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New picnic shelter infrastructure gives Mount Hotham a sense of arrival

New picnic shelter infrastructure gives Mount Hotham a sense of arrival

Alpine-inspired picnic shelters are being erected to allow guests to enjoy some of the best alpine views and environment Mount Hotham has to offer and to give the Resort a better sense of arrival.

Two picnic shelters have already been built at the Dargo lookout and Brandy Creek with a third one recently constructed at Big Spur. These shelters have proven to be effective with visitors utilising the area frequently.

Mount Hotham’s Cultural Heritage and Tracks & Trails Officer Andrew Swift said that it was important to be able to communicate the history and let people know the historic significance of these areas and how they shaped Mount Hotham.

“It’s more than just a picnic shelter, it’s a place where you can learn a little bit about the history and other stuff,” Mr Swift said.

“So as people are eating their picnic they can read about the different things that went on in the gold mining period.

 “The plan is with these picnic shelters, once I get a bit of a budget I will put information signs and stuff in here so people can read history while they have their lunch and we put the QR codes in there and tie them back to the digital tour guide,” Mr Swift said.

The Brandy Creek picnic shelter was the first to be built in the 2015-16 green season and has its own area history information board which was design by Mr Swift.

Visitors can drive to the picnic shelter and sit in a shady alpine environment and the kids can read the history and look at the illustrations.

“We put the first one in Brandy Creek last year and another recently at Dargo lookout.  The boys are putting another one up on Big Spur Lookout and we will have a fourth picnic shelter going up the top of Mt Higginbotham which will be a short walk to Corral Carpark,” he said.

Mr Swift said the picnic tables had been built to reflect the ambience of early mining infrastructure and have been constructed out of metal and steel, shaped like a snow gum, and with heavy riveted steel plate similar to old mining structures.

 “Its all about big bulky timbers braced with big steel brackets and bolts and so its long lasting and reflects the history of the area and compliments the landscape quite nicely.

“In all the reconstruction pictures, I draw pictures of dogs and kids love them, it’s really important to keep the kids interested.”

The picnic shelters are described by Mr Swift as “magnet infrastructure” which allows for a sense of arrival to a place.

“We built the walking tracks, but now we need to let people know they are here and make it safe for them.

“Some people don’t quite get if they have arrived at a destination or not and sometimes we have a great view because there are no trees so we put in a picnic shelter.

“We have put in about 100 track mark posts out there at every intersection so people know which way to go and to reinforce which track they are on.

“We have built about five trailhead shelters and we are putting in another four or five trailheads shelters this year, all built out of cypress timber wood,” he said.

23 February 2017