This great walk starts at Guthega and explores the area east of Blue Lake. The walk heads to the Illawong Lodge, via the Blue Cow Creek flying fox, and then crosses the famous Snowy River at the suspension bridge. The walk then winds up the long ridge to the top of Little Twynam and down to Blue Lake. From Blue lake there are optional side trips to Headley Tarn and up to the Blue Lake lookout, before returning to Guthega.
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This walk passes through a remote area and sections have no visible track. At least one person in your group should have training and experience in off track walking and navigation. Even with these notes and a GPS these extra skills and equipment are required.
Please note: This is a 'return' style walk and therefore these graphs only show the terrain for the first half of the walk (until the turn around point.)
Cross sectional view of the Guthega to Blue Lake via Little Twynam bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Guthega to Blue Lake via Little Twynam bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough unclear track (5/6)
No directional signs (5/6)
High level of bushwalking experience recommended (5/6)
Forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather likely to have an impact on your navigation and safety (5/6)
No facilities provided (5/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
6km of this walk has short steep hills and another 1.5km is very steep. Whilst another 560m has gentle hills with occasional steps and the remaining 240m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
5km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 2.6km follows a rough unclear track. Whilst another 480m follows a smooth and hardened path and the remaining 220m follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.
2.8km of this walk Has no directional signs and another 2.7km has directional signs at most intersection. Whilst another 2.6km has minimal directional signs and the remaining 640m is clearly signposted.
3.7km of this walk requires a leader with a high level of bushwalking experience and another 3.1km requires some bushwalking experience. Whilst another 1.5km requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience and the remaining 480m requires no previous bushwalking experience.
4.3km of this walk is affected by forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather events that may impact on navigation and safety and another 2.8km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety. Whilst another 1.1km forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather likely to have an impact on your navigation and safety and the remaining 550m is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
3.1km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 2.9km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats). The remaining (2.8km) has no facilities provided.
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This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should be carrying and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months.
Alt = 1660 m
Guthega is a relatively small township, north of Perisher, and comprises mostly of hotel and lodge-style buildings. The most popular service in town is the Guthega Alpine Inn, open year round. The town is remote and access is by an all-weather dirt road. There are great views over the main range and the Guthega Pondage (part of the Snowy River Scheme). Guthega offers a great place to ski in winter, and to holiday in summer. In summer, there is plenty of walking, mountain biking, fishing and relaxing to be done. Walkers please note - there is no public water supply in the township, please fill water bottle before coming (or be willing treat and use the creek water).
Guthega Alpine Inn
Alt = 1665 m
Guthega Alpine Inn is on Guthega Road, about 500 metres past the base of the chairlift and 'Guthega Centre'. The hotel provides a year-round service including accommodation and meals. The hosts are friendly and the hotel provides a great base for walkers and other holiday makers. Please phone and book ahead for meals and accommodation. Phone 02 6457 5383 More info
Car park below Guthega Alpine Inn
Int. of Guthega road servicetrail and Flying fox track Track: Moderate - road,servicetrail
Length = 481 m
Time = 10 mins
Climb = 6 m
Descent = -34 m
From the car park (just below Guthega Alpine Inn, on Guthega Rd, 500m past the Guthega Centre), the walk follows the concrete road down the hill, keeping the main valley to the left. The road passes a small stone building and light post, just before coming to an intersection with another road heading off to the left, below the building named 'Toibunga'. Turn sharp left: From the intersection, the walk follows the concrete road down the hill towards the dam. After about 100m, the track veers right at another intersection, following the lower track. The concrete track turns to the right, but this walk continues straight, onto the wide dirt management trail (between the small boulders). Soon the trail bends right and comes to an intersection with a bush track.
Int. of Guthega road servicetrail and Flying fox track
Flying Fox Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 333 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -44 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk heads between the boulders and is fairly flat initially, then, near a snow gum, the track steps down steeply and then winds down the hill to a 'T' intersection above Blue Cow Creek. (There is broken glass along this section of track, left over from Snowy River Scheme Camps). Veer left: From the intersection, the walk initially steps over a small, eroded gap in the track and then heads upstream alongside Blue Cow Creek, keeping the creek to your right. Before long, the track comes closer to the creek, and reaches a rocky crossing with a bridge and a flying fox over the creek.
