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    HISTORY: Natimuk’s Keith Lockwood shows off the workbench owned by famous rock climber and climbing-gear manufacturer Roland Pauligk. The workbench is one of many pieces of historical climbing and mountaineering memorabilia displayed at Natimuk’s Arapiles Climbing Museum. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Natimuk climbing museum unveiled

A town internationally renowned for its rock-climbing culture officially became the home of Australia’s first climbing museum at the weekend.

Arapiles Historical Society unveiled Natimuk’s Arapiles Climbing Museum to the public at a Friday-night grand opening at the town’s former Masonic Hall.

International climbing authority and Natimuk resident Keith Lockwood said the museum was a showcase of rock-climbing history and evolution, capturing the influence of Mount Arapiles on Natimuk, Wimmera and international communities.

He said the museum welcomed hundreds of visitors across the weekend, with the opening night marking a rewarding moment for everyone who worked to bring the project to fruition.

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“It was huge, there was an incredible reception for it. It made our decision to create Australia’s first climbing museum here in Natimuk worthwhile,” he said.

“This is an insight into a world-renowned climbing destination and in an ideal location, because Mt Arapiles is the heart and soul of climbing for people across Australia and internationally, which we really saw with all the international visitors we had on the weekend.

“We can’t thank the Arapiles Historical Society enough for embracing and helping develop the idea.”

Mr Lockwood said displays would continuously rotate to avoid becoming stale, particularly in time for busier tourist seasons such as Easter.

The museum will be open every Sunday from 2pm to 4pm and by appointment.

– Lotte Reiter

The entire November 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!