Looking Up the Man From Snowy River

Snow gum on Mount Bogong - Victoria - Australia

Today’s post was written by Darcy Jones (more about Darcy at the end of the post), and is on the topic of one of my favourite countries in the world – Australia! The post focuses on the famous Man from Snowy River, a poem which is set in a part of Australia which is famous for gorgeous alpine scenery. Get some more inspiration for your trip to Australia by checking out my series of Australian Guides – in the meantime.. on with the post!

Visit the setting of Australia’s most famous poem by going to Snowy River. Chances are you’ve seen the 1982 film adaptation of the poem more times than you can remember, but the impressive scenery remains in your mind.

So, for your next Australian holiday, visit Snowy River country to see where the film adaptation was made and get a look into the landscapes and culture that inspired Banjo Patterson’s poem.

The steep slopes and character-building communities of the Snowy Mountains are as impressive today as they were in the late 1800s when Patterson penned his tale in verse. And, for modern tastes, the area’s especially good for camping, walking and adventure sports.

When looking for accommodation in the Snowy River area, remember that there aren’t many communities in this remote area, so it’s a good idea to book ahead at holidays or in the summer. Alternatively, you can camp at one of the many bush camping sites, for example in the Snowy River National Park.

Snow Gums on Mount Bogong - Victoria - Australia

Chasing after runaway colts aside, what is there to do in the Snowy River area? Read on for some ideas.

Snowy River National Park

Visiting the isolated Snowy River National Park in Victoria offers mountain walks and stunning views of gorges, peaks and forests. It also provides some of the best canoeing and rafting trips in the country. Most visitors who want to canoe the Snowy River drive to McKillops Bridge and launch there.

A popular three-day camping and canoe trip begins at McKillops Bridge and ends at the Buchan River junction at Balley Hooley. If you wish to canoe on the river, the Parks Victoria website recommends bringing an experienced guide.

Also near McKillops Bridge, travellers can visit Little River Gorge. Despite the diminutive name, this is the deepest gorge in Victoria. Caravan drivers, or those towing semi-trailers should not attempt the descent on the road to McKillops Bridge beyond Little River Gorge, the Parks Victoria website warns.

For further excursions, in the southern part of the park, the Raymond Creek Falls offer a campsite and walking trail that can be used even in the winter, when other parts of the park are inaccessible. The trail leads to the 20-metre-high waterfall.

Kosciuszko National Park

Over the New South Wales border, Kosciuszko National Park offers Alpine entertainment for visitors. In Patterson’s poem, the “Man” was from “up by Kosciusko’s [sic] side,” so while you strap on your skis in the winter or take a mountain walk in the summer, you can imagine the young drover riding in front of you.

Clouds on Mount Bogong - Victoria - Australia

In the winter, Kosciuszko’s Thredbo and Perisher draw the most crowds for their downhill skiing and snowboarding slopes. However, less known but just as fun are the opportunities to go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the area. These trips can be scheduled for an afternoon or for several days, depending on your schedule and budget.

As in Snowy River National Park, visitors can take advantage of the mountain streams and lakes for canoeing and other boating activities. In the summer, water-lovers converge on the Blowering Reservoir and Eucumbene and Jindabyne lakes for boating, sailing and waterskiing. Fishing is permitted in the lakes year-round, but if you’re going to fish in the borders of the park, you’ll need to get a fishing license.

Buchan Caves

One of the most visited towns along the Snowy River is Buchan, Victoria, which is famous for the nearby large limestone caves that opened to the public in 1907. This cave system includes Royal Cave and Fairy Cave, both of which are open to visitors and easily accessed by smooth walkways. Fairy Cave in particular is worth visiting to see its delicate stalagmites and stalactites. Spelunkers can arrange caving expeditions to the caves, as well.

Horse Riding

In the poem, the “Man” is an expert horseman, who can control his steed with legendary prowess. A fun way to experience the Snowy River area is by building up your own skills in the saddle. There are many riding options available for visitors, from simple riding lessons, to half-day excursions, to overnight bush camping trips. If it’s been a long time since you have ridden a horse, make sure that you tell your guide when you sign up for the trip so he can help ease you back into practice.

About the Author: Darcey Jones has lived most of her life in Canberra, working as a secondary school English teacher. However, in uni she worked winters as a ski instructor in Thredbo and fell in love with the area and her own man from Snowy River.

Liked this post? Here's something related: