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Gustav Weindorfer (1874-1932) and Kate Weindorfer (1864-1916) Gustav Weindorfer was born in Austria and arrived in Australia in 1900. Kate Cowle was born in Tasmania's Fingal Valley, between the east coast and Ben Lomond. Kate and Gustav were keen bushwalkers and were also interested in botany, music and singing. They married in 1906 and worked on Kate's brother's farm at Kindred, about 21km (12 miles) south of Ulverstone until they could afford their own farm. In 1909 Gustav and a friend camped and walked in the area of Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain and were spellbound by the beauty of the terrain, the lakes and the vegetation. In January 1910 both the Weindorfers and some friends returned to Cradle Mountain to climb it. The Weindorfers fell in love with Cradle Mountain and began to lobby the government to improve road access and protect the area as a park. They built 'Waldheim' ('forest home') and opened it as a tourist resort in 1912. When Kate died Gustav lived on the mountain for another 16 years, becoming something of a legend. In 1922 the area from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair was proclaimed a scenic reserve. A replica of Waldheim chalet was built in 1976 using similar techniques and materials as the original.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|