Mateship Is Alive During The Australian Bushfires
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Mate-ship Is Alive During The Australian Bushfires: A Few Heart-warming Stories

With all the fires ravaging Australia, including our little slice of The Snowy Mountains – it is so hard to not get consumed with the mass onslaught of devestation and heart-break.

However, turns out that Mateship is alive and well with everyday Aussies helping out and supporting those in need- from heroes fighting on the frontline, volunteers working around the clock to sew pouches for injured wildlife, the financially poor giving up their last dollar to support those who have lost everything, to teenagers filling up their car with injured koalas that they have rescued from the fires.

It is both humbling and heart-warming to witness these acts of kindness that shine a little light into the darkness. Today I want to take a moment to celebrate both the “Mateship” of the Aussie spirit and the kindness of strangers from all across the globe. During these hard-times it is overwhelming how many people, organisations and businesses drop their own needs and respond with light and love to the heart-broken and displaced, as well as to all the animals, the wilderness and the fire-ravaged ecosystem with selfless-ness and kindness.

There are many theories as to why the bushfires have been so bad this season. However with the beautiful iconic Australian bush charred black, whilst people and animals have lost their homes, lives and livelihoods, the focus no longer becomes about what is the cause but how we can heal from it. Whilst the destruction is devastating, heart-breaking and quite frankly the thought of getting things back to normal feels quite overwhelming  – after all so much has been lost. However, call me naive but I believe that Australia, its people and the bush will heal from this. With the overwhelming acts of kindness shown during this hard time – just maybe we will become a new and better Australia. Maybe all the kindness we are all witnessing has the power to heal Australia – just like The Butterfly Effect.

The Chaos Theory [also known as the butterfly effect] is often used by many when comparing the natural world and our human effect on it. Edward Norton Lorenz once said  “If the flap of a butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado, it can equally well be instrumental in preventing a tornado.”

During his career Mathematician Edward Norton Lorenz noted, in what was dubbed the ‘butterfly effect,’ the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions meant that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings over the Amazon could influence the weather in China. This phenomenon, pioneered by Lorenz and others, has found widespread application as deterministic chaos.

He strongly believed that one small action can have unintended large consequences, in a theory that applies to meterology as much as it does to biology, physics and geology.

I can’t help but wonder what kind of world we would live in if everyone was conscious of their own actions and the effects it has on the world that they live in. Is it too late to change our actions? Has the damage already been done -especially when it comes to climate change issues?

I would like to think that the butterfly effect or chaos theory not only applies to everything that is wrong in the world – but is also the guiding force behind everything that is good in the world. I think all the acts of kindness displayed during these Australian bushfires have shown us hope for a kinder and brighter future for humankind, animals and the planet.

There is no question that for many of us we have been humbled by the acts of kindness we have witness during the current Australian bushfire season. I would even go as far as saying that for many of us we are questioning our own lifestyle choices, values and way of living. Maybe the devastation of the current Australian Bushfires is both a lesson and an opportunity to revalue and redo our everyday choices. Maybe it’s time we all took individual ownership for the world around us, choosing to step up and leave only a positive impact on where we choose to walk and how we choose to live – whether that means moving to more plant-based meals, prioritising and valuing organic farming, buying local and seasonal foods, reducing energy consumption, composting, recycling, choosing kindness over our egos or dropping all the excess and mindless consumption. Every action of our lives is all part of the Butterfly Effect.

Heart-Warming Moments During The Australian Bushfires that prove Mate-ship is still alive

 

CIRCLES OF SEWING BEES CRAFTING FOR OUR WILDLIFE

A legion of crafters armed with sewing machines, knitting needles and crochet hooks are gathering in halls and shops across the nation and the world to make joey pouches, koala mittens and bat wraps for  wildlife injured in the bushfires. So far the fires have killed over 1 billion animals and wildlife organisations, carers and wildlife hospitals are inundated with injured wildlife. There are various sewing groups contributing and some are sewing and knitting in 18 hour shifts – and I must say the pouches are ever so cute. One of the big organisations is Animal Rescue Craft Guild – a visit to their Facebook page is highly recommend for a little cuteness therapy.

 

A CAR FULL OF KOALAS

During the bushfires on Kangaroo island some teenage cousins [and possibly their parents – I’m not to sure] went out on a saving koala crusade – where all that was needed was a car and a little kindness.

Posted on Reddit, @Steve_OH wrote: “Amid the terrible bushfires in Australia, my cousins went out and saved as many koalas as they could. Good on em. Thought reddit would support and appreciate their efforts!”

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WE OWE YOU MILK

It is good to know that firefighters can still find a little time for some humour despite the challenging and often life threatening situations they find themselves in.

In November, firefighters with the Urunga Rural Fire Service saved the home of Paul Sekfy in New South Wales. As they were leaving his home to continue fighting the fires they left him a little note on the kitchen table that read “It was our pleasure to save your house… P.S. – we owe you some milk”.

Paul got such joy from this note that he posted a picture of it on Facebook, saying is was “the best note on my kitchen bench since the morning after my wedding”.

The post was shared a lot and eventually went viral, with the firefighter who claimed to have authored it, Kale Hardie-Porter, commenting on Facebook: “I’m happy to know my note got to you in one piece! We took refuge in your house and that’s when we discovered the fridge. It was our pleasure to do a little good in such horrendous conditions”.

 

PENSIONERS DONATING

In Australia we all know that many pensioners are living pay cheque to pay cheque. After the bills are paid they may have a little money left over for a dinner at the local bowls club. I read a short story in an online news article [sorry can’t locate it now] that a lady from Canberra was seen by a stranger giving up her last $50 from the pension to donate to the Bushfire Appeal. I believe her story isn’t rare – there are so many people who live with very little who are willing to go without so that they can give to somebody in need. As Anne Frank said in her diary “No one has ever become poor by giving.

 

LOCALS TAKING IN STRANGERS

More than 3,000 people have joined the Facebook group ’Bushfire Emergency Accommodation in Canberra’, which was initially set up to connect people with a spare room to those who have lost their homes.

The page is packed with offers of spare beds, as well as kindhearted posts from people without accommodation space who are still offering to help in any way they can. From the man volunteering to clear people’s gutters to help asthmatics, to the woman opening her home for “showers, a cuppa and a cool drink”, the generosity keeps on coming.

 

KOALAS HUDDLE INSIDE A HOME

This is one of the pictures going viral that brought the biggest smile to my face – I love it so much that it is currently my phone screensaver.

Janelle Michalowski posted picture of Koalas in her home [one of the pictures at top of page] to thank firefighter Adam and the gang for rescuing these guys, a post which has now been seen millions of times around the world.

Janelle explained that in between trying to save local homes in Cudlee Creek in South Australia, a firey named Adam paused to rescue the several marsupials.

“Amazing work by a man named Adam and his mates who pulled these guys out of harms way at Cudlee Creek and into safety!” she wrote.

 

EVERYDAY PEOPLE SUPPORTING BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY THE FIRES

It is amazing how many people I have talked to over the phone who want to take a road trip to the bushfire affected regions just to bring support and hope to communities affected by the Australian Bushfires. Conscious travellers are choosing to take 6-7 day road trips through the Snowy Mountains, South Coast, East Gippsland and Victorian Alpine Regions [Many are also going to Kangaroo Island]. Now being dubbed “the road-trip that has a positive impact” the intention is to stop in and support local motels/B+B’s, cafes, gift shops and so forth. Maybe even a stop off for a little volunteering such as planting trees for animals or helping to clean up the debris. These conscious travellers are all about the local experience so immersing themselves in a local yoga class, church service or art workshop is certainly top on their list.

This new breed of conscious travellers [impactful travellers] are bringing with them new hope, light and life breathed into areas where bushfires have extinguished life.  And for those that cant make a road-trip – they are choosing to shop online at local businesses affected by the bushfires.

 

PEOPLE COMING UP WITH CREATIVE WAYS TO HELP

We all agree that the amount of money donated to various charities far exceeds what anyone would have dreamed up – people all over the world a giving money in droves. It truly is amazing. However, there are also acts of kindness from so many everyday Aussies, just a few things I have read of people doing:

  • Giving up rooms in their house to strangers
  • Cooking free meals for anyone who needs them
  • Donating supplies and driving them to affected towns
  • Coming up with fund-raising events such as raffles, concerts, fairs, market days and so forth
  • Small businesses donating 100% of their proceeds for a day or two
  • People caring for wildlife
  • Auctioneering off unique items to raise money

 

RESTAURANTS GIVING OUT FREE FOOD

Restaurant owner Kanwaljit Singh has teamed up with the not-for-profit group Sikh Volunteers Australia to cook and distribute free food for those affected by the fires.

Singh and his team are busy cooking huge batches of rice, flour and lentils from their base at The Desi Grill in Bairnsdale, Victoria.

“Many people have lost their homes and farmhouses and they are forced to live in temporary shelters and camps,” he told SBSPunjabi. “We follow the Sikh way of life. We are just doing what other Australians are doing today, and that is to serve and pray for the people who have been hit hard by these terrible bushfires.

 

KOALA RESCUES

No list would be complete with out adding Patrick Doyle who is famously known for rescuing 9 Koalas from Mallacoota fires. Patrick has been going out on his own to find injured and struggling koalas on the outskirts of Mallacoota, which has been devastated by bushfires. He said that all rescued nine animals have survived and are rehabilitating at Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter.

Plus the heartbreaking rescue from a woman in Port Macquarie where the koala was covered in burns and unfortunately died in the Koala hospital days later.

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WOMBATS SHARING THEIR BURROWS WITH OTHER ANIMALS
Did you know that in the bushfire effected areas wombats are chauffeuring various animal species into safety – by inviting them to take refuge in their burrow. After all the burrows are quite deep and one would think relatively safe from the heat of the fires. Besides – wombats are just the helping kind of creature.
This story of wombats leading other animals to safety was in the headlines quite often. Ok – whilst it is not true and is infact fake news – it does bring a smile to your face and makes for a great way to end a blog post that hopefully warms the heart a little.
Top 10 Things To Do In Jindabyne + The Snowy Mountains
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Top 10 Things To Do In Jindabyne

There is more to Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains than skiing. With a buffet of activities on offer in the region the Snowy Mountains is fast becoming a four season destination.

Visiting the Snowy mountains is no longer a one night stop over, we are noticing a huge increase in tourism to the region where the average night stay is now 3 nights.

We highly recommend using Jindabyne as a base, as the alpine town is nestled at the base of Kosciuszko National Park and makes accessing all activities very easy.

If you are looking for a summer Alpine escape here are ten things we highly recommend you do or see while staying in the iconic Snowy Mountains.

10 Things To Do In Jindabyne

Hike Mount Kosciuszko

Kosciuszko National park spans 6900 square Kilometres and boasts some of the best hiking trails in Australia. With the Great Dividing Range running right through Kosciuszko National park it is the home to the highest mountain in Australia, Mount Kosciuszko, standing at 2228m.

Mount Kosciuszko’s original native name was Kunama Namadgi meaning snow and mountain. It was visited during the summer months by The Aboriginal people from the coast who would feast on the Bogong moth that Migrate to the region every year.

In 1840 polish explorer Paul Edmund Strzelecki discovered and gave Mount Kosciuszko its current name in honour of the Polish Military leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Strzelecki approached the climb from Geehi which would have been tricky even in today’s modern day, however lucky for you the climb these days has a much easier approach.

You have two options to start your adventure from,  you can start from either Thredbo or Charlotte pass. Thredbo is a 35min drive from the Jindy Inn and gives you the option of catching the chairlift 9am to 4pm to eagles nest where you begin the 13km return walk. Refreshments are available from the middle November to May at Eagles Nest restaurant 10am to 3pm. The walk is rated easy-moderate and will take 4 to 5 hours to complete, walking along a purpose built track that aims to protect flora and fauna, taking you over bubbling streams, fields of wild flowers and past alpine lakes.

If you are not up for the entire walk then it is lovely to catch the chair up on a clear day and just walk to the Mount Kosciusko look-out which is approximately 3.5 kilometres return and then treat yourself to some lunch or a coffee and cake at Eagles Nest Restaurant – which by the way has some pretty amazing views from the window. Read our guide on walking to Mount Kosciuszko via Thredbo.

For the adventurous and those up for a scenic day hike we highly recommend approaching Mt Kosi via Charlotte Pass on the Main Range circuit. The drive to Charlotte Pass from the Jindy Inn is around 45min taking you past Perisher Valley first and then up to Charlotte Pass Ski Resort, where the restaurant is only open during the busy times of summer, so be sure to take food and water for your walk.  During the busy periods you will find a small kiosk open at the Air Tbar that is just past Perisher Valley.

The Main Range track is an 18.6km circuit walk and is a grade 3 and will take you 6 to 8 hours to complete. We recommend completing the circuit anti-clockwise – walking the fire trail section on your return. If you have a mountain bike the fire trail can be done as a return route where you can ride your bike up to Rawson’s pass, where there are bike stands to leave your bike so that you can walk the final route to the summit.

The air is fresh and the scenery magical. Both walks are not accessible from June to October as they are snowbound. Be mindful to check the weather as conditions can change quickly in alpine regions so please ensure you bring all-weather gear plus carry appropriate safety gear, food and water for your hike. There are toilets at Rawson’s Pass.

 

Lake Walk

The beautiful lake Jindabyne was originally the mighty snowy river that meandered its way through the old township of Jindabyne. In 1964 Old Jindabyne was moved and the new town was built in anticipation of the mighty snowy river being dammed to create beautiful Lake Jindabyne. The area was flooded in 1967 as a part of the snowy mountains scheme. In recent times wonderful trails have been built to take in the beauty of this lake.

A purpose built foot path runs from Strzelecki park in Jindabyne to the Discovery caravan park near the turn off to Thredbo. This is an easy walk that is roughly 3.5 km one way and would take 1.5hours return depending on your fitness level. This path is a shared trail and can be used to ride bikes, skateboards and is also accessible for wheelchairs. For the adventurous, a single trail continues on past the Discovery Caravan park to hatchery bay. This is a purpose build mountain biking trail but takes in the country side for those wishing for a longer walk around the lake. Keep an eye and ear out for mountain bikers and be sure to move off the trail if you are continuing to Hatchery Bay.

 

Stand-up Paddle Boarding On Lake Jindabyne

Lake Jindabyne is a great spot for stand up paddle boarding. If you are new to SUPing then Lake Jindabyne is the perfect place to get comfortable as there are no currents, the water is usually flat and on most summer days the water is like a mirror where you can see your reflection off the water.  Sacred Ride is a local shop who can cater to all your water sports need. With two locations, one in the centre of Jindabyne and also a location right on the lake these legendary locals will have you covered to hire your SUP, safety equipment and easily get you out on the lake. You can spend your time practicing techniques or adventure out to one of our two islands, Lion Island is the larger of the two and Cup Island is the smaller one. Curiosity rocks is also a great place to paddle to as well. For SUP and Kayak rental contact Sacred Ride on 1300 736 581 or  sacredride.com.au.

Alternatively if you would like to try Yoga SUP [which by the way is a lot of fun] check out The OM Collective for a timetable and booking online.

 

Swimming

Lake Jindabyne is fed by the Snowy River, Thredbo River and Eucumbene River. Most of the water entering lake Jindabyne is run off from melting snow, so one would believe it is freezing year round in our beautiful lake. But by the time Mid December comes around the snow has melted, the temperatures are warming up and so is the temperature of the lake.

There are several beautiful swimming areas around the lake a really you can swim in most areas of the lake. The clay pits is one of the most popular places to lounge by the lake and partake in water sports. You get there by following Kosciuszko Road to the larger round-about in town and turn towards the lake. There are several areas to the left and right that are perfect to set up for a day of water activities or a quick swim out to the islands and back. One of our favourite areas to go swimming is also Rushes Bay in East Jindabyne – read our quick guide to getting to Rushes Bay here.

 

Horse Riding

If you haven’t seen the classic movie ‘The Man From Snowy River’, I’m sure you would of heard of this iconic film depicting the rugged and harsh environment of the Snowy Mountains, back in the day of the early pioneers. After watching this movie, I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to experience riding horses in the Alpine regions. Gone are the days where you can ride horses in the National Park but you most certainly can ride horses in the country side surrounding Kosciuszko National Park. There are several horse riding opportunities around the snowy mountains. Thredbo Valley Horse Riding is situated only 10min from the Jindy Inn along the Alpine way. Thredbo Valley Horse Riding offers 1, 1.5, 2 & 3 hour horse rides. There are half day adventures available as well as 10min pony rides for the little ones under 8 years of age. Thredbo Valley Horse Riding is contactable on 02 562142 or thredbovalleyhorseriding.com

For the more adventurous at heart Snowy Wilderness is located 29km from Jindabyne and backs onto Kosciuszko National park. Snowy Wilderness run 2 to 5 multi day horse treks along with 1hour, 2hour, 3hour and half day horse rides. For information & bookings please call 1800 218 171 or go to their website snowywilderness.com.au

 

Wild Brumby Distillary

In the European Alps where it is too cold to make traditional wine, the distilling of schnapps proved to be the perfect replacement. Schnapps became a popular après drink for skiers to warm them up after a day on the mountain.

Monica and Brad the owners of Wild Brumby Distillery, pulled on Monica’s Austrian Grand Father’s knowledge of schnapps distilling, teaching Brad these methods to bring Austrian schnapps to the Snowy Mountains.

If tantalising your taste buds is what your into, then the Wild Brumby Distillery is an absolute must on your visit to the Snowy Mountains. You cannot go past the free Schnapps tasting with 3 Australian awards and 4 international awards for their fabulously distilled Schnapps, they sure have coined the market for schnapps in Australia.

The Wild Brumby distillery have also created a Vodka with a difference plus an award winning Gin using Mountain botanicals and local produce.  Stroll the grounds taking in the beautiful sculptures that adorn the the area outside of the restaurant. Enjoy the decadent selection of lunch and desert from the restaurant while sipping a cocktail made from their famous schnapps. You can also peruse the cellar door to take a bottle of your favourite schnapps, Vodka or Gin home. Open 10am to 5pm daily and located on the Alpine Way at Crackenback Valley.

 

Snowy Hydro Visitors Centre

In Adaminaby, October 1949, the first blast commenced the start of what has been labelled one of the worlds modern engineering marvels. The Snowy Hydro-electric scheme brought 100 000 men and women from 30 countries to the area to build 16 major dams, 145km of tunnels and pipelines, 80km of aqueducts, 9 major power stations, 33 turbines that produce hourly 4500 gigawatts of clean renewable hydro-electric power.

The scheme also diverts water from the Snowy, Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee rivers, west, to the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers to counteract severe drought. There is so much more to this amazing scheme than just this basic information and you will find everything you need to know at the Snowy Hydro visitors centre on the Monaro Highway, Cooma. Every half hour their very knowledgeable staff run a visitor experience session 7 days a week to answer all of your questions. The Discovery Café is open the same times as the centre 8am to 4pm and we have  on good authority it’s one of the places to go for coffee in Cooma.  You can phone the Discovery centre on 02 6453 2888

 

Mountain Biking

The Snowy Mountains have been blessed with an amazing crew of keen mountain bikers that have put in the hard yards with council to get funding and projects off the ground to build some amazing mountain biking trails in our area. Thredbo, Lake Crackenback, Bungarra and now Cooma boast some world class single tracks. In Jindabyne itself we have direct access to trails that go in both directions around the lake. The hatchery bay trail is one of our easiest trails and this can be accessed by following the path that runs along the lake to the discovery caravan park. At the Discovery Caravan park to locate the continuation of the single track follow the road to the green shed near the boat ramp. To the left of the shed you can see the single track that winds through cattle grazing land on fairly flat terrain. Ideal for the beginner mountain biker.

From hatchery Bay the trail now links up with the TVC [Thredbo Valley Crackenback] trail where you can ride all the way to either Crackenback Resort or continue up to Thredbo.

For those with a little more pump in their legs heading towards the dam wall along the lake from Poo Bay will link you up with the Mill creek shared trail. This trail is slightly more advance but still ok for a beginner to intermediate rider. The Mill creek trails will take you to Tyrolian village and has several offshoots, for a little bit more of a thrilling ride for the more experienced rider.

 

Yoga

Yoga gives you the ability to strengthen the mind, the body whilst promoting flexibility and deep relaxation. Quieting the mind allows a calmness to spread throughout the body which then reduces stress that then contributes to a more peaceful lifestyle. The focus directed in each yoga pose allows this to happen naturally. Lengthening of muscles and the movement of joints brings ease of movement to the body and generally reduces pain associated with modern day society and aging bodies. For  a small town Jindabyne has many Yoga schools that are all fabulous in their own right. The Jindy Inn’s pick is The Om Collective who run yoga classes at the local sailing club by the lake and also run 3, 4 and 7 day yoga retreats. Why not take in the sites and do yoga in one hit by combining a yoga class into your morning walk along the lake path that literally takes you right past the sailing club. If your new to yoga or don’t like crowds, try a private session with one of our instructors. Spots are limit so to secure your spot book and pay direct online over at theomcollective.org

 

Massage

Last but not least after all of these fabulous activities that have got your blood pumping, your muscles moving and the mind clear; your next step is to treat yourself to a relaxing massage to wash away any aches and pains to which will aide in recovery so that you can be ready for your next adventure. The Jindy in has a massage Therapist on call to come to your room, specialising in Remedial Massage, who has almost 20 years experience. Jindabyne Mobile Massage has been helping clients in the area since 2000 and a massage with them should definitely be on your list. You can contact them on 0412 033 742 or jindabynemassage.com.au

 

 

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Baby Wombats At The Jindy Inn

Here at the Jindy Inn we are members of L.A.O.K.O. (Looking After Our Kosciuszko Orphans), a wildlife rescue group made up of a group of trained volunteer carers who assist in the rescue and care of native wildlife in The Snowy Mountains area. Each year hundreds of native animals are injured or killed as a result of car accidents, dog attacks and human intervention in the form of unauthorised culling. Both members and donations from the public help give these animals a second chance.

