Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday 18th May 2013 Koskiuszko Mountain Retreat - Old Geehi Hut - Keebles Hut - Geehi Hut - Khancoban - Tom Groggin

A 7am wake up brought us the coldest start we've had - minus 3.1 deg outside and frost everywhere! Thankfully the space heater, henceforth known as Hades, means we have slept in about 10 degrees which is quite comfortable. We have decided today we will drive up the Alpine Way to Kancoban, then work our way back, visiting the old huts along the way, such as Keebles and Geehi.

We left camp about 10.30am and headed along the Alpine Way, passing the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery with the intention of dropping in on the way back home. It was a beautiful clear morning, and passing Thredbo we could see thick snow on the slopes to about half way down.

The Alpine Way was a twisty windy road, and just after Dead Horse Gap that marks the Great Dividing Range the cloud came in, giving an eery look through a section of dead snow gum trunks. We continued on to a dirt track that marked the way to Old Geehi Hut, which took about 20 minutes to reach. We felt a tinge of regret that a 4WD was already there, however no-one was around, and we had to take judicious pictures to avoid sight of the vehicle. It was a lovely spot next to Old Swampy Creek, and we moved on, stopping to survey a creek crossing and determining it was shallow enough to traverse. Funnily enough Paul couldn't convince me to test the depth.

On the other side we could see what the map told us was Doctor's Hut, but was on the other side of the creek around the bend that we'd just came from. Not long after was Behr's Flat where Keebles Hut is located, and we chose this place to stop for lunch. There were a number of fire rings, and again this was clearly a spot that would be popular in summer.

After lunch we continued a bit further to Geehi Hut, which is accessible from the Alpine Way with 2wd vehicles as we had made a loop around. Again, this appeared to be a good campground with well spaced out sites, numerous drop toilets and room for expansion on to a flat area further from the creek.

We went back onto the Alpine Way to continue to Khancoban, and stopped at a cafe for afternoon tea, before heading back the way we came. We did a detour to the Tom Groggin Rest Area that looks to be another good, popular camp site, and saw what is likely to be the highest point of the mighty Murray River we will see on this trip.

By this stage, it was a little after 4pm, and we realised that at this rate we would be due back at camp at about 5.30, right on dark, so we'd better head to avoid silly wildlife. And it looks like our visit to the schnapps distillery may have to wait until tomorrow, hopefully it will be open on a Sunday.

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