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The day Cradle Mountain cried

3 October 2010 No Comment

If a mountain could cry, Cradle Mountain would have shed many tears on a cold day in May 1932, the day Gustav Weindorfer died.

Gustav Weindorfer and his wife Kate worked for many years to get what we know as Cradle Mountain National Park declared “a national park for all of the people for all of time”.

After Kate died, Gustav took to riding around on an old Indian motorbike, complete with side car. But the moist mountain air and an ailing ‘magneto’ meant Gustav more often than not had to kick start the ancient machine to bring her to life.

On that fateful May day, Gustav had planned a trip to the coast, but just couldn’t get the old bike going. He ended up rolling it down a hill, trying to jump start the unresponsive motor. When that didn’t work, he rigged up some ropes to pull it up the next hill, but fell down dead from a heart attack instead.

They found his body the next day and took him to town. But his friends knew that Gustav wanted to be buried at Waldheim, the house he and Kate had loved. So they hauled his coffin for 12 kms along slippery, twisting tracks, and then had to dig his grave by hand.

You can see Gustav Weindorfer’s stony grave when you visit Cradle Mountain National Park. Waldheim is perched on the hillside, overlooking the wombats grazing on the button grass plains at Ronnie’s Creek. That’s where you’ll find Gustav – asleep in his garden.

This beautiful image has been shared by Dennis Harding – Tasmanian Wilderness Photographer

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