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Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery

5 August 2011 2 Comments

Cradle Mountain activities - Wilderness Gallery

It’s a funny thing when you visit an area frequently. You become blind to road signs and advertising hoardings. You are on task and just want to get to your destination.  In other words,  you miss things that might just be worth a look…..

Recently we were at Cradle Mountain recovering from a tough hiking trip into the Western Arthurs in southern Tasmania. With a whole day free and near blizzard conditions, we were on the look out for something interesting to do indoors.  You know what we mean, a short diversion to get us out and about and justify all that time sitting around a warm fire.

This is where the Wilderness Gallery at Cradle Mountain peaked our interest. Tucked away near Cradle Mountain Chateau, the Wilderness Gallery is a hidden gem with significant appeal for anyone who enjoys Tasmanian history, brilliant photography and interesting objets d’art.

The current featured exhibition is all about the, now extinct, Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine . While sad and moving, this display is perversely fascinating.  The sight of a buggy rug made from eight Tiger skins is quite confronting.  It reminded us of how different attitudes were, in our recent past,  to conservation of endangered species. This space contains a fascinating, well curated display that shares a lot of history, artifacts  and stories about the early days of  Tasmanian settlement.

Imagine creating a platypus or quoll skin rug today. It is unthinkable!

From the Thylacine exhibition the gallery opens up into magic spaces which highlight wilderness photography by several well regarded photographers, or shall we say artists, from across the world.  Each room is light, airy and a very enjoyable experience.

As the snow fell around the gallery we lost ourselves in works by Masaaki Aihara, Grant Kingston, David Murphy, Ben Messina and David McGonigal. A further highlight was the room devoted to  The Vale of Belvoir a special place near Cradle Mountain now owned by the  Tasmanian Land Conservancy. Congratulations to the nature photographers from Tasmania who  contributed works that share the beauty of this “place of global significance”.

We easily spent a couple of hours wandering the gallery and really enjoyed the  variety of wilderness photography and other interesting pieces of art.

For those of you who are holidaying at Cradle Mountain and need a warm jacket, hat or some additional gear,  the shop has an excellent selection of quality products. Of course, there is also a wide selection of souvenirs for you to take home   If you are looking for a unique souvenir or to purchase a print of one of the exhibited works, the Wilderness Gallery store is a great option. In addition, many of the works can be purchased online via their website.

The Wilderness Gallery is open 7 days from 10:00am – 5:00pm.  It is a warm, welcoming place , well worth  a visit next time you are in the Cradle Mountain area.

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  • Leigh said:

    Sounds like a magical place Frank. It is interesting how far our attitudes have come – in really quite a short period of time.
    Sorry to hear the conditions were so tough. Hard too imagine when we’re boiling up in Vancouver today.

  • Frank (author) said:

    It is a terrific place to visit Leigh, a bit of culture in the mountains ;-)
    I had some video of the rugs but you really need to see them to believe !
    Time for an iced tea?

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