The History Of Muniong

Early Lodge

Lodge with New Deck

In late 1958, Qantas staff from practically every branch of airline operations, some with local, some with overseas, and some with no skiing experience, decided to form a snow ski club. They established a committee to create the Club and soon became aware, that if they were to succeed, they would need some members with talents that were not readily available within Qantas. They scoured through their friends for potential members with the appropriate skills, and to stimulate interest, organised a number of weekend trips to various snowfield areas in mid 1959.

In mid 1959, there were sufficient Qantas and other members to form a reasonably viable ski club with one of those members being an architect who subsequently designed and helped to supervise the construction of the ski lodge. The Qantas Board of Directors approved the request from the club to use of the name Qantas Ski Club (QSC), and the use of an emblem of “the Qantas flying kangaroo on skis”.

Meetings were held with The Kosciusko State Park Trust that directly controlled allocation of sites and construction of buildings in Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes and most ski-able areas in The Kosciusko State Park. It became clear that the “informal” Qantas Ski Club was not going to comply with the regulatory requirements, nor meet the costs involved in obtaining a site and building a ski lodge in the park. In late 1959, a concerted membership drive was undertaken both inside and outside Qantas, with the end result being that membership and the officers of the Club became dominantly non-Qantas.

The next step was to comply with the regulatory requirements of The KSP Trust with, firstly, registration of QSC as its own legal entity. This required approval by the Qantas Board of Directors for use of the name “Qantas” in that registration. This was understandably denied and they also withdrew their previous approval for the name Qantas Ski Club. However they did not withdraw approval for the use by the club of the emblem of “the flying kangaroo on skis”.

As most of the formative details of the Club had been finalised, including the design of the lodge, the Club was then registered as Muniong Ski Club Limited. The Inaugural General Meeting of the Club was held on Monday, 20th March, 1961 and a start made on the prefabrication of the steel and timber components of the lodge at a welding shop in Gordon on Saturday, 25th March, 1961.

Front Entrance at the Front!

Front Entrance at the Front!

In late 1959, most of the newer members were family groups, which placed major emphasis on the need for reasonable access to the proposed lodge. This concentrated attention on Smiggin Holes, which was then “the end of the road in winter – other than by skiing, the only access to Perisher Valley, Betts Camp and Charlottes Pass was over-snow transport”, which was not considered very family accessible. Lodge Site 37 was chosen on the southern side of the Smiggins Valley as a site with tremendous aesthetic value as well as access to a water supply from an adjacent creek, as at that time, there was no water supply to any lodge site in the Valley. It was also the highest site, so it would provide “out of the door” access to present and any future ski lifts and would “hopefully” be the most remote site from any of the already proposed “additions” to the Valley. The disadvantages were that it was one of the most rugged sites in the Valley and was also the furthest from the winter end of Kosciusko Road, but was still seen as family friendly.

The ridge on which the chosen Site 37 was located had the name Muniong as the anglicised version of its Aboriginal name, so it seemed appropriate that the new name of the Club should be Muniong Ski Club. There have been many suggested meanings for Muniong but none have ever been substantiated.

Leave a Reply