Kosciuszko National Park Post-Bushfire Hut Rebuild | Part 2: Delanys Hut
Nestled amongst a clearing of native bushland, just down the road from Sawyers Hut, sits Delanys Hut. The hut is one of 11 huts to be rebuilt following the devastating January 2020 bushfires. Today, the hut stands proud thanks to the incredible efforts of NSW National Parks, the Kosciuszko Huts Association, family descendants and volunteers. Delanys Hut was built in 1910 by pioneer pastoralist James Thomas Delany for grazing purposes. The hut was burnt in the 2003 bushfires and restored in 2007, before burning again in the January 2020 bushfire disaster. Delanys Hut was officially reopened after its restoration for the second time in April 2023.
Paul Delaney, a descendant of the hut’s namesake, James Thomas Delany, was the caretaker of the hut before its destruction in January 2020. Paul has worked closely with NPWS staff Roger Rosenboom and Peter Dow to ensure the hut is restored with close consideration of its historic state. The hut was built in 1910 to be used as a shelter while moving cattle up into the high country for grazing in Summer. Today, it’s a rest stop and picnic area for those travelling through Kosciuszko National Park on the Snowy Mountains Highway.
As with all the huts to be rebuilt, the reconstruction is not merely about rebuilding structures, it is a meticulous blend of tradition and innovation. Modern techniques, such as steel subframes, concrete footings and fire-retardant-treated timbers are seamlessly integrated into the historic facade. These techniques ensure longevity and better resistance to natural disasters while staying true to the beloved shape and size of the huts. Additionally, traditional woodworking techniques such as using a maul and froe, ensure the traditions and skills needed to maintain and build these historic structures are not lost over time.
The hut rebuild program is coordinated by project officer Megan Bowden and made physically possible by National Parks builder Roger Rosenboom and Field Officer Peter Dow. Megan, Roger and Peter are employed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and were also involved in the rebuild of Delanys Hut after the 2003 fires, along with Broken Dam Hut, Sawyers Hut and Brooks Hut. With over 70 huts spread across Kosciuszko National Park, each with a unique story and construction, the restoration project aims to recreate the physical structures while keeping the social connections and heritage alive.
The rebuild of the 11 Kosciuszko huts that succumbed to the January 2020 bushfires is a testament to the dedication and partnership among the various stakeholders involved. These stakeholders have succeeded in adhering closely to historical details, transferring time-honoured construction techniques and integrating measures to resist fire, preserving the huts for forthcoming generations.
Huts to be rebuilt:
- Rest House at Sawyers Hill/Sawyers Hut
- Harveys Hut/Tantangara
- Four Mile
- Fifteen Mile/Linesmans
- Round Mountain
For more information on the Huts in Kosciuszko or to get involved with the rebuild, visit the Kosciuszko Huts Association here.
Tom's Outdoors would like to thank:
Megan Bowden for her ongoing support in the making of this series
Roger Rosenboom and Peter Dow
Paul Delaney and family
Gerard and Karen Delany and family
Kosciuszko Huts Association and its members
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Tumut & District Bushwalkers and all other volunteers
Ian Brown and Michelle J Photography
Filmed and edited: