Weindorfer Memorial

Dec. 2, 2013

If you are planning to be near Cradle Valley on January 1, consider joining the Gustav Weindorfer service of commemoration at Waldheim. Weindorfer was an Austrian-born man who made his home in the Cradle Valley in 1912, constructing a palatial shack he named Waldheim, meaning ‘Forest Home’ in his native tongue. It was his passion for the region which led to the area being protected in 1922.

Weindorfer died in 1932 aged 58, his heart failing as he struggled to kick-start his motorcycle. He was found beside the bike, within sight of Cradle Mountain, near where the Overland Track begins. He was buried in front of Waldheim, his grave marked with a simple King Billy pine cross bearing the name ‘Dorfer’.

After Weindorfer’s death his sister sent everlasting flowers and candles from Austria, requesting that they be placed on his grave on New Year’s Day, as was the custom in his homeland. This tradition still continues today, with the Weindorfer Memorial Committee holding a simple commemoration service each January 1st  to celebrate Gustav Weindorfer’s vision.