Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Huts Code for Visitors Brochure

Guidelines for visiting and using the huts.

Printable brochure

Outdoor Equipment Manufacturers

Outdoor equipment is supplied through about 10 major stores in Australia, with the best selection all in one street in Melbourne. There is also a nice selection of 4 stores in close proximity in Lonsdale St, Braddon, Canberra. However, if you are researching brands, here are the websites, from across the world. All popular brands are shown without fear or favour - you decide!

Those Asterixed* allow purchases over the Internet.

(In alphabetical order - updated significantly 16 September 2013. Minor additions 19 Sep 2013: PROtog, Oziexplorer, OZtopo)

  1. Airwalk* - Snowboard Boots
  2. Asolo - Boots
  3. Berghaus*  - Packs
  4. Bibler - Tents
  5. Billabong* - Outdoor Gear, mostly beach
  6. Black Diamond* - Climbing gear
  7. Body Torque*- Cycling gear
  8. Bogong* - Equipment
  9. Boreal  - Climbing ropes
  10. Cam-Fis* - USA outdoor clothing
  11. Campingaz - Stoves and gas
  12. Campmor* - USA outdoor gear
  13. Carhatt* - Outdoor and Workwear USA
  14. Cascade Designs - Sleeping & sitting mats & MSR tents & Stoves
  15. Coleman Stoves
  16. Columbia Sportswear  - Clothing
  17. Edelrid  - Climbing ropes
  18. Garmin Outdoor On The Trails GPS's
  19. Garmont  - Cross country ski boots
  20. GPSOz* - GPS devices & GPS Oztopo mapping for Garmin handheld GPS, & Ozraster digital topographic mapping
  21. GME  - EPIRBS
  22. GoLite* - Lightweight hiking gear
  23. Helly Hansen*  - Underwear, especially for canoeing, yachting
  24. Hi-tech - Footwear
  25. Karrimor* - Tents and packs
  26. Kathmandu* - Range of outdoor and travel wear
  27. Koflach - Boots
  28. Kovea - Stoves - available at many Australian outdoor stores
  29. LaSportiva - Quality Italian hiking and climbing boots & shoes
  30. Leatherman - Tools and knives
  31. LL Bean* - Huge Outdoor Outfitters, USA
  32. Lowe Alpine  - Packs
  33. Macpac* - Packs, tents etc
  34. Magellan - GPS systems
  35. Mag-lite - Torches
  36. Mammut - Climbing ropes etc
  37. Merrell - Boots
  38. Metolius - Rock climbing gear
  39. Mont Adventure Equipment - Clothing, tents, down gear.
  40. Mountain Designs Aus* - Big Mountain Gear, Expedition Kit
  41. Mountain Equipment - Clothing, bags, tents etc - UK.
  42. Nalgene* - Containers
  43. Natureshop.com* - Wool clothing including Icebreaker
  44. Northern Lites* - Snow shoes
  45. Oilskin* - Traditional outdoor Australian Oilskin clothing
  46. One Planet - Tents, Packs, Sleeping Bags
  47. O'Neill - Wetsuits
  48. Osprey Packs*
  49. Oziexplorer* - An innovative Aust s/w supplier of GPS mapping software for PCs, Laptops, PDA, tablets & now Android devices. Origianally used by 4WD, but becoming used by bushwalkers
  50. Paddy Pallin* - Clothing, tents etc
  51. Patagonia Equipment - USA climbing equipment
  52. Petzl - Lights
  53. Primus - Stoves and lamps
  54. Princeton Tec - Lights, head torches
  55. PROtog* - Exclusive Aust distributors for Powerex batteries & chargers (very useful in GPS equipment & cameras) and high performance photographic equip
  56. REI* - USA Adventure Outfitter
  57. Rockport* - Footwear
  58. Rusty - Sports Clothing
  59. Salewa* - Climbing gear, tents
  60. Salomon - Boots
  61. Scarpa* - Boots
  62. Sierra Designs* - Tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, etc
  63. Sigg*  Water bottles
  64. Silva - Compasses and GPS
  65. Singing Rock - Climbing gear
  66. Snowgum* - Clothing and scouting goods
  67. Sorel Footwear - Cold weather Canadian safety boots
  68. SOS - Backcountry ski clothing from Sweden
  69. Spyder - The very best quality ski garments
  70. Suunto - Compasses & sports watches
  71. Tatonka - Packs, Tents, Clothing & Cookware
  72. Teva - Sandles & sports shoes
  73. The North Face* - US Big Mountain Climbing gear
  74. Thule - Roof rack systems
  75. Timberland* - Footwear
  76. Trangia Stoves - Stoves and Cookware
  77. Trigger Brothers* - Aus snowboard & surf gear, webcams
  78. Vans - Footwear for street and mountain biking
  79. Victorinox* - The Swiss Knife
  80. Western Mountaineering -  Sleeping Bags
  81. Wilderness Equipment - Backpacks, Tents, Gaiters
  82. Wilderness Sports* - Jindabyne XC and Mountain Skiing
  83. Wilderness Wear* - Clothing from Tasmania
  84. Wild Country - Climbing gear
  85. Woolrich Inc* - Original US natural fibre clothing.

