Wallace Hut

This was the first time I had visited Wallace Hut, it was overcast and rain was gently falling. I have since visited the hut on many occasions under different weather conditions and none of my later photos turned out as good as those taken on the first visit.

Photos of the hut taken in bright sunlight end up too contrasty with deep shadows and harsh highlights, I have not visited the hut during winter with snow around it, I must do this one day. I think the conditions on the day I took this photo were perfect - the overcast sky and drizzling rain lowered the contrast nicely. And when wet, the colors of the bark on the tree trunks (Snow Gums) really jump out at you, much better than when they are dry.

It is about 8km from the Alpine village of Falls Creek in north-eastern Victoria, Australia.

Built in 1889 by the Wallace brothers, Arthur, William and Stewart. The brothers were cattlemen and they built the hut in their spare time over a six week period while living up on the plain grazing their cattle over the summer. It was made from Snow Gum slabs, the original roof was made of shingles cut from Alpine Ash.

In 1930 the hut was acquired by the State Electricity Commission (SEC) of Victoria and used as a temporary residence for it's employees building a nearby electricity generation plant. They replaced the shingles with corrugated iron sheets and after building a new hut the corrugated iron was removed from the roof and the interior was left exposed to the elements. An appeal later raised funds for a new roof which has done much to preserve this historic building. Wallace's Hut is thought to be the oldest on the high plains and is classified under the National Trust.

In the summer of 2002-2003 bushfires ravaged south-eastern Australia for 59 days, burning more than two million hectares of spectacular Alpine wilderness. The 115-year-old Wallace Hut miraculously survived, the fire passed between the hut and a nearby toilet. Some 40 other Alpine huts were not so lucky and were destroyed.

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Andrew McPhee, all rights reserved.
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