Time to reminisce 10 – Snow country and beyond

Welcome all back to our ever popular Time to Reminisce Series. We are once again going way back to 2008 for this one, and it was a cracker of a trip. With a week off we set off from our home base in the Blue Mountains heading south once again. By now you should all be aware that the southern part of NSW is one of our favourite destinations and one that we continue to return to time and time again. You may even notice a number of spots we have returned to since this trip in later Travel Story Posts. The plan was to visit the magical Namadgi National Park on the edge of Canberra and then in a roundabout way venture further south through parts of famed Kosciuszko National Park (another of our all time favourites). We would jump the border for a night beside the mighty Snowy River before backtracking and ending this odyssey on the beautiful South Coast of NSW.

Stocking up on supplies in Canberra and obtaining another set of tent poles for the awning of our trusty Shippshape Tent (someone forgot to pack the poles!!) we headed to the Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre to pay our fees and book a campsite for the night. Before setting up camp at one of the camping areas in the park we decided to explore one of the old Space Tracking Station Sites that are now protected in the park as some maybe aware of from one of our other posts Namadgi Magic, Canberra’s National Park.

The Site of the Orroral Tracking Station

After checking out this fascinating spot and with the weather not looking the best we headed for our camp for the night and thought we would try our luck the next day hoping the weather gods would shine upon us.

Our night’s camp in Namadgi National Park

Through the evening and overnight rain persisted along with sleet (it was April after all !!), so after a hardy breakfast and with a break in the weather we headed back towards the Orroral Site hoping to explore the historic Orroral Valley Hometead, another fascinating spot here.

The historic Orroral Homestead

The adjacent historic Shearing Shed

The “locals” kept watch over us

Buoyed by the apparent change in weather our next destination was in the south of the park and a hike to view Aboriginal Rock Engravings. Well, the weather started off pleasant enough as we left the carpark, however as we ventured further towards the art site the clouds rolled back in and by the time we reached the Rock Art Shelter about 45 minutes later we were getting small snow flakes caressing our faces. The walk, however was still beautiful and the art site is well worth visiting, we have since returned here albeit without the snow.

The walk to the Rock Art Site passes beautiful scenery
Yankee Hat Rock Art Site
More locals keeping an eye on us

With the weather deteriorating we made the decision to start heading through the ranges, aiming the bonnet of the Rodeo for Northern Kosciuszko, an area that has since become our all time favourite destination in the state. As we made our way through the Brindabella Ranges the relentless rain soon turned to the white powdery stuff and we found ourselves in a Winter wonderland.

Traversing the Brindabella Ranges with an Autumn snowfall
Bulls Head Picnic Area, Namadgi National Park on top of the ranges
Winter Wonderland of the Brindabella Ranges

After dropping into the valley following our snow filled afternoon we spent a rather chilly night bush camped beside a bubbling brook. Next morning when packing the awning up from our trusty Shippshape a sheet of ice the size of a large window pane came shattering to the ground, proof it was a rather chilly evening. We soon made our way out to the Snowy Mountains Highway where we ventured east towards our next destination, Long Plain within the Northern Section of Kosciuszko National Park. Thinking we had left the white stuff behind cresting a hill just shy of Long Plain Road we found ourselves back in the Winter Wonderland of yesterday, however we certainly were not disappointed.

Turning into Long Plain Road we made our way along the usually easy drive flanked by clouds of white plains as far as the eye could see. It was simply breathtaking.

Traversing Long Plain amidst the Winter Wonderland

Long Plain is not only an area of outstanding beauty but is also an area of fascinating history with many High Country Huts scattered throughout this region, a number easily accessible off Long Plain Road and to see these in the snow was an added bonus. This may be one of the draw cards that keeps us coming back to this wonderful region.

Long Plain Hut, one of the first encountered along Long Plain

Cooinbal Hut, the next encountered along Long Plain

Following Long Plain Road to its very end deep within the wilderness brings you to enchanting Blue Waterholes. Stretching the legs is the best way to explore this magical spot and since this initial trip we have ventured here on numerous occasions and never been disappointed.

Captivating Blue Waterholes

Reluctantly leaving this beautiful spot we backtracked to our camp for the night high up the ranges at Cooleman Mountain not far from the historic remains of Coolamine Homestead Complex. On the way back up the mountain we even managed to spot Wild Brumbies enjoying the early snowfall.

Wild mBrumbies enjoying the early snowfall
Our snowy camp for the night atop Cooleman Mountain
The historic Coolamin Homestead Complex

After another cool night in the mountains it was all too soon time to head back out of Long Plain and further south into more of Kosciuszko National Park and beyond.

Leaving Long Plain Road, we vowed to return

Not far from Long Plain and foiund just off the Snowy Mountains Highway we detoured to Yarrangobilly Caves taking a stroll along the Self Guided Cave Tour, a beautiful and another awe inspiring spot down this way.

