Historical information

In 1947 a determined group of like-minded State Electricity Commission (SEC) staff including Ray Meyer, the chief surveyor of the Kiewa Hydro-Electric Scheme, had a common interest that revolved around the skiing potential of the snow-covered high plains which included what is now the resort of Falls Creek.
The six SEC employees, Toni St Elmo, Ray Meyer, Jack Minogue, Lloyd Dunn, Adrian Ruffenacht and Dave Gibson (together with their families) banded together to secretly build a 'hut' that was the first ski lodge at Falls Creek.

Using a road built in 1930s to gain access to Falls Creek, their hut project was carried out in secret as efforts by other skiers were blocked by H.H.C. Williams – the engineer in charge of the Hydro Scheme.
In 1946 Ray Meyer made a trip to the Lands Office in Melbourne. He came away with a 99-year lease on three acres that was ideally suited for a hut designed by Lloyd Dunn.
Adrian Ruffenacht (Design Engineer for the KHS) had suggested where the group should build because of easy access to a spring for water. Much of the building material required was scavenged from derelict huts on the high plains.
Due to the need for secrecy, the determined group worked on the hut in the evenings and weekends to avoid detection.

During the building period the group had met at Echidna Rock (now known as Eagle Rock) where Skippy St Elmo announced, "This is my favourite ‘Skyline’.”
And so the first lodge in the area at Falls Creek Ski Resort came into existence. With the development of the International Poma in the 1970s, the Skyline Lodge, which was sited between the ski-lift’s pole one and pole two, was demolished.
However, the legacy of Ray Meyer, Toni St Elmo, Jack Minogue, Lloyd Dunn, Adrian Ruffenacht and Dave Gibson and Skyline lives on in the vibrant atmosphere of Falls Creek Resort.

The MEYER COLLECTION documents developments on the Kiewa Hydro Scheme and their life at Falls Creek from the mid 1930s to 1960s.


These images are significant because they depict aspects of the life of a pioneering family of Falls Creek and the founders of "Skyline", the first lodge at Falls Creek.

Physical description

Two black and white images of John Meyer skiing near Wilkie and Basalt Hill, Bogong High Plains.
Wilkinson’s Hut (Wilkie) was built for the SEC in the summer of 1932-3 to accommodate the snow research program manager. The cottage was sited next to a hydro-meteorological station, set on stilts above the snow. It was not a refuge hut but a permanent residence for all of the year. The work carried out there included operation of a meteorological station at the cottage, measuring the snow depth and density along two pole lines, and operating stream gauging stations in the area. The engineers stationed there included Adrian Rufenacht (1934-6), and Norwegian Martin Romuld (1936-42) Romuld was a champion skier, constructing a ski-jump and a grass tennis court near the hut during his residency. Adrian was one of the founders of 'Skyline".

The hut was sold in 1948 to the Victorian Ski Club and renamed Wilkinson Lodge. Robert Wood Wilkinson, best known as 'Wilkie, was the 'Father figure' of Victorian skiing. Robert Wood Wilkinson died on May 22, 1939. The hut was resold some 12 years later to the Melbourne Bushwalkers club.
In 1983, the National Parks Service described the building as an old SEC hut which had been purchased and, afterwards, maintained and occupied solely by the Melbourne Bushwalking Club. Wilkie Hut survived the 2003 bushfires but burnt down one year later (January 2004) in a cooking accident.