Using a GPS Receiver

Explains some of the science and technology behind GPS, and how to avoid errors.

A good description of the difference between GDA94 and WGS84 is also attached.

If you would like more information, please email me using the email icon above.

EPIRBS

Survival


The magnificence of the Australian outdoors on a sunny summer's day, can blind us to the reality, if bad weather hits.

This photograph was taken in April 1985 at Blue Lake, a time when snow is not normally expected. When the tent was pitched the evening before, the weather was fine and warm and there was no snow at all.

WARNING: the 121.5MHz EPRIB System will cease to operate from 1 February 2009. Walkers should replace their old EPIRBs with the new PLB (Personal Locator Beacons) on 406 MHz which are now available in Australia (at a higher price, but with direct identification for each unit)

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is the reduction in the core temperature, by a few degrees, of a human being. It can result in death in an hour.

It is agravated by the combination of cold, wind and wet.A person suffering from hypothermia is likely to walk aimlessly, talk non-sense and feel unconcerned about their fate - ie sit and "wait untill it all gets better".

The condition is very hard to judge without lots of experience. A person who is wet, in ANY wind is likely to suffer to some degree. Get them out of the wind, in a hut, a tent, behind a boulder or off the ridge. Get them into a sleeping bag, or wrapped in a foil groundsheet. Feed warm liquid, but not alcohol. Nor put them too near a fire, as their heat will be drawn to their outer skin. Warm against other bodies.

To avoid getting hypothermia, wear multi-layered clothing, that keeps the wind out.

The NPWS has the view (given in writing) that EPIRBs will save a person in this state. This is unlikely, as a helicopter would rarely arrive in time. However, they are better than nothing. Huts, tents and correctly built snow caves provide immediate shelter.

Are you ready? Any time of the year?

EPIRBs - Emergency Location?

EPIRB stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. An EPIRB (or PLB Personal Locator Beacon) is a small radio device that sends a signal to a satellite or airplane, indicating that you are lost or in trouble.

Ppocket versions have become available between $213 and $305 RRP, in particular the GME Model MT310, which is made in Australia. This device is being phased out now, in preference for the newer 406 MHz models, which will be mandatory from 1 February 2009.

This particular device weighs 175 grams, and is about the same size as a medium grade mobile phone.

It will transmit an emergency signal on 121.5 and 243 MHz which can be received by both COSPAS (USA) and SARSAT(Russian) satellites, and commercial aircraft.

They have been proven highly reliable (up to 48 hours) and have already saved a number of lives.

There is a safety cover so that it cannot be inadvertantly set off, and a test mode, to make sure it is working before you start walking or skiing. Kosciusko National Park offer these for hire.

There are many other brands and more sophisticated models, but these tend to be both much more expensive AND larger and heavier.

There are minor issues with this device - firstly it may take some hours for the signal to be received and acted upon. Secondly it won't work in a cave, inside a hut, or under heavy tree cover. Thirdly, to set one off in a non-emergency situation is likely tro bring the force of the law down on you.

Still, with GPS, Mobile Phone (in a few locations) and an EPIRB, a lot some of the risks of bushwalking and skiing are very much reduced for a party.

Renting or buying an EPIRB

EPIRBS can be rented from the Kosciusko National Parks Visitors Centre (Ph 02-6450 5600) for about $10 per day or from Getaway Equipment Rentals Ph 02-9456 0457).

Marine retailers such as BIAS Boating or Whitworths, or outdoor shops such as Paddy Pallins sell them for about $300.

Updated 28 April 2008.

GPS Locations

Our Objectives

Our aim is to progressively and carefully provide Latitude and Longitude positions for all key huts and sites, so that they are easy to find, even in a white out, dark or fog. This has the potential to save distress, if not lives.

Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers are now so carried as a matter of course for many bushwalkers, drivers and skiers. Most mobile phones also include a GPS receiver, although these are not quite as accurate as a dedicated receiver.

We are progessively building the list below, but PLEASE read the disclaimer attached below.

The best known location for standing huts have been added to the Open Street Map (OSM). Download free routable Garmin maps made from this project here.

(Data Last Updated 31/03/2014).

