Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Snowy Mountains

The web site for Australia's largest ski resort beckons visitors to come and "touch your first snow." But there's no snow on the mountains this time of year. Gosh, too bad I missed it!

Now that we're rounding into April, I'm getting pressed for time. Instead of dawdling all the way around the coast from Melbourne to Sydney, I took an inland cutoff through the Great Dividing Range and Kosciuszko National Park (pronounced "Kozzy-osco").

Kosciuszko is the highest peak in Australia, and while it doesn't compare to the Rockies, it's got about 1,000 feet on Mt. Washington. The national park protects an enormous area of wooded highlands all around it. I found a great camping area on a meadowy flat by a pretty river. The place was just stuffed with kangaroos.

This is how they spend most of the day. They're as docile as livestock.
Lil joey
I also spotted a platypus swimming in the river, but they're extremely shy and too fast for photos, even with my new camera.

Unfortunately, it rained on and off through the two days I was there. I managed to get in a walk and some quality wildlife-watching, and the clouds cleared long enough for one spectacular sunset over the range.
Foggy dawn
Kookaburra near the river

A pair of crimson rosellas, ridiculously common parrots

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