Back in Kosciusko


Our first overnight in Kosciusko was at the bottom of the Talbingo Reservoir, not a lot happening here, a couple of boats in, a couple of other campers and a few ducks, ah this is what we love about camping.

Continuing on Elliot Way we stop at a Baileys Bridge, one of many that were used during the completion of the Snowy Scheme, first developed during the war made in sections light enough that it took no more than 6 men to carry and could be installed very quickly as a situation demanded. Next stop was at Tumut Tunnel where we could see the tunnel going many metres underground. Then it was on to Cabramurra the highest town in Australia originally created during the Hydro scheme and now with all matching buildings including homes for those on shifts. Great views from the lookout here and a pretty good coffee at the information etc centre.

We then took the gravel Kings Cross Rd past Selwyn Mountain Resort although there isn’t any accomodation here there is a chairlift and skiing opportunities in the winter. Turning left on to B72 we came to our camp for the next 2 nights at 3 Mile Dam. Dam was originally built in the gold mining days back in 1882 and then later used when a camp was set up here for the Snowy Scheme. A great place to stay right by the dam suitable for kayaking, but we didn’t, and a few walks here which we did, including crossing the dam up to a lookout then decided to follow an old trail (with a bit of bush bashing) back to the road with a very steep walk back to camp.

Continuing east we stopped at New Chum Hill to look at the Battery Stamp and a few other gold mine related relics just about to leave when a ute and caravan pull in, what a wonderful surprise it was Lynn & Noel that we’d last seen in Mt Augustus. Like us they are on the final weeks of travel so much to catch up on we chatted for ages unfortunately with Noel’s heart condition they are unable to stay at altitude so were only in the park for the day.

Next we stopped and explored Kiandra the old gold mining then skiing town, this was the first ski resort in Australia and the trench and ski run are still clear to see. An informative walking trail with just a few buildings still remaining. We talked to a local couple here who were riding through on their very nice new Harley trike and they could remember when some of the buildings were still in use.

North through the beautiful subalpine regions to Long Plain Road we passed by the first few camping areas before traversing the undulating windy rutted gravel road to the last camp, Blue Waterhole, where we had the choice of a few walks. On the way along the fire trail we explored the Coolamine Homestead which has been really well restored using much of the original timber, apart from the old buildings the most interesting thing here was that there was over 175 years of history recorded.

We stayed 2 nights at Blue Waterhole a great if somewhat chilly site getting down to 3 overnight with very cold winds but perfect walking weather during the day. Our first walk was through the gorge to Cooleman Falls which meant 7 river crossings, cold water and mid thigh in a couple of places. I took the option of removing my boots each time although on the return I left my boots off where there were shorter tracks between the crossings. Rob just left his shoes on which was much kinder on his feet. There was also some steep rock scrambling on the sides of the gorge, great fun and so glad we are both still reasonably fit. The waterfall was well worth the walk we saw plenty of skinks, a blue tongue lizard and 2 Red Bellied Black Snakes.

The next day we did the 7km Nichols Gorge walk which included both the Cooleman and Murray Caves, we could get well inside both caves although the Murray was much deeper at 200meters we didn’t venture so far as it was tighter and very wet. Much of the walk was through open subalpine plains where we saw a wild dog and plenty of brumbies.

After driving back through the plains we had a short visit to the Yarrangobilly Caves area, we didn’t enter any of the caves here but could have paid a fee to either self guide or do a tour. We did however have a lovely swim in the thermal pool, not super hot at just 27 degrees but great for tired bodies and good to feel really clean again.

Stopped for the night alongside the fresh fast flowing Jounama Creek just opposite the town of Talbingo.


Vic Pics

Shack what shack

Dam beautiful views

Wet splashes down rocks

Autumn shades early evening

Display was fully automated fun for kids bug and small

Part of history- Hume & Hovell early explorers

Liked the red weed only seen as seaweed before

Now this is what a waterfall should look like

Final days in Victoria

3 Mile Dam, Kosciusko National Park

The rain on the roof gave us both a great nights sleep at Gibbo River and we woke to a lovely blue sky. Relaxed and read for a while as things dried off before continuing on the Benambra-Corryong Rd up into the forest and hills reaching 1300 meters and having distant views to Lake Dartmouth. It was so nice we stopped for a cuppa and got high on the smell of gums, drove on 2 hours later. Came down quicker than we went up (the hills that is) to Nariel Valley so pretty and lush, lots of calves and a few lambs around.

