Cradle Mountain Photography Walk
Available by request for private groups | $4,895
The Overland Track offers epic landscapes, ancient alpine tarns, King Billy Pine forests, towering waterfalls and beautiful detail. It's a photographer's dream. Our Photography Walk has been designed by experienced Tasmanian Walking Company guide and award-winning photographer Shaun Mitwollen to make the most of the six days. It includes sunset, sunrise and astro-photography sessions in the best possible locations.
This experience includes all meals, Tasmanian wines, and bedding. It allows our walkers to carry lighter packs and makes it easier for photographers to carry their own equipment. Partners and photographers of all experience levels are welcome.
The Cradle Mountain Signature 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. Discover the rare beauty and diversity of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. At the end of each day, retreat to a hot shower, sumptuous meals, freshly baked bread, a glass of Tasmanian wine and a comfortable bed.
For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company on (03) 6392 2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaun Mitwollen - walking guide, adventurer, writer & photographer.
With a background in Oceanography, Meteorology and Backcountry Adventure Photography Shaun Mittwollen's passion for mountain landscapes has found a home in Tasmania. The state offers rugged inaccessibility, looming peaks with knife edged ridges and dramatic weather inspired adventures to seldom visited ranges, particularly during winter. Over the years Shaun expanded his knowledge of the highly fickle summit weather through trial and error and honed his meticulous planning. He often found the harshest weather delivered the best results.
In 2020, Shaun won The North Face Adventure Grant becoming the first to ski off arguably Australia’s most dramatic mountain, Federation Peak, during a ten day expedition. Shaun’s work has featured in Australian Geographic, Wild Magazine, Snow Action, Jetstar, Nikon Australia and the 3rd edition of The Abels book.
In 2020 Shaun began working as a guide on the Overland Track and has made over over 50 crossings, each with the camera in hand. He has an intimate knowledge of the track, it’s microclimates and the best locations and compositions for landscape imagery. In December 2023, Shaun will share his wealth of experience photographing Tassie's blooming wildflowers and mystical mountain peaks shrouded with atmosphere. As always, the excitement in adventure lies with the unknown.
These sessions are in addition to opportunities to pause and take photos as you walk the Overland Track. The final schedule with be managed by Tasmanian Walking Company guides and is dependent upon the walking pace of the group and weather. We have alternate plans for each session and all sessions are optional. All walkers must stay on the Track as per the rules of the National Park.
8 - 9:30pm Waterfall Valley Sunset Photography Session.
10pm - Midnight Potential Astro Photography Session.
3:30 - 7:30am Lake Will Sunrise Photography Session or
7:30 - 9:30pm Buttongrass Plains Sunset Photography Session.
5 - 7:30am Buttongrass Plains Sunrise Photography Session
7:30 -10pm Pelion Plains Sunset Photography Session
*If evening Pelion Plains session takes place, there will be no morning session.
3 - 7:30am Japanese Gardens Photography Session.
8 - 9:30pm Local Hut-based Sunset Session toward Cathedral Mountain.
10pm - Midnight Potential Astro Photography Session.
4 - 6:30am Pinestone Valley Sunrise Photography Session Sunset.
8 - 9: 30pm Local Sunset Session near Bert Nichols Hut.
5 - 7:30am Local Sunrise Session near Bert Nichols Hut
Recommended Photography Equipment List
*This gear is to be carried in addition to your other gear. Please see our Gear List for clothing and other essential gear details.
*Please find a detailed description of the Photography Equipment List here. It includes Shaun's tips for the Overland Track and this walk.
Wide-angle lens - For landscapes and night photography (ideally 16-35mm or similar).
Standard-zoom lens - For wildlife, nature, and distant landscapes (24-105mm or similar).
Long-zoom lens - For distant landscapes (70-300mm or similar) (optional).
Macro lens - For flowers and insects (optional).
Tripod -Lightweight tripod suitable for carrying during walking in a backpack.
Batteries x 3 - Fully charged. There are limited opportunities to recharge batteries at the solar-powered lodges.
SD card x2 - Empty cards.
Headtorches - two, minimum 300 lumens with spare batteries or USB charging cable
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 (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.
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 Red Feather Inn 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.
True shelter, something that gives protection and refuge, simple and sustainable, clean and comfortable.
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.
Our Private Huts
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, we place 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 Photography Walk
Available by request for private groups | $4,895
- 6 Day Guided Walk (Twin Share)
- Each trip requires a minimum of 10 guests to be confirmed four months prior to departure and a maximum of 12 guests (Twin Share).
- Phone: (03) 6392 2211
- Email: email@example.com
- or complete the below enquiry form
Special Interest Walks - Terms and Conditions
Our standard booking terms and conditions apply to all bookings. In addition:
- more than 90 days from the scheduled departure date, a fee of $350 per person will be charged with the balance payment refunded;
- within 90 days of departure, no refund is available. Bookings are transferable to another name.
- Minimum numbers are required three months before departure.
- 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.