Historic huts in the Alps undergo restoration works
Monday 20 February, 2017
It has been all hands on deck recently with key restoration projects occurring at three historic huts located within the Alpine National Park and the southern Alps in Gippsland.
Parks Victoria is proud of the incredible partnership it has formed with the Victorian High Country Huts Association (VHCHA) over the past 15 years, and the series of working bees undertaken to restore many of the historic huts to their former glory.
Parks Victoria Senior Ranger-Mansfield Fleur Smith said it never ceases to amaze her the generosity and time that the incredible volunteers provide to undertake the historic hut restoration projects.
“At the recent Bindaree Hut working bee, we had a team of three volunteers from the VHCHA as well as 12 volunteers from the Mansfield Four Wheel Drive Club along with members of the Mansfield community, who led the chimney rebuilding team, as well as Ang Golin Bricklaying who did a beautiful job in laying the bricks for the rebuilt fireplace.
Mr Wayne Peterken from VHCHA who oversaw the Howitt Hut project on the Howitt Plains in the Gippsland High Country said the hut was in a precarious state. There is countless hours of preparation and discussions with the local Huts Maintenance Officer and the procurement of materials to ensure the working bee goes smoothly and the teams have everything they need ready to do the job.
“Our volunteers had their work cut out for them at Howitt Hut to undertake a series of repairs in such a short time frame including renovation of the fireplace, chimney and mantle, along with replacement of key posts that support rear of the structure.
“We will continue to do further works during 2017 to complete the restoration of Howitt Hut as it’s a project we have all enjoyed, despite the many challenges we faced,” said Mr Peterken.
Parks Victoria Ranger Team Leader Mt Beauty Kevin Cosgriff said in the North-Eastern section of the Alpine National Park, the works to restore McNamara’s Hut has now been completed, much to the delight of all the volunteers.
“In early 2016, the volunteers worked together to undertake an archaeological recovery, rebuild the chimney, hut reconstruction and complete the drainage works”, added Mr Cosgriff. “Then in December, the team reconvened to finalise the remaining works including the reframing of the Chaff House, completing the floor and a general tidy up of the area”.
“We were excited to finally complete the restoration of McNamara’s Hut, as we look forward to the Centenary Celebration with the volunteers and community members in Spring 2017”, said Mr Cosgriff.