Huts, kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Tasmania


Falls Hut, Cascades, Hobart, Tas
Publisher: McVilly & Little

More Falls Hut

In 1888 a recreational hut was built besides the King’s Sawpits, where the original sawyer’s huts had once been located. From that point onwards, the huts were “a fundamental part … of the mountain experience to locals for over one hundred years” Lee Andrews & Associates Heritage Consulting, p38. In the period 1890-1910 the hut building reached its peak. In all, through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, around forty small huts were built on the mountain. They were used as weekend retreats, bases for walking and skiing, or even as homes. They were built of local bush materials, with small touches of refinement, such as ornate mantelpieces, verandahs, bush lattice gables, bridges, fern gardens and cellars. One hut had a piano. Some were linked with telephone wire to warn of approaching guests.
Tasmania Stories

They were elaborate, rustic, decorative and would look right at home on a South Pacific Island, but these huts were a long way from the tropics. Hobart’s kunanyi/Mount Wellington has long been an adventure playground for nature lovers. More than a century ago, the foothills were dotted with about 30 structures known as “rustic huts”. Built between 1880 and 1920, the huts were popular as recreational retreats. Pianos were transported up, areas cleared for tennis and two huts even had a telephone line strung up. One keen devotee went to the trouble of making a tea set entirely out of coconut shells.
Unearthing history of Hobart’s rustic art nouveau mountain huts (ABC News)

The Melbourne footballers now on a visit to Hobart, had an enjoyable outing yester-day afternoon. At the invitation of Mr. J. W. Cearns they visited the huts on the Cascade Brewery Co.’s estate. They were conveyed as far as the brewery in a special tram, and after a good walk reached their destination. After a look at Forest Hut they proceeded to the Falls Hut, where some good and thoughtful friends had amply provided for their reception, tea and sandwiches being very acceptable after the long walk. Fern Retreat was also looked at, but to this no admittance was obtain-able, it having been decided that the visitors should be entertained at the Falls Hut. One and all expressed them-selves delighted with what they saw, and were loud in their praises at the work done by young Tasmanians in providing such a beautiful spot for visitors. A pleasant hour was spent in viewing the charming scenery, and then the return journey was begun.
The Mercury, 3 July 1896


The Fern Retreat
c.1910

Fern Retreat hut was built in 1890 in what is now Myrtle Gully. There were two versions of the hut in the same location. A small flat area of land below the hut was once used as a tennis court!
kunanyi/Mt Wellington History

The Fern Retreat Hut, built c. 1890, was one of the better-known huts which featured on postcards between 1895 and 1920. It was crushed by a falling log in a storm in July 1904 but rebuilt, better than ever, immediately afterwards.
List the Mountain


Forest Hut, Cascades
c.1905
Published: J. Walch & Sons, Wellington Bridge, Hobart

There were several huts with this name, run by the same group of people. An earlier version of Forest Hut was burned down while occupied, two people narrowly escaped being burned to death. Remains include flat areas, paths, and a rock mound with a hole in the centre is probably a remnant of the members’ habit of surrounding man ferns with rock mounds (the fern being burnt in a fire at some stage).
kunanyi/Mt Wellington History

FOREST HUT DESTROYED BY FIRE.-On Saturday evening the Forest Hut, near the Cascade Brewery, was completely destroyed by fire. A number of young men from the city, who were camping there, all escaped uninjured but one, who was somewhat severely burnt. The hut and contents were destroyed.
The Mercury, 26 June 1900

The Forest Hut was originally built in 1890 as the Blue Bell Hut, but was rebuilt and took on the name Forest Hut later. An 1895 Sydney newspaper report writes: “After having a little rest, we went on, and came to the Bluebell Hut, now called the Forest Hut. This one is the largest and best. It is very nicely fitted up inside. There is a long winding stair made out of ferns to the hut. There is a nice verandah, and also a swing; and they have laid out a garden of ferns, and they are just building a summerhouse. They are going to make a tennis court also.”
List the Mountain

Leave a Reply