In January 2017, after spending the New Year in Point Lonsdale, located close to the Great Ocean Road, with family and friends I followed the Snowy River upstream from coastal Victoria into the Alpine National Park. I left the crowds behind west of Orbost where I took Gelantipy Road and then Snowy River Road (C608) northwards from the coastal highway. It wasn’t until Suggan Bugan that I really felt I was in the Snowy Mountains though, as much of the road had passed through agricultural land. Not until the last stretch before Suggan Buggan did I find the mountain country that I was looking for.
The day had been particularly hot and remained so when I met up with the Snowy River again inside the Alpine National Park. Willis campground, just south of the NSW border was large but had many isolated campsites. It seemed like a good spot to stop as I had the campground to myself anyway. The Ultimate camper was perfect for the conditions; the rough uneven terrain, quick set up, good ventilation and a bit of height to take advantage of the view and catch the prevailing breeze flowing gently down the river valley. I set up beside a National Park table looking out over the river.
I expected the river water would be cold but it was warmer than the ocean I had left behind. Refreshing never the less after the extreme heat of the day. Camping beside the Snowy River was very peaceful. The following day I was woken by the loudest morning chorus I’d heard for ages.
Not surprisingly, the wide shallow river where I had camped narrowed and deepened further upstream after crossing the NSW state border and into the Kosciuszko National Park. There are lots of spots to camp along the river, some close to the road though, and I imagine the campsites could fill up at times. But what a beautiful spot!
The Snowy River Road changes its name to the Barry Way once in NSW and leads on to Jindabyne. Once you leave the river there are few opportunities to camp until reaching Jindabyne.