Picnic with the Past by Pauline Downing
This summer treat yourself to the history of the High Country by experiencing its huts and homesteads with a picnic.
There were hundreds of huts built in the high country over the past century and half to house stockmen, skiers, fishermen and miners.
Many of them still stand, preserving the heritage of the mountain pioneers who built and lived in them.
Pauline Downing of the Kosciuszko Huts Association has put together a list of huts ideal for a picnic this summer.
All but two can be seen from the road or by short walk, with the spectacular Cootapatamba and Seamans Huts accessible via the long walk to the Summit of Kosciuszko.
For exact details on how to get to each one we suggest you visit the Kosciuszko Huts Association website, www. Khuts.org, or Google each hut by name, or speak to the great people at the NPWS Information Centres.
So, grab some maps, a picnic and enjoy!
Bradleys /O’Briens Hut: Built in the 1950s to support grazing, right beside the Cabramurra toKhancoban Road– stop for a picnic, you are sure to be joined by the many, canny ants that have set up their nests nearby.
Bullocks Hut: Built in 1934 by a doctor for fishing and relaxation. A solid hut situated near the Ski Tube car park beside theThredboRiver.
Coolamine Homestead: Coolamine is on the Blue Waterholes Fire Trail, offLong Plain Road. An amazing collection of self contained farming buildings from over 100 years ago.
Cootapatamba Hut: Located just south of Mt Kosciuszko. Amazing stand out, painted fire engine RED! Built by the SMA it is now an invaluable shelter in winter storms. This is a longer walk so ensure you take warm clothing.
Delaneys Hut: Just off theSnowy Mountains Highwaynear Kiandra. Built in 1910s for grazing.
Geehi, Keebles Hut, Doctors, Old Geehi: Several solid river stone huts – built in the 1940s as fishing lodges near theSwampyPlainsRiverat Geehi Flats. (contact Khancobin NPWS for more information)
Kiandra Court House: Has also seen service as The Post Office and was built onto and enlarged for use as Dept. of Main Roads Works Depot, in the main street of Kiandra. Conserved by NPWS. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nswnationalparks/
Long Plain Hut: Also known as Oddys, Ibbotsons, Dr Campbells hut, was built in 1916 for grazing. Located on the edge of Long Plain it is now a a popular camping site. It can be reached by travelling from Cooma on theSnowy Mountains Highway, turning onto theRules Point Road, then turn left two kilometres up a gravel road.
Matthews Cottage: Also known as Foleys. Set right beside the road on the main street of Kiandra – conserved by National Parks and WIldlife Service, and moved back several metres to avoid snow build up against the cottage.
Pattinsons: A rambling homestead on the opposite side of the village to Matthews Cottage in Pollocks Gully at Kiandra. Look around the old headstones in Kiandra Cemetary while you are there.
Sawyers Hill: Also known as Sawyers or the Rest House. Sawyers is located immediately beside the Snowy Highway, near the Rocky Plains fire trail. It was refurbished by NPWS and is a fine shelter.
Seamans Hut: Beside the Summit road about two thirds of the way to the summit of Kosciuszko above the Snowy River. This is a longer walk so ensure you take warm clothing.
Wolgal Lodge Wolgal Hut, Kiandra is now available for public hire for the first time ever! It’s a great little 1960s fishing and ski lodge close to all the good things – fishing, skiing, bushwalking, exploring. It’s in Kosciuszko National Park. NPWS with the assistance of a dedicated band of volunteers have been doing Walgal up for almost 2 years. The aim of renting it out is to generate much needed revenue for Kiandra and to create and demonstrate a market demand for Kiandra based accommodation. Success at Walgal will be a great market based argument for restoring the Kiandra Courthouse and Chalet for accommodaiton.