KOSCIUSZKO HUTS ASSOCIATION

Near the head of pine valley, about 6 km walk north of the top end of Lake St Clair.

History

Albert Dundas Fergusson (known as Fergy), who was a ranger and tourist camp operator at Lake St Clair during the 1930s, built the original Pine Valley Hut for the modest sum of 31 pounds.


Nestled beneath the spectacular peaks of the DuCane Range, Fergy was very proud of the hut. A party of walkers met Fergy on the track one day and told him how much they enjoyed staying a night in his hut. They jokingly added that all it lacked was a hot bath. Taking this as a reflection on his masterpiece, Fergy went out and bought a large galvanised iron bath.

Some weeks later, he set out from Narcissus Landing at the northern end of Lake St Clair with the big bath over his head and shoulders, like a snail under its shell. He stopped at intervals to rest or shed items of clothing. As the day got hotter, he discarded all but his boots and socks and pushed on. A party of walkers coming down the track heard his approach before meeting him, his muffled curses echoing inside his big bath.

This incident is recounted along with a number of others, in "Fergy - the Bushwalkers' Friend" an article by the late Jack Thwaites which appeared in "The Tasmanian Tramp" No.20.

On another occasion, Fergy's hand had been crushed by a heavy rolling log. The inflamed and swollen hand was shedding pieces of broken knucklebone. As his tourist camp was filled to capacity, he refused to be taken to the doctor. On being asked how he was next morning, he said his hand was much better as he had managed to prise out some more bone fragments with his scissors.

He died on 12th February 1970, at the age of 86. His ashes were scattered in a simple ceremony at Fergusson Falls in the heart of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park.

A plaque was erected at the foot of a large myrtle beech at the junction of the Overland and Fergusson Falls Tracks. It bears the inscription: "Ranger Fergy 1884-1970 - the bushwalkers' friend."

The old Pine Valley hut was demolished in 1986, and replaced by a larger hut to accommodate the greater bushwalker numbers visiting the area.

Page last updated 13 August 2010.