Right turn on to the highway and back to Corryong where we’d driven through less than a week prior. This time stopped at the Man from Snowy River Museum and spent a couple of hours learning more on the history of the area, Banjo Patterson and war efforts & influences. We don’t often stop at museums but this one had caught my eye and was well worth the stop. By now it was late afternoon so headed north the short distance to Burrowa-Pine Mountain NP to camp. Didn’t look like anyone had come into the Blue Gum Camp for months.

Had a visitor overnight, couldn’t work out what the noise was but turned out to be a possum trying to get into the beer can, left lots of scratches and even pierced the can, must like Aldi beer. In the morning did the bush walk up to Bluff Falls only 1km each way which was just as well as the falls were just a trickle. Relaxing after with a coffee had a visit from a couple who were doing the same walk, chatted for ages they were planning to do the road we did the day before.

Left late to do the other half of Burrowa-Pine Mountain NP, Pine Mountain is a monolith 1.5 times larger than Uluru but not exposed except for the summit. The 4km road to the start of the 2 walks was a rough 4wd track which WIII & Rob both enjoyed. Decided to camp at the end of the track as quite a remote spot and didn’t think we’d see anyone else. Great spot with beautiful views of farmland and bushy hills, did the walk to the Knob late afternoon as expected was short and steep with a reward of awesome views.

Woke to another lovely day with not a breath of wind and headed back down the mountain then north to the small town of Walwa. Great old brick buildings here beautifully maintained and still in use, then crossed the Mighty Murray yet again into NSW (said good bye to Victoria for this trip) to Jingellic. Turned right here to follow the clean wide river for as long as we could before turning towards Tumbarumba. Did the normal town chores and spent some time at the info centre which is also a museum and one of the best definitely recommend to other travellers. Great history of the area – mining, plane crashes, forestry, world wars, explorers etc. Stopped only a few minutes from town at the Henry Angel Reserve (along with plenty of long staying nomads) so we could do some of the Hume & Hovell Trail.

Decided to do the 6.2km walk to the falls lovely flat walk through farmland next to the Burra Creek, lots of big old trees and very green. Kept company by sheep and some very happy Gang Gang & Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and a couple of Eastern Brown snakes. An interesting walk seeing where early miners (1826) had blasted out the granite rock to form trenches and tunnels to direct the water for sluicing. Also the changes to the shape of the land from the gold mining. The falls were very underwhelming being just a fast flowing creek with a small drop over rocks.

Leaving camp after lunch we stopped at the Paddy River Falls and these were very impressive in lush surroundings a pleasant surprise. Carried on the highway to revisit Kosciusko National Park this time doing the northern section.

Falls Creek etc


We stop Falls Creek Village where we explore the area, lots of rebuilding and new houses happening here, couldn’t find the unit I’d stayed in when skiing so think it has been replaced. Thankfully in both the fire in 2003 and again in 2006 no buildings were burnt. A little past the village we turned off the Bogong High Plains Road to gravel roads to Mt McKay the highest (at 1833 meters) road in Australia. Absolutely brilliant 360 degree views of this alpine region. I love the colours, the silver grey of the dead trees, the grey of the rocks, the old snowgums, golden grass and tussocks and the beautiful blue of the dams and ponds. Leaving the summit it was a short drive to Pretty Valley Camping Area, thanks Vic Parks for a great free camp complete with an old hut and clean dry toilet.

After an incredibly windy (so windy we couldn’t light the fire that we’d collected and chopped wood for) and noisy night from rowdy youths, we woke to scudding clouds which were being followed by grey clouds. We decided to skip the 6.5 km walk we’d planned but instead took 2 shorter tracks each to a different hut. The first was to Wallace Hut which is one of the oldest in the area and used by graziers when they brought their cattle up in the summer. The next was the Cope Hut used by walkers and skiers when exploring the area, both huts can still be used in emergency situations and are complete with fires and areas to sleep.

The winds had turned really ferocious, we think up to 100km gusts so we continued down the mountain to Omeo following the very pretty Big River. Omeo was much smaller than expected but the Info Centre was open so we checked here on our planned route and all ok. We also visited the Cuckoo shop where the lovely elderly lady spent ages showing us many of the clocks and pointing out their unique features – all imported from Germany and handmade. Past town we stopped and walked the Ah Fong gold trail learning all about hydraulic sluicing used to extract the alluvial gold.

