VCE Outdoor & Environmental Education Hike

Hike to Lake Tali Karng

The second hike for VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies was an interesting one indeed. What was supposed to be a ski tour (skiing with full packs, camping in the snow) was abandoned due to lack of snow on Mt St Gwinear. We sought an alternative activity – hiking to the remote and beautiful Lake Tali Karng, Australia’s only alpine lake. But snow it did!

Remote it is – the nearest town is Licola, which is the last town in Victoria to not have electricity (and never will). We never saw another vehicle once we left the main road in three days, driving on winding gravel roads “up top”. While we expected cold weather and some snow, we were wonderfully taken by surprise by a massive dump of powder snow on the first night. The alpine bush was transformed into a snow gum winter wonderland, with everything covered in white. The track to the lake was almost indistinguishable, with the only markers being the occasional chain saw mark from prior track clearing. The students coped remarkably well with the cold and damp – wet feet for three days, hiking with heavy packs up the rugged mountain Spion Kopje, off track hiking, obscured walking tracks, tight switch backs down to the lake, and off track navigation by map and compass a necessity. It was such a rare, beautiful experience that will stay with us all for a long, long time.

 

Ross Richards

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