An exact replica of a hundred-year-old mountain hut on the shores of Lake Mackenzie has been officially opened.
The Sandy Lake Hut was first built in 1903, and after more than a hundred years, a near-perfect replica has been constructed close by its original site by the Mountain Huts Preservation Society of Tasmania.
The official opening of the new hut was on April 7, celebrated by Meander Valley Council mayor Craig Perkins and more than 250 other people who made the trek in from Lake Mackenzie Dam.
Deep in the heart of the Chudleigh Lakes region, the Sandy Lake hut was originally built by the Northern Tasmanian Fisheries and Tourist Associations.
Hit by weather, fire, and vandals, the original hut eventually was submerged by Lake Mackenzie in the late 1960s.
The Mountain Huts Preservation Society set about finding a new location for a restored Sandy Lake Hut in 2012, and have been working ever since to create a new hut to provide shelter for bushwalkers, fishermen and explorers.
Secretary Ian Hayes said the society has been rebuilding old bush huts for 30 years, with the Sandy Lake hut one of a trio of huts restored in the region.
He said rebuilding the huts was a passion project for the dedicated society members.
“A lot of our members have a connection a family connection in some way or a childhood memory or whatever, most of us are passionate about the history,” he said.
“It’s not just the building, it’s the history attached.”
The long restoration project had faced numerous issues, with major bushfires coming close to burning out the restored hut, followed by floods denying the society access for months.
Paperwork and approvals also took time, with Mr Hayes noting the support of Parks and Wildife in the reconstruction of the hut.
“We’ve had materials transported by boat, we had the opportunity for a few airlifts with Parks and Wildlife assistance,” he said.
“We had very early photographs and explanations of the building, there were some old heritage photos we’ve got it very, very close to the original specifications.”
The new Sandy Lake Hut is permanently open to the public.