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Long Plain & Blue Waterholes
In the heart of Kosciuszko National Park and just north of where Long Plain Road leaves the Snowy Mountains Highway the Port Phillip Fire Trail strikes east across rolling snow plains that is dotted with copse of snowgums. There were lots of feral horses through this area when we were there and we saw mobs varying from a half dozen to well over 30 animals. While I love the sight of wild horses on these plains, there seems to be too many of them and their numbers need to be controlled.
Long Plain Road can easily handle a good offroad camper.
We wanted to get to the historic Currango Homestead but we were out of luck as the extended waters of the Tantangara Dam had cut the access track. You can get more guaranteed access off the Snowy highway much further south, but from the trail we were on it's a big diversion! Still there's a lot of camping available around the dam's waters and while we explored around here for a time the sites really are for fisherman keen to cast a lure or fly. We headed back to more picturesque spots that dot the area along Long Plain Road.
On our way north we stopped again at Cooinbil Hut, one of the many cattlemen huts that dot these plains in the northern region of Kosciuszko. Originally built in 1866, the present Cooinbil Hut is still over 100 years old being rebuilt in 1905. This hut tucked up in close to a stand of snow gums is a popular horse and vehicle based camping spot, but I gotta tell you, the blowflies don't come any bigger than what you'll find here. Reading the info board in the hut it's been a long time problem with the old pioneers having their meat fly blown within hours of killing a beast!
Further north again we took the Blue Waterholes Trail that first climbs up from the plain through bigger and bigger trees to Cooleman Mountain and then drops into a valley before passing the extensive remains of Coolamine Homestead.
Exploring Coolamine Homestead.
White pastoralists had first begun to use the surrounding plain for grazing their sheep in the 1820s and the homestead had its beginnings in 1883 with building continuing till about 1890. Fires and weather meant a number of buildings were rebuilt over the years with the homestead finally being abandoned in the late 1950s. In 1975 the parks took over the property and between 1983 and 1988 extensive restoration work was carried out on all the buildings. They've done a good job.
We wandered around the homestead for a leisurely hour or so taking special note of the 1939 newspapers used as wallpaper in the main building, the almost tame kangaroos lolling on the short-grazed grass nearby and the build dates etched into the axle of a dilapidated wagon.
A couple of popular and pleasant campgrounds further along this waterholes trail mark the end of the vehicle access, a short distance from the Blue Waterholes themselves. This is a delightful spot on Cave Creek and a number of walking trails head off from here including one into Clarke Gorge, which leads to The Cascades waterfall.
Camping area near Blue Holes can be busy.
The Blue Holes.
For more details on camping in the Kosciuszko National Park, check out the NP web site: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks/parkCamping.aspx?id=N0018
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