Snowy Mountain High ~ Kosciuszko National Park, Australia

Stone mountain hut against a blue sky, fronted by Silver Snow Daisy, Seaman

Seaman’s Hut
A mountain hut built in memory of W. Laurie Seaman and Evan Hayes, who died in a blizzard in 1928.
Summit Walk, Etheridge Range, 30 December 2012.

There can be no better place to recharge one’s batteries and to make plans for the future, than the mountains.

Of course, it is fair to say that Australian mountains are more like hills by world standards, with Mt Kosciuskzo, the highest, standing at only 2,228 meters. Even so, whenever I’m in the Snowy Mountains I revel in the crisp, clean ‘mountain’ air, and feel like the world is full of possibilities.

Silver Snow Daisy (Celmisia asteliifolia) on an alpine slope. Mt Hotham, Vic

Silver Snow Daisy
Celmisia asteliifolia on the summer slopes of Mt Hotham, 14 December 2012 (iPhone S4).

Grasses in a mountain wetland: mountains in the background.

Wetlands
Boggy ground and mountain views along Rennix Walk, 11 November 2012.

Landscape: Grasses in the foreground, against patchy snow on Mount Townsend, Australia

Mount Townsend
Grass and snow patches viewed from the Summit Walk, 10 November 2012.

In the past few months, we’ve crossed through the high country passes a few times, and stayed near Kosciuszko National Park several more. Each time, the clean air and open skies have caused me to stop – to revel in those timeless moments when everything shimmers and feels endless.

Our most recent trip into Australia’s alpine regions was almost symbolic: as we approached Jindabyne, gateway to Kosciuszko, the summer sun started setting, casting a red and orange light over the land. At the same time, as if to signal the end of a hectic year, the full moon rose over the foothills.

Full moon rising through an orange sky over fields and low mountains. Jindabyne, NSW

Sunset ~ Moonrise
Full moon rising: The Snowy River Way, 28 December 2012 (iPhone S4).

Full moon through silhouetted gum trees, against dark blue sky. Jindabyne, NSW.

Full-Moon Magic
The last full moon of the year through the gum trees, Jindabyne, 28 December 2012.

After arriving at our destination, we sat outside. Everything was quiet as we watched the last full moon of the year rise through the gum trees opposite our patio. What a perfect way to wind down after a busy festive season with family!

Of course, I don’t sit still for very long; in a few days we were out cycling and walking across some of Kosciuszko National Park’s vast and varied alpine landscape.

View of alpine plants, including mountain celery, across the Main Range, Kosciuszko, Australia

The Main Range
Patches of Mountain Celery are scattered across the Main Range, Kosciuszko National Park.

Mountain Celery in bloom, mountains and blue sky.

Mountain Celery
Aciphylla glacialis against the open sky, 30 December 2012 (iPhone S4).

Close-up: Purple eyebright among mountain grasses.

Eyebright
Clumps of euphrasia collina dot the hillside beside the Summit Walk, 30 December 2012.

An Australian Raven profiled on a granite rock against a blue sky; displaying an open beak and the distinctive hackles.

Australian Raven
The distinctive long throat feathers (hackles) accompany the raucous cries of one of the many corvus coronoides along our track, 30 December 2012.

A patch of silver snow daisies against scattered granite rocks. Kosciuszko NP, AU

It’s a wild and rugged landscape.

Patch of Silver Snow Daisy against alpine grass.

Silver Snow Daisies don’t bloom long, but are my favourite.

Silver Snow Daisies across the Main Range, Kosciuszko.

Their beautiful silver-blue foliage colours the alpine hollows.

Long mountain grasses, gumtrees behind.

Grasslands
It’s a nice, easy walk from Thredbo Diggings campsite to Bullock’s Hut, 01 January 2013.

A bleached log surrounded by golden headed grass.

Fallen log along Bullock’s Track.

Golden headed grasses in sunlight.

Sun bounces off the grasses.

Rough grasses and small purple wildflowers.

Purple Wildflowers
The wild and delicate forest floor, 01 January 2013.

Grassy walking track, littered with fallen logs. Bullock’s Track, Kosciuszko NP.

Gum Forest
Gum trees – fallen and standing – line Bullock’s Track.

Mountain river flanked by grass and gum trees. Bullock

Confluence
The meeting point of Thredbo River and Little Thredbo River at Bullock’s Flat, 01 January 2013.

Clear waters rippling over the smooth rocks of a river bed. Bullock

Clear Waters
The Thredbo River runs cold and clear, Bullock’s Flat, 01 January 2013.

Close-up: march fly on a hiking pant leg.

Company
March flies can be an ever-present pest during the summer months. Bullock’s Flat, 01 January 2013.

Delicate yellow pea flowers in rich green grass.

A Riot of Colour
Delicate yellow pea flowers in rich green grass, Bullock’s Flat, 01 January 2013.

Standing tump of burned tree in a gum forest.

Memorial to fires past.

Dirt walking track through gum forest.

Bullock’s Track.

Tufts of grass growing from a crack in a granite rock.

Grasses in the Wind
Life is tough in the Snowy Mountains: tufts of grass get a hold on granite rock.

White wildflowers on green shrubbery.

White Flowers
With every step, the textures, colours and scents of the forest change.

Family group on the Thredbo River on a sunny day.

Family Day Out
Families spend their New Year’s day cooling off in the Thredbo River, 01 January 2013.

To the Future (text)

It is always delightful exploring Kosciuszko National Park’s tracks and trails, and it was a great place to welcome the New Year, with all it’s fresh potential.

Wishing you all the best of the New Year ~ where ever you are and whatever your plans.

Pictures:  10 and 11 November 2012; 14 and 30 December 2012; 1 January 2013.

  • Signe Westerberg - January 10, 2013 - 10:16 pm

    I really don’t get up to the mountains often enough. What a lovely virtual visit to this amazing place, thanks for the share 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Ursula - January 10, 2013 - 11:33 pm

      Thanks for coming along for the virtual tour, Signe; you are welcome on the real one any time! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • […] I, personally, have been incredibly lucky this past year – with new babies and new adventures – but the events of the world around me have had an impact. I often feel weighted down by the disasters and acts of insanity that I see in the nightly news and feel the need to withdraw: to wrap myself in healing nature and refresh my spirit. There can be no better place to recharge one’s batteries and to make plans for the future, than t… […]ReplyCancel

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