About Johnston’s Hut
Johnston’s (Telemark) Hut is located on the 1620m contour line at the foot of Mt. Nelse, (shown on the Bogong High Plains map at GR312217) on the northern lip of the Bogong High Plains. The Hut may be accessed from Falls Creek via Heathy Spur or Watchbed Creek, or can be approached from Shannonvale, just off the Omeo Highway near Glenn Valley. The Falls Creek trip is much easier, and is recommended for less competent skiers.The Hut consists of two sections; one locked, the other unlocked. The locked section sleeps ten; four in bunks downstairs and six on mattresses on the mezzanine. Pillows are provided, but guests must supply sleeping bags and pillowslips. The locked section features gas lighting, gas stove and oven, wood heater, running water, shower, table and seats, and a food cupboard stocked with basic condiments and emergency food. The unlocked section is provided as an emergency shelter only. It has a potbelly stove, emergency food, one bunk and one spare mattress, and a fold down table which doubles as an additional bed. Water is available from the nearby creek. There is a long-drop toilet available. The Ski Clubs of East Gippsland and Wangaratta are jointly responsible for the care of the hut and it’s surrounds.
Please note: Johnstons Hut does not have direct access via vehicle at any time. The Johnstons Hut / Parks Vic access track has a locked gate approximately 4km from the hut. From this point you will have to proceed on foot carrying all of your required provisions.
Summer - leave your vehicle at the locked gate and proceed on foot. Please do not park directly on the track in front of the gate as you will block access by emergency and park management vehicles.
Winter - seek advice from Robin Gibb (email contact as below) or Parks Vic before your trip, as appropriate vehicle parking can vary depending on snow levels.
Booking Johnston's Hut
Johnston's Hut is fully booked until the end of September 2022 and the waitlist is over-subscribed.
Entry into the ballot for the hut during winter 2023 is via email and the ballot for next season opens Easter 2023. No early booking requests are available for June-September 2023; the ballot will open over Easter and winter accomodation will be allocated by the Johnston's Hut Booking Officer prior to June.
Please fill in booking form (download below) with payment details and return to:
Johnson’s Hut Bookings
PO Box 520
Bairnsdale Vic 3875
COST: $75.00 per night (for the entire hut). The key may be collected from either of these locations. Please contact a week before your arrival date to arrange key pick up:
Arrival and Departure instructions
Please refer to information on booking form
History of the Hut
The original hut was built by Mr George FitzGerald of Shannonvale for the Johnston’s of Tongio in 1925. Johnson’s grazed sheep on the High Plains during the summer until 1946. The hut was then sold to a group of local graziers who called themselves the Telemark Ski Club. They added a floor, vestibule and outside shower – it became a very smart hut!
The Ski Club of East Gippsland bought the hut in 1963 and further renovations took place; windows and a kitchen sink were added and the hut was braced with wire. It had developed a noticeable lean from the snow on the NW wall. It became known as the “Telemark Hut” in honour of it’s previous owners.
The old hut was destroyed by fire on Monday 17th May 1976. The cause of the fire is unknown and the debris yielded no clues. It was decided at a Club meeting the following Saturday to rebuild the hut as quickly as possible and members immediately began to design a replacement as close as possible to the original hut. permission was obtained from the necessary authorities and Alpine Ash in Bairnsdale was commissioned to build a prefabricated hut that could be easily transported to the site.
Reconstruction was scheduled for the weekend 28-30 May, using Club members as voluntary labour. The first group arrived on Thursday afternoon and cleared the site; on Friday they put in stumps, bearers etc and laid the floor. The pre-fab building arrived late on Friday on two tandem trailers with a fresh group of volunteers. The walls and roof were quickly erected on saturday morning and the remainder of Saturday and Sunday morning were spent cladding the hut and fitting out the inside.
In Addition to the 25 Club members who worked on the site, a group of enthusiasts from Wangaratta Ski Club arrived on Saturday.
By Sunday afternoon, the hut was completed and ready to provide winter accommodation once again. Fortunately, the weather remained fine throughout reconstruction.
The New Telemark Hut was officially opened on the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, June 1976. Today, the hut is known as Johnston Hut, Johnston’s Hut or Telemark Hut.
(from the Club Archives)