Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kosciuszko National Park - Going "Alpine"

What a difference a few hundred kilometers make! Leaving the coast moving inland takes you through some of the most lush, green forest in Australia. Continuing further inland the landscape goes dryer and forest turns to grassland and then you hit the mountains!

We were heading for Kosciuszko National Park, a part of Australia which I have badly neglected during the nearly 5 years I have been down here. Guess I have felt it was too similar to places I have seen in Europe and since we have no outback or rain forest around Denmark I have "focused" more on those types of habitat. However, there is something fantastic about mountains and after all the years down here it great driving up into Australia's only alpine area.

Arriving at the park around midday Monday and having to start work in Sydney Wednesday morning we were once again in for some action packed hours. As soon as we had raised the tents at the Sawpit Creek campsite we rushed back into the car and drove up the mountain, trying to put the rest of the Monday to good use and do some good quality "high" altitude hiking.

Fantastic stuff standing there above the treeline and watching how the track winds it way up the mountain - no surprises here! Just raw bare nature and that great feeling of super clean cold air. Being in the sun it is all good, but you feel the altitude as soon as there is the tiniest bit of shadow then it goes cold. The air carries very little heat.

Having arrived late we decided to go for a solid walk, but leave the summit attempt for the next morning ;-) We agreed on the Charlotte Pass to Blue Lake return walk, which had everything you can expect for a alpine walk; lots of ups and lots of downs, but no flat bits! But what a blast! :-) Walking with view of Mount Kosciuszko, crossing Snowy River few hundred meters from its source and seeing Blue Lake, some of the most unique wetland in Australia makes quite good use of a Monday afternoon.

To be continued ..

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