Hut Locations are in WGS 84

KHA_No Name Condition Location Accuracy Easting Northing Latitude Longitude GPS_Source
1708 ACT Forests Good Good 678535 6041050 -35.758397 148.974782 OM
0 Bag Range Hut Good Good 661494 6104180 -35.192392 148.773831 OM
0 Banks Good Good 687351 6041948 -35.748664 149.072035 OM
503 Bendora Hut Good Good 662984 6078692 -35.421861 148.795255 OM
1211 Bill Jones Good Poor 650719 6053530 -35.650577 148.664895
1410 Billmans Good Fair 643940 6020560 -35.948739 148.595972
1001 Black Jack Good Fair 618417 6018070 -35.974613 148.313425
0 Blue Range Unknown Good 670588 6093210 -35.289753 148.875949
2441 Boltons Good Fair 630440 5981264 -36.304806 148.452847
2339 Boltons Hill Good Poor 632400 6015000 -36.000485 148.468987
2337 Boobee Good Fair 631905 6008310 -36.060849 148.464612
2601 Botherham Plain Hut Good Good 639088 5986890 -36.252894 148.548135 OM
2001 Brandy Flat No3 Good Poor 682665 6045794 -35.714889 149.019355
1313 Brayshaws Good Good 655013 6029370 -35.867648 148.716982 OM
1017 Broken Dam Good Fair 635158 6020280 -35.952519 148.498675
2501 Brooks Good Fair 636917 6011658 -36.029983 148.519667
2440 Bullocks Good Good 629346 5966644 -36.436718 148.443101 NI
504 Bulls Head Picnic Hut Good Good 663889 6082452 -35.387830 148.804467 IF
2445 Burrungubugge Shelter Good Good 634206 5986430 -36.257730 148.493891
1901 Bushfold No6 Good Poor 683400 6065300 -35.538989 149.023045
2705 Cascades Hut Good Good 612495 5950620 -36.583265 148.257470 OM
2330 Cesjacks Good Good 630641 5998860 -36.146191 148.452148 NI
2703 Charlie Carters Good Good 611728 5937660 -36.700161 148.250786
0 Chave’s Yarrangobilly village Good Poor 631296 6054840 -35.641544 148.450194
1311 Circuits Good Good 652555 6034821 -35.818905 148.688728 GM
0 Commemorative Cross Good Fair 632485 6053670 -35.651931 148.463515
1207 Cooinbil Homestead Good Good 644618 6055771 -35.631292 148.597118 NI
0 Coolamine Cheese House Good Fair 650790 6058080 -35.609559 148.664828
1110 Coolamine Homestead Good Fair 650817 6058111 -35.609275 148.665121
0 Coolamine Southwell’s Good Fair 650826 6058110 -35.609283 148.665220
2409 Cootapatamba Good Good 612527 5962352 -36.477522 148.256115 NI
0 Coree Hut Site Good Good 664993 6094930 -35.275190 148.814103
1604 Cotter Hut No3 Good Poor 665765 6053225 -35.650918 148.831087
506 Cotter River Hut Good Poor 664800 6071900 -35.482776 148.816629
809 Cotterills Cottage Good Fair 632398 6053620 -35.652393 148.462563
0 CSIRO Research Hut Good Good 640255 5989490 -36.229293 148.560654 OM
0 Cumberland Boarding House Unknown Fair 626228 6052920 -35.659512 148.394533
0 Cumberland Break Unknown Fair 629555 6056450 -35.627262 148.430711
1214 Currango Homestead Good Good 653316 6045040 -35.726693 148.695189 CW
2507 Daveys Good Good 637852 5989449 -36.230005 148.533935 GH
1803 David Brayshaws Good Poor 679100 6027900 -35.876786 148.983975
1405 Delaneys Good Good 641087 6024980 -35.909320 148.563564 NI
2103 Demandering Good Good 685373 6032010 -35.838586 149.052469
2317 Derschkos Good Good 621733 5999410 -36.142393 148.353072 DD
0 Devil's Kitchen (Rock Shelter) Good Good 612971 5953170 -36.560226 148.262415 OM
2436 Disappointment Spur Good Good 626930 5978930 -36.326310 148.414142 OM
2407 Doctor Forbes Good Good 606097 5971928 -36.391942 148.183041 NI
2404 Doctors Good Fair 605100 5974770 -36.366436 148.171544
0 Dry Dam Ski Shelter Good Fair 625220 6022494 -35.933891 148.388160
1005 Electricity Commission Good Fair 630035 6027150 -35.891293 148.440765
1009 Four Mile Good Good 633369 6022830 -35.929781 148.478418
1413 Gavels Good Good 649958 6026160 -35.897365 148.661617 OM
2406 Geehi Good Good 605809 5973540 -36.377445 148.179613 NI
0 Geehi Shelter Good Good 605948 5972686 -36.385125 148.181275 NI
0 Glendale Shed Good Good 681439 6047920 -35.695961 149.005333 OM
1302 Gooandra Homestead Good Good 638852 6037080 -35.800584 148.536697 OM
2414 Grey Hill Cafe Good Fair 614830 5984740 -36.275462 148.278511
2312 Grey Mare Good Fair 620293 5991710 -36.211975 148.338250
1611 Gudgenby Cottage Good Good 679743 6042670 -35.743579 148.987773 MC
1610 Gudgenby Homestead No2 Good Fair 679534 6042750 -35.742892 148.985442
1307 Hains Good Good 643890 6040410 -35.769846 148.591836 OM
1208 Hainsworth Good Good 644924 6051350 -35.671093 148.601296 MC
2340 Happy Jacks Plain Good Good 634194 6009490 -36.049900 148.489820
2510 Happys Good Good 638732 6013666 -36.011627 148.539452 GK
2401 Hoggs Good Poor 594228 5976172 -36.354925 148.050201
2435 Horse Camp Good Good 625296 5978377 -36.331509 148.396029 NI
2104 Horse Gully No2 Good Good 686625 6033620 -35.823842 149.065947
1707 Hospital Creek Good Good 677761 6037550 -35.790075 148.967002
