Tag Archives: Snowy Mountains

New South Wales

New South Wales
Australia

One of my favorite regions of Australia, the NSW, or “New South Wales” is located along the southeastern edge of Australia, just north of Victoria and south of Queensland. It totally surrounds the Australian Capital Territory and is Australia’s most populated state (1/3 of Australia’s population) with those who call themselves the “New South Welsh” or the “New South Welshmen”. It’s capital is Sydney. Founded in 1788 it was formed as a Federation in 1901 and originally became the bulk of Australia’s mainland encompassing historic Van Diemen’s lands (Tasmania), Lord Howe Island, and Norfolk Island as well. New South Wales even for a time held claim and custody of New Zealand when Britain annexed it in 1840, but the 19th century later separated these areas from NSW to form the British colonies of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland.

The landmass of Australia that became to be known as New South Wales was first inhabited by the Australian Aborigines roughly 40-50,000 years ago. New South Wales was first discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770 during his explorations along Australia’s east coast. He named the area “New Wales” originally, then re-naming it to “New South Wales” during his survey. When the British decided to come and settle Australia in 1788, it was here in “New South Wales” where they established the “First Fleet” or the first penal colony led by Captain Arthur Phillip until 1792. The entire state was a penal colony in its origins. This led to much upheaval and disruptions in colonization when things got out of control. Governor William Bligh took command of the region in 1792 during a time of unrest and anarchy until 1809 when Britain replaced him with Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie. Macquarie set out numerous projects to build order and community, including the construction of roads, churches, public buildings, communiies, wharves, and city structures. He also set out numerous explorers to map out the land from Sydney and to construct a well thought out street layout for Sydney. By 1825 Tasmania was separated from NSW as Van Diemen’s Land, 1836 South Australia was made its own State, 1841 New Zealand its own country, 1851 Victoria its own State, and 1859 Queensland its own state. Charles Darwin came to the region in 1836 and wrote much about NSW in “The Voyage of the Beagle” where he had mixed reactions about the State, speculations about formations of its valleys, the aboriginal populations, the penal colony, and the viable future of Australia. His thoughts and words were considered tremendously amongst his European coherts, at the same time during which in the 19th century the movement towards federation of the Australian colonies became a potential future. New South Wales was trying to become a free trade state causing turmoil with other leading colony states such as Victoria formulating friction. After World War I, farmers became discontented with the fixed prices paid by the authorities resulting in the formation of the “Country Party” in 1919. Political and class conflicts took place in 1929 seeing great instability during the Great Depression. Mass unemployment and collapse of the commodity prices destroyed the economy. By World War II, many differences came to surface between Australian states, especially with the NSW, mostly focused around federation and economic developments. The War however, brought in industrial development, a war economy, and jobs. By the 1960’s, the New England region of the state began a secessionist movement but was defeated even though its outcome were several referendums. The NSW Constitution and form of Government has stayed consistent since 1856 even though became amended numerous times since the referendums, and 1901 saw its official stamp as a state of the Commonwealth of Australia. New South Wales is most popular for its tourism, outdoor recreation, especially in the coastal regions, as well as for the production of seafood, beef, dairy, fruit, timber, hay, fruits, legumes, lucerne, maize, nuts, wheat, oats, oilseeds, poultry, rice, oysters, wool, coal, and sugar cane. It is also the only center for winter sports in all of Australia, with its premiere ski resort on Mt. Kosciuszko. Outside of the Snowy Mountains with its alpine climates, most of NSW is either arid or semi arid in nature with the eastern coasts having a temperate climate. There are more than 780 National Parks in New South Wales which makes up close to 10% of the State’s area covering various terrains from deserts, bush, rainforests, plains, and mountains. Much of it is also coastal scrublands.

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Carryong, Victoria, Australia

Carryong
* Victoria, Australia *

A relatively small town in Victoria, Australia located 75 miles easty of Albury is the town of “Carryong” along the upper reaches of the Murray River and the New South Wales border. With just over 1200 inhabitants, Carryong is along Alpine Way and the next pitstop for supplies between Thredbo and Albury when coming down out of the mountains. It’s industry is agriculture and forestry, beef and dairy farming, and has some service clubs, a hospital, and schools. It is also home to a College with over 460 students (close to half the population of the town). It is a gateway town to the skiing resorts of the Snowy Mountains scheme and a popular area as well for fishermen and watersports enthusiasts. Most popular it is known as the home of the “Man from Snowy River” who is buried here – Jack Riley 1841-1914.

