“As we neared our destination – Scott-Kilvert Hut – we illuminated our head torches as the final moments of golden hour farewelled itself, and we glided into the hut near last light to fellow walkers readying themselves for a night in the hut…”
- Golden Hour looking over Dove Lake
- Plunging into peaceful solitude
- Camping meters from Lake Rodway
- Remembering the lives of Ewen Scott and David Kilvert
Desperately in need of a getaway, a good mate and I – Dave – set out for a 24-hour adventure. He knocked off work at 5 pm on Saturday, and we jumped in my car and drove two hours from Launceston to Dove Lake, at Cradle Mountain. We geared up and started walking by 7.30 pm. The wind roared as it pounded the stark mountains above, and we were thankful for the relative shelter of the compression that is Dove Lake.
As we began to climb the saddle between Hansons Peak and Mount Campbell we danced into the wind. Temperatures dropped to around 0oC as the sun began to caress the horizon and golden hour awoke. Dave and I walked cheerfully, despite been literally blown off-course a few times, just ecstatic to be in the untouched environment, at such a peaceful time of the day. Our high point for the day – Hanson’s Peak – was a very exposed 1200m.
This is living.
As we neared our destination – Scott-Kilvert Hut – we illuminated our head torches as the final moments of golden hour farewelled itself. We glided into the hut near last light to fellow walkers readying themselves for a night in the hut. Dave and I however, chose to set up our tent and bivvy right on the shores of the breathtaking Lake Rodway. We feasted like Kings, and shared a few drinks as the sun slumbered, the night awoke, and the Moon played hide and seek behind the clouds. We turned in. The wind roared in the trees as our tent swayed, and we rested easy as the warm lull of the wilderness embraced us.
We were alive.
The next morning we woke to the sun rising over the water, and enjoyed a lazy breakfast before packing up. I shared the story of Ewen Scott and David Kilvet, as we departed our destination.
Ewen Scott and David Kilvert perished on the very route we were trudging on the night of May 20, in 1965. Scott was a teacher, and Kilvert a student at the local public high school where myself and Dave attended.
In brief, the story goes that in extreme blizzard conditions the high school party became splintered. Kilvert became very weak so Scott, a well known local walker came to his aid, telling other students to go on. Eventually, David Kilvert died of exposure at only 13. Ewen Scott was left with no choice but to lay him gently off the track and press on in pursuit of his own safety. This was to no avail, and Scott passed away some 200m from a boat shed where a large portion of the group were sheltered. Thus a hut was commissioned, such that in extreme conditions walkers would have somewhere to shelter.
Our return journey from Scott-Kilvert followed a different path – the one more traveled, but we floated on the satisfaction of the previous night’s adventure. We skirted across the North face of Cradle via the aptly named Face Track, before having lunch at Kitchen Hut and descending via the popular tourist route of Marion’s Lookout.
We returned to our car, drove home and slept well the following night. A truly blissful 24-hour adventure in Tasmania’s heartland.
The definition of living.
- Tent, sleeping bag and mat
- Warm, wind and waterproof clothes
- Sturdy boots
- Head torch
- Map & Compass
- Willing companion
- Parks pass
How To Get There
Drive to Dove Lake in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park (NOTE: Parks and Wildlife limit the number of cars into Dove Lake, arrive early or late like us, or park further back and shuttle in via the bus). About 2-2.5hrs from Launceston.
- Swimming (for the bold)
Beginner-intermediate. Must be prepared for any weather (snowed in December!), and recommended in the light before trying in the dark.
Day 1: 5km, day 2: 12km