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|Posted on 30 January, 2013 at 19:24||comments (15)|
The Jagungal Wilderness
The Jagungal Wilderness is one of the most picturesque areas in The Kosciusko National Park. It is the area stretching from Mt Jagungal south to Guthega Power Station and offers great views towards the Main Range. The best way to appreciate the true beauty of the Snowy Mountains is to get off the beaten track and explore The Jagungal Wilderness.
We chose to begin our ride at Round Mountain which is near Mt Selwyn ski fields. From here we headed towards Derschkos Hut where we stopped for lunch. Derschkos Hut was once used by Park Rangers and is one of the most pristine huts in the region. The potbelly stove would be a welcome sight to many cross-country skiers but not to us, after cycling in 30+ degree heat. We decided to spend the night under the stars, preferring the mice free environment of our tents.
The next day we climbed Mt Jagungal where we got a great view towards the main range and further south in to the Jagungal Wilderness. The northern side of the main range is much more spectacular than the other sides with a steep wall down to the Geehi River. It was here that we saw the last person until Guthega Power Station as we left the track and headed into the beckoning wilderness. The soaring temperature and the lack of shade made this day difficult. Once we reached our destination for the day, Mawson’s Hut, we set up camp and luxuriated.
Mawson’s hut is an old tin hut but is one of the most interesting of all huts. Inside is a small library where one can read some of the many books written on the area. From the hut a distant Mt Jagungal can be seen through the few trees.
That night a pleasant change came, and this led to much nicer cycling conditions for the next day which required us crossing the Kerries range. The sometimes 360 degree views from the range is a must for all cyclists visiting the area. At the end of the range lies Gungartan, a mountain that is slightly higher than Mt Jagungal. We decided to climb it as we had plenty of time and the climb looked very easy. At the top of Gungartan a strong wind blew from the north, this wind was so strong that you could lean right in to it. After descending Gungartan we climed onto the saddles and headed down a gully that would take us to Schlink Hilton Hut. From there we zig-zagged down the gully. After negotiating this gully we arrived at Schlink Hilton Hut where we had a quick stop and headed on to White’s River Hut for the last night of our trek. Once in our tents we heard a distant rumbling, so it was out of the tents for a guy rope test. The storm battered us with wind, hail, lightning and lots of rain.
The next day was an easy ride down a fire trail to Guthega Power Station.
|Posted on 13 November, 2012 at 17:44||comments (128)|
Forgotten Gold and Aboriginal Trails
I like to take a leisurely three or four day bike trek through the mountains of the Murray river high country.
Some years back, while browsing through the “Man from Snowy River” Museum in Corryong, I stumbled upon an old map dated back to the late 1890s where I discovered a couple of old tracks not shown on any current map publications. One was an old gold mining and cattlemen track and the other a track of sorts which follows the gradient of the old blacks track before European settlement.
I engaged a local Guide who knew of these tracks to outfit a Mountain Bike trek in the Snowy Mountains to explore these ancient trails.
To venture along these tracks is to enter into a forest wonderland.
All along its course, the cyclist is afforded fantastic views of both the mountains and rivers; in fact the tracks pass through some of the most spectacular country that this portion of Victoria, on the western slopes of the Snowy Mountains, has to offer. It winds over high gaps, negotiates its way around precipitous bluffs, passes through tall timber and skirts above spectacular river gorges.
This journey, through dry and typically hard and tough Australian bush, is alternately punctuated by the adventurer being led down into cool fern gullies, the home of crystal streams whose banks are carpeted with hazel, blanket wood, musk, maiden hair and ancient tree fern. Some of the later “citizens” of the lush under story have obtained tremendous heights.
Being greeted by Kangaroo, Wallaby, Emus and Lyrebird was an unexpected delight to this adventurous traveller, and is truly a trek through the “forest primeval”.
These remote trails are now accessible with the aid of a guide and can be arranged through Cycle Magic Treks adventure tours by contacting them on Phone No. (02) 6076 1832. Or email [email protected]