Charlotte and I begin our journey south to swifts creek in Victoria. We begin the tourist drive through Canberra and up into the snowy (not so snowy) mountains. Our plan is stop in a national park, we choose Kosciuszko. With a beautiful drive up the mountains we find a camping spot, unload the car, set up the hammock and get cooking. A crispy Rosti with a Tomato salad and a fried egg, complimented nicely with a cheap bottle of vino we picked up earlier that day at the whole foods store.
That night the stars shine bright as we lay in our mobile bedroom. As we drift off in a sleepy haze we hear the sound of rustling creatures coming from outside.....who left the eggs out? Ring tailed possums have us surrounded and search through our stuff. With neither of us willing to get out and battle the nocturnal pests we wait and listen to them pillage what little we have.
In the morning we dodge empty egg shells laying on the floor, which resembles a crime scene. Coffee for breakfast it is then.
We walk around the national park passing dwarfed, leave-less trees, the consequences of the harsh winters here. We pass a male kangaroo that towers overs us by the stream. Distracted by food we manage to grab a snap of the marsupial, a trophy picture for the walk.
Later that day we drive to another campsite, passing two emus just chilling on the side of the road. This place is beginning to feel like a menagerie.
The following morning we set off for swifts creek. This old gold mining town has little to offer those seeking anything close to a city life, but plenty to offer the adventurers who just brought a 4x4 jeep. Jakes place is simple living with an Eco toilet, water from the nearest stream and electricity run off the generator. This was just what we were after.
For the next two weeks we live like a couple of jilaroos. Days are kept occupied by feeding, cleaning and playing with the dogs, Making dream catchers, reading, off roading, dodging tiger snakes, spotting brumby's (feral horses), bathing in the river and visiting an olive farm.
The last two days we take a two day hike around Hotham. Rambling in the footsteps of those who have travelled before us. We ascend to the peak and take in our surroundings (through panted breath), admiring the layered landscape that dwarfs us. As we orienteer our way through foliage we find our place for the night. Charlie's hut. It was a hut built in the 20th century as a safe haven for cross country skiers who got caught up the hash winters. That night we enjoyed the fire, eat through some of the bare necessities we brought with us and read what previous travellers have documented in the log book.
The next morning we finish of our 22km circuit, stopping off at various other huts along the way, a beautiful creek in the valley and read up on gold mining history which these mountains once homed. Shattered, panting and burnt we all enjoy a well deserved coffee with a spectacular view over the hills.
It was time to head back to swifts creek and say out goodbyes.