100 years ago



In 1899 it was 70 odd years since the mountains had been first noticed by Hume and Hovell on their trek from NSW to Port Phillip, 50 years had passed since the early explorers and cattlemen traversed and named the high peaks. Cattle had been grazing the high plains for 40 years, and George Maddison rode his horse onto Mount Bogong’s Tops some 16 years before.
Gold, grazing and track cutting had opened the country up, and many of todays landmarks were already in existance. The alluvial rushes of the valley’s had passed and prospectors had pushed deep into the mountains. The travelled newly constructed mining roads and tracks that traversed the open plains and timbered spurs.
Dungey’s track built some decades before by Detective Dungey in his relentless search for cattle duffers, had by this time been closed over by fallen timber and was not to be reopened until 1922. However Jack and George Fitzgerald had only completed the first pole line across the plains from Rocky Valley to Tawonga in 1896. Cattle tracks and mining roads connected the high plains to the Kiewa, Ovens, Mitta Mitta and Cobungra river valleys, and huts were appearing in the mountain landscape.
Tawonga hut, near the site of today’s Tawonga huts was built in1888, and Wallaces hut, still standing today was only 8 years old in 1897. To the south Osborne Young probably had a hut on Young’s Tops where his horses grazed. Decendants of those animals make the basis of the brumbys roaming the tops today.
Not far away in the Glen Wills-Sunnyside area mining was at its peak. In 1897 the Meerschaum Mine crushed 179 tones of ore for 840 ounces of gold. The rich lodes of the Red Robin mine on Mt Loch were undiscovered, and remained so until Bill Spargo came along 44 years later.
Across on the skyline at Mt Hotham a Coach service The Bright Alpine Club was formed in the late 1880’s and tourist traffic to Mt Buffalo increased. There were two establishments on the Plateau, Carliles Buffalo Hospice and Manfields Chalet. The modern ski industry had begun. The efforts of the Alpine Club were about to be realised, and in 1898 Victoria’s first National Park was established at Mount Buffalo.

12 day ride


The ultimate way to enjoy the High Country on horse is to join our 12 day ride. This ride features every thing you would expect to see on a 5 day ride, but much more. The extra time gives us the opportunity to venture further afield into “new” country, to discover places new and old. We also have time to slow down a bit when we do find that special place, to explore and enjoy, to relax.
In the past we have ridden from Tom Groggin in NSW to home, or across the Dargo High Plains to the Ghost Gold towns of Crooked River, and many visited other highlights of the High Country.
This season the 12 day ride is billed as the ultimate Bogong Explorer, visiting all of the best this special part of the world has to offer. Rarely does a ride include both Mt Fainter and Mt Bogong, the brumby country and Big River all in one. This trip does it all and more.
The 12 day ride is a combination of a 7 day and a 5 day ride with a changeover on the 7th night in a pub or lodge. A welcome bit of creature comfort mid tour. The ultimate Bogong Explorer departs on Monday 7th Feb 2000, a great time of year for mountain travel and riverside camping.

Staff news 1999

mapreadingStaff at Bogong this last summer, 1998-1999, were mostly well known faces, including the faithfull and hard working Wayne, and Clem. They were joined by regulars Reg, Jed, Bob and Rachael.
New faces included Speedy Gary, Danny the spark, Anders in shorts, Kelly the bear fighter and Nerada sea breeze, who is travelling to the States with Kath. Some of our guests from the 80’s will recall Greg who worked for us for a few seasons. Greg returned this year for a trip with his son Brodie. Brodie has stayed on to get a bit of country life. Another generation of staff, how time flies! Linda has been seen around the office again after some years away. She has a constant companion these days, her son young Patrick McMahon.
Life would not be the same here if it were not for our international guests. Seen leaning on a shovel this past summer were three Swedes, Mattias, Martin and Johan, Natalie from the UK, Bettina and Peter also from Sweden As with last year the highlight of the staff calendar was the Man From Snowy River Challenge at Corryong. Clem and Clay both entered this year with Clay competing in the juniors. They both performed well on beautifully prepared horses. The event was marred by questionable judging, and last years winner Ron Connelly was as surprised as everyone else when he was declared winner.
Apart from the serious business of horse competition, the weekend away is an opportunity for staff to unwind a bit, and Steve managed to unwind his pelvis on the mechanical bull. After a visit to the carpenter, his new reinforced pelvis seems to be holding together.

Year 2000


Our holidays have always been about escape. Getting away from the modern world and the unhealthy fixation with the passing of time. So this new year, the year 2000 begins.
Our holidays have always been about escape. Getting away from the modern world and the unhealthy fixation with the passing of time. So this new year, the year 2000 begins.
Not only is this event sending the party animals into a frenzy of anticipation, even our computers seem determined to play-up big time. So when the whitefella clock turns over 2000 turns around the sun where will you be?
Time to get out of town I’d say, find somewhere quiet and far from this modern madness. How does a camp, beside a mountain stream, under a star filled sky seem to you. The quiet rattle of the hobbles as the horses graze, a pleasant meal and a bottle of wine or two, and the company of friends old and new.
Call me sentimental or maybe a closet doomsdayer, but I know where I want to be. You can join our new year ride departing this century December 29th1999 from Spring Spur and returning in the same century on the 3rd of January 2000.
The new century, well that doesn’t begin until the year 2001!