Continued on to Victoria Falls to camp for the night, lovely grassy spot arrived just as the heavens opened with a few heavy downpours. It fined up during the evening and we had a great fire with wood provided by our neighbours – they had felled a huge dead tree that had been creaking for the last day, it required a very light tug on the rope, pulled by their car, to topple so definitely a safety factor.

Woke to a cool morning and the temperature really didn’t go up, in jeans all day a first in this year of travelling. Didn’t let the weather stop us from going out to the waterfall and also walking down a very steep track to see the remains of the old Hydro Station installed in early 1900 but taken out a few years later as there wasn’t enough water to run it, another failure in the gold mining industry.

Back through Omeo with a stop at the laundromat and some internet time with family before taking the Benambra-Corryong Road. We’d expected to be up in the hills very quickly but this wasn’t the case as we travelled through lovely farmland plenty of cows, sheep and alpaca. Found the Gibbo River Freecamp area per wikicamps huge area and we had it to ourselves. I’d picked some blackberries earlier in the day but needn’t have bothered as there was more than enough here, freezer being put to use. Here we also found old pear and apple trees so enjoyed stewed apple and blackberries with yogurt for desert. Rain settled in just after we’d got the fire going but we could sit protected under a funny old lean to.

Went west from Kosciusko


After our short break at Keebles Hut we continued on the Alpine Way stopping at Murray 2 Power Station for a quick tour and an info session on the Snowy Hydro Scheme, this was very interesting to us both. Amazing this engineering feat commencing in 1949 and employed over 100,000 for the 25 year duration to complete all the dams and power stations. A very sustainable system that continues to improve with modern technology.

We then had rather a long stop at Khancoban, firstly another goodbye & safe travels to Jane & Ken then using the chance of telephone coverage for business calls which ended up very frustrating. But a good end to our day was staying at Indi Reserve (a must for our granddaughter of the same name) on the Murray River back in Victoria yet again. A beaut campsite and a chance to have a warm swim in the fast flowing river. Nice that it is now getting dark earlier, about 8.30, we can again enjoy looking at stars and have fun spotting satellites.

Had some business stuff to attend to so did a quick drive to Albury, liked the old houses and buildings here before crossing the Murray and of course the border to head south to Yackandandah for the night. Wikicamps let us down on this one – a campsite icon but private property was all we saw, took another road and discovered many trails through the state forest for mountain bikes and roads/tracks for 4wders and motorbikes. A variety of camping areas thankfully we found one that suited us fine next to a fast running creek, not so pretty as the previous night but fine all the same.

In the morning we checked out the township of Yackandandah, lovely little town and each shop we went in the owners were very friendly, we could imagine that on the weekends this place would be really humming especially the food shops. Next stop was Beechworth again a lovely town but bigger and more history with this being where Ned Kelly was captured. Some very impressive stone buildings and other wooden buildings. Of course we checked out the bakery and enjoyed our Ned Kelly pies.

Continuing south we turned onto the Great Alpine Road stopping at Myrtletown for a quick glasses fix up (lost a screw) before heading to Mt Buffalo. I’d expected something much like Mt Kosciusko but was surprised to find lots of granite rock and gum trees in a very dry environment. Drove right to the end of the road and walked to the summit to be rewarded with 360 degree views all the way to Mt Kosciusko and also south to Mt Hotham. Stopped at a couple of other lookouts and also to see the old Buffalo Chalet which we’d thought had been burnt down (per Lonely Planet). Found a good peaceful campsite just south of Bright on the river at Germantown.

We’ve driven more hills in the last month than the rest of our trip and as we crossed to Mt Beauty more hills and the rewarding great views. There was many many cyclists on the road as this is one of the main sports in the area, not sure how so many people can do this during the week. Stopped at Mt Beauty info centre and moved south armed with information on some walks. Stopped at Bogong, the original settlement for building the power scheme here, the old houses are now rented out mainly in winter for the ski season, there is also a large outdoor school, perfect area for children to experience kayaking, bush walking and abseiling. Our first walk was to Fainter Falls which runs all year with plenty of flow, the river was used for the power scheme with flow increasing and decreasing on energy demand. This upset the fish, other wild, and also plant, life so pipes have now been placed 200 meters underground a perfect alternative to control the flow. From here we head to Falls Creek.