KOSCIUSZKO HUTS ASSOCIATION

Located at Lake Newdegate on the Tarn Shelf.  

It is about 7km walk from the Lake Dobson carpark, Mt Field National Park. It is shown on the Dobson 1:25,000 map at GR639767. 

Photo: D Jeffery, 2014

History

This hut is now subject to a formal conservation study undertaken for the PWS in June 2003, and prepared by Ian Terry and David Parham of Austral Archaeology. It is not heritage listed, but is protected by the NPWS within the Mt Field recreation zone.

Aborigines were displaced from this area in the 1830's and it was then occupied periodically by snarers and criminals. The area was proclaimed a National Park in August 1916 and opened by the Governor, Sir Francis Newdegate on 13 October 1917. William Belcher was the first full time ranger. The park was extended in 1949, but 3,580 acres were excised in a swap, for forestry production in 1950, creating one of the earliest conservation battles.

This was all preceeded by the proclomation of Tasmania's first Nature Reserve around Russell Falls in 1856. Hence the name "The Reserve". ET Emmett pushed for further tourism, in particular skiing in the area in 1921, and this resulted in a variety of huts, including those at Lake Webster and huts at Lake Fenton. The road to Lake Fenton was built in 1934 and extended to its current point at Lake Dobson in 1937. The first private ski hut was built by the Ski Club of Tasmania in 1926 at Twilight Tarn.

The current hut at Lake Newdegate was also built by the Ski Club of Tasmania in 1935 and 1936, encouraged by the club secretary, Doug Anderson, primarily to support the State Ski Championships held here in 1936 (in shocking weather).

Construction

The hut is 17 feet by 14 feet (5.3m by 4.35m) and built of corrugated iron over a timber frame (cut from trees nearby). The iron was transported to the site by pack horse. The floor is of stone flagging. The hut was designed to sleep 12 skiers. It also included a cast iron stove and hessian bunks, plus a porch that is no longer present.

It was renovated by the Rosetta High School Bushwalking Club in 1974. The stove was moved, chimney repaired and bunks rebuilt.

Caretakers

The National Parks and Wildlife service took over the public hut from the Ski Club of Tasmania in July 1978.

References

Profile last updated 30th July 2017.