kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Hobart, Australia


The Pinnacle, Mount Wellington, Hobart
c.1910

(Note the writing on the rock to the right.)

Google Street View.

Entries from “Wellington Park Historic Heritage Inventory & Audit Project”, Vol. 2, A Mcconnell & L. Scripps, 2005(PDF):

The Pinnacle
Natural Feature of scenic beauty visited regularly by Europeans from the 1830s to the present day, and until the 1930s on foot. First known non-Aboriginal ascent (by George Bass) was Dec 1798; many famous people have climbed Mt Wellington (eg, Charles Darwin). A Cornish* photo shows a wide made packed dolerite rubble (no earth) path leading up (N side?) to a summit cairn (?) (with a square base and a peaked top with the base of timber pole protruding) .  .  .  Social values are primarily as a major viewing point; but also used regularly for snow play, to see the sun rise on New Year’s Day (p. 60)

Trig Station on Mt Wellington summit
The stone base is probably part of one of James Sprent’s cairns for his trigonometric survey of Tasmania(1832-37 & 1850s) – probably established between 1832-1837. (p.53)

Wragge’s Summit Observatory
Wragge’s first observatory (meteorological station) in Hobart was established on the summit of Mt Wellington in May 1895 by Clement Wragge. According to Thwaites* a hollow cairn of rocks was built first to temporarily house the instruments and then a timber hut was built. The Observatory Hut was 12′ x 8′, and from 7′-12′ high. It was a timber building lined with wood and with a corrugated iron roof. The entire building was surrounded by a wall and covered with an outer roof of rocks (a 1910 photo (Cornish*) shows a large round ‘cairn’ of rocks with peaked dome on N side of the Pinnacle which may be the rock covered hut?). The hut contained a large fireplace. Mr Arthur Wherrett was appointed as the summit observatory observer. When fitted out it was regarded as “the equal of any such station in Australia” (Thwaites*). The observatory was set up to improve the weather forecasting ability by being able to take atmospheric pressure readings at height (as well as at sea level – the Anglesea Barracks observatory) building on methods pioneered by Wragge in Scotland in the 1880s. Wragge was in the forefront of meteorological forecasting, being awarded a Royal Meteorological Society gold medal for his work in Scotland (on Ben Nevis) and he issued the first Australasian weather charts and forecasts (for each of the colonies and New Zealand) in 1887, and he began the tradition of naming cyclones. (p. 88)

* J. Thwaites, “Clement Wragge’s Observatory on Mt Wellington” . Tasmanian Tramp No. 24, 1982-3
* Ted Cornish, “Early Mt Wellington Huts” & “History [of a] Bushwalking Hut, Mt Wellington”, unpublished manuscript with photographs, 1969; copies held by Wellington Park Management Trust

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