Cradle Mountain Huts 'Art Walk'
with Peter Gouldthorpe
January 30 - February 4, 2021 | $3,995 per person
The Tasmanian Walking Company and Handmark Gallery are offering a series of 'Art Walks' celebrating Tasmania's unique colour, light, flora, fauna and landscape, 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 65-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.
Partners and friends of painters are welcome.
Direct bookings only. For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company on (03) 6392 2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover our full collection of special interest and featured guest walks
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'.
Our lodges, huts and offices feature the work of Handmark's artists. Allanah Dopson and her team are found in Salamanca, Hobart. Allanah has curated two other Art Walks: Three Capes Lodge 'Art' Walk with Julie Payne departs April 9, 2021, and Bay of Fires Lodge 'Art' Retreat with Jock Young.
The gallery is located at Salamanca, Hobart.
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 trip 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. The first and last day are dedicated to walking and offer few opportunities to paint.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 4: Pelion Hut to Kia Ora Hut
Approximately 4-9 hours walking
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.
The guides will present today's options on the walk.
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.
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.
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.
Our Private Huts
Our groups have the exclusive use of the only private hut accommodation along the Overland Track. Each hut has been discretely located off the main trail and offers a hot shower, drying room and twin share accommodation.
Operating and owning the only private hut accommodation along the Overland Track is a great privilege, and we take our responsibility toward the National Park & the natural environment very seriously. Operating in such a delicate environment, Cradle Mountain Huts places a great deal of importance on minimal impact track and hut practices and the huts are designed to be ecologically sustainable. Each hut is architecturally designed to maximize cross flow ventilation and operate with maximum efficiency with renewable energy. Our private Cradle Mountain Huts are maintained by us to ensure your comfort.
There will be afternoon tea, as well as some time to relax and enjoy your surroundings before dinner is served. In the evening, you are free to relax or take an early night and feel refreshed and revived in the morning.
There are games and a number of books in each hut, which can be enjoyed in the lounge area or, in warm weather, out on the deck or helipad.
The remote location of the huts demands that they are autonomous in terms of servicing. Rain water is chanelled off the roofs into tanks and the huts incorporate self-composting, water-free batching toilets. We provide phosphorous-free soap for our guests, and all waste water is separated through grease traps and sand filters. The residue is regularly removed from each site, along with all other rubbish. Gas and solar are the only sources of power, used for lighting, heating and cooking.
Provisioning of these huts is a unique procedure, once again due to their remote location. Only twice each season, supplies of food, wine and gas cylinders are flown in by helicopter over a two-day period, while all garbage and waste matter is flown out. Nothing is left within the National Park.
Cradle Mountain Huts 'Art Walk' with Peter Gouldthorpe (6-days)
January 30, 2021
- 6 Day Guided Walk (Twin Share)
- Maximum guests - 10 (Twin Share)
|Price per person (inc GST)||
Direct bookings only:
- Phone: (03) 6392 2211
- Email: email@example.com
- or complete the below enquiry form
Single supplements are not available for this experience.
Special Interest Walks - Terms and Conditions
- All prices are quoted per person in $AUD including GST
- A deposit of $500 per person and the Guest Information Form are due within five days of booking
- Minimum numbers are required three months prior to departure.
- The final payment is due three months before departure. For reservations made three months or less from departure date, full payment is due at time of booking.
- Prices are subject to change without notice
- Travel and pre and post-trip accommodation expenses are not included.
Please view our traditional booking terms and conditions
After the minimum number of bookings has been achieved, the trip is guaranteed to depart. If for any reason, the trip cannot go ahead due to restrictions placed upon travel due to Covid-19, guests will be permitted to reschedule their walk to the new date provided for Peter's walk with no additional fee or rebook a traditional Cradle Mountain Huts Walk within 24 months. Guests can transfer to a traditional Cradle Mountain Huts Walk itinerary and have the difference in price refunded. Cancellations for other reasons will incur our standard cancellation fees.
- 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
- Have a burning question? Check out our FAQ page, and if you need further help please don't hesitate to contact our friendly reservations team
- Ready to start planning your next adventure and want to know what to bring. Check out our detailed gear list, including details on what's provided. If your unsure about anything on the gear list please call us or talk to you local outdoor adventure store.