2424 Illawong Lodge Good Good 621605 5971250 -36.396216 148.356031 OM
2802 Ingeegoodbee Good Good 618105 5924235 -36.820385 148.324233 NI
2405 Keebles Good Good 605357 5974469 -36.369120 148.174447 NI
303 Kells Good Good 636792 6079110 -35.422040 148.506784 OM
0 Kiandra Courthouse Good Good 634967 6029067 -35.873352 148.495067 OM
2338 Kidmans Hut Good Good 631847 5991227 -36.214820 148.466833 OM
0 Lindleys Hut Good Good 631158 6071080 -35.495180 148.446037 OM
2324 Linesmans No3 Good Fair 626065 6013520 -36.014664 148.398955
0 Little River Hut Good Fair 648708 5926538 -36.795314 148.666800
1203 Long Plain Homestead Good Good 639119 6048537 -35.697286 148.537661 NI
1703 Lutons Crutching Shed Good Good 675800 6033520 -35.826742 148.946200 OM
2336 Mackays Hut Good Good 631836 6005210 -36.088798 148.464364 RG
2402 Major Clews Hut Good Good 602624 5982949 -36.292977 148.142869 GM
1015 Matthews Cottage Good Fair 634893 6028770 -35.876035 148.494300
2325 Mawsons Hut Good Good 626141 5990530 -36.221865 148.403481 GMcD
2105 Max and Bert Oldfields Hut Good Poor 687300 6041700 -35.750909 149.071525
0 McIntyres Hut Unknown Good 658081 6096090 -35.265850 148.737913
1206 Millers Hut Good Poor 642749 6047518 -35.705944 148.577956
0 Mt Tennent Hut Unknown Good 685835 6066620 -35.526641 149.049587
2434 Munyang Hut Good Poor 624870 5981250 -36.305669 148.390826
0 Naughton’s Hut Unknown Fair 621581 6002800 -36.111858 148.350859
2321 O'Briens Hut Good Good 624334 6013405 -36.015920 148.379770 NI
2326 O'Keefes Hut Good Fair 626230 6001400 -36.123882 148.402724
1210 Old Currango Good Fair 650608 6049140 -35.690160 148.664490
2403 Old Geehi Good Good 604409 5975435 -36.360516 148.163750 NI
1601 Oldfields Good Good 658843 6050410 -35.677422 148.755214
1314 Oldfields No2 Good Good 655572 6041100 -35.761847 148.720888
2412 Opera House Good Good 614470 5972275 -36.387854 148.276335 GMcD
1608 Orroral Homestead Good Good 677401 6054278 -35.639401 148.959323 OM
2310 Patons Good Good 616675 6008600 -36.060181 148.295504 OM
1013 Pattinsons Good Good 634675 6028159 -35.881571 148.491990 OM
1312 Pedens Good Good 654174 6039750 -35.774232 148.705694 GM
1108 Peppercorn Lean-to Poor Poor 648139 6061573 -35.578479 148.634932
2438 Pipers Creek Good Good 627916 5973328 -36.376669 148.426044 DD
1216 Pockets Hut Good Good 656483 6052650 -35.657611 148.728711 GM
2308 Pretty Plain Hut Good Good 616493 5996558 -36.168742 148.295264 NI
1504 Pryors Hut (NSW) Good Good 661151 6063140 -35.562321 148.778164 DE
2322 Round Mountain Good Good 624513 6010254 -36.044303 148.382255 OM
0 Rugmans Good Good 647719 5939670 -36.677135 148.653180 OM
2803 Sandy Creek Good Good 631464 5920540 -36.851917 148.474620 NI
1402 Sawyers Good Good 639035 6026510 -35.895824 148.540564 OM
2432 Schlink Hilton Good Good 624400 5984660 -36.274996 148.385049 OM
1309 Schofields Good Good 651274 6031112 -35.852533 148.675257 GMcD
2415 Seaman’s Hut Good Good 614955 5965359 -36.450130 148.282772 NI
3001 Slaughterhouse Good Good 640000 5930027 -36.765199 148.568586 NI
0 SMA House Geehi Dam Good Fair 618059 5981730 -36.302202 148.314910
0 SMA House Tooma Dam Good Fair 615035 6009730 -36.050191 148.277134
2323 SMA Rain Gauge Jagungal Good Fair 625026 6000130 -36.135485 148.389550
0 SMA Seismic Station Geehi Good Fair 605952 5969130 -36.417178 148.181808
1002 SMA Weather Station, Kings Cross Good Fair 629250 6023440 -35.924837 148.432672
2425 Snowy R Gauging Station Good Poor 621698 5971710 -36.392058 148.356996
2422 Stilwell Restaurant Poor Good 619730 5964920 -36.453503 148.336105
1303 Tantangara Mountain Good Good 640649 6029000 -35.873152 148.558002
2708 Teddys Good Good 620310 5956280 -36.531300 148.343921 GMcD
2439 Tin Hut Good Good 627915 5985748 -36.264730 148.424000 GMcD
2701 Tin Mine Barn Good Good 611716 5937680 -36.699982 148.250648 OM
0 Tooma River Gauging Station Good Fair 613317 6004250 -36.099788 148.258852
1310 Townsends Good Good 652281 6038650 -35.784443 148.684964
0 Tumut River Gauging Station Good Fair 629742 6012840 -36.020311 148.439859
0 Tyrell’s Hut Good Good 605834 5973543 -36.377418 148.179889 NI
2320 Valentines Good Good 623281 5990008 -36.226939 148.371751 GMcD
207 Venables Good Poor 635021 6076370 -35.446980 148.487736
702 Vickerys Good Good 627194 6057260 -35.620268 148.404517 OM
1704 Waterhole Hut Good Good 676230 6029100 -35.866494 148.951934 OM
1801 Westermans No3 Good Good 677946 6026770 -35.887178 148.971451 OM
2304 Wheelers Good Good 612737 6002670 -36.114097 148.252636 Balart
2431 Whites River Good Good 624425 5981901 -36.299859 148.385765 NI
1305 Witzes Good Good 643055 6035785 -35.811652 148.583429 GMcD
1014 Wolgal Lodge Good Good 634789 6028374 -35.879617 148.493212 NI

