Explore Our Historic Site

Take a Heritage Walk

Located near Gembrook in Melbourne's East, Kurth Kiln is best known for it's iconic kiln that was used during the Second World War. Due to the conservation and restoration efforts of the Friends of Kurth Kiln and the support of Parks Victoria, the kiln and the various heritage listed Forestry Huts have been meticulously preserved and are available for public viewing.

But Kurth Kiln is also a popular place for Picnic and Camping activities, including fascinating Walking Tracks. See a recent write-up 

Be a part of our annual festival, events and working bees. Take a walk through our historic grounds, and you too, could become a friend of Kurth Kiln.

Our Mission


  • kurth kiln news

    Kurth Kiln Heritage Festival

    Our annual Heritage Festival at the Kurth Kiln Picnic Ground combines the natural beauty of the Australian Bush with lots of historic activities for a fun-filled family day. Following the wet and stormy day in 2017 it was a pleasure to celebrate again in lovely sunshine. Some 300 people turned up on the day, and they all seemed to have a good time. The Red Cross Food and Drinks Stand proved very popular, as was the Ice Cream Van and our friend Fritz, the Blacksmith, who also gave a short talk on his traditional subject. We missed some of our environmental friends, but the Huskies were there and gave nice display. We thank Parks Victoria and the Cardinia Shire Council for supporting the event, and the many Volunteers and organisations for helping to make it a success. See Gallery Pages for a series of photos taken on the day. Read More...

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    2018 Seniors Week Walks in October

    With the support of the Cardinia Shire and the Yarra Ranges Council the Friends of Kurth Kiln will again stage Seniors Week functions early in October. Read More...

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    Book Launches at Kurth Kiln

    A Booklet about Dr Kurth and his work was produced by the Friends of Kurth Kiln and launched at our 2014 Heritage Festival by the State Member for Gembrook, Brad Battin MP. Launch of our new "Walking for Pleasure" booklet took place on Saturday 12 November at 10:30am at the kiln site. Some 50 dignitaries. members and guests attended. Read More...

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    Caught on Camera

    The VNPA in conjunction with the Friends of Bunyip State Park presented a 'Nature Watch' Community Day in Gembrook. See our Poster Read More...

kurth kiln news

kurth kiln caretaker


Caretaker's Residence

At one stage there had been !8 huts at Kurth Kiln, used to accommodate workers employed by the Forestry Commission.of Victoria after the war. Called Masonite Huts, they had been acquired from Army to house up to 100 forestry workers between 1945 and 1965, when Kurth Kiln became the centre for forest management.  A number of huts were lost in a bush fire in 1963 and the rest were consolidated, with one built out as a manager / caretaker residence. Today there are only four left.

kurth kiln caretaker residence

In the early 1980 Ron Thornton used to come to Kurth Kiln often, and in 1985 took up residence here and became the "unofficial Caretaker" till he died in 2000. Since then the huts are used intermittently only by students and volunteers doing environmental project work in the Bush. Alfred and Ursula live not far from Kurth Kiln and if you or your group are interested, or would like to have a closer look, let them know when next you plan to visit the picnic ground and they can arrange to open the facilities and tell you more about it. Call us on (03) 5967 4201 or click for e-mail.

Become a Friend

Regular Meeting / Working Bees for 2019

Scheduled Working Bees are on the second Saturday each month, starting at 10:00am on site at Kurth Kiln with a short General Meeting, and continues normally till 3pm. Barbeque facilities are available for lunch, as are tea and coffee. 

The actual dates are:

12 January - 9 February - 9 March13 April - 11 May - 8 June - 13 July - 10 August - 7 September - 12 October and AGM - 9 November - 14 December, Christmas Break-up

The dates for 2018 were as follows:

14 January - 11 February - 11 March8 April - 13 May - 10 June8 July - 12 August 9 September14 October AGM - October Meeting - 11 November 9 December Minutes Breakup


We have a number of on-going projects such as:

  • Updating the Display in the Big Shed, for exhibiting some of the many smaller Historic Memorabilia
  • Computer- cataloguing all the Moveable Cultural Heritage Memorabilia at the Kiln
  • Developing self-guided Walking Tracks and appropriate signage
  • Implementing recommendations of the Kurth Kiln Heritage Action Plan (HAP 2002)
  • Maintaining the Kurth Kiln Website / Producing "The KILN" Newsletter
  • Documenting the history of the Kiln
  • Restoration/Conservation of the period machinery stored in the Sheds, the Charcoal Grader.
  • Keeping in touch with with the local media. Here is a link to a report in "The Local" in June 2014