A few more treasures of Northern Kosciuszko

The high county has to be one of our favourite if not best camping, four wheel driving and general touring destinations. The spectacular scenery, fascinating history and abundance of places to visit are all part of the overall attraction of this area. It does not matter how many times you visit this region you will always find something different. Although the Victorian High Country is better known for its great camping and excellent four wheel driving opportunities there are still a few spots across the border in New South Wales that make for a pleasant few days away.
To the north of Kosciuszko National Park between the towns of Tumbarumba and Talbingo hidden deep within the Bago State Forest Paddys River Dam can be found. Originally built for gold mining following the discovery of gold at nearby Kiandra in 1859 this picturesque dam is a popular camping and fishing destination with trout often caught in its chilly waters. Camping is dispersed along the dams’ edge with vehicle based and walk-in campsites both available. More often than not you will have the place to yourself. Relaxing by Paddys River DamPaddys River Dam is also situated along the long distance Hume and Hovell Walking Track that traces much of the intrepid explorers original route. During 1824 and 1825 Hamilton Hume and William Hovell were the first European explorers to pass through this area on their epic journey from Sydney to what is now Melbourne. They were known to have camped near present day Tumbarumba during November of 1824. Paddys River Dam may be a bit off the beaten track but it is relatively easy to get to and is a great spot for a picnic lunch, to throw a line in or pitch the tent. Best access to Paddys River Dam is from Tumbarumba. North of Tumbarumba take the Bago Forest Road then Hardys Road into the forest. The dam is signposted off Hardys Forest Road about 25km from Tumbarumba. This is two-wheel drive accessible in dry weather otherwise a four-wheel drive is required. It is also accessible to off-road camper trailers.
A little further north of the dam and also along the Hume and Hovell Walking Track Buddong Hut and Buddong Falls can be found. The hut was built during the 1920s to house staff that were employed to monitor the river levels of nearby Buddong Creek. Today the hut situated in a small clearing amongst tall forest and is a top spot for an overnight camp with camping permitted in the vicinity of the hut.The quaint Buddong Hut Downstream Buddong Falls is a splendid series of waterfalls along Buddong Creek and is well worth taking a stroll from the picnic area to view the upper and lower falls. Best after local rainfall they usually flow for much of the year. Top section of Buddong FallsAccess to Buddong Falls and Buddong Hut is via East Bago Road west of Talbingo. The hut is located along Buddong Road north of the falls. Both these sites are accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles in dry weather only. These are also located within Kosciuszko National Park so no dogs are allowed.
To the south of Bago State Forest and within the northern section of Kosciuszko National Park Ravine and Lobbs Hole are found. This area traces its beginnings back to the gold rush days of Kiandra. The main route to the Kiandra goldfields passed through what was known as Lobbs Hole. During this time the climatic conditions at Kiandra sent the miners in search of a more sheltered site during the harsh winters of the high country. Lobbs Hole, later known as Ravine from 1910 was the logical choice located deep within the valley. During its heyday this tiny isolated spot supported boarding houses, shops, a police station and a hotel. Following the discovery of copper, mining and smelting also took place in this secluded valley up until the 1920s. Today a scenic four-wheel drive trek will take you deep into the valley with all that remains being a couple of mud brick walls from the hotel and old mining remnants.Ruins of the Washington Hotel at Ravine At the top of the escarpment to the north of Lobbs Hole there are several homestead ruins. A pleasant walking track will take you past these, which are a testament to the early pastoral history of the area.Glendella Homestead ruins Access to Lobbs Hole/Ravine is signposted off the Snowy Mountains Highway 19km south east of Talbingo and along the Kiandra-Cabramurra Road 8km south west of the Snowy Mountains Highway. There are no facilities at Lobbs Hole/Ravine and it is four-wheel drive only accessible. The only limiting factor to completing the drive from the Kiandra/Cabramurra Road to the Snowy Mountains Highway is a crossing of the Yarrangobilly River at Ravine. It is wise to check the crossing first as it can be fast flowing and may be impassable. Keep an eye out for the remains of the original bridge just down stream of the crossing. Crossing the Yarrangobilly RiverAnother top spot to pitch the tent is by the shores of Three Mile Dam near Kiandra. It is accessible off the Kiandra-Cabramurra Road 5km from the Snowy Mountains Highway and has picnic tables, toilets and wood barbecues scattered around its shores. Camping by Three Mile DamA visit to the Yarrangobilly Caves is also a top way to complete your visit to this wonderful area. Self guided as well as guides tours are available and there is even a chance to take a refreshing dip in the thermal pool at the caves which remains a constant 27 degrees all year round, even in snow clad winter. The caves are located along the Snowy Mountains Highway 30km south east of Talbingo.yarrangobilly cavesAlthough a couple of these sites are four-wheel drive only accessible they are not particularly difficult to get to and should pose no problems for those with limited four-wheel drive experience. They are a great introduction to the wonderful high country region.

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