 

This table can be downloaded as a csv file or kmz (for Google Earth). See the attachments at the bottom of the page. To convert this file for use in your GPS receiver, use GPSBabel. This is a free utility that is easy to use, and is reliable.

GPS Locations by:

OM - Olaf Moon

NI - Narelle Irvine

PW - Peter Woodrow

GMcD - Garry McDougal

IF - Ian Frakes

DD - David Dalwood

GH - Greg Hutchison

RG - Robert Green

CD - Craig Doubleday

Balart, DE, GM, MC - Unknown

 

Accuracy

(Please tell us if you disagree with these figures, or can provide others)

Note 1: All locations are in WGS84 (World Geodetic System), not the older Australian Geodetic Datum 66 or 84 as shown on the border of many older Australian maps. Check your map Datum before reading off a position using the grid. The difference is about 200m NE for a WGS position, over an old map reading.

A comment field has been included to indicate the accuracy of the coordinates given.

Good - modern GPS reading, should be within 10 metres

Fair - coordinates from Google Earth, may be up to 50 metres error.

Poor - coordinates from topographic map reading, may be out by 500 metres. Hut may be marked incorrectly on published maps, coordinate system may not have been converted.

Accuracy aslo depends on the chip in your GPS Receiover. Newer chips have better accuracy and greater sensitivity than older ones. A Garmin Orogen series GPS will even give a reading indoors to less than 10 metres error.  A good reason to upgrade!

Vertical Accuracy will be 30m or more unless you have a barometer in your device. The barometer needs to be calibrated to either the air pressure or a known height on the day, or at least weekly to acheive an accuracy of approx. 3m.

 

Datums

The KHA committee is wary of the variations in readings - so there are no guarantees for accuracy! For example, it is important that your GPS unit is set to the either the Geodetic Datum of Australian 1994 (GDA94) or the world Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84) These two systems are equivalent for all intents and purposes.

Any errors in using different datums are your responsibility. Walkers and skiers MUST have other navigational skills before venturing into the bush, particularly in winter, the dark or both.

Most Australian maps still refer to AGD66 or 84. The difference is that GDA94 and WGS84 will lead you to the same spot if your GPS is set in WGS84, but will be 200 metres north east if you are applying the position to an old map.

More Resources

Using GPS Receivers with Topographic Maps

Using GPS for Huts and Tracks

Exploring GPS - the complete story (NSW Dept of Lands Publication)

External Pages about Datums

For those with a real thirst for knowledge, go to this learned paper and learn that the world is a spheroid (sphere that is slightly flattened at the poles). You can learn that Australia's new GDA system was based on the latest ITRF92 calculation and makes GDA about 10cm (on the ground) more accurate than WGS84, but who would care! Therefore using WGS84 is good, as all our maps and GPS receivers have, or will, move to it.

By the way, the difference between the old AGD readings and new WGS readings are about 4mm on a 1:50,000 scale map. So now you know.

