125. The Snowys – Cabramurra

It had been suggested that we drive the long Alpine Way route through the Snowy Mountains from Khancoban down a very steep and windy road to Thredbo then up again through Jindabyne and Berridale and thence to Cooma. It would doubtless have been an exhilarating drive in a powerful sports car, but …. towing a large caravan? We thought not and our doubts were crystallised by a hugh road sign which strongly advised against caravans and motorhomes taking that road. So we elected to head for Cabramurra instead – Australia’s highest town, built to house the Snowy scheme workers.

snowy map

it was a beautiful clear day as we headed off with some trepidation, turning left on the highway just before Khancoban. The surfaced road was very narrow and twisty and mostly ran alongside huge power lines. In places there was a sheer drop on one side.

IMG_8134We only met a few other vehicles the whole 60 km to Cabramurra. About half way we stopped to view the Tooma Dam. it was sad to see how markedly the level of water had dropped since the dam was first built.

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After that the road took us ever higher. The vegetation changed markedly. First it was large gums or mountain ash and other trees, then suddenly it was dead mountain ash towering over regenerating bush, then it was much shorter dead mountain ash and little else  ….  The photos were taken through the car windscreen, there were no places to stop.

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Signs at Cabramurra told us the story. It’s going to take at least 40 years before some parts can expect to be re-vegetated.

Cabramurra was tiny and very quiet. There is one general store but we decided not to investigate for coffee.

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Once we reached Kiandra the traffic increased  but it was still relatiely light. Bright orange road markings and two metre high red poles along the roadsides indicated how heavy the snow is in winter.

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We were anxious to reach Cooma before nightfall as we’d been warned by numerous persons not to drive after dusk when the kangaroos come out, particularly as we do not have a bull bar. Indeed I did see one kangaroo sitting beside the road possibly contemplating when to make his suicidal dash. So Adaminaby and in particular the Old Adaminaby township on Lake Eucumbene were given a miss, although we could see the huge Lake at times through the trees.

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