Is Clyde Clayton the Mystery Heli-skier?

Many of you who have explored Tasmania’s Southwest will be familiar with Claytons Corner, a sheltered nook located in Bathurst Harbour. Fewer of you, however, will be aware of the origin of the corner’s name, and the life of the man who discovered it.

Clyde Clayton and his wife, Win—sister of Deny King—lived in Port Davey from 1948, with Clyde crayfishing in the area from the age of fourteen. It was 1962 when the Claytons uprooted their home in Bond Bay, due to its unsafe exposure to the elements, moving their lives to the sheltered area, now known as Claytons Corner. Not only did they take their belongings, but their shed, house, piano, and even Win’s garden. The move took over two years, taking each part of their lives piece by piece via boat to their new dwelling.

In 1976, the Claytons departed Port Davey, settling on the Huon River in Franklin; however, their house in Clayton’s Corner still remains. It is now used by Parks and Wildlife, providing facilities for those passing through the area.

The Claytons’ hut


The conspiracy of the heli-skier

In Janet Fenton’s book “Win and Clyde – Side by Side”, there was mention of Clyde water-skiing on Melaleuca Inlet. But not water-skiing as we know it; Clyde was being towed behind a helicopter. We have recently come upon footage of a mystery man doing exactly that in the early 1970s. We cannot help but ponder—is this Clyde himself? To view the footage, and decide for yourself whether or not this is in fact Clyde Clayton, watch the video by clicking the link below.

Watch now

The mystery heli-skier in action

Clayton’s jetty









Janet Fenton, Win and Clyde: side by side in Tasmania’s far south west, 2011

Kosciuszko Huts Association, https://www.khuts.org/index.php/the-huts/tasmanian-huts/294-claytons-hut

Friends of Melaleuca – Wildcare Inc.