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Leatherbarrel Creek

Leatherbarrel Creek
Mt. Kosciouszko, New South Wales, Australia

Along the highway of “Alpine Way” heading from Thredbo to Albury lies a nice little picnic and camping area called “Leather Barrel Creek”. It hosts over 10 campsites and is accessible by sealed roads. GPS: Latitude 36° 31? 32.52″ S; Longitude 148° 11? 34.8″ E. Nice wading stream, great for fishing, and some hiking. Camping at this site is a first come, first serve basis and is a “free” camping site. ($16 vehicle cost to enter the park) The site is located in a lovely little valley along the creekside. Toilets are available, as well as picnic tables. There are no showers or drinking water accessible on site. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.

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Merritt’s Nature Track, Thredbo, Australia

Merritt’s Nature Track
* Thredbo, New South Wales, Australia * http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/kosciuszko-np-south/merrits-nature-track.html *

Just from the heart of Thredbo lies a splendid little hiking trail called “Merritts Nature Track” which works its way up the skiing and bobsledding trails of Mt. Kosciuszko. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to hike the trail from Thredbo Village and runs about 3.7 km through the Kosciuszko National Park. It consists of a 64 meter climb exploring the native bushland around the ski resort and slopes. You can hike it from the village up along the Kosciuszko Express chairlift line up the hill, near the Eagles Nest restaurant, winding through a snow gum forest, following ski runs and bush tracks back down the hill. It also walks alongside parts of the popular Thredbo Bobsled tubes and goes up around the back of the village’s tennis courts. Nice hike. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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Thredbo

Thredbo
New South Wales, Australia

In the heart of the Snowy Mountains lies the sportsman’s paradise known as “Thredbo Village” – a pseudo-skiier’s paradise and resort town. A small town of approximately 450+ inhabitants, the resort can sleep over 4,000. Thredbo has the longest and most easily accessible ski runs in Australia where it boasts of over 700,000 winter enthusiasts a year. During the summer season, it is a hotspot of activity for hikers, rock climbers, fishers, and cross country cyclists. Each year it has a Blue’s festival during the summer months. Originally the town was developed as a place to live during the construction of the Snowy Mountain’s Hydro Elecric Scheme. It is modelled after most European ski resorts where the town meets the slopes. It boasts 14 lifts, over 50 ski runs, and has the steepest overall terrain in all of mainland Australia with the highest lift point with slopes ranging from green to blue to black diamond. Village has a free shutle bus service to link the resort with the lodges, the Valley Terminal, and Friday Flat. In 1997 a major landslide killed 18 people in Thredbo when the Bimbadeen and Carinya lodges collapsed.

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Australia’s Snowy Mountains

Australia’s Snowy Mountains

New South Wales, Australia

On the road from Canberra to Albury, one will past the historical and breath-taking “Snowy Mountains” of Australia. Built within this alpine paradise for Australia’s skiiers and snowboarders is a hydro-electricity and irrigation complex called “The Snowy Mountains Scheme” which is built up of 16 major dams, 7 power stations, a pumping station, and over 225 kilometers of pipeline, tunnels, and aquaducts. These were built from 1949 to 1974 by Sir William Hudson and represents the largest engineering project ever achieved in Australia to date of this article. (Though with Australia’s growth and development, that is sure to change) This scheme, is nationally a symbol of Australia’s independence, and represents their ability to stand on their own, individually, multiculturally, and in control of their resources as the country slowly wanes away from Britian. The scheme captures high elevation run-off and water resources to divert inland into the Murrambidgee and Murray Rivers through two tunnel systems burrowed in the Snowy Mountains. The 800 meter fall of the water through the power stations generates clean, renewable, peak-loaded power for the states of Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory.

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Bimblegumbie


Bimblegumbie

* http://www.bimblegumbie.com.au/ * 942 Alpine Way | Crackenback, Thredbo Village, Kosciuszko National Park 2627, Australia *

Bimblegumbie is a eco-resort in the heart of the Snowy Mountains near Thredbo, Australia. It is an award winning location for its gardens, known for its bush walking hikes in the mountains, and is a pet-friendly estate. Whether summer tourism or snow skiier, its a reputable place to stay while visiting these unique Australian mountains. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Crackenback, surrounded by eucalyptus gum trees, and a bountiful garden – this retreat was established in 1976 as a home away from home when skiing at the Skitube or hiking in Thredbo. For an environmentalist it is working on becoming self-sustainable with its energy saving rooms, composting, recycling, solar hotwater system, and mountain retreat setting. The retreat is named after the aboriginal word “Bimblegumbie” for “Spear Whistle”.

