Hiking in Mount Kosciuszko National Park: Day Three

The pinnacle of our three day hike in Mount Kosciuszko National Park was, of course, the namesake mountain itself. At 2,228 m, it is Australia’s highest point. It was our main goal of the trip, but honestly, was not the apex of our days there. Even though we had full packs and had to battle crazy gusts not unlike our initial failed attempt, the path to the summit was such a gradual, gentle stroll that it felt – almost disappointingly – like a walk in the park.

Backpack challenge
Backpack challenge

The highlights of our trip, rather, were when we pitched our tents at the end of each day’s walk, and lay back on sun-baked rocks to rest our swollen feet and sip hot tea (spiked with whiskey). While we boiled water for dinner, we gazed heavenwards, waiting for the first stars to pop out of the deepening purple skies, for the dusty Milky Way to unveil itself. For in few places of the world now do we get such clear, unpolluted views of the night sky.

The walk itself was nevertheless very delightful, with views of rolling hills stretching out into the far distance. Patches of snow still remain along the trail, alongside clumps of cheerful yellow billy buttons and fields of buttercup daisies.

Playing in a snow patch
Playing in a snow patch

 

Crazy winds on the summit of Mt Kosciuszko - just look at Rose's pigtail!
Crazy winds on the summit of Mt Kosciuszko – just look at Rose’s pigtail!

 

Last glimpse of the Main Range Track
Last glimpse of the Main Range Track

Can’t wait to be back – or back out camping in the wilderness again. 😀

Hiking in Mount Kosciuszko National Park: Day Two

It’s fun to go off trail. It’s fun to wander off the beaten track to go where few people venture, to pretend for a moment that we’re early explorers discovering the great unknown. Remind me of this fact the next time I complain about ‘getting lost’. 🙂

It says something when we eventually link back to the main route and we spy a tent here and there in the far distance and we go, oh it’s so crowded! In reality though, in our entire day walking this second day, we spied maybe a total of a dozen tents?

My poor feet also thank me when we walk off trail on the soft – albeit uneven – mossy grass than the pebbly paths (time to give in and get new shoes?!).

 

Anyway, we lucked out with the weather today. The sun was out, strong, but a steady breeze kept us cool and mostly kept the horse flies away. We took our time on the trail, stopping often for photo opportunities, and just to soak in the views.

Albina Lake
Albina Lake

In the late afternoon, we found a quiet grassy patch along Wilkinson Creek where we set up camp and took the opportunity to rinse off in the cool waters.

Another successful and fantastic day of hiking done and dusted.

Enjoying a hot dinner atop our rock at Wilkinson Creek
Enjoying a hot dinner atop our rock at Wilkinson Creek

 

Dusk falls on Wilkinson Creek
Dusk falls on Wilkinson Creek

Hiking in Mount Kosciuszko National Park: Day One

We took advantage of the Australia Day long weekend and joined a group of friends to tackle Mount Kosciuszko again. Our intrepid hike leader, Ed, mapped out a more ambitious – but super fun – trail than the easy one from the Thredbo chairlift we’d initially tackled last November. Our main route was the Main Range Track, plus a “short” side exploration of Blue Lake on Day One.

Eager to be off - Main Range Track trail head
Eager to be off – Main Range Track trail head

 

Crossing the Snowy River
Crossing the Snowy River

 

Circumnavigating Blue Lake
Circumnavigating Blue Lake

 

Trying to find the trail
Trying to find the trail

 

Haha well “short” in quotation, because our mini exploration resulted in us wandering off trail, and circumnavigating the lake until just before sunset. Instead of pushing on to the original campsite that Ed had marked out, we decided to just set up camp on a flat patch of grass above Blue Lake.

Sunset atop Blue Lake
Sunset atop Blue Lake

 

Our campsite above Blue Lake
Our campsite above Blue Lake

 

Sunset above Blue Lake
Sunset above Blue Lake

 

Sunset above Blue Lake

Sunset above Blue Lake

 

Sunset above Blue Lake
Sunset above Blue Lake

It was a tough slog to get to where we were; certainly it felt harder than Day One on the Overland Track, in part because we had a longer climb, in part because we went off trail, and in part because we brought more stuff this time (thanks Jeff for carrying the tripod!). But the views of the sunset and the milky way after more than made up for the walk. We felt so incredibly grateful to be outdoors, in the peaceful wilderness and breathing in the fresh alpine air, cut off from the depressing noise and news.

Cooking dinner
Enjoying a hot meal after a long day’s walk