The entrance to the self guided cave is impressive
Beautiful Yarrangobilly Caves

Moving on from the caves we ventured deeper passing through a snow clad historic Kiandra Goldfields.

Historic mining relics, Kiandra

We also passed by a snow clad Bradley and O’Briens Hut on our way to the deep south of Kosciszko.

A snow clad Bradley and O’Briens Hut
Taking in the snow clad Main Range from Scammel Spur Lookout

Dropping into the valley once again we made our way to the foothills of the Main Range exploring a couple more Mountain Huts within the Geehi Flats Area nestled beside the Swampy Plain River and are once again awe inspired by the natural beauty here with the ever present snow clad Main Range as our backdrop.

More of the “locals” keeping an eye on us at Geehi Flats

Unique Geehi Hut at Geehi Flat
A short jaunt across the river we find another River Rock built hut, Keebles

Moving on to our next camp for the night beside the mighty Murray River at Tom Groggin Campground and even with another cold, damp night ahead our spirits were not diminished as each day our admiration for this stunning region grew.

The mighty Murray River with the snow clad Main range in the background
Our cool, damp night at Tom Groggin

Back on the road the next morning we climbed back up the range passing through the winter ski resort of Thredbo where we stopped beside the Thredbo River for a cuppa and spot of morning tea, even having a visitor to keep us company for a while.

Our morning tea spot beside the Thredbo River
Our morning tea companion

After calling into Jindabyne to top up on supplies it was time to venture deeper into the wilderness as we headed south out of town making our way to the famed Barry Way pushing further south towards the Victorian Border.

Taking in views over the wilderness from Wallace Craigie Lookout
Taking a break along the Barry Way to take in views over the Snowy River Valley

We eventually jumped the border into Victoria pulling into Willis Campground on the banks of the serene Snowy River. This has since become one of our favourite camp spots in this neck of the woods.

Our serene camp at Willis Campground
Serene camping at its best

Following an amazing and peaceful night we ventured back into NSW and up the escarpment back towards Jindabyne taking one last look at this incredible spot.

Back through Jindabyne our next destination would be down towards the south coast taking a few detours along the way of course. Stopping off at Fred Piper Memorial Lookout on the side of the Snowy Mountains Highway we once again revelled in the outstanding scenery this region has to offer.

Taking in the vistas from Fred Piper Memorial Lookout beside the Snowy Mountains Highway

Tearing ourselves away it was time to venture off the bituman once once again as we plunged into the depths of South East Forest National Park, another spot we have fallen in love with over the years and been back to on numerous occasions. We headed to the tranquil Nunnock Swamp Campground for a lunch stop and to soak up more of the fresh mountain air.

Lunch at the tranquil Nunnock Swamp Campground
Taking in Nunnock Swamp

Exploring deeper into this section of South East Forest National Park we discovered another hidden gem with yet another rustic mountain hut at Alexanders Hut.

Another rustic mountain hut, this time Alexanders

Deeper into the national park we wind our way through old growth forest before taking the plunge and crossing Tantawangalow Creek at the aptly named Devils Crossing along the Postmans Track. Just over the creek crossing we pulled up fro afternoon tea here deep within the forest at Postmans Camp before climbing back out of the valley to our nights camp at Six Mile Creek Campground nestled beside the beautiful Six Mile Creek, yet another of our favourites down here.

Crossing Tantawangalow Creek on Postmans Track
Afternoon tea stop at Postmans Camp
Our peaceful camp at Six Mile Creek Campground

A short stroll from the campground we find a hidden gem as Six Mile Creek cascades over moss covered boulders, another beautiful spot.

Taking in views over the cascades
Beautiful Six Mile Creek

Reluctantly leaving our final nights camp in South East Forest we headed for the coast to breathe in some sea air taking a diversion of course via the enchanting Biamanga National Park and its cascading waters.

We soon found the white sands and azure ocean of the stunning South Coast, an very befitting end to a journey of discovery for us and one that led us through historic space tracking sites, Aboriginal Rock Engravings, through snow clad mountains, pitching the tent beside bubbling mountain streams, border hopping for the night and finally finding the allure of the coast.

Views over Wallagoot Lake
Stunning Mimosa Rocks

Our journey ends at Mimosa Rocks. This was our first major foray into this outstanding and stunning region of NSW and one that left a lasting memory that we still to today reminisce over. We have since returned to most of the areas that we explored here all those years ago and still find it a fascinating and scenic region. If you are interested in more details on some of the areas visited on this Time to Reminisce post you will find many details in other posts on this website.

We hope you enjoyed our Time to Reminsce 10 instalment and keep an eye out for more posts from our early ramblings or our later jaunts to near and far destinations around this amazing country of ours.

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