Jindabyne – Thursday 29th March to Monday 2nd April

Long weekends, for many years the attraction of Sydney when everyone else went way was too good.  Get a seat at the coffee shop, parking at the beach, no traffic, heaven.

But now my annual leave count at work is 4 weeks, unfortunately its time to join the great exodus, to throw ourselves into the tide of cars and hope to avoid being beached in a jam miles from home.

So, nothing like heading out for the busiest weekend of the year.  We’d been good boy scouts and booked almost a year in advance, so no problem with accommodation.

Jindabyne Holiday Park is on the shore of Lake Jindabyne, in the middle of town.  Its also a 2 minute walk from the shops, so pretty much a perfect location.

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Being on the lake it can be windy, normally coming off the mountains and across the lake so whilst the lakeside sites have the awesome view they can be a touch exposed.  Also, whilst not a problem for us and the trailer, if you have a huge van you might find the sites a little narrow.

Thursday 29th March

A day of two halves.  An early start and 5hr drive to get there, but worth it to avoid the traffic Thu night / Fri morning.  If you are driving down that way, a great stop is Some Café at Collector.  If you didn’t know about it you’d speed right past, there is nothing but a basic sign on the side of the motorway.

However, it is well worth a stop.  Fantastic cakes, great coffee and I recommend the toasted sandwich.  A bonus is the parking is easy, plenty of space and room to turn if you need to.

Heading through Cooma, there were an increasing number of Land Rovers, of all shapes and sizes.  It seems we had bumped into to the 70th anniversary Land Rover meet.  In the end I did not drive back on Saturday to see it, but the photos on AULRO look amazing, the parade down the main street on Sunday must have been awesome.  Great to see Daniel (Mulgo) in the photos with his rooftop conversions.

Not much else to record; we set up camp and chilled out, wonderful.

Friday 30th March

The great thing about arriving the day before is you can relax and have a coffee, watch the world go by, and wait for friends to arrive.  We were eagerly awaiting Fifty Toes (plenty of posts with them from our big lap), also Jason and Ali and their girls.  The race was on.

Fifty Toes were an easy head over the line, a 4am start to get ahead of the rush.  A valiant effort from Jason & Ali, still managed to avoid the traffic with a an extra hour or so of shuteye.

The rest of Friday was the pursuit of switching off, disconnecting from the routine and enjoying the slowdown.

Saturday 31st April

The plan for the day was to walk up Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain at 2,228 metres.  It seemed the rest of Australia has the same idea.  Last time we were here we parked in the middle of the resort, this time we were down past Friday Flat.

It made for rather long queue for the lift tickets, but the chap with the basket full of chocolate eggs made sure the kids (and some of the older “kids”) were happy…

There’s a couple of choices for climbing Kosciuszko out of Thredbo, you can walk from the village which adds 3hrs and 800 or so metres, or you can take the chairlift to 2000m and walk from there.  Its still a 6km return walk, but without so much climbing.

Unlike with skis there is no sliding forward from the chair, a brisk walk will do, but a run is so much more fun!

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Today it was like the M25 in rush hour (or Parramatta road if you aren’t from the UK).

As the path crosses delicate alpine areas, it is pretty much a boardwalk all the way.  The work involved in getting all the materials up there to make the path must have been incredible.  It would be awesome to do the walk when the first snows are down and the path hovers above the snow.

Along the way the views are special, in a bleak type of moorland way.  Kind of like the upper parts of Snowdonia, or the Lake District.

Reaching the top it was like an Aldi ski day.  The line to get a photo the peak was 20 deep. No matter, the achievement was in getting there.


Sunday 1st April

Here comes the Easter Bunny!

No walking today, more local activities.  We had planned to take a tour of Gaden trout hatchery; unfortunately the wind was so strong (glad we weren’t up the mountain!) that the tour was cancelled, apparently the danger of being blown into the ponds was too high.

Blue skies and silver linings and all that, a few bags of fish pellets later and we were by the river next to the hatchery.  If you leave the office and walk upstream until you reach the fence, there is a pool in the river.  Fishing is banned in this stretch, so the trout have the perfect position – no fishing and people feeding them; they are huge.  Chucking pellets in and watching the fish swirl is great fun.

Lunch was the Wild Brumby Distillery.  Most probably drive straight past it on the way to or from Thredbo.  Its popular, when I booked 3mths before they were already booked out from 12 to 2pm.  Its worth stopping in; personally I didn’t enjoy the schnapps so much but the food and location was awesome.

Only one photo of lunch, we were too busy eating.  If you are hungry, try the Pfandel, its not for salad dodgers or vegetarians…

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We took 15, and they catered wonderfully.  At the end of the restaurant was a table large enough for all of us.  Scattered around the gardens were plenty of things to amuse the kids, and keep the cameras clicking (do they do that any more?)

A wonderful feature of the Holiday Park is the pizza oven.  I have serious envy, the garden is crying out for one.  Each night they fired it up for BYO pizza, sadly we didn’t make our own bases, I got them from Woolworths, but you cant beat that wood fired taste regardless

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Monday 2nd April

Ah the journey home, on a long weekend, the easter weekend…..

All I can say is next year we are leaving early on Friday and heading back on Tuesday.

Jindabyne – 22nd to 24th April

A venture further afield, and a revisit of an early stop on our lap around Australia.  Only this time we had company; Jason, Amie, Maddie and their new camper trailer.

Also joining for the Saturday night were Chris, Rachael, Esther, Felicity and Rhiannon. Unfortunately Bonnie had ballet exam practise, so she and Hils could not make the trip.

For many Jindabyne may just be a gateway to the skiing, seen only in the cold of winter, which is a shame as it has more to offer than that.  Being autumn many of the trees were turning glorious shades of red and gold; the poplars especially were beautiful.

Jindabyne Holiday Park is conveniently located in the middle of town, just opposite the main shopping area and right on the lake shore.  With a slightly elevated position the views across the lake to the national park are outstanding.  The morning mist just added to the magic.

The name Jindabyne is derived from an aboriginal word for valley, and the original town was lower in the valley, beneath what is now the lake.  In the 1960’s the town was relocated to its present position, when the Snowy River was dammed.  When the water levels are low glimpses of the Old Jindabyne can apparently be had, particularly the top of the church

17-04-22 Jindabyne 1The facilities were certainly a step up from the Easter excursion; hot showers, tv room, kitchen with heat lamps and even a pizza oven, which served to make make some cracking garlic pizzas to go with the bolgnaise & chilli (thanks Rachael).

Whats Up Downunder happened to be filming whilst we were there; who knows, in a few weeks the girls may be on TV…..

Apart from relaxing by the lake (another time we will bring the paddle boards) the main aim of the trip was to climb Mt Kosciuszko.  At 2,228m this is the highest mountain in Australia.

Despite the height it is not a difficult walk; from Thredbo at 1,375m you can take a chairlift to Eagles Nest at 1,937m.  From there it is a 6.5km boardwalk to the top of Kosciuszko.  It is also certainly not a lonely walk, a constant stream of people going up or down.  Despite that the views are awesome, if a little desolate

Coming back down is strange experience, the first time I have come down a mountain in a chair lift, it looks an awful lot higher from the ground that going up.  A decent view of Thredbo though.

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Sharing the mountain with the walkers were dozens of mountain bikers, definitely something for the next trip; the idea of catching the chair with your bike and doing nothing but descending has a certain attraction!

Another great trip, made all the better by stopping over in Canberra with Chris & Rachael on the way back and heading to the ANZAC dawn service on the Tuesday morning.