Historical information

In the mid to late 1930’s survey outposts were established to plot the early stages of the Kiewa Hydro Electric System for the SECV in the Bogong High Plains. Before any roads were built, the old cattleman’s tracks were used with packhorses to deliver supplies, wages and mail and collect timesheets and correspondence from the workmen and dam builders living in canvas tents and at the outlying survey posts. The trip up the mountain was long and hard and dangerous for both horse and man Most of the men of the survey teams were not bush-men and were often ill equipped for the harsh weather and living conditions of bush camping, often arriving in their city clothes ready for work. The tent city at Bogong was destroyed by bush fires in 1939 after which an access road was built from Mt Beauty to transport building materials for more permanent dwellings for workmen. Pack horses continued to be used for transporting goods etc. to workers further up the mountain.


Without the work of horsemen and their pack horses providing supplies and communications for outlying outposts, surveying and early planning for the Kiewa Valley Hydro Electric scheme could not have gone ahead and the dams and power stations which support the system could not have been constructed. The Hydro-electric scheme, and the workers who planned and built it play a major part in the early history of the Kiewa Valley and many original families still remain living, or have ties with the local area.

Physical description

: Set of 21 black and white photographs and copies of photographs depicting the pack horses and the men who handled them, transporting supplies and correspondence to the outlying camps and survey posts in the Bogong High Plains, via the rough cattlemen’s tracks. Photographs also show the early tent camps of the workers. Some photos mounted on A4 white paper. Some photos enlarged to A3 poster size for display

Inscriptions & markings

1. Handwritten on back – Max Lawrence
2. -8 No inscriptions
9. Handwritten on back- Packing in supplies for early workers of the Kiewa Hydro scheme. There were no roads in the early days of the scheme
10. Printed on bottom of photo- Roper’s cattle on road below Howman’s Gap
11. Handwritten on back – Roper’s et al about to leave for the high plains
12. Printed under photo- Syd Ryder at the Pretty Valley Cut-Out (JBR)
13-16. No markings
17. Printed under photo- Gwen Talbot visits the Camp area. 1937
18. Handwritten on back- 14/1 Barbara Talbot
19. No markings
20-21. No markings
22. Printed under photo- STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA. Date: 15-3-45 Time:
8.0pm No: K 1838 Kiewa Hydro-Electric Works, Investigations 1944-1945 – Survey Camp at
Young’s Hut