 

Victorian Huts

While the Victorian mountain huts are not usually the preserve of KHA, many members walk and ski in the Alpine National Park as well, so we have commenced the collection of GPS data for southern huts as well.

Victorian Hut Location Source
Basalt Knob Hut S37 09.004 E147 06.138 A Russo
Bindaree Hut S37 10.01 E146 32.61 D Sisson
Bivouac Hut S 36 42.819 E 147 17.706 C Halabut
Black Bird (Kellys) Hut    
Blowhard Hut S36 59.429 E147 06.766 O Moon
Bluff Hut S37 12.97 E146 31.44 Sisson
Bluff Spur Memorial Hut S37 7.60 E146 29.60 Sisson
Bucketty (McNamara) S36 57.285 E147 20.036 O Moon
Bus Hut (Ivans) S37 5.34 E146 26.40 D Sisson
Charles Derrick Hut S 36 58.272 E 147 09.645  
Cobbler Lake Hut S37 2.96 E146 37.55 D Sisson
Cope Hut S36 54.395 E147 17.552 O Moon
Craigs Hut S37 6.47 E146 31.94 Sisson
CRB (Country Roads Board) - Standing Ruin S37 00.101 E147 06.022 O Moon
Diamantina S36 58.589 E147 07.313 O Moon
Dinner Plain S37 01.246 E147 14.208 O Moon
Evans Creek Hut    
Frascas Dam Hut    
Fry's Hut S37 11.75 E146 19.79 D Sisson
Gardners Hut S37 11.53 E146 22.68 D Sisson
Geelong Grammar School Hut S37 7.45 E146 30.06 D Sisson
Howqua Gap Hut S37 8.66 E146 29.43 D Sisson
JB Plain S37 01.396 E147 13.304 O Moon
Keep Dry Hut S37 7.77 E146 29.81  
King River Hut S37 5.28 E146 34.31  
King Saddle Hut S37 6.34 E146 28.50  
Lovick's Hut S37 12.41 E146 34.60  
Mitchell's Homestead S37 18.04 E146 21.67  
Mount No.3 Hut S37 3.75 E146 25.03  
Noonan's Hut    
Pickerings Hut    
Pikes Flat Hut S37 10.84 E146 30.74  
Purcell's Hut Pannican Hut S37 4.88 E146 28.67  
Razorback Hut (Purcell's Hut) S37 6.24 E146 27.88  
Ritchie's Hut S37.11.798 E146.28.447 CORRECTED
Ryans Hut Bullocks S36 55.21 E146 26.73  
Spargos Hut S 36 58.912 E 147 09.778  
Stockman's Hut    
Stockyard Ck Hut    
Tomahawk Hut S37 2.42 E146 24.66  
Top Crossing Hut    
Upper Jamieson Hut S37 15.45 E146 26.90  
Vallejo Gantner Hut S37 10.32 E146 40.22  
Wheeler Creek Hut S36 32.805 E147 52.629 A Russo
Wires Plain (XC Ski Shelter)    

Download Page (members only)

 

 

Ground-truthing - Physical Remains of the old maps.

One of the many historical projects currently being undertaken by KHA invovles checking the the old maps of what is now Kosciuszko Park against what can still be physically seen on the ground. This process is formally know as "Ground-truthing".

Craig Doubleday has been plugging away since 2007 as a part of this effort locating signs of the original Kosciuszko road. This road was last used in 1909, 101 years ago. Below is a part of a progress report. The complete report includes photos 3 GPS data files which will hopefully be made publicly available on completion of Craig's project.
The report is an example of how, with patience and perserverance, it is still possible to locate and record old sites and tracks. Any reader interested in joining the ground truthing team is welcome to contact Graham Scully to talk over possible involvement.



Craig Doubleday's Report - Extracts

I'll discuss these (the photographs) first, as they are more interesting than a faint groove in the snowgrass.

One of my first finds was a hut site on the western edge of Boggy Plain. From memory this was shown on one of the old snow lease maps..... However on the ground there is a definite flattened area where the floor was, and some stones for the fireplace. There are pieces of lead and some timber remains hidden in the grass. Continuing west, the next point of interest is some gold workings on Little Diggers Creek. They are alluvial workings and are quite high up.

I've included the photos of a couple of typical sections of track, but one piece I must point out is a stone retaining wall located to the west of Pretty Point. It is only 40-50cm high, but is the highest structure I've found so far on the track. The wall has been built to get the road over a small depression in the track. I stumbled across this wall completely by accident late one afternoon whilst heading back to my car after a long day of searching.

Perhaps my favourite find so far is an old stone fireplace, located SE of Smiggin Holes. It's about 20m off the old road, and stands about 80cm tall. It is located near a large boulder, but I couldn't detect any traces of a structure that may have been nearby. I suspect it was merely a campsite or stopping place along the old road.

