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| SKIING | SNOWY SCHEME IMPACT | SNOW LEASES | THE COOPER SCANDAL |

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KIANDRA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Charter: To preserve and disseminate the human history of the Kiandra District

Kiandra 1898

Kiandra has a unique place in Australian history:

        * It was Australia's only snowbound gold mining village

        * It was the birthplace of skiing in Australia

For centuries before European settlement Aboriginal tribes gathered in the Kiandra (Giandara) district in summer to feed on bogong moths. When the first Europeans arrived early in the nineteenth century they used the high country for summer pasture for sheep and cattle - though stories abound of heavy losses of stock trapped by early snow-falls.

In 1859 the world came to Kiandra. By March 1860, 10,000 prospectors from all parts of the globe were scouring the district in search of gold. A timber village sprang up among the mud and slush of the Snowy River Diggings, as they were called, the Eucumbene River then being known as the Snowy River.

Within 18 months the rush had moved on, leaving only a few hundred diggers, including a substantial number of Chinese. Before it did the diggings were the scene of one of the most turbulent gold rushes in New South Wales. Dubbed Mount Rascal due to frequency of bushranging and robberies, there were anti-Chinese riots, while the antics of one of the most controversial Gold Commissioners in the colony led to a Parliamentary Inquiry.

In the winter of 1861 Scandinavian miners introduced snow shoeing (skiing) to Australia. Over the following years ski races were held annually on Township Hill at Kiandra and Australia's first ski club was established.

The later history of Kiandra includes the impact of the massive engineering feat of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme, before the town was absorbed into the Kosioscko National Park and turned into a ghost town. More recently the area has become renowned for its recreational fishing and bushwalking, while skiing has continued with the establishment of the Mount Selwyn Ski Resort.

This web site provides an opportunity for all facets of Kiandra's rich and varied history to be preserved and celebrated.


Last Updates

November 2006: Gallery updated with colour photos of 1980's ruins
- photographs taken by Col Croucher.

May 2009: Australian Alpine Snow Skiing History page added -on skiclubs page.

Content of this site Copyright © 2006
All rights reserved

Site design by Helen Walker and Hugh Capel
Unless indicated otherwise material on this site prepared by Hugh Capel

Reproduction/Publication of material from this site is encouraged.
For permission contact hughmoore at iinet.net.au

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