Snow (just an hour from Canberra!)

6 Sep

As a born and bred Queenslander, there’s not a lot that gets me more excited than the possibility of seeing snow. I’d heard rumours before that snow could fall quite nicely up in the Brindabellas and having been up Mounts Franklin and Ginini in May, was keen to see how the scenery had transformed.  Having taken my trusty steed Pedro (a Suzuki Swift) up previously, I knew the road was quite dangerously marked with potholes. So, in true T1 style, I begged a friend with a 4WD to take us up for the day… and we weren’t disappointed.

It’s an enjoyable trip down Uriarra Road and up through Uriarra Forest onto Brindabella Road, rising higher and higher. Just before the turnoff to Bendora Road we spotted glittering sprinklings of snow on either side of the road, becoming more and more apparent the further we travelled.

To our considerable dismay (having hoped to hike to Mount Gingera), the gate was locked not far from Mount Aggie. Being stubborn and arguing it was still early morning, we began the trek down (up?) Mount Franklin Road “to see how far we’d get”.

Soon we discovered that some of the potholes which had tormented my poor car on previous trips had filled with water and frozen, and we had much (admittedly immature) fun breaking every single one we encountered with a satisfying crack.  My hands quickly started aching with the cold, and then starting numbing from it, so thick gloves were pulled on. My companions were much tougher, and typically, things warmed up once we really started walking.

We arrived at the Mount Franklin gate where there appeared to be what I can’t describe any better than what looked like doonas of snow snuggling the ground. There was also a very large piece of snow which I naively thought had occurred naturally – of course, it was the remains of a snowman. On our return past Mount Franklin gate later that day, there were plenty 4WDs crammed with kids, big kids and (makeshift) toboggans ready to make the most of perfect snow conditions. However, we soldiered past the gate and I’m glad we did. 

We were treated to increasingly thick snow coating the ground, til there was nothing but snow to see! After some time, the Namadgi Ranger drove past us and told us he’d opened the gate now up all the way to Mount Franklin… good to know, but a little too late for us after the seven or so kilometres we’d walked.  And let me tell you, walking in snow is a novelty for a while, but it’s pretty easy to tire from it quickly.

It was clear that, by the time we arrived at Mt Gingera carpark, there was no way we’d be able to get to the top of the mountain and back, so after I threw my first proper snowball we opted instead for a picnic in the bright sunshine on top of Mount Ginini (just a short trek) with views to Gingera.  After eating back considerably more calories than the number we burned off, we pulled aching legs back down the track.

Despite my increased complaining and occasionally slips on ice-cleverly-disgused-as-snow, I was quite sad to leave the snow behind.  It was a lovely day with great conditions and is a close, cheap ‘attraction’ where you’re guaranteed to get some great photos and entertainment, as well as tire out any hyperactive kids – and big kids! 

Now, I just need to conquer Gingera… fourth time lucky?

Date: Saturday, 23 July (~7am-4pm)
Attendees: T1 and friends
Cost: Free (+ fuel and food costs)
Location: Mount Franklin Road, Namadgi National Park (aka the Brindabellas)
Worthwhile factor: Extremely worthwhile
Want more? Namadgi Visitor Centre

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One Response to “Snow (just an hour from Canberra!)”

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    […] noticed). Obviously if you’re keen, head west to the ranges. I had a great experience back in 2011 (again, when this blog was an infant!) up near Piccadilly Circus (on the way to Mt Coree or Mt […]

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