After leaving the Blue Mountains we embarked on a day of driving down towards the incredible Snowy Mountains. We had quite a long drive ahead of us, just under 600km, however we took our time and enjoyed the beautiful scenery around us.
As we ventured further south the weather was definitely starting to change – it was of course winter here, but I felt a whole world away from my first few days in Australia which were spent in a very balmy Cairns… We did unfortunately spot our first kangaroo on the road… shame it was roadkill! This was probably 1 out of a 1000 we saw during our road trip – they literally just run out onto the road!
The sky was bright blue with not a cloud in the sky, however the temperature was plummeting and we were fully wrapped up in the van, even with the heating on! We did stumble across a mob of kangaroo at Weereewaa Lookout Point, which was super exciting to see!
A little while later we got even closer to a group of roo’s – we were definitely in ‘Straya! It’s only when you get up close to these animals do you realise how HUGE they are! They are literally just muscle…
After a few hours driving down the Snowy Mountain highway we arrived in the town of Cooma, the capital of the Snowy Mountain region. Continuing our nature tip we wound up park next to a cow which had just given birth to a little calf – super cute! We sat and watched it for a little while taking its first few steps.
We didn’t stop for long as the sunlight was slowly fading, so we headed back on the round and made our way into the Kosciuszko National Park – one of Australia’s Alpine regions and most famous ski resorts! When you think of Australia, I’m pretty sure ski slopes and icy lakes aren’t the first images that come to mind, but this place was literally stunning.
The drive through the winding hills of the National Park were absolutely amazing – although I admit I was the worst passenger – practically holding my breath and screeching every time we drive round the winding corners. Apparently icy roads, winding corners and steep cliffs don’t sit well with me….
As soon as we got higher up into the mountains we started to see more and more of the familiar scattering of white in the horizon – snow! It was amazing. Before we knew it, it was like we had embarked into a completely different terrain and soon were driving through the most incredible winter wonderland covered in thick snow – it was stunning!
We soon reached a particular high spot up in the mountains in a region called Kiandra where the snow was particularly thick. We joined the group of tourists up on the slopes and enjoyed watching the sledgers/trying to avoid injuries from the numerous snowball fights taking place. It really was gorgeous.
Something that’s so interesting about driving through this Alpine Range is that the scenery changes dramatically around every corner. Before we knew it, we were heading back down to sea level across the mountain slopes and the snow slowly disappeared. We ended up stopping off at a little lake at the bottom of the range for a spot of lunch, we watched some locals catch and cook their fish for lunch, and ‘enjoyed’ our first experience of the infamous Australian roadside toilets, or ‘dunnies’ as they’re know here. Well, they’re definitely an experience – just remember to look out for snakes and creepy crawlies first!!
As the evening drew in we started to drive towards some of the mountain towns on the search for somewhere to park the van and rest our heads for the night. We ended up driving into a small town called Corryong, which sits at the base of Mount Mita Mita (Mittamatite) across the new state territory line of Victoria. To say towns such as this feel like you have walked back in time is an understatement, small town Australia is genuinely some of the most interesting places I have visited!
We actually struggled to find a spot to camp up before the evening so pulled up at the petrol station to fill up and ask for some recommendations, Turns out, the petrol station was THE place to stay in the town…. although, let’s just say we weren’t sure whether we would survive the night!
The local petrol station in Corryong also doubles up as the ‘Mt Mittamatite Caravan Park’…. I’m pretty sure we were the only visitors that night, although from the looks of things it definitely felt like we were the only people who had visited since the late 1980s…..!
Before travelling, Miles and I watched the famous series on Netflix – ‘making a murderer’. If you’ve seen this, you’ll know it follows the Avery’s – a family from Manitowoc County, Winsconsin, who lived in their own salvage yard/trailer park which soon became the scene of a violent murder…. The only way I can describe the Mt Mittamatite Caravan Park is that Miles and I honestly felt like we were spending the night with the Avery’s in redneck America…. I spent the entire evening convinced that we were going to murdered… Whilst we were checking in, the park owners (who were an extremely, erm, interesting couple (!)) offered us roast pork for dinner…. We politely declined, having provisions already ready in the van, although I’m still convinced they had their own Sweeny Tod/Travellers murder plot going on….
I joke, we did survive the night, and actually the night spent in the murder scene, sorry I mean Caravan Park, is actually one of my favourite memories to look back on. Although I’m not sure I felt that way at the time. At one point I even made Miles come with me to the toilet, just to keep guard. I’ll let the photos of the park speak for themselves:
We stayed up that evening playing cards, having a few drinks and cooking up dinner!
The next morning, feeling thankful at still being alive, Miles and I decided we had to go and wander around the town before we hit the road again – it was just such a strange little place! It felt like everything had frozen in time…
If one photo can speak 1000 words for a place – it’s this shot of the Notice Board at the post office. That’s right – ‘1st July 1992′ – just 24 years out of date…!
We were coming to the end of our east coast road trip soon, and were making our way down towards Melbourne with a few days on the road ahead of us. We grabbed breakfast en route before stopping for a little stop off at the beautiful Lake Hume.
After a little walk around the lake, we hopped back in the car and continued the drive down south.
The drive was absolutely beautiful! We even found the end of a rainbow…. no pot of gold to be seen but we’re pretty sure it was a good omen for the rest of our trip!