Alt = 1598 m
This metal flying fox was put in place to provide a safer option for crossing Blue Cow Creek when the water rises over the rocks. There are many flying foxes in the area to help people cross creeks, especially useful during snow melt when water is cold, deep and fast-moving. In 2010, a metal bridge was installed over this creek, parallel to the flying fox, and the bridge is now the safest way to cross.
Blue Cow Creek crossing
Illawong Lodge Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.22 km
Time = 50 mins
Climb = 129 m
Descent = -87 m
Turn right: From the intersection, the walk crosses the creek on the bridge next to the metal flying fox. The walk then follows the bush track on the other side as it climbs to the top of the ridge. From the top of the hill, the track then winds down towards the Snowy River then turns left and generally follows it upstream. Soon the walk crosses a small creek and continues up the other side, undulating through the valley, crossing several more small creeks. The track winds left, away from the Snowy River, to climb the short hill to Illawong Lodge.
Alt = 1645 m
In 1956, the year after the Guthega Dam was first filled, the Kosciuszko State Park Trust gave permission for the conversion of the then-dilapidated hut into the present simple lodge. The lodge is maintained by members of Illawong Ski Tourers and friends. The nearby suspension bridge over the Snowy River and the flying fox over Farm Creek were built by members of Illawong. NPWS now maintains the suspension bridge and a new bridge over Farm Creek which has replaced the flying fox. The lodge can be reserved by members of the general public - see illawong.asn.au. There is also a small emergency shelter in the base of the hut, on the western wall, with enough room for a few people to see out a blizzard, with some water, blankets and other emergency supplies. More info
Suspension bridge Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 160 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -28 m
Turn right: From the west side of Illawong Lodge (where the emergency shelter is located), the walk heads down towards the creek following the bush track. The track winds through scrub, passing through a grass clearing along the way. The walk soon comes to a cable suspension bridge.
Alt = 1614 m
Constructed and maintained by Illawong Ski Tourers, and only a stone's throw from Illawong Lodge, this cable suspension bridge provides a safer way to cross the upper Snowy River. This provides the main access between Guthega and the Main Range. The bridge also provides great views of the valley.
Pounds Creek flats Route: Hard - undefined
Length = 2.58 km
Time = 1 hr 13 mins
Climb = 342 m
Descent = 0 m
Continue straight: From the suspension bridge, this walk crosses the Snowy River to the west bank and climbs the hill, tending to the left of the top of the hill, and continuing up through the thick scrub. This section of the walk their is not track please fan out and minimse your impact. The walk winds up the ridge line through some more shallow scrub, passing through a thin tree line. The walk continues around to the left side of the ridge, where it gets much steeper, staying high out of the gully (which is to your left). The walk continues to the top of the ridge where it is much rockier, next to the large flats near the headwaters for Pounds Creek.
Pounds Creek Flats
Alt = 1958 m
Located in the far upper reaches of Pounds Creek, this large flat area on the side of the ridge makes a great place to camp. The plateau forms a shallow hanging swamp in the few months after winter, when the snow melts and pools in the area.
This campsite is flat and sheltered from the wind by the mountain. Water supply from the creek is unreliable.
Pounds Creek flats
Twynam saddle Route: Hard - openland
Length = 1.07 km
Time = 29 mins
Climb = 131 m
Descent = 0 m
Veer left: From the flats, this walk heads south-west, following the ridge line that runs up the steep hill. The walk winds up and around the left side of the flats towards Little Twynam, bending around to the right as it approaches the top, then climbing up into the saddle between Little Twynam and Mt Twynam.
Little Twynam peak Route: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 218 m
Time = 7 mins
Climb = 34 m
Descent = 0 m
Turn left : From the saddle, the walk heads south-east, up the hill and soon goes through a wide grassy pass between the two large rock outcrops to reach the top of Little Twynam.
Little Twynam peak
Int of Blue Lake track and Little Twynam route Route: Hard - undefined
Length = 1.5 km
Time = 35 mins
Climb = 6 m
Descent = -249 m
Continue straight: From the top of Little Twynam, the walk follows the ridge running south. The walk heads down the ridgeline, keeping Blue Lake to the right, and tends to the left as Hedley Tarn comes into view. The walk then winds down along the ridgeline, keeping the tarn to the right. After a short distance, the ridge and the hill to the right flattens out substantially and the walk turns down the hill, arcing around towards the southern end of Blue Lake. The walk then crosses Blue Lake Creek, just south of Blue Lake, and almost immediately reaches the intersection of the Hedley Tarn and Blue Lake tracks.
