The Kosciuszko National Park, the heart of the high country, has much more to offer than just winter delights.
Anyone who has seen the film The Man From Snowy River will appreciate its rugged beauty. The Getaway team headed to the hamlet of Ingebyra, 15km south of Jindabyne, to check it out.
Snowy Wilderness is a 2915ha property adjoining the national park with all you would expect from the area wilderness, untamed dirt roads and rough trails leading through bush. You can go for a day or stay for a week.
The longer you stay the more you see Mystic Lake, Hidden lake, Lake Panorama, Bella Vista Lake, Twin Peaks, Mount Carlisle, the Rollercoaster and Rocky Range, which offers the best views of the Snowy Mountains.
There is a beautiful old homestead suitable to accommodate a couple and dozens of camping sites sprinkled across the land. Building of cabins has commenced.
The homestead has a dirt-style floor, mudbrick walls made from local stone and benchtops built from a large tree found on the property. Old telegraph poles were brought from Grafton for use in the internal structure and ceilings are open timber. The giant redgum bar is very popular with guests.
There are trout in the lily pond they pop up to be fed bits of bread and ducks actually tap on the door when they are hungry. There are brumbies and a huge black stallion running around, as well as fowls from the National Park.
A basic campsite behind the homestead, tucked into a valley, has an A-frame which is covered with a tarpaulin, a stone oven, benches and logs and a fence post for boiling the billy over the fire. It doesn't come more rustic than that!
Day visitors can go into Snowy Wilderness for a four-wheel-drive tour of the property. Experienced riders can take a horse ride with Ross Smith, the caretaker, to see brumbies, wild deer, kangaroos, emus, wombats and trout, all in their natural habitat.
Brumbies play a large part in Australian folklore but are not native. They arrived with the First Fleet in 1788. It is believed they were released into the bush around 1804. They do cause environment damage, so their very existence is a controversial and sensitive subject. Justin MacIntosh, the owner of the property, has the contract for capture and rescue of brumbies from the park; they are relocated to his property, creating a brumby sanctuary.
Some are in a very unhealthy and underweight condition when they arrive, but with care and attention, they flourish. Lady is one example of a broken-in horse and is so comfortable, she will steal food from the homestead if the doors aren't closed!
Near the Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales.
Two hour Wild Brumby Watch Tours are $110 for the first two adults then $30 for each extra adult and $15 for each child. Safety gear is included and they run every day.
Two hours of fly fishing in a stocked dam is $120 per person. All gear is provided.
Horse riding ranges from two hours to five days and costs $90 to $1500 per person. Safety gear and gourmet meals are included.
Cottage accommodation is $150 a double a night. Extra nights are $120 a night.
Prices correct as at August 14, 2008.
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