5 Days in the Mountains

Tour-circa-1989For 13 years we have been running our highly regarded 5 day tours of the spectacular Bogong area of Victoria’s Alpine National Park.
This area includes most of the States highest peaks, including the biggest, Mt Bogong, and vast open High Plains. Deep river valleys fed by fast flowing rivers dissect this mountain landscape, clad in snow during the winter months, and mild, sunny weather in the summer.
This whole scene is inter-woven with the rich cultural history of the aboriginal moth hunters the pioneers, gold miners, cattlemen and legendary horses. Much of the park is inaccessible to 4WD, and our packhorses allow us to enjoy comfortable camps and sumptuous meals in many out of the way places
We travel about 120kms over the 5 days shifting camp each day, taking in the ever changing landscape, with plenty of varied riding. Groups of about 10-12 people, and are supported by 5 packhorses and our friendly professional staff.
We have thirteen, 5 day tours this coming summer, and welcome enquires.


Jack’s Story

Those of you who have ridden with us before, would recall the intense interest a very handsome and hairy horse in the little paddock in front of the house has shown the horse team passing by on their way to the mountains for five days.
To quote the old Dusty Springfield song, Jack has spent his life “wishing and hoping and praying” that he could get into the big paddock with the mob and get things into order. His order.
Sure he has had the occasional romance with a variety of mares, perhaps that explains his interest in the comings and goings around the farm. Be he didn’t see what was coming the other day when the vet visited him.
Now he’s running with the mob, and although old habits die hard, his ambitions have softened a bit, and it doesn’t seem to matter so much who is running with who.
And finally this coming summer he will find out what really happens over those five days that the team are away. He will be joining them.

Tonimbuk Trails

Have you booked on a ride with us, and feel you need to get a little riding practice.
If you live in or near Melbourne, you can’t go past Tonimbuk Trails for some great bush riding. They have half day rides on every weekend and take beginner, intermediate and regular groups.
And after an afternoon in the beautiful Bunyip State forest, what better than tea and scones on Elenors veranda. Call Tonimbuk on 03 5629 8525 for bookings.

Down the Dusty Diamantina

Over the years, as we have developed our business at Bogong Horseback Adventures, we have had the pleasure of watching another business making the same journey.
As we have grown and become more professional, so has The Diamantina Tour Company. Andrew and Jane Dwyer of Diamantina run a program of 4WD expeditions into some of Australia’s most remote and stunning country. The tours feature outstanding standards of interpretation, catering and adventure. The outback stands in enormous contrast to the High Country, but is equally rewarding.
Steve has from time to time assisted Andrew on his expeditions and highly recommends the experience.
You call Diamantina on 03 5777 0681 or visit them at www.diamantina-tour.com.au.

Go West Young Women

Some of you who rode with us last summer may have had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Davis from California. Kelly helped us out for a month over the summer and added her own special qualities to those tours.
Back home in the USA Kelly spends her summer working with various “Pack Outfits” conducting horse tours into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Kelly has invited Kath to join her for the northern summer at Rock Creek Pack Station, near Bishop in California. Those lucky riders will not only be taking in the splendors of Yosemite National Park, but also Kaths’ bush cooking. One of the feature rides on the Rock Creek program is a 7 day wilderness expedition called Women in the Wild! With Rachel, Nerada, Jed and Kath from the Bogong Stables, and a couple of our regular customers joining them, it’s sure to be just that.
Some readers may also recall Cathi “Longfella” who worked with us during season 1990. When we last saw Cathi she was heading to the States to ride rodeo. She kept in touch with us and sent us some pics over the years. She has settled down, and is now married with two kids. Her husband, Annin is Arapaho Native American, and Kath is really excited about visiting them at their Wild River Reservation home in Wyoming.

Our High Country Horses

We are always pleased to report on the health, happiness and social highlights of our hardworking and greatly respected horse team.
We have now experienced the best and most sustained autumn break we have had for some years, and the farm and the horses are rejoicing at the rains. Our paddocks are glowing a soft green colour, and the mountains are covered in early winter snowfalls.
New to the team this year are a couple of good sized mares, both in foal to a thoroughbred stallion. The larger mare is a beautiful Percheron named Bertha. She is “one big horse” and wears special hand made heavy shoes. She actually walked nearly to Dargo and back last summer and didn’t even wear out the toe clips. Her companion is a Clydesdale cross mare named Kaddie. She is a big bay horse that reminds us of Jimmy, only a little bigger. As you may have guessed we are keen to produce some bigger horses here, for our bigger riders.
New foals on the ground include a Palomino quarter horse filly out of Tess called Kelly, who is currently down in Gippsland at Tonimbuk Trails, and the last of Jacks offspring, a filly out of Trio called Shannonvale. Jack is enjoying his new life as a member of the working team, with plenty of opportunities to travel the mighty Bogongs. Last summer he only took a passing interest in the various brumbies we came across.