Hains hut is west of Tantangara, on the Murrumbidgee river. It is accessible by firetrail from the Snowy Highway to the south.
The best way is to drive in 5km on the Bullock Hill Firetrail to the river and walk from there. The track is very good at the moment and easily rideable by mountain bike.
The lease on which this hut was built, was by Elizabeth Janet Hain. She gave her son, Herbert "Herb" Hain the right to use the lease.
Herb built the hut in 1948, using materials that were pre-cut by George Bottom of Cooma. They were carried into the picturesque hut site beside the Murrumbidgee River, on a four wheel wagon, which followed a more direct line from Witzes, down the creek to this place.
Herb ran his own property, "Harlowe" near the airport at Cooma, which remains in the family to this day, and used this lease of 1500 acres to graze sheep in the summer. He relinquised the lease in the 70's, afterwhich it was actively used by the NSW Flyfishers Club and others. Herb passed away in 1994 but is remembered for many things, not least his finding the lost aircraft Southern Cloud. (see note below) Currently, the hut is most commonly used by horse riders, but walkers, flyfishers, mountain bikers and canoeists are also common visitors.
Herb's son, H. Clyde Hain spent much of his youth at the hut, riding both horses and trail bikes in the area until 1973. Every few years, he returns to keep the hut in good order. The last time was December 2003, when major renovation work was done on the hut by Clyde, his son Sam and a workparty of KHA members. This included restumping the veranda and southern wall, cutting of drainage pits, replacement of floor boards on the veranda, replacement of window sills, cleaning of the fireplace and graffitti, closure of all bird entry points, installation of a new log book holder and many other tasks.
Of note is the furniture in the hut, including a huge kitchen table, that would seat at least 24 with comfort. It was originally the dining table from Gooandra Homestead, and was bought here after a friend of Herbs, took the old table away. It was made of Australian Cedar, and the wombats found it to their liking. The remains were made into two coffee tables, one of which remains with the Hains. There are also two bunks, chairs, a long bench and a cedar dresser.
An update and question...
"Just a brief note to say that I have found your huts website very informative and interesting. On reading about Hain's Hut, I notice you attribute the locating of the missing Southern Cloud aircraft to Herbert Hain. I've read a bit about this interesting story and, from memory, the aircraft was found by Tom Sonter, a New Zealander working for Thiess on the Snowy Mountains scheme in 1958. This was 37 years after it disappeared! Regards Ben Jenkins "
The building is 6m by 3m plus an additional 2m square room and veranda. The roof and walls are of corrugated iron, with a pitched gable and skillion over the veranda. The floor is of wood, made from un-grooved boards. Unusually, the key stumps were of stone and others of wood, which have sunk to some degree.
The chimney base is of concrete and stone, with an iron surround. The inner has a huge pair of dogs welded to a backing plate of steel. The flue is a round tube of iron, slightly too short, but held in place by custom welded rings and braces of flat steel. It now sports a bird proof latch, made from an old toasting grill.
Furniture includes the table, dresser, two chairs, a long bench, shelving and two bunks. The upper bunk used to be fitted with hessian from a wool bale.
The room to the right end of the veranda, was the tack shed, used for storage. Around the hut were two mustering paddocks, the largest on the hill opposite. Most of the wire and iron droppers have now been removed.
- Hueneke Pp 202.
- KHA reference number is 1307,
- KNP POM number is L.68
- Pers Comm - Ben Jenkins
Last updated 4th January 2020.
updated 2 December 2008.