I love hiking … at the start and the end of the hike. Halfway through I think I’ve made the worse decision possible. Why on earth would I make myself walk for an indeterminate amount of time with no ability to cash out if I want!
And then you get to the view, the flowers, the wild brumbies, the waterfall, the <insert something great> etc. Hiking gets you to those special places that often feel like they’re all yours. A look out point is great but, damn you parents for being right, the hard work makes it all the sweeter. So, without further ado, here’s my top four hiking lines in the Thredbo area –
Dead Horse Gap
Dead Horse Gap is an awesome 10 km hike with a huge variety of terrain. In a unique and frankly ingenious twist you can take the Kosciuszko Express chairlift and hike DOWN. Hello hike that rewards minimal effort (I knew 14 year old whiny me was right about effort and reward paradoxes). For those that feel like this is cheating or don’t want to shell out for the lift ticket you can walk up instead and catch the lift back down (you can also eat broccoli everyday, never tease your siblings and always get everything done on time but where’s the fun in that).
The Dead Horse Gap walk will take you 3 hours on the usual or 4 on the dawdle. Enjoy sweeping views of the ski/bike runs on the chairlift before trekking out past Rams Head Range. The view of the exposed rock spines is truly spectacular and will give even the most stiff upper lipper a shot of Banjo Pattersonesk poetry feels.
The easiest way to access the Porcupine Rocks hike is by driving to Perisher and parking just past the village. This hike is relatively short with an absolutely gob-smacking view at the end. Wind in and out of the alpine trees along a tiny path before climbing up the granite tors for sweeping views of the valley and town of Jindabyne.
As the hike is gentle and only about 30 – 40 minutes long it is also the perfect sunrise or sunset photograph location … or romantic make-out location (whatever floats your outdoors boat). Grab your camera and your cutest hiking shorts and take to the mountain!
Buckle up (or unbuckle I guess, you won’t really get anywhere if you’re strapped into the car) for a huge day out! The main range hike is 22 km loop from Charlotte’s Pass (cuts out sections), a 20 km loop from Thredbo (cuts out sections), a 22km one way walk from Thredbo to Charlotte’s Pass or a 32 km loop from Thredbo if you want to see it all. As you can image this hike is an all day affair taking approximately 8 – 10 hours depending on the route chosen and should be done in a group with someone who carries a compass and topographical map (and can also read them, style points don’t count). Be be prepared for all weather outcomes and a potential overnight stay just in case as you’ll be going through some of the regions most extreme alpine terrain. This all sounds pretty intense but lady babes it’s worth it! If you’re just starting out on your hike adventures Thredbo Resort does guided hikes that end in a pick-up up, wine and snacks. Flip off that worry
This hike will take you past epic photo locations as it follows the spine of the range via Mueller’s Pass, Northcote Pass and Carruthers Peak before dropping into a crossing of the mighty Snowy River itself and finishing at Charlottes Pass (if going from Thredbo). In summer (in winter it’s covered in snow so keep to those summer vibes ladies) get a nose full of herb and flower fields and take in some truly epic glacial lakes. Be brave and drip a toe into Blue Lake (28 metres deep and created by actual glaciers converging and carving out a basin in the rock – BOOM!), marvel at Albina and snap that Insty shot overlooking Club Lake. Phew, now that’s a day out!
Of course we kept the Cadillac walk for last, you all knew it was coming and I do so hate to disappoint. Mt Kosciuszko is the bucket list hike that we Australian’s always forget about. It’s one of the seven peaks of the world and Australia’s highest point so if you haven’t done it yet get on up there and be the ultimate Queen on the Castle (take that 8 year old Tanya Smith).
The hike to Kosciuszko is surprisingly chill. Although it’s 13 km return the hike itself is along a grated path and pretty gradual meaning that you should drag the whole fam bam with for the ultimate adventure reunion. Grandma, mum, niece, daughter, sister, 5 year old cousin … it’s a shedoeslines generational moment!
You can either begin the hike from the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift (approx. $40 to ride for the day) or hike up Merritts Nature Track – warning this option tacks on an extra 4 km AND makes you climb over 500 m vertical in that distance so maybe leave your Tim Tams at home if attempting. The hike itself take you through the valley between the larger peaks past beautiful alpine flower fields, cute streams filled with tiny native trout called Mountain Galaxia, Lake Cootapatamba (the regions highest glacial lake) and some snow that just refuses to grow up if you’re lucky. The final stretch from Rawsons Pass (which has a bathroom thank frig – peeing without tree cover can have lasting effects) to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko is the hardest of the hike. At the top it’s totally acceptable (and encouraged) to give a war cry, you’re on top of the world baby! That obligatory snap on top of the monument seals the deal. On the way back why not round out your day with one of Eagles Nest’s cheeky adult hot chocolates and send out some Facebook jealousy.
Do you have a favourite hike that’s not listed? Let us know, we’d love to publish your own slice of inspo.