If you walk the 9kms long Settlers Track in Namadgi National Park, which I strongly encourage you to do, you will encounter three old, restored dwellings along the way – Brayshaw’s Hut, Waterhole Hut and Westerman’s Homestead. This review is on Waterhole Hut and a nearby stock yard, both located about four kilometres from the start of the walk if you follow the loop walk in an anticlockwise direction, as recommended.
This hut (the oldest of eight similar huts found in Namadgi) is much simpler than the other two dwellings along the walk and was never a permanent home but rather a shelter in bad weather or temporary accommodation for stockmen and pastoralists when working here.
It was built in 1939 by Tom Oldfield and is a simple one room galvanised iron building with a dirt floor and a fireplace at one end. While not luxurious, the hut would certainly have been a welcome change from sleeping in a tent, especially in winter.
When I visited there was an old cast bed frame, a few wall hooks and a wooden bench in front of the fireplace. This is probably very much how the interior would have looked when built – though without the addition of the cow manure extant on my visit, undoubtedly there due to the thoughtlessness of a previous visitor who did not close the door on departure.
Like the other two dwellings on this walk these properties are open 24/7 and now serve as emergency shelters for lost hikers and the like. They are not intended as free accommodation for those not in trouble.
One might imagine that the hut got it name due to the availability of water nearby. Well that’s a good guess. Rather than the water being nearby the hut was actually built in the waterhole and can be rather damp when the area is wet. Presumably the area was going through a dry spell when the hut was built in 1939 or it might have been built a few metres higher up and closer to the rather nice large granite boulders to the rear of the property.
About 200 metres from the hut, and clearly signposted, is the remains of a former cattle and sheep stockyard. This dates back to well before the hut and its construction is a good example the drop log fencing technique, a variation on the forked (or V) fencing style I referred to in my main Settlers Track review. Under this style, logs were dropped between parallel posts placed at regular intervals to form a fence. This was a very labour and material intensive form of fence building so it is not surprising that the builders, in this instance, incorporated a large rock into the fence.
Address: Bobeyan Road
Directions: On Settlers Track Walk
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries on Namadgi National Park. To continue with my next entry chick HERE.