Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weekend in Thredbo

As we headed off on our weekend to the Snowy Mountains we were still kicking ourselves at what “such a great deal” we’d scored. 3 nights in a Thredbo lodge for a ridiculously cheap price. So you can imagine our excitement to be heading away for the weekend. It’d been many years since I’d been there and the rest of the family had never been.

Getting away on the Friday, the drive seemed to take longer than anticipated but I think that was due more to the excitement of what lay ahead. As we passed through Canberra and Cooma the rolling hills gave way to steep sided mountains. Unfortunately at this time of year there was no snow to be seen but the mountains looked inviting for what we had planned.
Just on dusk we arrived at the Gunyang Ski Lodge in Thredbo, seeing the lodge carpark empty excited us even more. Could we have the place to ourselves? We quickly opened the front door and felt the warmth and comfort generated by heated floors and numerous heaters throughout the house. We quickly settled in enjoying the creature comforts of this 6 bedroom lodge.

Saturday dawned with clear chilly skies and the promise that today we’d walk to the top of Australia. By mid-morning we were sitting 4 abreast on the chairlift which jettisoned us to the start of the summit walking track. With enthusiasm we set off on our 6.5km trek to the top of Mt Kosciusko. The walk was fairly demanding on our kids and had to stop numerous times for a rest. The closer we got, the more the weather seem to take a turn for the worse. Ethan was really struggling and just before Rawson’s Pass the heavens opened, sending rain and hail our way. The clouds and thunderstorms rolled in and we made a quick dash for the nearby toilet block for shelter. It was here that we made the decision that Leonie and Ethan would turn back while Sam and I would continue to the summit. A mere 800m later the 2 of us were atop of the highest point in Australia….. It felt exhilarating and a sense of achievement.
Sunday dawned with the same clear skies and once again we took advantage of the great weather by taking the kids on the toboggan rides and another ride up the chairlift. With Thredbo experiencing perfect autumn days the area was packed with hundreds of mountain bikers all keen to experience the downhill action. Wanting to see more, we jumped in the car after lunch and headed to the nearby ski fields of Perisher Valley and Smiggins Hole. By contrast these areas were like ghost towns but both offered the beauty of mountain streams and barren grasslands. Late in the afternoon as we headed back to Thredbo we stopped by a local winery which specialised in schnapps. Leonie took a liking to many of their products but we settled a beautiful butterscotch schnapp. Once back in Thredbo the kids hit the aquatic centre where they played on the waterslides and pool while I took a walk around the streets of Thredbo, in particular I visited the site of the 1997 landslide where a plaque and a manicured terrace is a reminded of this tragedy.

After another cosy night in our majestic lodge, Monday dawned with the realisation that we were heading home today. Our 3 day get-away had gone so quickly. This area offered so much in both summer and winter and we vowed to come back. As we headed out of the mountainous area we took the time to have a look around Jindabyne and Cooma.
The weekend had been so rewarding and a lot of fun for our whole family.

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