10th November – Friday

We decided last night that instead of heading up towards the east coast to cross the border into NSW, we could drive across towards Thredbo to stay and climb Mt.Kosciosko. I have never seen it let alone climbed it. In fact I can’t think of anybody that I know who has. The kids loved climbing Uluru, so I reckon they’ll love doing this too. Maree is keen but a little worried about the drive there (winding mountain roads). After the kids had brekky they went for another explore of the river. When we pull out of our overnight camp-site we are surprised to discover we were only about 1km from quite a large town. We start heading north and drive through some beautiful country. We crossed the border without even knowing it as there were no signs. It wasn’t until we turned at a place called Bombala to go to a Platypus Reserve that we realised we were in NSW. There was one other person at the reserve when we got there and he said he hadn’t seen any platypus. It was the middle of the day and generally you are more likely to see them at dusk or dawn. Zach spotted one after about 10 minutes and we only saw that one for about 2 minutes. But at least we saw one. Zach is the “platypus spotter”. Last time we were looking for them, also at the wrong time, at Eungella QLD, Zach was the one who spotted one when everybody else had given up. We kept going and after climbing through some heavily timbered hills we drove out across a big plateau of grazing country. We came across a ridge when suddenly we could see snow on the mountain ranges ahead of us. We couldn’t believe it. It didn’t seem too long ago we were battling red sand, and now we’re looking at snow. Cool. We also passed very close to some wind turbines. Even though we’ve seen heaps of wind turbines on this trip, this was the first time we had been REALLY close to them. They are bloody huge. I’m not sure if all wind turbines are the same size, but these ones were BIG. We were told that a blade came off one at Esperance recently. You wouldn’t want to be too close if that happened let me tell you. Our trip got interesting when Google Maps decided to take us somewhere completely random; a dirt road after a small town called Kalkite, completely off track from our destination. Calling it a town is being generous too. Not sure why Google Maps hates me so much, but it’s fair to say I hate it back. After our 40 minute detour, we got back to where we should have been going; to Jindabyne and then towards Thredbo. As we were getting closer the clouds started getting darker. At one stage we thought it had started to sleet, but we worked out it was hundreds upon thousands of insects, possibly winged termites? We finally got to the camp-site and whilst we were setting up I let the kids go to the river for an explore. Jessie came running back saying “Wombat. Wombat. Wombat. Quick, grab your camera and come with me”. Maree and I followed. The scene was surreal. A beautiful bubbling, crystal clear river with short grass banks of green. The backdrop of mountains with snow on top, and a wombat grazing right out in the open on the other side of the creek, just opposite, ten metres away but completely un-fazed by our presence. The gathering grey clouds also gave the scene a nice moody feel. I said to Maree as we looked at each other in amazement; “I think I’ve just found my favourite place in Australia”. She agreed. We went for another short walk later on, and after dinner it finally rained a little bit. We even heard some thunder. Hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow, although the forecast isn’t too promising. A wild platypus and wombat in one day – gold. Speaking of which Zach was finding little specks of what he is convinced is gold out of the creek here too.

Jessie sitting on a rock in Thredbo River. There’s a wombat on the other bank, just over her shoulder.