Springtime in the Bogongs Jun 2011
In the late spring when the highest peaks of the Victorian High Country shake off their winter snows, life in the valleys below also starts to stir. For thousands of years the aboriginal peoples of the surrounding country embarked on their annual migration to ceremony and the rich feastings of bogong moths, and until recently the annual migration of the mountain cattlemen, who following the time honored ways of their pioneering ancestors pushed their mobs of cattle up to the ‘tops’. Along with gold seekers, horse breeders, bushrangers and early adventurers, they all helped create a rich tapestry of cultural heritage, woven into the rugged fabric of the High Country.
Along the way the the horse was an integral part of the European exploration and enjoyment of this stunning landscape. Much of the High Country remains un-roaded today, and packhorse expeditions offer a traditional and practical means of exploring this vast landscape. The individual horses are a feature of this expedition, each of them an Australian Stock Horse having been bred and trained on the property, then expertly matched to the rider.
Each morning the camp is packed up, loaded onto the packhorses and the journey continues. Riding between 15km to 25km per day, with opportunities for loping canters across open plains. Camps are selected for their beautiful settings, and often associated with traditional stock camps or huts. With swags rolled out where the ‘stars fairly blaze’, dinner is prepared and enjoyed around a warming fire, with a cold beer, a local wine and a meal prepared from local fresh produce on the coals.