The Huts Walk links three of Hotham’s significant historic huts, each which represent an important role which led to the development of Hotham Alpine Resort. These iconic huts include Spargo’s (gold mining), Derrick Hut (ski touring), and Silver Brumby Hut (representative of cattle grazing and as used in the film Silver Brumby).
The Huts Walk offers hikers a unique opportunity to experience some of the high country’s rarely seen significant natural and historic landscapes. Interpretive signs highlighting some of the remarkable history of this feature have been installed along the route. The walk also takes you through a range of natural landscapes, from shady and sparsely open forest to damp gullies and impressive waterfalls.
The Huts Walk can be done as a complete circuit or as individual sections suited to personal fitness levels or interests. The full circuit is 18km. There are options to shorten the walk by (1) making it a one way walk and omitting the final 2.8km along the Great Alpine Rd. A car shuffle or other pick up arrangements would be required for this option, and/or (2) not going to see Silver Brumby Hut (shortens walk by 2.8km).
The walk is accessible from the Great Alpine Road at the Loch Car Park or Davenport Access Track. Car parking is available at both these areas. At the southern, or Davenport Access Track end of the Huts Walk the track follows the Cobungra Ditch Walk for 1.8km (see Cobungra Ditch Track Notes). From the Ditch the track descends into Swindler’s Creek and makes a gradual steep accent up Golden Point Spur to Spargo’s Hut – this is the steepest section of the Huts Walk. The rest of the walk traverses the relatively open and flat high plains.
One of the oldest intact structures in the resort, this State Heritage registered building has been described as the Mawson’s Hut of the Australian Alps. It was built by prospector Bill Spargo and his brother Cecil in 1927-8 for Bill’s prospecting and mining activities in the Golden Point area. Bill was Superintendant of the Alpine Road for the Country Roads Board in the early 1920s and was influential in the establishment of Mt Hotham as a recreational skiing location. He later discovered the rich gold-bearing Red Robin reef on Machinery Spur in 1941. The hut is a survivor of the 1939 and 2003 bushfires.
Built as a day shelter for ski tourers by the Wangaratta Ski Club in 1967. This neat little timber hut is a memorial to Charles Derrick a cross country skier who died in 1965 in a blizzard whilst attempting to ski from Mt Bogong to Mt Hotham. Located on Dibbin’s (Swindler’s) Spur the hut is nestled in a sheltered hollow surrounded by ancient snowgums.
Silver Brumby Hut
The original Silver Brumby Hut was built in 1992 as a temporary film prop for the Australian film “The Silver Brumby”, based on the famous novel by Elyne Mitchell. The present hut was built in 2006-7 as a replica of the original. A joint project of the Rotary Club of Sale Central, East Gippsland Institute of Tafe, Tanderra Ski Club and the Mt Hotham Resort Management Board. Situated in the Plains of Heaven on Swindler’s Creek, the location is an ideal spot for a picnic lunch.
Getting to Mt Hotham
Option 1: Follow the Hume Freeway north past Benalla, turning off onto the B500 exit to ‘Beechworth/Bright’. Follow signs to Bright and continue through Bright To Harrietville and eventually Mt Hotham on the Great Alpine Road.
Option 2: Follow the M1/CityLink/Monash Freeway east towards Gippsland and continue on this road to Bairnsdale. In Bairnsdale follow signs to Omeo or Great Alpine Road which will take you north to Mt Hotham.
Getting to start of walk from Mt Hotham village
Walk starts at the Davenport Access Track which is opposite the Tanderra Ski Lodge on the Great Alpine Road. If done in reverse then the starting point is the Loch Reservoir and Carpark. Parking is available at both ends of the walk.
Max elevation: 1820 m
Min elevation: 1412 m
Total climbing: 928 m
Total descent: -928 m