In the middle of Summer at the end of 2006, I went on a 4 day bush walking and camping trip organised by fellow members of the UTS Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) to Kosciuszko National Park that ended with us waking up on Monday, New Years Day 2007 on top of the highest Mountain in Australia, Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 metres / 7,310 feet).
Day 1, 29th December 2006:
Caught a lift from Sydney at 11am to Island Bend camp site at Kosciuszko National Park thanks to Sean and Eva from Sydney Uni Bushwalkers club (SUBW). After getting a bit lost because of poor signage within the National Park we spotted some OAC members setting up camp at about 7pm.
After setting up camp I spotted half a dozen kangaroos grazing nearby and managed to get fairly close to them to take photos before they bounded away.
Day 2, 30th December 2006:
We drove to a place we could park and then took all our gear for a walk to camp overnight at Cascade hut.
Some of the more energetic people decided to dump their gear at Cascade Hut and keep walking for a while because they thought the trail to the Victorian border was close enough to walk there and back before it got too late. The rest of us stayed at camp to setup our tents, get water to boil for dinner and generally laze about.
During the evening a huge thunderstorm with plenty of rain came in and the walkers came back after realising they were well short of the Victorian border 🙂
After dinner we played Celebrity Head inside the hut until about 10:30 when the rain had stopped and we went to sleep.
Day 3, New Years Eve 2006:
Woke up in the morning at 5am and couldn’t sleep any more so I walked towards the creek and saw a kangaroo bound through camp.
Sean, Eva and I left in the first group and I spotted a pair of young foxes. While we were taking a break a few other people caught up with us, soon after that I spotted a mob of 4 brumbies (wild horses).
Our group got to the car park and headed for Thredbo to decide what to do next because there was another large thunderstorm gathering overhead. After getting there and making contact with the other 1/2 of the group it was decided that each 1/2 would split up with our group going upto Mt Kosciusko and the other 1/2 going to a different hut overnight.
It was getting quite late and threatening to pour so because the walk from Thredbo Village up the initial slope following the chairlifts was fairly steep and boring our group decided to take the chairlifts instead and head through the rain to camp next to Seaman’s Hut.
Once we got there we took over the hut by hanging our wet raincoats and jackets on every available surface, set up tents outside in between bursts of rain and then made warm dinners inside (Pasta, Soup, Noodles etc) accompanied with some chocolate. We were joined by an middle-aged couple and a young and very wet Irish couple (the girl had blue lips!) who hadn’t brought a tent.
Day 4 New Years Day 2007:
I’d been a bit crook at night so I woke up at 4:30 with everyone else and packed up the gear but I was too tired to head off straight away for the summit and anyway the area around Seaman’s hut offered some good angles for the sunrise so I took my gear into the hut and got my camera lens clean and put in fresh batteries
The sunrise was great with low lying mist and cloud in just the rights places to give a fiery red glow to the sun and I took many great photos from different vantage points before trudging back towards the chair lifts and buying a hot drink before we drove back to Sydney.
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Overall the weather was mixed and we did get wet at times, but when it counted such as the initial walk to Cascade Hut, Spotting the Brumbies and New Years Day sunrise on Mt Kosciusko it was perfect. I had lots of fun and met some pretty good people.
I’m glad I went in a group of people who were largely experienced bush walkers and campers because they organised the trip well and made sure everyone including the more casual bushwalkers like me got through OK.