Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thursday 16th February - Bombala to Tumut

Lunch at Lake Blowering
Up reasonably early this morning to get the van packed up so we could head for Tumut.  We travelled along the Monaro Highway, through Adaminaby, down the Talbingo mountain until we came to Blowering Dam.  We stopped for lunch beside the Blowering Lake.  The Talbingo drive was quite steep.  Bill thought we dropped over 1,000 metres.  Only unpleasant part of the stop was that a cocky dropped an acorn which landed right smack bang on my head!  Boy, did it hurt!
Ensuite site at Riverglade Caravan Park
After lunch we continued on our way and arrived in Tumut at about 2 o'clock.  We were booked into the Riverglade Caravan Park for three nights.
This excerpt from the Monaro Highway site link above dscribes the country we drove through.


10 km south of Nimmitabel the [Snowy Mountains] highway joins the Monaro Highway coming in from the south and shares the same carriageway running north to Cooma.

Nimmitabel to Cooma (37 km)

Running north-north-west from Nimmitabel, the Snowy Mountains Highway traverses an impressive and expansive landscape of rolling grassland plains, largely treeless except for some exotic species. It then enters the urban area of Cooma (altitude 780 m).

Cooma to Adaminaby (52 km)

The Snowy Mountains Highway leads west out of the Cooma urban precinct, corresponding with the Snowy Mountains Drive, then turns off to the north-west. It ascends through rolling hills of the Monaro Tableland, with mixed grassland and woodland, similar to the country east of Nimmitabel. Not far out of Cooma vistas to the south over the Monaro Tableland are glimpsed, and near Adaminaby (altitude 1,260 m), forested hills rise to the north across open plains.

Adaminaby to Kiandra (Khancoban turnoff) (40 km)

Kiandra Panorama. © Stuart Cohen DECCWKiandra Panorama. © Stuart Cohen DECCW
Leaving Adaminaby the grassland begins to diminish, as woodland and open forest becomes more dominant. Kosciuszko National Park is entered about 16 km from Adaminaby. The Great Dividing Range (1,251 m) is crossed again about 1.5 km inside the park, as the Snowy Mountains Highway enters the Snowy River catchment. From the park entrance to Rocky Plains Creek the country is mostly forested with montane open forest and tall open forest, showing the impact of the 2003 bushfire. Gardiners Hill is passed with the road at 1,390 m elevation. Views are close and limited.
West from Rocky Plains Creek pockets of frost hollow grassland begin to appear, becoming abruptly dominant when the road sweeps into the basin of the Eucumbene River. Sawyers Hill is passed with the road at 1,480 m elevation. Views begin to open out.
The historic locality of Kiandra (altitude 1,400 m) lies in an expansive grassland basin on the Eucumbene River.

Kiandra (Khancoban turnoff) to Talbingo turnoff (54 km)

kiandra-02Gold Mining Machinery © Stuart Cohen DECCW
The turnoff to the Khancoban-Cabramurra Road is passed just north of Kiandra, as the Snowy Mountains Highway continues to wind northwards through the grassland basin extending 10 km beyond Kiandra, edged by low hills of Snow Gum woodland. Then the grassland gives way to scattered woodlands and the exit road from Yarrangobilly Caves is passed. The Great Dividing Range is again crossed, at an elevation of 1,490 m, the highest point on the highway. The road re-enters the Murrumbidgee River catchment.
The road descends slightly to the grassland basin of Long Plain and passes the entry road to Yarrangobilly Caves, then the site of Yarrangobilly village on the Yarrangobilly River.
Beyond Yarrangobilly the road traverses tall montane forest (much if it unburnt in the 2003 bushfire), with views becoming close again, and crosses the Cumberland Range at an elevation of 1 183 metres. It then descends the steep western escarpment of the Snowy Mountains at Talbingo Hill to the turnoff to Talbingo village (elevation 410 m). On the descent tantalising glimpses of the Bogong Peaks appear to the north, with views also into a gorge on the southern side and down the Blowering valley.

Talbingo turnoff to Tumut (39 km)

From the Talbingo turnoff the Snowy Mountains Highway follows hilly ground on the eastern shore of Blowering Reservoir, a Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme impoundment of the Tumut River. The country is a mixture of mostly cleared paddocks and remnant forest, with obvious weeds such as Blackberry. East of the road rises the dramatic granite escarpment of the Blowering cliffs. The outlook to the west is across the reservoir to more forested hills.
Near the northern end of Blowering Reservoir the highway climbs eastward over hills and crosses out of Kosciuszko National Park. It then descends steeply into the rural Tumut valley, with some good views to the north. The scenic rural country of the Tumut valley continues into Tumut (altitude 585 m).

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