WHERE ARE WE NOW
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.