years. Birdsong helps us along this final day as we walk mainly through flowering dry sclerophyll forests.

We arrive at Narcissus at the northern end of Lake St Clair in time for lunch, before boarding the Idaclair cruise boat for a spectacular 17km cruise back to Cynthia Bay. There’s typically around half an hour to look around the Visitor Centre here.

The return trip to Entally Lodge is through the trout fishing mecca of the highland lakes, descending the rugged Western Tiers. We’ll cross the broad plains of the Northern Midlands, passing through the rural townships of Cressy and Longford.

Itinerary Details

Cradle Mountain Huts 'Art Walk' with Peter Gouldthorpe (6-days)

- in collaboration with the Handmark Gallery

January 30, 2021 

  • 6 Day Guided Walk (Twin Share)
  • Maximum guests - 10 (Twin Share)
Price per person  (inc GST)

$3,995.00

Direct bookings only:

Single supplement
All accommodation is twin share. Single travellers may be required to share a twin room with another walker if the departure fills to capacity. To guarantee a single room for the duration of the walk a supplementary price of 75% of full fee will apply. This needs to be requested at the time of booking.

Booking Terms and Conditions 

All prices are quoted per person in $AUD, including GST

View our booking terms and conditions 

Inclusions

  • Return transfers between Launceston and the walk base
  • Accommodation each evening in one of our five private huts - twin share
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages, plus a limited selection of Tasmanian wines
  • National Park and Overland Track passes
  • Boat transfer across Lake St Clair (on Day 6 of the six day walk only)
  • Use of a backpack and Gore-tex jacket for the duration of the walk
  • Sleeping bags, pillows and a comfortable mattress at each hut
  • Sleeping sheet and pillowcase to carry with you
  • Two qualified guides for the duration of the walk

Enquire

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