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Wild Brumbly Distillery

Wild Brumbly Distillery
* Brad Spalding, Cnr Wollondibby Rd & Alpine Way, Jindabyne NSW Aus 2627 * phone: 02 64571447 * slap2@bigpond.com * http://www.wildbrumby.com/ *

As one travels in the Snowy Mountains just before approaching the skiiers paradise known as “Thredbo” is a distillery known as “Wild Brumbly”. This plant, or should you say “ranch”, mixes together the Australian Mountain life with European tradition. It is home to the story of a young man who grew up on the New South Wale’s fruit belt and the tale of a young Austrian woman who relocated to this distant place. From fruit shop, deli, cafe, and hotel – came the elixir of the finest schnapps to be developed for skiier’s to stay warm and was done so by the families of the Spaldings and Landegger’s coming together to create the Australian Schnapps known as “Wild Brumbly”. Mixed family recipes brought together the fame that it is now. They are open for tours and visits, holding various flavors of schnapps available for imbibing: such as Peach – 18.5% alc; mango – 18.5% alc; pink lady apple – 18.5% alc; Williams Pear – 40% alc; WillyB Pear honey blend – 40% alc; and Butterscotch – 18.5% alc.

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Chronicles: 04/14/11: The Snowy Mountains to Albury

Travels Down Under:
The Men of the Snowy Mountains

Thursday, April 14, 2011
* Lake Jindabyne to Albury, New South Wales, Australia *

Awake in the Snowy Mountains, Sir Thomas Leaf and Sir Bluey Bee crawled out of their bunk beds at the Snowy Mountains Backpackers hostel in Lake Jindabyne ready to hike
Mount Kosciusko. They were warned though from their Czech friends that it would be a tough feat due to weather. The duo however still persisted and ventured out. That morning, Sir Thomas Leaf began to absorb his understanding of the complexities and simplicities of Australian Currency as he photographed examples of the coins and plastic bills that don’t tear … fascinated with its design. Sir Thomas Leaf cooked breakfast that morning, surprising Sir Bluey Bee and introducing him to his very first “Egg in the Nest”. Onwards the adventurers drove off to the Snowy Mountains, past the Distillery, past Bimblegumbie, fascinated with the Emu and Wombat crossing signs, and on into Kosciusko National Park and into Thredbo. Sir Thomas never thought he’d be in a ski resort of Australia! It was a small town and very busy bustling with people. Instead of climbing to the top of the Mountain, and due to scheduling to get to Albury in time to check into the hostel, they settled on “Merrits Nature Track”, a lower elevation hiking trail going through the sub-alpine Eucalyptus forest in the hills along the bobsledding tubes. Beautiful rivers, waterfalls, faerie glens, and moments of Sir Bluey’s silliness … on through the Birralee Bush Camp, underneath the Kosciusko Express chair lift … before they knew it were back to the car and on the road again towards Albury. They pit stopped along the way at Leather barrel Creek Camping and Picnic area where they indulged in a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich lunch with tea and a chance for last minute fishing in the Snowy Mountains. No catches unfortunately. Back on the road to Albury, through the Western Fall of the Main Range, and on into the state of Victoria. They drove through Carryong which had a kids playground in the center of the town with a pirate ship. Sir Leaf restricted himself from leaping out of the car to play and practice climbing the masts. Passing through a beautiful reservoir that was flooded out with trees popping above the center of Lake Hume or Mitta Mitta River called for a photo taking moment. Driving past adverts for soda pop and candy being so expensive (example: Sale of 3 Coca Colas for $8), yet proclaiming such a cheap price tag in their minds, perplexed Sir Thomas Leaf until Sir Bluey explained the sugar tax that Australia has. Totally made sense at that point when realizing sugar does impact the National Health care. Our somber explorers reached Albury and after driving around in circles for 20 minutes, finally found The Albury YHA which was disguised in a Caravan Park. They checked in and met some nice Australian ladies who were in town for a conference. Sir Thomas cooked up Pad Thai (best he could with limited Thai ingredients he could find on the road trip) for Sir Bluey Bee as they rested and caught up with the world. The duo was not impressed with this YHA even though the YHA usually has high standards on what can be called a YHA. Up to their mildew smelling room and off to sleep for a big day of adventure tomorrow on to Melbourne.

