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The heroes of Cradle Mountain National Park

3 November 2010 No Comment

Cradle Mountain National Park Gustav Weindorfer

Did you know that you can enjoy the spectacular wonder of Cradle Mountain National Park because of a young couple who were so enthralled with the beauty of area when they first came to visit in 1905 that they spent the rest of their lives working to have it preserved as a National Park?

Kate and Gustav Weindorfer fell so in love with the pristine ruggedness when they came to climb Cradle Mountain that they decided to build their home in what was to become Cradle Mountain National Park. But at that time, their heaven on earth was so remote that Gustav had to carry in all the household necessities like baths and stoves on his back.

Kate and Gustav walked the valleys, plains and hills of what is now Cradle Mountain National Park, naming the spectacular features, writing letters, and constantly pressuring the government to build a road. They were environmental visionaries, pushing for the area to be become a scenic reserve and wildlife sanctuary, and eventually declared “a national park for all of the people for all of time” – for us.

The Weindorfers named their wild bush home Waldheim, which means ‘home in the forest’, but the primitive bush carpentry skills used and wild Cradle Mountain winters eventually took their toll. In 1976 Tasmanian National Parks Service decided it was unsafe and pulled it down.

But all was not lost, because they had hired a local builder, who had helped Gustav split the original roof shingles, to reconstruct the chalet as it would have looked when the Weindorfers lived there.

So the little house you see up on the rise as you stroll along the boardwalk at Ronnie’s Creek is just a replica. But, if you go over and have a look out the back, you can still see the original stables, now used as the woodshed for Waldheim Chalet cabins

Image: Robinejay – Flickr

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