Sunday of the long weekend was spent exploring Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains. I’d been to Thredbo as a kid in the winter months when it is one of Australia’s premier skiing locations. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover an amazing hub of summer activities.
The main chair lift – the Kosciuszko Express – operates in Summer ferrying people to the top where Australia’s highest point, Mt Kosciuszko, is a mere 6.5 km hike. The chair lift also accommodates mountain bikers who stow their bikes on the back of the chairs to access the many downhill bike trails that replace ski runs in summer. The lift ride takes about 15 mins and travels 1.8km, ascending 560 vertical metres.
We had designs on reaching the summit of Kosciuszko, but when we got to the top the winds were extremely strong and the temperature only a few degrees. Not good walking for little kids. As a result we opted for the Dead Horse Gap Walk which crosses the ridge of the mountains below the summit line and is more protected.
The walk was one of the best I’ve done in Australia, certainly outside of Tasmania. The track meanders across the mountain for a period with lovely fine alpine plants and rocks all around before dropping down to more protected areas and passing through the snow gum forests. After a couple of hours the track descends to the Thredbo River where you can rejoin the road, meet a vehicle if you have left one there, or follow the good Thredbo River Track back along the river to the village. We took the latter option strolling in the sun and out of the wind, stopping for picnic lunch on the river banks.
The walk is between 10 and 11 kms for the round journey back to Thredbo and took us about 4.5 hours at a nice slow pace (you can see the brown track on the left of the map below).
The Dead Horse Gap is the natural divide between the Murray and Snowy river systems. It reportedly got its name following the discovery there of 17 brumby skeletons (source: www.murrayriver.com.au). Whether that is the case or not, we did discover one such skeleton, rested in a charming sunny hollow between the snow gums about 1.5 km from the gap.
This walk was as good as any half day walk you will experience and left me wanting more of this region.
We capped off the afternoon with another ride on the chair lift, some fun on the summer bobsled, the water slide at the leisure centre and pizza in the sun at Thredbo Village for dinner.
Check out these and other walk descriptions on our Walks Page.