Remainder of the Story, Photos and videos below the cut:

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Cooma, New South Wales

Cooma
New South Wales, Australia

A small little town in the southern region of New South Wales, Cooma is just 115 kilometers south of Canberra. It is the entry to the “Snowy Mountains” Region and is along the Snowy Mountains Highway that connects Bega with the Riverina. With a tiny population of 6,587 inhabitants, and 2,620 feet above sea level. It is a country and mountain town popular amongst hikers, backpackers, travellers, campers, fishermen, and skiiers. The town’s name comes from the Aboriginal term “Coombah” which means “big lake” or “open country”. While Aboriginal inhabitants have had a presence here, the region was first explored by white settlers by Captain J.M. Currie in 1823 receiving its first survey in 1840 and claimed a municipality by 1879. By 1889 the Sydney railway extended from Roalla to Cooma. The town quickly became the headquarters for the Snowy Mountains Scheme and is commemorated as such by the avenue of flags in the city center’s park that represents over 27 nationalities of people working on the scheme.

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Chronicles: Great Walkabout: 4/13/11 – Lake Jindabyne & The Snowy Mountains

Travels Down Under:
Adventures to Lake Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
* Canberra, Australian Capital Territory to Lake Jindabyne, New South Wales, Australia *

Early to rise, Sir Thomas Leaf and Sir Bluey Bee gathered together a wakeful state as they prepared tea, breakfast, and organization for their journey across the Snowy Mountains on to Melbourne and the Eastern coast of Australia. Packing up their adventure gear into Sir Bluey’s white carriage, the duo began their quest. Tight space and luggage for the camping gear and equipment, they were soon off on their explorations of Australia. Sir Bluey’s dog knew something was up into action, so eagerly barked and attempted to escape from the Bluey Bee homestead. On through the Tuggernanong and out of Canberra they were “on the road” again. A long road awaited as they headed off to Lake Jindabyne driving along the roadways into the middle of nowhere, dodging kangaroos and wallaby’s, breathing in the sweet menthol smell of eucalyptus, and exploring the countryside. Sir Thomas Leaf thought much of the countryside reminded him of Oregon, Colorado, and other areas of the United States – minus the trees, the flora, the fauna, and Australia’s unique critters. Not to mention the Kilometer signs and that Australian’s drive on the opposite side of the road that he’s used to. Sir Thomas Leaf was also quite shocked that gasoline in Australia was about $6+/gallon (ca. $1.52/liter). On through the town of Cooma for a pit stop so the duo could purchase a fishing license, stock up on groceries, and make Peanut Butter n’ Jelly sandwiches for lunch. Sir Thomas Leaf and Sir Bluey Bee got to know each other very well through their travels across the countryside. Sir Bluey Bee gifted Sir Thomas Leaf a box of “Tim Tams“, an exquisite Australia biscuit (Cookies). Sir Thomas Leaf loved them so much that he couldn’t put them down. After a quick visit to the information center and learning that the only primitive camping allowed seemed to be in designated areas in National Parks (none on the side of the road, in the forests, or on the beaches) and there was 95% of the time a charge of $10 or more per person per camping site made camping a not so viable or cost effective solution to economic road tripping. As they were heading towards Lake Jindabyne they passed by unique metal art sculpture of a ball that had a fence around it. Apparently was for the Lake Festival and part of the Lake Light Sculptures. Entering Berridale, the adventures knew they were now in the Snowy Mountains. Lots of Kangaroo Crossing signs along the roadside as they ventured forward. Then late afternoon, lo’ and behold, they embraced the beauty that is Lake Jindabyne. Entering into the community of Jindabyne, the search was out for the Snowy Mountains Backpackers where the delvers would be lodging for the night. The hostel was pretty empty, just a group from Sydney who were internationals from Poland and Czechoslovakia. They adventuring pair got to have their own room and choice of bunks with a room and a balcony with a barbeque. This was Sir Bluey Bee’s first hosteling experience that Sir Thomas Leaf believed he enjoyed so much he would be utilizing them in the near future greatly. A fabulous community room, dining room, and entertainment room beheld them. The adventurers then got together their fishing gear and headed out to the lake for some fishing – no catches nor nibbles, but were entertained by a crippled brave gull who came and sat next to them. They fed it some of the worms and bait taking time for a photo-session with the bird as well. After fishing, with no catches other than photos of a bird, they returned back to the hostel to cook up some left-over pasta from the previous night and to imbibe into some Brundeburg Rum (Australian). They quickly made friends with their Slavic comrades who were sharing the hostel with them. The adventurers did venture out to find a pub with some cute “sheilas” (as Sir Bluey would put it) but to no avail they returned for a nightcap and a long night’s rest for their expedition through the Snowy Mountains tomorrow.

Remainder of the Story, Photos and videos below the cut:

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