Historical information

George Shirling arrived in Falls Creek in 1962. He engaged Phil Nowell to build the original Koki Alpine Lodge which opened in 1965 with 14 beds. George operated the lodge with Michael “Baldy” Blackwell as manager.
He also graduated in sport psychology in 1981 and was invited to become team psychologist for the Australian Winter Olympic team which went to Albertville, France, in 1992. He later owned the Red Onion Chalet.
George credited the success of Koki to “Baldy” Blackwell. “Baldy” and Phil Nowell started the Trackers Mountain Lodge in partnership during the 1980s.
In 1971 George sold Koki Lodge to Sigh Doerr. In 2024 the renamed Koki Alpine resort remains a highly popular destination in Falls Creek operated by Doerr Nominees Pty. Ltd. under the management of Vesna Sugden.

George Shirling passed away in March 2023. He had remained actively involved in Falls Creek and was generous with his time and knowledge, always an amazing supporter of The Falls Creek Museum and Falls Creek Village.


This photo is significant because it captures an image of two pioneers of pioneers and active members of Falls Creek Village.

Physical description

A black and white image of George Shirling and Michael "Baldy" Blackwell on the Koki Skidoo,

Inscriptions & markings

On the front of the skidoo: Koki Alpine Lodge