Who’s afraid of the Hills Hoist

I am not comfortable with the current penchant for tv gardening shows to unceremoniously bag the great Aussie, environmentally-friendly icon – the Hill’s Hoist.

Why are they considered soooo passe on every current Australian tv gardening show?

As far as I’m concerned, Hills Hoists are a modern marvel: a labour-saving device that’s ecofriendly as well.

For the uninitiated, the Hills Hoist is a wonderfully and simply engineered clothesline.


The Hills Hoist allows you to stand in one place and hang all clothes for a family of 4 with ease. They adjust up and down with the turn of a handle. And they promote the use of solar power to dry clothes. Sunlight is also a great disinfectant, and clothes always smell so much fresher after they’ve hung in the sun to dry.

They also double as a fabulous bit of backyard play equipment for the kids. Who hasn’t been yelled at by their mother as they’ve taken a flying leap at the arms of the hoist and propelled themselves around in a wild spin?

They are so much more efficient than those few bits of line perched on the side of the house that fold up or down … but are usually just at head height as you round a corner so that you knock yourself out.

But some gardening “guru” has decided that Hills Hoists are daggy, ugly and have no place in Aussie backyards anymore. Every modern gardening show makes a point of removing them to “gel with the garden aesthetic”.

Well here’s something that these gurus don’t seem to understand … most people have to do laundry at least once a week. Drying it on a clothes line that can be moved such that you don’t have to lug an overflowing basket around makes this job easier … and also, people are less tempted to use electronic clothes dryers. These gurus also don’t seem to understand that most families don’t throw enormous backyard parties more than once a month (or year in my case). Ergo, the clothes line gets more use than the water feature and seating for 5000.

Perhaps Hill’s should design a new hoist. Maybe if it could transform itself into a large umbrella with the pull of a lever then the garden gurus wouldn’t hate it so much. Maybe if it were a “designer” feature like a garden sculpture that garden gurus would *want* to put in gardens instead of a bunch of exotic weeds that they insist on planting … (Duranta, purple fountain grass and jacarandas are not environmentally friendly garden choices for Australian gardens!)

I say leave the hoists standing loud and proud in the backyard.

Long live the hills hoist!


3 thoughts on “Who’s afraid of the Hills Hoist

  1. Kylie says:

    Came over from Magneto Bold Too.

    Are these just an Aussie thing? My grandmother had one and I always wondered why we didn’t have one living in America even though we did have the ridiculously long clothesline that went on for MILES.

  2. corymbia says:

    Hi Kylie
    Glad you clicked on over from MBT 🙂
    These are an Aussie Icon. They featured in the opening ceremony at the Sydney Olympics!
    They are awesome and but they get a bad rap from garden designers who seem to think there’s no place for them in Aussie back yards. But to me they are an icon of sustainable design!

  3. Kath says:

    I love my solar and wind powered rotary clothes drier (AKA Hills hoist)

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