I'm a dancer, blogger, writer and website designer, Scottish by birth but Australian by choice, living in Sydney. Find my blog at www.marisawright.com
Published February 14th 2015
A breath of fresh air in summer
Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains is loved by skiers for obvious reasons - but it is also popular with bushwalkers seeking an escape from Australia's summer heat. Temperatures in the Snowies are always several degrees lower because of their altitude, so if you're sweltering in Canberra and feel like a brisk walk in fresher air, a weekend in the Mountains may be just what you need!
Most of the walks in Thredbo are on Mount Kosciuszko -- although the town itself is on a steep hill and getting around is exercise in itself!
You don't have to be a mountaineer or even a seasoned bushwalker to get to the top of Kosciuszko from Thredo Village -- there is a chairlift which will whisk you up there in 15 minutes. The walk to the actual summit and back takes 4 or 5 hours on good tracks, and then you can take the chairlift back down again.
The most challenging thing about the walk is often the very blustery wind, which can make the going tough if it's against you. The second most challenging thing is dealing with the flies: take the Aerogard or you will find yourself covered in them (all the tiny dots on the hat and backpack in this photo are flies!).
Having visited the summit before, these days I prefer to take the chairlift up and then walk back down the mountain. Apart from making a change, it is also much cheaper! There are several options to do this, but be careful - you will need stout walking shoes, because these paths are basically sheep tracks, and are much rougher and less well-travelled than the summit track. Don't assume that if you get into trouble you'll be able to get help from a passing hiker: the last time I walked Dead Horse Gap (in the middle of the summer holidays, which is high season) I met only one other person on the whole track. Of course, that is also the attraction if you like to feel you're in the middle of the wilderness.
Precautions to Take
Whichever walk you attempt, start early as conditions change quickly on the mountain and it's always wise to allow longer than you think is necessary. Getting caught on the summit after dark is not a good idea. You can get an early breakfast and coffee at the Bakery in the Village Square.
Take a compass and pick up a walks map from the Information Centre. Ideally, have a proper map as well as the minor walks are not always well signposted and you don't want to lose your way.
It's very important, even in summer, to take warm clothing with you. It's not unusual to get on the chairlift in shorts and t-shirt and find you need to pull on a beanie, gloves and fleece when you get to the top.