Explore Long Plain in Northern Kosciuszko

Situated 53km north of Adaminaby and 73km south of Tumut within the northern section of Kosciuszko National Park lies the beautiful and remote Long Plain area. Although only open to vehicles during the summer period, Long Plain Road is easily accessible off the Snowy Mountains Highway and closely follows a traditional Aboriginal trail. Long Plain Road runs across Long Plain, a large expanse of treeless plain, for approximately 18kms with several scenic diversions along the way making this one of the most interesting drives in this section of Kosciuszko National Park.long plain rdFrom the 1830s local graziers started coming to the Long Plain area making use of the many kilometres of cleared grasslands during summer for their stock that usually grazed the lower valleys during the cooler months. Due to the increasing stock movement and with the advent of grazing leases huts and homesteads began to be established, many of which still remain today, a poignant reminder of the rich agricultural history of this interesting area.
Heading onto Long Plain Road from the Snowy Mountains Highway it is not long before you are at the turn off for Long Plain Hut. Bobby Joyce originally built the hut during the late 1920s and early 1930s for Dr Campbell. Several mangers managed the property over the years, the last being Alvy Oddy up until the late 1960s. The hut is of timber construction with an iron roof and provides an emergency shelter today. A well set up camping area is located adjacent to the hut with facilities including wood BBQs, toilet and horse yards. Camper trailer access is also possible.camping at long plain hutOpposite the Long Plain Hut turn off is the Port Phillip Fire Trail. This road crosses the Murrumbidgee River via a bridge before winding its way eastwards skirting the northern section of Tantangara Reservoir (check with NPWS first as this route can be closed if the reservoir is high) and accessing the Currango Homestead precinct 16km east of Long Plain Road.Upper reaches tantangara res Keep an eye out for the historic steam engine about 300 metres before the Currango Homestead.Historic steam engineIn all 29 buildings make up Currango. The construction of Currango initially commenced on this isolated spot as early as 1851 with Tom O’Rourke previously establishing a grazing camp here during the summer of 1839. O’Rourke later became one of the first owners of Currango that operated until 1944 when the area became included in the Kosciuszko State Park. Tom and Molly Taylor became managers and when Currango became part of Kosciuszko National Park in 1967 the Taylor’s were granted life occupancy. Today accommodation is available at this secluded site within one of the historic cottages and is an ideal spot to spend a few days hiking, fishing or just relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.CurrangoThe PinesBack along Long Plain Road keep an eye out for the many wild brumbies often spotted across the plains before coming to the next historic hut, Cooinbil Hut about 10km north east of Long Plain Hut. Originally built in 1866 the hut was replaced in 1905 following a change of leaseholder to Cooinbil Pty Ltd. Later in 1987 part of the building had to be replaced due to damage caused by a fallen tree branch. The building is of timber construction, cypress pine linings and corrugated iron roof. There is also a separate kitchen area that has also been restored. Today the hut is an important emergency shelter and has a camping area adjacent with facilities including toilet and horse yards. Camper trailer access is also possible.cooinbil hutjpgA short distance after Cooinbil Hut Blue Waterholes Trail runs off to the east. Although Long Plain Road continues a short distance further, this is a no through road with the 4WD only Broken Cart Trail the only option if you are wishing to head further north into the Brindabella Ranges. Turning onto Blue Waterholes Trail and heading east you soon come to Cooleman Mountain camping area. This beautiful camping spot on top of the mountain is a great spot to set up camp whilst exploring the area. Facilities here include picnic tables, wood BBQs and toilet. Don’t forget to bring some firewood as it can get chilly here through the night. Camper trailer access is also possible.coolamine mountain campAbout 3km past Cooleman Mountain camping area is the historic Coolamine Homestead complex. Established in 1839 by Stewart Mowle the first building was a slab and bark hut. In 1883 the first house was built on the site with the log cheese house built in 1889 and the third house built during the 1890s and used as a summer house by the Campbell’s. During the 1970s following the inception of Kosciuszko National Park and the abandonment of Coolamine the buildings were found to be in disrepair. A grant from the Heritage Commission was obtained and restoration work on the Coolamine complex began in the early 1980s. Today the complex is an important reminder if the rich history of the area with an interesting feature being the newspaper lined walls of the homestead and the differing construction of each of the buildings.coolamine homesteadFollowing on past Coolamine Homestead and winding through magnificent high country scenery Blue Waterholes Trail ends at Blue Waterholes. Magnesium and calcium from the limestone taint the waters in the area blue-green giving this beautiful spot its name. As well as the impressive Blue Waterholes several limestone gorges and caves are also located in the area. Open to the public are Cooleman One and Murray Caves for inexperienced cavers and several others recommended for the more experienced. Any one of these is well worth a look for those interested in caving. Several scenic walks also depart from the car park and picnic area at the end of Blue Waterholes Trail taking in views of impressive limestone gorges and longer walks to more remote huts and waterholes. Magpie Flat camping area just up the hill from the Blue Waterholes car park is a great spot to throw down the swag if you wish to explore the area further. With views over Blue Waterholes facilities here include wood BBQs and toilet. Camper trailer access is also possible.clarke gorgeOther historic huts which are accessible in this area of the park and can be walked to include Bill Jones Hut which is near to Blue Waterholes on the Tantangara Plain. Accessible via the Australian Alps Walking Track Bill Jones Hut was built in 1952 and is believed to be the last hut built for grazing in the area. Old Currango Homestead located at the top of the Tantangara Plain and also accessible by the Australian Alps Walking Track is the oldest homestead within Kosciuszko National Park. Built in 1873 the homestead replaced an old slab and bark hut with additions made during the 1880s and again in 1900.
This is a beautiful and stunning area of northern Kosciuszko and is well worth spending a few days or longer exploring. Numerous camping opportunities are available as is accommodation options at Currango Homestead complex.long plain rd 2
Please be advised this area including Long Plain Road is closed annually to vehicles generally from the June long weekend to October long weekend where it becomes a winter wonderland and the domain of the cross-country skier.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Miriam says:

    Such a fantastic area

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s