Snowy River & the High Country

It’s almost been a month since we’ve been in Victoria but our travels to the Snowy River Country seem like forever ago. If there is one thing you must know about Landon it’s that he LOVES the movie The Man from Snowy River. It’s a drama filmed in Australia based on a poem written by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson. Look it up, read it, then watch the movie! The last few weeks have been most enjoyable for him!

Orbost was our first stop. Heart of the Snowy River. We spent some time at the information center to determine where we wanted to go & spent the night at a local free camp spot along the river. The Snowy River Country is remote. No phone service anywhere, not much civilization & no paved roads. Those of you who enjoy off roading – Victoria is a must! At one point we found ourselves wending down the side of a mountain on a narrow dirt road. I watched for oncoming cars while Landon focused on staying on the road. It was either ditch it or tumble down the mountain. Thankfully we didn’t pass anyone along the way & made it safely to MacKillops Bridge.

We planned to tackle the Silvermine hiking the following afternoon. It was an 18K hike with an overnight campsite a little over half way. Let’s just say that hike was the most frustrating, tiring, nerve racking & laughable thing we’ve done yet. We ended up making the whole trek in one day. It included getting lost, serious bush hiking, running out of water & a river crossing. Yes…we crossed the Snowy River in waist deep/belly deep water with a fairly strong current yet to boot. We were desperate. I’ll save the entire story for Landon to tell 😁

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Camp spot along the trail

Bairnsdale came with a much needed time of rest. We made our way out of the Snowy’s into civilization for a rewarding shower & relaxation. We ended up spending a few days there because 1) we were too lazy & slept in 2) the weather was looking bleak & 3) we needed the down time. We visited a few cafes, browsed some shops & even went to watch a movie. Fun fact: In Ohio, rain brings worms & in Australia, rain brings snails.

After our down time we made our way back into the Victoria countryside – High Country. The High Country contains the tallest mountains in all of Australia. The highest mountain is Mount Bogong at 1986m. We made our way along the Great Alpine Road through Omeo, Hotham & Harrietville. Mind you the weather was so cold & being in the mountains didn’t help. Because of the cold we put off our big hike & spent Thanksgiving day (Ohio time) in the town of Bright. We talked to family on FaceTime in a local cafe, explored the town, Bright Brewery & took a tour of the Bright Chocolate factory(so awesome!). I love Thirroul for a beachside community & I love Bright for a mountainside community. Oh and since it was Thanksgiving we ate sooo much food. Big breakfast, chocolate, pizza, burgers & chips…we splurged a bit that day 😅

Mount Feathertop was our next adventure. Second highest peak at 1946m complete with snow. It was a long 22K hike. The last 400M up the mountain was grueling but making it to the summit was so rewarding. It was rewarding to successfully make it back to our truck as well. Let’s just say we ended up not having food to eat before we made our way back. That’s another Landon story 😁. With our legs jello, our faces burned & our bellies empty I don’t think we’ve ever drove down a mountainside that fast following that hike. We quickly made our way to Mount Beauty to rest, shower & EAT. Secretly I think Landon was more sore than I was 😜.

Fully rested we made our way back up the mountains to Falls Creek. Best place in the area for skiing during winter & mountain biking during summer. Beautiful area. We traveled along the high plains of Pretty Valley to explore & camp for the evening. The following day we drove/hiked up Mount Buller & then made our way to the iconic Craig’s Hut from the Man From
Snowy River. Landon was thrilled! Of course he has the movie on his laptop so after our visit we watched it. Classic!

Our travels out of the mountains the next day weren’t what we anticipated. The scenic route became rather remote. We ended up being on a dirt road for almost 3 hours. It was rough, narrow & slow moving. We were beyond thankful for a gravel road & the paved road that followed. We changed our destination purposefully so we could drive on pavement. Thankfully we didn’t hit any dirt or gravel roads the rest of the way down to the coast.

Our next stop was Wilson’s Promontory. We finally were able to meet up with Karmen & Kendall!!! It was so great to see them & be back in the coast. That’s a whole other blog in itself so I’ll save that for the next one.

This stretch of the trip has been the most challenging for me. I’ve been taking it hard with not being home when there is a lot happening in my family. I know they are in good hands & have each other but I have moments of feeling irresponsible/helpless for not being there to fill my role. I have really begun to miss them through the holiday season. Landon’s family as well. I got a SIM card for my phone so it makes communication a breeze & for that I am thankful. I appreciate that they support us & despite being on the other side of the world make great effort in being involved in our lives. We are blessed!

We will continue to make our way through Victoria onto South Australia. The wedding we are attending is actually January 6th so we are pushing it even more to fit everything in so we can make it. Hoping to find a house sit & spend Christmas in Adelaide. Then it’ll be off to the West Coast. Until next time…

Cheers,

Jess


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