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Conservation works for historic Waldheim Chalet


Conservation works aimed at preserving the historic Waldheim Chalet at Cradle Mountain that were begun last year have recommenced.

Tasmanian conservation pioneer Gustav Weindorfer pushed for the preservation of the Cradle Mountain area as ‘a national park for all people for all time’ and built Waldheim, German for ‘forest home’, as a chalet for visitors in 1911.

The mountain weather took its toll on the timber structure over the decades and it had deteriorated to such an extent that the decision was taken by the then Parks and Wildlife Service to demolish it and replace it with a replica structure on the same spot. This was completed in 1976.

Cradle Mountain Parks and Reserves manager Nic Deka said when the conservation works are complete the historic structure will be set to withstand the elements for decades to come.

“The importance of the chalet itself is that it represents the origin of heritage conservation and national parks in Tasmania and for that it has both national and international significance,” Mr Deka said.

The conservation works include the replacement or repair of weathered and decayed materials such as roofing shakes or shingles, wall palings and pole frames that support the building on both the bathhouse and the chalet.

At the chalet, works completed last year included construction of a new section of roof with a steeper pitch aimed at providing better drainage of rainwater and reducing damp problems within the building.

This year’s works which will finish the restoration include replacement of the celery top pine supports for the entry way roof structure, replacement of split shingle flooring and replacement of another section of the shingle roof.

The works are being undertaken by local heritage restoration builders Tim Youldon and Rudi Velthuis.

Waldheim will be closed to the public while the conservation works are under way.

The project is funded by an Australian Government Jobs Fund grant that totalled $491,000 for improved Cradle walking tracks and the Waldheim conservation works.

Conservation works for historic Waldheim Chalet

Heritage restoration builder Rudi Velthuis at work on historic Waldheim Chalet.