Travel to: the Snowy Mountains

The Husband and I have just come back from two days driving in and walking around the Snowy Mountains, NSW. The main towns in the area are Jindabyne (which we love) and Thredbo (which we don't like - too up-market for our tastes).

For those of you reading this who don't know Australia, our mountain ranges are more like big hills compared to what other countries have. For instance, Mt  Kosciusko is our highest mountain at only 2228m. At this time of year it has no snow on it and it is only a long uphill walk to the top from the top of a chair lift at Thredbo which can be done in about 5 hours. People often ride their mountain bikes onto it from Charlotte's Pass. So, not that big. 

The Husband and I like the drive up to Charlotte's Pass, which is our highest road and is the starting point for many of the long, tough bush walks you can do up there above the tree line. The road has lots of nice, climbing curves which the Subaru hugs and accelerates through like a race car. Lots of fun to drive in either direction, and we love the view of the alpine country.

Mt Stilwell walk

Our walk on Sunday afternoon was to Mt Stilwell. The walk starts at the end of the Charlottes' Pass road and follows a ridge up to Mt Stilwell. This gives excellent views of the Main Range, which includes Mt Kosciusko, and the headwaters of the Snowy River.

It was meant to be a 5km walk of medium difficulty. Mmmm. Not quite.

The walk up to Mt Stilwell was fine. It was steady climb up with a bit of climbing over rocks at the end. The track was clear and the views extensive. It was our choice of return journey that got difficult. 

We decided to cross to Little Mt Stilwell, which required walking across country, and then joining a track back down to Charlotte's Pass Village through a snow gum forest.

Problem was that we lost the second track. The top of it passed through peat bogs. So, instead of a long but pleasant walk down through the forest we bush-bashed our way down. This involved crashing through thick scrub, across streams and through peat bogs. The scrub looks pretty in the photos but is dense and hides wombat holes and boulders. It was mostly about knee-deep but there were plenty of times where the scrub was about hip height and without us actually touching the ground underneath.

We could see where we needed to get to, so we were not actually lost. We just took a very hard way down.

The Husband loved it. He enjoys getting off the track and making his own way. Me, no. I like a path that I can see and follow.

Eventually we found the path again. We had gone too far to the left. Then came the long walk up out Charlotte's Pass Village, and up the road to our car. 

Our walk ended up being 6.5km, with over 300m in altitude change.

Here are some photos.

Stand of Snow Gums on the way up to Mt Stilwell

On the top of Mt Stilwell with Mt Kosciusko on the middle at the back.

Snow Gums, Rams Head Range

Snow Gums, Rams Head Range above Charlotte's Pass Village

Saddle walking from Mt Stilwell to Little Mt Stilwell

No lost but not quite sure where we are either.

Looking back at the Snow Gum forest we'd just bush-bashed through.

Rainbow Lake walk

We did this walk Monday morning (today was a public holiday). Rainbow Lake walk is nice little 3km walk through Snow Gum forest and through frost hollows to a small lake that is really an old dam. 

This area was devastated in bush fires over 10 years ago. You can see this in the grey branches above the lush undergrowth. 

The walk reminded me of how much I love the Mountains. The air is so clean and clear, scented with gum leaves and flowers. 

Here are some photos.

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Male Gang Gang cockatoo

Female Gang Gang cockatoo

Rainbow Lake

Stay at Bimblegumbie

We spent a relaxing night and morning at Bimblegumbie. Bimblegumie is a collection of cottages, a guest house, a studio and other bits of accommodation. It is just off the Alpine Way, which is the main road between Jindabyne and Thredbo.

Here's the sign at the entrance.

The owner, Pru, goes out her way to make all her guests feel welcome. 

We stayed in the Studio. A small, cosy bedroom which just happens to have a little kitchen and bathroom as well. Who needs more when the king size bed is so welcoming?

The gardens at Bimblegumbie are what I return to. There are sculptures all over the property, mostly made from recycled materials. It is whimsical and wonderful. I spent a very pleasant morning, having breakfast in the garden then taking my cup of tea for a walk around looking for more unusual pieces. 

Here are some of my favourite pieces and views.

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