Jindabyne to Falls Creek and back

The 2014  PedalPower "Spring Mountain Tour" was a 700km ride through the New South Wales and Victorian high country. There was a fair bit of hill climbing on this trip, including a 1000m ascent from Omeo to Falls Creek, but of course this means there were a good number of long downhill stretches too.

Most of the camping was in free campgrounds beside clear mountain streams. To my surprise, most of these were warm enough to swim in, even in November, not long after the snow had melted.

  • Day 1: Jindabyne to Jacobs River campground
  • Day 2: Jacobs River to Suggan Buggan campground
  • Day 3: Suggan Buggan to Native Dog Flat
  • Day 4: Native Dog Flat to Omeo, with a decent break for lunch, icecreams and coffee in Benambra
  • Day 5; A long climb from Omeo to Falls Creek
  • Day 6: A rest day in Falls Creek. Thanks to Dave Thomson for accommodation in the lodge there, and thanks to John Wilson for winning two chooks at the Omeo pub, which, with a bit of embellishment and imagination, made a hearty meal for the night.
  • Day 7: Falls Creek to Mountain Creek campground
  • Day 8: Mountain Creek to Lightning Creek Reserve, stopping at Mitta Mitta for (you guessed it) lunch, icecream and coffee.
  • Day 9: Lightning Creek to Anglers Rest
  • Day 10: Anglers Rest to Ah Sye campground on the Gibbo River via an inadvisable shortcut and the by-now familiar refreshments in Benambra.
  • Day 11: Gibbo River to Staceys Bridge campground on the Nariel River
  • Day 12: Nariel River to Corryong. A short day, and a chnace to stock up on supplies in Corryong.
  • Day 13: Corryong to Geehi Flats campground on the Swampy Plain River*. Obligatory coffee and scones in Khancoban
  • Day 14: Geehi Flats to Leatherbarrel Creek campground. Pretty easy day.
  • Day 15: A climb from Leatherbarrel Creek to Dead Horse Gap, a brief stop at the Thredbo bakery and then back down to Jindabyne... where there just happened to be another bakery.

Thanks again to Richard Bush for doing most of the organising.

* Not even remotely swampy. Really nice actually

On the Barry Way
On day one, a few hours after leaving Jindabyne. All up we had 13 riders, with somebody volunteering to drive the support vehicle each day.
Wallace Craigie Lookout
Just before the long downhill run to Jacobs River
Jacobs River
Just before the first campsite, the road crosses over Jacobs River
Snowy River

The Barry Way follows the Snowy River across the Victorian border.

I've always been puzzled by the reference to "pine-clad ridges" in The Man from Snowy River. After all, if you go "down by Kosciusko", you'll see alpine shrubs, grassland plants and snow gums - none of which could be mistaken for pines . However, here along the Snowy there are plenty of Cypress Pines (Callitris).

Native Dog Flat
The campsite for day three.
Tree trunk
Detail in the bark of what I think is a very old Black Sallee (Eucalyptus stellulata) in the middle of the Native Dog Flat campground.
Macabre
A few hours after leaving Native Dog Flat we encounter this. Not so much a native dog as the carcass of a feral one. Wild dogs are a problem in much of rural Australia. I'm not sure if the intended statement here is "we're doing something about it" or "it's still a problem".
Approaching Falls Creek
The climb to Falls Creek from Omeo was the most arduous of the trip. Omeo has an elevation of 685 m -  Falls Creek is at 1600m. Fortunately the road is good (although steep), and the scenery is quite pretty especially here after the main climb.
Snow gums
Snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) near Falls Creek
Burnt forest
In 2003, bushfires swept through much of the Victorian and New South Wales high country. Even after eleven years, the scars are apparent, and regeneration is slow in this cold climate.
Mountain Creek campsite
Doug and Silke catching a few rays during breakfast at the Mountain Creek campsite.
Mountain Creek
A short walk from the campsite
Along the Treefern walk.
To Mitta Mitta
To Anglers Rest
Completion of the Falls Creek loop. A few days earlier we'd slogged up that road to the right to get to Falls Creek. On this day however, it's pretty much all downhill to Anglers Rest.
Bundara River at Anglers Rest
Anglers Rest campsite

Another great free campsite by a river, with the added benefit that the Blue Duck Inn is a few hundred metres up the road so you can get a meal, coffee or even a room if you so desire.

Here you can see our support vehicle and the plastic boxes that most of our gear was carried in. Behind the ute, obscured by a tree branch, is the trailer that carried most of the boxes.

Shortcut to Benambra
There's a pretty little shortcut between the Omeo Highway near Anglers Rest and Benambra. Pretty but very hilly - too hilly for our support vehicle, and often too steep to ride.
Cycle path to Corryong
Yes, there is actually a bike path for the last few kilometres of the leg into Corryong.
To Khancoban
Well I guess we had to have one wet day. However, we really only had two rainy spells this day. The first occurred just as we left Corryong, so it seemed logical to just wait it out in a cafe. The next one struck around Khancoban, so we employed the same evasive manoeuvre there too.
Trees at Leatherbarrel Creek
A slightly different view. I'm not sure which I prefer.
Pilot lookout
The last real ascent of the trip: Leatherbarrel Creek to Dead Horse Gap.
Final stretch
From Dead Horse Gap it's almost all downhill back to Jindabyne, with a small diversion into Thredbo for coffee.