From Canberra I headed south to Cooma. The last big town before heading off into the wilderness of Kosciuszko national park. The park has major bitumen roads running throughout so the drive in was quite comfortable. My first camp was at Denison campgrounds. All campsites are free in Kosciuszko which was a bonus. I followed a dirt track down to the nearby river where there were dozens of cars spread out along its length. They were all fly fisherman after Trout. I saw 2 giant catches about 4ft long that some fisherman were walking back to their car. I was quite impressed by their size. I followed the river up to a lake where I spotted a few wild horses grazing on the plains along with some pelicans.
I spent 3 nights here doing my washing and cleaning the vehicle. While checking it over I discovered one of my rear shock absorber bushes had nearly disintegrated. I walked back down to the river area to get a bar of reception and with a bit of patience was able to make half a phone call with the Koni shocks importer along with sending some emails and had spare parts shipped express to Adaminaby post office.
Drove the 20km back out to Adaminaby and spent the night there in a caravan park. The car was all fixed again. The next day I drove back out to Cooma and bought another jacket as I was beginning to freeze. Another trip back in and along the way I explored the Kiandra town ruins. This included remnants of a graveyard dating back to the 1860’s. There was a gold rush between 1859-1861 where the town population rose to about 8000 men searching for alluvial gold. Within a couple years the rush was over and the population dropped to around 350. The town stayed on until the 1970’s.
The next day I took a drive out to explore the Coolamine Homestead. It was built in the late 1800’s. All the buildings had been restored in the 1980’s by Parks. The main house was a treasure trove of old newspapers with the oldest I saw dating to 1888. Newspapers were glued to the wall as insulation to stop wind blowing in through the cracks on the wall timbers. There were several local papers plus some woman’s weekly’s used. The later papers were dating around 1945 and included a few snippets on the Nazi’s advance.
Continuing on the road I stopped at Blue Water Holes campgrounds. A few bushwalks start from here. I completed 2, the first to a nearby gorge and the second exploring caves and the plains where I saw a pack of 20 wild horses. The rocks of the area are filled with ancient fossils of marine creatures that lived something like 200 million years ago.
The next day I visited the thermal pools near the Yarrangobilly caves where the water temperature stays a nice 27 degrees Celsius all year. This was a nice swim though not quite warm enough with the outside temperatures around 7 degrees. It was refreshing nonetheless.
I camped at 3 Mile dam that night as it had mobile reception so I could call my mum for mother’s day in the morning. The night was blowing with showers and mist surrounding me. I was sleeping in 2 sleeping bags with thermals, socks, gloves and a beanie and was still not warm enough.
After giving my mum a call in the morning I headed onwards to Khancoban Lakeside caravan park to spend a night and recharge my batteries. A short drive up the road I stopped in to the Murray 1 Hydro electricity power station. This is the only snowy hydro station with guided tours. There wasn’t too much to see but the tops of the giant turbines. Still interesting to watch a film of the building of the Snowy River scheme in the theatre.
I camped the night at Geehi Hut campgrounds. The hut was made out of river stones cemented together. Quite beautiful.
Another day and I visited Thredbo. The township is quite compact with very narrow roads. It was busy with construction workers rushing to finish upgrades before the snow season hits in a few weeks and the town is packed with skiers. After a horrible night’s sleep at Thredbo Diggings campgrounds I continued on and explored Perisher Valley and Charlotte Pass. Another 2 major ski destinations.
At the top of Charlotte Pass I finally held and tasted my first snow. It was a crazy experience to have all this white cold fluffy ice to play with. A customary snow angel was made. It didn’t take long before I couldn’t feel my fingers so I retreated back to my car. Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain was off in the distance. I had planned to hike to its peak but that is something to be done in summer.. another time.
And finally I headed in to Jindabyne where I stayed 4 nights at the Adventist Alpine Village to relax a while and plan the next week’s adventures exploring the Snowy Mountains in Victoria. The day of departure frost covered the whole area and my car. I was impressed how my left out dish washing had froze to ice.