At a Botheram Plain workparty a couple of years ago Henry Willis mentioned to me that there was an old dam near Betts Camp . I've attached a photo of it. As you can see it's built of stones cemented together, and presumably would have supplied running water to the hut itself.

Finally, there are two points of interest along the new road that thousands of tourists march past each year. They are old milestones, at 2 & 3 miles from the summit.

Now, onto the road itself. As I may have mentioned to you both in the past, the track has been benched in places, whilst in boggy sections the ground has been built up. Generally the track sticks close to the crest of the range at the saddles (where the boggy ground is), but deviates around the edges of some of the smaller hills. The attached photos give you an idea of the more evident pieces of track, but I must warn you that 95% of the track is very hard to spot. Often the only way to confirm that you are on the track is to keep locating disturbance in a generally straight line; there must be countless times that I have crossed over the track at right angles without noticing its existence. Absolute confirmation of the tracks location can usually be obtained where it crosses boggy ground or small creeks, where built up sections and rocks make it visible.

Also note that as the track is quite old, some of my sightings may not be 100% reliable. For example, the section to the NE of Pretty Point I traced back in December 2007 and was quite confident of, yet in March when I rewalked this section I was struggling to find traces of it. Another section I am dubious about is some sightings I made to the west of Betts Camp, up towards the Stilwell Restaurant.

As to the future, I'd like to get a bit more of an idea as to the location of the road before doing much more searching. In particular I'd like to gain a better idea of where it went to the west of Betts Camp. Once armed with some more information it will enable targeting of some new sections of the road, and hopefully will result in more waypoints. Ultimately I would love to run a 2-3 day walk along the entire length of the road, but this can't happen until more sections have been located.

At this stage it looks unlikely that I will be able to spend more time searching for this road until early next year, so there is no rush for additional research. One item that may be very useful is if higher resolution aerial photography is publicly released for the Snowy Mountains. One of the online mapping companies (http://www.nearmap.com ) has amazingly clear imagery over Central Victoria, and I am certain that if such imagery was available for the Main Range the old road would be visible in many places. Even with the relatively poor quality of the Google Earth imagery I was able to identify a section of track west of Pretty Point, which I then confirmed on the ground.


.... Hopefully we can identify likely areas to search for the remaining sections of track. The perfectionist in me would to see the entire route accurately located before I'm willing to call this project complete.

Regards,

Craig Doubleday

 

Note by Narelle Irvine: I have been attempting to obtain (for free) high-resolution satellite imagery of the Park. I can only get 25 square kilometrers for free, and the park is about 7000 square kilometres!

Cost of decent satellite imagery over the Park would run into the thousands of dollars.

Using a GPS Receiver with topographic maps

GPS receivers are great for telling you where you are, especially if you have been to the spot before and are simply returning, of if you have been given the coordinates by someone else.

However, plotting a GPS position on a topographic map is not as easy at it could be, mostly because there is a tendency to use the wrong units.

GDA 94

The first and most important thing you must do with your GPS receiver is to choose the right datum point, or starting point, from which your GPS will calculate your position.

The whole business of datums in Australia, as elsewhere, is confusing, partly because of the similarity of the acronyms being used, and partly because the Australian datum has recently been updated. The new Australian datum to use is GDA 94, and all new topographic maps in Australia are using this standard. The acronym stands for Geocentric Datum of Australia. However, many older GPS receivers do not have GDA 94 included in their list of datums. Fortunately GDA 94 is virtually identical to WGS 84 (WGS stands for World Geodetic System).

Set your GPS receiver to either GDA 94 or WGS 84 and leave it there.

Lat/Long

For some reason, most GPS receivers have the default setting for reporting the position in latitude and longitude. This being the standard ‘navigating’ format, it satisfies the majority of users that they are now truly ‘navigating’, even if they don’t fully understand the system.

Within the lat/long notation there is a further divide: while traditionally one used degrees, minutes and seconds of arc to describe a position, modern usage also allows decimal degrees, and degrees and decimal minutes :

degrees, minutes & seconds of arc S 35° 55’47.1”, E 148°28’42.1”

decimal degrees S 35.92976°, E 148.47835°

degrees & decimal minutes S 35° 55.786’, E 148° 28.701’

All of the above positions describe the same spot - Four Mile Hut, SE of Mt Selwyn in NSW.

Quite apart from the possible confusion caused by different formatting, lat/long positions are very hard to transcribe to a topographic map because the grid shown is of a totally different system, and because of the difficult mathematics involved in minutes and seconds of arc.

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)

The grid system shown on all Australian Topographic maps is UTM. In fact, as the name suggests, most topographic maps around the world use UTM, though the name is often different.

The same position (Four Mile Hut) described in UTM is Zone 55H E 0633363, N 6022832, though most GPS receivers leave out the E & N.

Using UTM the world is divided in into rectangles, each with a letter and a number. The rectangles are unequal in size, due to the fact that the projection from a globe to a flat map with relative angles and distances reasonably accurate requires distortion.

