New life for an old hut

A PIECE of Canberra history lives again, now that the remains of  one of the region’s old wooden slab huts have been rescued from a shipping container and made into a new interactive display.

The new "Gudgenby in a box" exhibit at Namadgi Visitors Centre.

The new “Gudgenby in a box” exhibit at Namadgi Visitors Centre.

Gudgenby Homestead was built in 1845 in what is now Namadgi National Park, and has sat in storage since it was pulled down in 1964.

But now, parts of the hut have been used to build the new “Gudgenby in a box” display, described as an “interpretive shelter” by ACT Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, who unveiled the project today.

Its earthen walls mimic a popular construction method used by local settlers, but also have a modern touch with “QR codes” embedded  in them. Scanning the codes on a smart phone reveals the exact locations of other pre-1913 buildings on Google maps.

Rangers used traditional methods to build a facade from the original slabs and frames of the hut.

“The salvaged materials of the early hut have not only have been reconstructed, but made into a learning experience through interpretive panels and oral histories that evoke the lives and stories of early settlers,” Mr Corbell explained.

The “Gudgenby in a box” is located a short walk from the Namadgi Visitors Centre.

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