Int of Blue Lake track and Little Twynam route
Hedley Tarn Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - undefined
Length = 870 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 22 m
Descent = -52 m
Turn left : From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track heading south-east, down-stream alongside the creek flowing out of Blue Lake to Hedley Tarn. The walk heads through to the southern end of the shallow gully and around the western side of Hedley Tarn, coming to the southern side. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 1844 m
Hedley Tarn is a beautiful glacial lake just south of Blue Lake, from which you can see right across the valley to the end of Kosciuszko Road at Charlotte Pass and is well worth the trip down from Blue Lake.
Int of Blue Lake track and Little Twynam route
Blue Lake Track: Moderate - undefined
Length = 154 m
Time = 3 mins
Climb = 14 m
Descent = -1 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track, winding north-west along the trail, following the Blue Lake Creek upstream as it climbs up over the foot of a spur to the south-eastern corner of the Blue Lake.
Blue Lake lookout Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 413 m
Time = 8 mins
Climb = 37 m
Descent = 0 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track winding west, up over the foot of a spur and continuing up and around the left-hand side of Blue Lake, steadily climbing up the ridge until coming to a platform with an information sign and a great view of Blue Lake about halfway up.
Alt = 1914 m
Blue Lake is the best example of a glacial lake in the alpine area. At 28m deep, this lake was formed when glaciers, flowing from the Great Dividing Range, converged and carved out a basin in the rock. This is visible in the cliffs behind the lake, where the glaciers have plucked out blocks of stone and carried them away. There is also a stream that flows from Blue lake, feeding Hedley Tarn just to the south.
Fire Danger This walk passes Monaro Alpine fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago) Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Region: South Coast & Highlands Park feesCampingFacilities Current Park Closure information for Kosciuszko National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Closed areas: Thredbo Diggings campground closed to caravans Thredbo Diggings campground is currently closed to all caravans and camping trailers due to continuing wet conditions. There will be limited sites available for tents. Caravans and camping trailer sites are available at Ngarigo, Island Bend and Tom Groggin campgrounds. For more information please phone (02) 6450 5620.
Closed areas: Island Bend campground partially closed due to maintenance Partial closure of Island Bend campground due to maintenance. Camp sites are now available at the lower camp at Island Bend in Kosciuszko National Park. Other sites have been fenced and will remain closed for 6 to 12 months following capping works to ameliorate the asbestos risk and to allow for revegetation. Please observe all signs and closures. For more information, please contact Andrew Miller at the NPWS Jindabyne Office or on 0427 437391 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page. Download a map of the closed area.
Closed areas: Winter road closures The following roads will be closed until the October long weekend, unless weather allows them to be opened in late September:
Behrs Flat trail
Blue Waterholes trail
Broken Cart trail
Bullocks Hill trail
Cabramurra - Khancoban Road (KNP5)
Four Mile Hill trail
Geehi Dam Road (Olsen's Road)
Goobragandra Powerline Road
Kings Cross Road
Long Plain Road
Major Clews Road
Perisher to Charlotte Pass
Pocket Saddle Road
Port Phillip trail
Tantangra Dam Road
Three Mile Dam access trails
Davies Plain track
and all associated subsidiary roads and access trails. The Murray River crossing into Victoria at Tom Groggin campground is closed until 29 October 2015 due to winter road closures by Parks Victoria. There will be no access into Davies Plain, Mt Pinnibar and Tom Groggin fire trails in the Victorian Alpine National Park. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact the NPWS Tumut Visitor Centre on (02) 6497 7025 or the NPWS Snowy Region Visitor Centre on (02) 6450 5600, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page.
Closed areas: Thredbo Valley track reopening Sunday 27 September 2015 Sections 1 and 2 (Thredbo to Ngarigo) of the Thredbo Valley track will be reopening on Sunday 27 September 2015. The track from The Diggings to Skitube- Bullocks Flat, Bullocks Hut and Lake Crackenback Resort will remain open. The Bullocks and Muzzlewood tracks will also remain open. For more information, please contact the Snowy Region Visitor Centre, Jindabyne on (02) 6450 5600 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.