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Club History

It all started in 1969 with a chance meeting in a university cafeteria between a civil engineer and a construction specialist both of whom were passionate about skiing – all the ingredients for building a lodge in the snow … except the finances.

So they roped in a number of other similarly passionate skiers who had decided living out the back of a station wagon when going to the snow was becoming tiresome.

Davenport (Big D) 1970s

Together they were successful in obtaining a leasehold in the premium Davenport sub-development and commenced building Wongungarra Lodge on Boxing Day 1969 achieving a liveable state of completion before the 1970 snow season. Of course back then there was only an old oil heater in the basement with a central heating ‘chimney’ running up into the lounge area – there was no heating in the bedrooms other than who you could find.

Original Wongungarra Lodge, 1973

And so began the journey to build what is now one of the premier lodges at Mt Hotham.

Along the way there have been many memorable moments, from old Valliant’s and Kingswood’s bashing their way unceremoniously through snow-drifts on the way up the muddy, narrow track that sometimes passed as a road; to the legendary wild weekend rollicks (ask/bribe some of the members for the stories).

But ultimately it was about the skiing. Check out some of the photos around Mt Hotham in times gone by….

<= Davenport (Big D) poma in the 1970's

This is back before the comfort of chairlifts, when T-bars were the latest, and Pomas were the norm.


Brockhoff poma (Heavenly Valley) =>

Another Poma, since replaced by the Heavenly Valley chairlift. The poma line can still be seen today running down the ridge line separating Slalom and Snake Gullys.

If you have some photo's you would like to contribute, please contact us as we're building an archive section on the web site.

Wongungarra Alpine Ski Club is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting snow sports and the Mt Hotham alpine region.

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