By Steve Cuff
Fires have severely impacted the mid area of Kosciuszko National Park with news that Selwyn Snow Resort, Kiandra Courthouse, Wolgal Hut, Pattison’s Hut and areas within the township of Cabramurra have been burnt by the fires yesterday.
National Parks staff said it was “gut wrenching.”
The Yarrangobilly Caves precinct and buildings has been defended after fire crews worked tirelessly for over 36 hours. Sources said the crew were exhausted.
Selwyn Snow Resort is a smaller snow resort open during winter and accessed via the town of Adaminaby and also guests visiting from the Tumut and Talbingo area.
One of the smaller resorts in NSW, it was ideal for beginners to learn to ski and has a rich history in the snow industry.
This afternoon the resort issued a statement.
“Selwyn Snow Resort has suffered extensive damage as a result of the recent fires. We are working closely with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and relevant agencies to arrange access to the resort, so we can fully assess the damage that has occurred.”
“The safety of our staff is our highest priority, with all staff safely evacuated before the fire reached Selwyn Snow Resort.
“While we know the Selwyn community will be saddened by this news, it is important to remember that the fire situation is still active in the wider region.
“We will update you with further information about the resort in the coming days.”
The Kiandra Courthouse is a heritage-listed former courthouse at Kiandra, an area known for its history of gold mining and the birthplace of Australian skiing.
Heritage Listed Kiandra Courthouse has been destroyed.
Pattison’s Hut and Wolgal Hut are the two huts within the Kiandra precinct in Pollocks Gully.
With the help of volunteers, NSW National Parks has been restoring these buildings in recent years as part of the Kiandra Project, which also holds open days throughout the year. Wolgal Hut was available for accommodation through the National Park.
Wolgal Hut at Kiandra has been destroyed.
The discovery of gold at Kiandra in 1859 attracted up to 10,000 prospectors hoping to strike it rich. Just 18 months later, after harsh winters and falling gold finds, only a few hundred gold miners remained. It’s remembered as one of Australia’s shortest gold rushes, not to mention it’s highest (and coldest). In 1861, Kiandra became the birthplace of skiing in Australia, when Norwegian gold miners fashioned skis from fence palings. By the 1870s regular ski carnivals were arranged, and Australia had its first official ski slope here. Mining continued into the 1930s, with grazing and winter skiing also keeping the community alive. Today, only 4 buildings still stand including Kiandra Courthouse, which has served as a courthouse, private residence, ski chalet, hotel and bar.