Community & Environment
At 1.6 million hectares, the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is one of the world's largest and most important reserves. Natural values of international significance include: extensively glaciated landscapes; pristine catchments; a profusion of threatened, rare and endemic plants; a complex mosaic of vegetation - moorland, rainforest, alpine, eucalypt and riparian communities; undisturbed stands of millennia-old endemic pines; a collection of the world's largest carnivorous marsupials (Tasmanian devils and quolls); and two of only three surviving species of monotremes (platypuses and echidnas) - the most primitive group of mammals in the world.
Low Impact Design & Operation
In the mountainous heart of this amazing area, Cradle Huts has built five comfortable, well-appointed huts. Hidden in forest along the Overland Track, they are the only private huts allowed in the area.
We believe that it is a special privilege to operate in this delicate and immensely important environment, so we observe minimal impact track and hut practices. We tread lightly, leaving nothing behind, and our huts are designed to be ecologically sustainable. Services are non-polluting and self-contained, and we use careful waste management practices. This minimal impact use of the wilderness means that the values of this fragile environment are preserved for the future, while enabling a small number of people to enjoy and understand it today.
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 using renewable energy.
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 physically 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. All waste is removed, and using the helicopters means that no vehicular track degradation occurs during the provisioning or the waste removal process.
Tasmanian Walking Company contributes over $100 000 annually to the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service, for the upkeep and maintenance of infrastructure within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Sustainable Travel & Climate Change
We take sustainable travel seriously, and we strive to incorporate sustainable travel practices into all aspects of our business.
Global climate is the average climate over the entire planet. Society is becoming concerned because Earth's global climate is changing. The planet is warming up fast - faster than at any time scientists currently know of, based on their studies of Earth's entire history.
Detection demonstrates that the climate has changed in a statistically significant way, but it doesn't offer any reasons for the change. Attribution establishes the most likely cause of the detected change.
Detection and attribution studies of Australian climate indicate that:
- warming of climate is unequivocal;
- the widespread warming is very likely to be due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere; and
- there is growing evidence that lower rainfall and reduced runoff in the south-east of Australia is linked to global warming and cannot be explained by natural variation alone.
Out on the track:
We are acutely aware of the impacts of both global climate change and local environmental degradation in the wilderness areas in which we operate.
We follow best practice track guidelines on our walks. Our walks follow designated trails, and we remove all waste from our facilities, as well as recycling waste. We work closely with the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service to ensure we have the most up-to-date guidelines, and we are often seen as leaders within our industry when it comes to environmental best practice. We continually monitor current best practice to ensure we are keeping up-to-date.
We encourage our guests to engage with the natural surroundings, which often leads to a sense of ownership and custodianship of our wild places.
The Tasmanian Walking Company aims to provide a personal introduction to nature - delivered with the most generous hospitality and uncomplicated luxury. We present an opportunity for people of many differing backgrounds to connect with the natural environment, with others and with themselves.
Jack's Overland Track prepares for his adventure
Jack Duffy and his Dad, Chris, are ready and raring to go on their Overland Track adventure.
Jack is 8 years old and suffers from cerebral palsy spastic quadriplegia. He can’t walk, talk or eat on his own. Despite this, Jack is going to complete the 65km Overland Track, Tasmania from 14- 19 April 2015. He will be carried on his Dad’s back and will be supported by a hiking team including police, firefighters and a paramedic.
Jack’s life and this adventure isn’t about what he can’t do, it’s about how - with a little help from those around him - he can do just about anything.
The Tasmanian Walking Company will be supporting Jack on his unique adventure by donating our huts for the duration of the walk, along with Melody our fantastic operations manager and guide. By supporting this adventure we hope it allows everyone in the team to focus on the challenge of getting Jack over the grueling yet beautiful landscape.
Jack and his team want to raise awareness for people with disabilities and money for the not for profit group - Life Without Barriers (LWB). LWB helps hundreds of Tasmanian locals with disabilities, mental health issues, homelessness and much more.
Jacks previous adventures have included Kayak Jack - where he joined his Dad for one hour everyday paddling from Launceston to Hobart (over 6oo km in total) and Running Jack (his dad pushed him through 2 marathons).
The Raptor Refuge
Tasmanian Walking Company is proud to announce our new partnership with the Raptor Refuge based in Kettering, Southern Tasmania.
The Raptor Refuge provides care and rehabilitation for sick and injured raptors, including Owls, Eagles, Falcons and Hawks.
Whilst on our walks, our guests are often fortunate enough to view awe-inspiring raptors such as the Wedge-tailed Eagle and the White-bellied Sea Eagle. The experience of viewing these majestic creatures always leaves a lasting impression. Our partnership with the Raptor Centre will increase our guest’s awareness of the plight of raptors in Australia and their importance to the health of our ecosystem.
Recently a number of our Guides and staff visited the Raptor Refuge for our end of season forum, and were treated to an amazingly memorable experience as a rehabilitated Brown Falcon was released back into the wild! As part of our partnership, our guides have been welcomed to use the Refuge as a valuable learning resource so we can help further our knowledge and share these stories with our guests.
With a shared philosophy toward education and environmental protection, our support of the Raptor Refuge sees the Tasmanian Walking Company extend our commitment toward protecting wildlife and wild places.
To watch a video about the raptor centre and our partnership click here
To find out more click here
To make a donation click here
The Tasmanian Devil
The Tasmanian devil is the world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivore, and it is only found in the wild in Tasmania.
Despite its reputation as a fierce beast, the Tasmanian devil is a timid creature that poses no danger to humans. People who work with Tasmanian devils invariably grow to love their personality - they’re feisty, raucous and bursting with curiosity.
The species has suffered a major population decline over the last ten years, and it is now listed as Endangered. This decline is due to an infectious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). First recorded in 1996, DFTD is a fatal condition characterised by cancers around the mouth and head.
Save the Tasmanian Devil Program
The Program was established in 2003 as the official response to the threat posed by DFTD. The Australian and Tasmanian Governments, along with the University of Tasmania, have established a partnership to protect this keystone species.
If the Tasmanian devil were to be lost to the wild, at least 70 other species could be put at risk. The Program is working with wildlife and disease experts throughout the world in an epic conservation effort. The ultimate goal is to ensure the survival of an ecologically functioning population of Tasmanian devils in the wild.
The Program’s key strategies are: the establishment of healthy Tasmanian devils, laboratory and field-based investigation of the disease, and the development of disease suppression and management programs in the wild.
We have fundraising boxes available at our walkers base should you wish to donate.
For more information go to Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal .