Friday 29 April 2011

Snowy Mountains Trip - Day 5

Day 5 - 29/4/2011 - Cabramurra and Khancoban Day Trip

Today was the first day that we really started to experience the cold weather.  Something that we don’t generally get to experience in Bundy.  Overnight the temperature went down to 0.1deg outside and 15deg inside.  There was frost on the car.  We now wouldn’t be without the diesel heater that we optioned into the Quantum!!  The following photo shows how good the heater is!!

Nice and toasty inside!

We were going to try to do the 4WD track to Lobs Hole Ravine but the trip to Cabramurra via Elliot Way and Goat Ridge Road, (the name really sums it up), took much longer than we expected.  The sleep-in and late start didn’t help, but hey we are on holidays!  Not only did the steep windy road slow us down but we also started to see some parts of the Snowy Hydro scheme infrastructure.

We had smoko at the tail waters of the Talbingo Reservoir at O'Hares Rest Area where there was a little camping area beside very cold crystal clear water.  We also saw the spillway and the tunnel entrance for the Tumut 2 underground power station.  They use to do tours of the underground power station but cancelled them a few years ago due to terrorism issues, such a shame as it would have been fascinating.  The tunnel entrance to the power station was massive and was about a kilometer long to get down to the power station.  You could hear your echo back when you shouted down it!  Unfortunately I forgot to get a photo of it :-(

Spillway for the Tumut 2 Underground Power Station
We didn’t arrive at Cabramurra until about midday.  By this time it was still a few kilometers to the start of the 4WD track and the track was supposed to take 2 to 3 hours to do.  Plus then we had to get all of the way back to Tumburrumba. So knowing how long it took us to do the trip in the morning just to get to Cabramurra, and we didn't want to get back to camp late so we decided to put it off to another day, when we can make an early start and not be distracted by other site seeing along the way.

Cabramurra takes the crown for Australia's highest inhabited town.  It is a town that was purpose built for the Snowy Hydro Scheme and today the only residents of the town are Snowy Hydro workers and their families.  It is a decent size and they even have their own indoor heated swimming pool - which I think you would need all year round.

I only had half a tank of diesel left as I was trying to run it down to fill up with Alpine diesel.  A couple of the servos at Tumbarumba weren't selling it yet but they both said that Cabramurra would have some, but when I went to fill up, they didn’t.  The servo guy said that he was expecting it in the next delivery sometime that day or the next.  So I just gave it a bit of a top up.  Then just as we were at the lookout we saw the tanker turn up, missed it by that much!

We then headed to Khancoban via Snow Ridge Road and Tooma Road.  These roads are actually closed in winter so we were lucky that we were able to drive it just in time.  The scenery was spectacular and errie.  The start of the road wound its way along ridges that had been devastated by fire in about 2002/2003.  The fires had killed the snow gums and they were just starting to grow back.

Dead snow gums
Because we had a late start it was about 2pm by the time that we stopped for lunch.  We found a nice little spot called Ogilvie’s Creek picnic area.  The picnic area was right beside a little alpine creek.  It was fantastic but cool.  We were about 1,300m high so the temperature was about 9deg from memory, even at that time of the afternoon.

Next stop was Khancoban for a quick look around and some photos.

Looking across Khancoban Pondage

Khancoban Pondage

Pipes leading down to Murray 1 Power station

Murray 1 Power Station

From there it was back to Tumbarumba via Tooma Road.  The country was very picturesque in the the afternoon sun.

When we got back to camp there were a few horse floats starting to arrive at the showground.  We thought maybe there was going to be a show-jumping event on Saturday.  Turns out it was the Lions Charity Trail Ride starting on Saturday and everyone was arriving pretty much from Friday afternoon and they kept arriving all Friday night too.  So we went to sleep on Friday night with the sounds of the horses neighing, the cows in the back paddock mooing (very strangely I must say) and the creek burbling.  Couldn’t get better than that!  (We later discovered that the strange mooing was because the calves & their mothers had been put in separate paddocks to wean the calves - they were calling out to each other - all night!)

View Snowy Mountains and Jindabyne Trip in a larger map

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