The Kosciuszko Huts Association (KHA) is an organisation of concerned people who care about the preservation, maintenance and history of the huts in the Kosciuszko (NSW) and Namadgi (ACT) National Parks.
Volunteers are welcomed for workparties on many of the huts. If you would like to participate, please check the calendar for upcoming workparties, or contact the relevant Hut Maintenance Officer (HMO). Email address can be found on the Contacts page.
The Association was formed in 1971 and on May 26, 2001 celebrated its 30th anniversary at Sawpit Creek in Kosciuszko National Park. The first meeting was held there in 1970 by a group of concerned people, bushwalkers and skiers. Their greatest fear was the deliberate destruction of the vernacular huts and homesteads that lay within the Park Boundary. These structures were built by our pioneer graziers and gold miners, and suited their basic needs. Many of these buildings were aged and desperately needing conservation.
In the hard years, our committees and members struggled to hold onto the High Country huts, in an age before Government or Australians benefited from recognising and appreciating their history, albeit a short space of civilised history compared to the rest of the world. Now we share a partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Service that respect the huts and their heritage value.
Today, we recognise Australia's heritage in many ways from grooves in sandstone shelf near a watercourse to stockman's huts. The huts we help to conserve and caretake are a polygon of styles suited to the needs of pioneers, of grazing and goldmining. Basic structures mostly, but each one as any caretaker knows, imbued with the character of the scavenging capabilities or leanness of wallet of the builder.
There are huts still standing that seem to defy gravity. Over the passing years since grazing ceased, there are many which have succumbed; a pile of weathered timbers and corrugated iron. In some places is just a pile of stones, the remains of a crude chimney.
The remaining 100 huts have become a haven for safety from blizzards, a social centrepiece and a full dimension of history, a heritage of how people lived in the first half of the 1900s. They are not relocated to a "village" or reconstructed, they are maintained as close as possible to the original fabric, structure and method of construction as the owners built them.
Destructive fires in January and February 2003 destroyed more than 20 of the huts remaining at that time.
All workparty participants must be financial members of KHA which covers your mandatory State Government indemnity insurance. NPWS require workparty participants undertaking major works to hold a Building Construction Whitecard, KHA runs regular white card training sessions.