North-South, the globe is divided into 23 zones, which are each allocated a letter of the alphabet, and east-west into zones of 6° of arc, each allocated a number between 1 & 60. This is far more complicated that the general map-reader needs to know, but a full account can be read at http://www.uwgb.edu/DutchS/FieldMethods/UTMSystem.htm

You’ll note that in our example, Four Mile Hut, and much of southern NSW and northern Victoria, lies in zone 55H.

The figures following the zone number describe the distance from the SW corner of that zone, the first seven figures being the distance east of that point, the second seven being the distance north of the SW corner.

Somewhere on the map you will find a set of boxes telling you all about the position of the particular map in relation to the rest of the world, but if you set your GPS units to UTM (often described as UTM/UPS) you can almost forget about that, because the reading will give you that relativity.

Let’s take the Four Mile Hut position 55H E 0633363, N 6022832.

55H describes the zone.

Now look carefully at the Eastings, the numbers along the top and bottom of the map (which are identical): on the edge of the map beneath the spot on the map where Four Mile Hut is you’ll see a very tiny 6, followed by the bigger numbers 30. These three numbers, 633, should really have another 0 before them to read 0633 (I’m not sure why this convention is followed, but if the first figure is 0, it is generally left off). That tells you that the spot we want is somewhere in the grid square 0633.

Apply the same logic to the Northings, reading the numbers running up the left and right sides of the map – Four Mile Hut lies in the 1000m square 6022.

Mentally divide the square into ten parts eastings and read the position of the hut (3), and the same with the Northings (8).

Now, if you already know about grid references, you’ll know that we normally pinpoint a spot with a six figure reference, the first three numbers being read from left to right, and the second three from bottom to top.

To cut a long story short, in practise you can look at your GPS reading, ignore the first two and the last two of each seven-figure set, which leaves you with two sets of 3-figure numbers… the ones you would normally use for a grid reference.

In the case of Four Mile hut, 55h E 0633363, N 6022832.

See what I mean?

The 55H and the first two numbers simply specify the map that should be used. The last two numbers, interestingly, refine the position way beyond the reach of a printed map, bringing the accuracy down to 1 metre, far more accurate than we could measure on a 1:25,000 map.

The Shape of things

It’s only recently that we have begun to realise that our old view of the shape of the Earth was somewhat inaccurate. In fact, you’ll find a considerable discrepancy between positions plotted on the very latest series of Australian maps, and those more than ten years old.

You’ll find that the old maps are roughly 200 metres out. However, you should understand that they are only inaccurate from the point of view of an outside measuring device: something like a GPS.

Fortunately, the discrepancy is, in local terms, the same everywhere. If you plot a true GPS position on an old map, you’ll find that it puts, for instance, Four Mile Hut nearly 200 metres NE of the position on the map. In wooded country or at night this could be a problem, but generally 200 metres isn’t going to make a huge difference.

Conversely, if you are using a position taken from the old series maps, a GPS reading will put you two hundred meters to the SW. of the real position, so from the GPS position, go roughly 200m to the N.E. to get to the map position.

Summary

If you use your GPS receiver mostly to navigate with the aid of Australian topographic maps, set your machine  datum to either GDA 94 or WGS84 and set the units to UTM, and leave it there… you’ll have no more trouble.

And finally, if you’re using an old map, your GPS will take you to a position around 200 metres NE of the spot marked on the map… it’s the map which is wrong, not the GPS.

Conversely, if you are using a position taken from the old series maps, a GPS reading will put you roughly two hundred meters to the SW of the real position, so from the GPS position, go roughly 200m to the N.E. to get to the map position.

 

© Michel Dignand 2007



Michel Dignand studied celestial navigation in the mid 1960s, and has used most available navigating systems in ocean sailing and other outdoor pursuits for more than 45 years.

The Australian Government publication ‘Map Reading Guide – How to Use Topographic Maps’ not only discusses this subject (though not as comprehensively as in this article) but also includes much valuable information about using topographic maps.

 

 

 

Topographic Maps

This series of maps have been created from Geoscience Australia datasets.

Layers can be turned on and off using the "Layers" symbol on the left hand side, underneath the "Pages" symbol.

Maps are georeferenced. Using the Geospatial Tool, coordinates for a location can be obtained.

They are designed to printed on A2 paper.

For printing on an A4 page, you have two options:

Print the whole document on one page (very small print!)

Download the PDF and open with Acrobat Reader.  Then use the "Snapshot" tool to select an area, then click the right mouse button and select "Print". There should be an option in the print screen to "fit Image to page".

Maps:

North Kosciuszko and Namadgi National Parks (2.9MB)

Central Kosciuszko National Park (2.7MB)

South Kosciuszko National Park (2.9MB)

 


Exploring GPS - NSW Dept of Lands

Comprehensive guide to the technology of GPS, purchsing a GPS receiver, and how to use it.

Published by NSW Department of Lands.

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