Vintage view of Waldheim Chalet - Cradle Mountain


Hobart, Australia

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371 views as at 9 January 2013

Featured in Cradle Mountain Group on 05/26/12

Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot on 28 April 2012.
Colour and lighting adjustments and vintage texture painting in PSE 9.
Texture= Kim Klassen Paper1.

Waldheim Chalet was originally built between 1912 and the early 1920s. It was largely the vision and dedication of Gustav and Kate Weindorfer that led to both the construction of the chalet and the creation of the Cradle Mountain national park.

In 1910 Kate and Gustav each purchased 200 acres (81 ha) of land near Cradle Mountain. In 1912 Weindorfer began to build Waldheim using King Billy pine from the site and relying on the bush carpentry skills he had acquired from a short-term appointment of an experienced timber worker. As a horse and cart could approach no closer than 14 km, Weindorfer carried baths and stoves on his back. By 1919, after long campaigning by Gustav, the road had reached within one and a half kilometres of Waldheim.

The chalet was opened to visitors at Christmas 1912, who enjoyed the rustic simplicity of the draughty, incomplete building. The following summer, Waldheim had 25 guests.

Gustav campaigned tirelessly to see the Cradle Mountain area reserved.
On 16 May 1922, an area of 158,000 acres (63,943 ha) from Cradle Mountain down to Lake St Clair was proclaimed a Scenic Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary under the Scenery Preservation Act 1915.

It is now a World Heritage Listed Area.

As early as 1958 it became clear that the original chalet was becoming structurally unsound. In 1976, the National Parks and Wildlife Service demolished Waldheim and contracted a local builder, Ted Forster, to reconstruct the chalet as it has appeared at the time of Gustav’s death. Foster had been taught the skills of hand-splitting shingles by Gustav himself. Those materials that were sound were saved and used in the reconstruction, including most of the doors and the ceiling, the floor and one of the large spars in the living room. The original stables still exist, and are now used as the woodshed for the Waldheim cabins at the rear of the chalet.

Artwork Comments

  • Karen  Betts
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