When we talk of mythical huts, it’s simply that, a mystique, an aura of light and of smell, of visual delight and brooding landscape. No other hut epitomises this mystique as deeply as Reg Wadley’s hut.
Picture a slice out of the wilderness; like a blade cut through the heart of a temperate rainforest, a grassy field appears from what seems like no-where. Its spongy and fair grass is like a godsend to the bare, white, pruneish and weary hikers foot. Dull and peachy light breaks its way through the clouds, beaming on the ridge lines above. The scent of fire trickles through the air as the billy boils, sounds of the Mersey River filter up to the hut as is snakes its way through the deep and secluded valley. Like no-where else, feelings of those past and present enter one's mind, the openness of a landscape, a vestige of aboriginal burning practices, absorbed and continued by those custodians of the present day. Glaucous greens of the valley contrast the silver wattles to the dark myrtles, one's eyes struggle to adjust to the colours, almost unreal, unseen, a shake of the head reveals it's all too true.
To think the mighty Overland track winds its path only kilometres away, a comparable highway to the route into Wadley's, the air and mystery of Reg Wadley's is reserved only for those fortunate few whom walk the path least travelled. A timeless journey, as you turn the corner from Lees paddock, tall myrtles filter the light from above, a well trodden path dusted with the finest of leaf littler guides the way.
Being in this place calms the frenetic pace of life. Small tasks become extremely rewarding, thoughts to large-scale life diminish and grand plans boil down like tealeaves in the billy. Contentment in cutting and stacking wood in lieu of a storm, peeling potatoes for the nights meal and building the coals for a hearty dinner. Time to write, time to read and time to think. There’s enough time to gain perspective and weigh up thoughts about your next cup of tea.
Built in 1985 with the foresight of Judy Kilby in memory of her father Reg Wadley, the hut stands as a memorial to Reg, a good mate of Lewis Lee and original owner of the top paddocks. The history of high country cattle grazing and droving lives here. You can smell it in the air, feel it in the waters, its really is the beating heart of these traditions.
The mystique, traditions and history of places like Wadleys hut are not for those people who simply desire to take advantage. These places deserve a huge amount of respect and for those who choose to go there, it should only be on the credence of those custodians who hold the values true. When we crave the wilderness, when we seek the environs that truly connect us with place, we look no further than places like this. Love, passion and respect lives here.