Eric and I have been part of L.A.O.K.O. for 2 years and have been caring for orphaned wombats in that time. The photos below are of our last two wombats Elvis and Harriet. Many people are curious as to what happens to these animals – so let me share with you what exactly happens.

The Rescue

The L.A.O.K.O phone line is managed 24 hours a day by a small group of hard working volunteers. They take many calls from removing snakes around homes, giving assistance to injured wildlife to checking on animals that have been hit by a car. As a member of LAOKO we are called out depending on what our experience is and what courses we have undertaken. Saying that there are many members who choose to only be involved by giving to the organisation financially due to not having the time available for the actual rescues. Eric and I primarily care for orphaned or injured animals and will also go out on site and check injured animals. Some of the animals we have given assistance to includes wombats, kangaroos, magpies, lizards and an owl. Most cases we will get a phone call advising us that an animal has been orphaned and needs caring for – then whoever rescued the animal will bring it to us.

There are a few animal co-ordinaters who manage the volunteers and know which animals they have and what experience they have. L.A.O.K.O also like to buddy up animals based on animal and age. Generally we will only have one wombat for a short time before we get another phone call to take on another wombat of the same age – this is so that they don’t get super attached to humans and learn how to play and interact with animals of their own species. It also makes it more enjoyable for the wombat when it comes to release.

If you do hit an animal or spot an injured animal then call LAOKO on (02) 64561313. Even if you hit an animal and it appears to be ok – please still call as many times the animal is in shock and injury won’t be obvious until some time after. No matter what the situation please call – as it gives the opportunity for someone to come and access the situation and check the animals pouch for a live baby. LAOKO also euthanise any animal that can’t be rescued so that it can be put out of its suffering. Its is very sad the amount of animals hit by cars that lay on the road for hours in suffering and pain – please call.

The First 48 Hours Are Crucial

When an orphaned baby wombat first comes into care it is considerable shock as it has just lost its mother – generally from a car. The first thing we do is get it warm and feeling safe. The best way to do this is to swaddle them tightly in a pouch [made from volunteers] and keep it in a quiet and dark place. We also need to do a health assessment as soon as we can – this involves checking weight, hydration and doing a body scan for any injury, disease or broken limbs. Any ticks are also removed.

If the baby has no fur then it is important to monitor body temperature as they can’t regulate their own body temperature and often this can lead to death – generally we swaddle them and place them on a heat pad. However, if they have fur then that is one less thing to worry about as they can regulate their own body temperature.

After we have let them settle we then try and give them their first bottle. This is extremely time-consuming for most part. The have never had a bottle so they will reject it the first few times. Some will start drinking the milk within the first 24 hours and others will take up to 2 or 3 days. As a carer this can get stressful at times as they need hydration within the first 2 or 3 days for their survival. Often warm water gently syringed into their mouth is a good way to get hydration if they are refusing the bottle.

The milk we use is either wombaroo or Biolac – both are designed for marsupials and are dairy free.

If we don’t have a buddy for the wombat yet we will spend lots of time with it giving it hugs and keeping it close to our heartbeat [they find comfort when laid close to the chest].

The Next 8 Months

After a week or so the baby wombat starts to get comfortable in its new surrounds and with us. It will start to come out of its pouch and get curious about everything from us, the couch to the throw cushions. Initially they are on 4 bottles a day and over the next 6-8 months we will gradually wean them off. Every week we weigh them to ensure they are gaining weight – a healthy wombat should gain weight. Once we get it buddied up with another wombat they start to play and cuddle together.

Their little personality starts to show, wombat carers call 2pm the ‘wombat happy hour’ as this is when they wake up and get very playful for an hour or so. They will run around, do little leaps, roll on their backs, play bite and pull shoelaces.

Caring for a wombat is a 2 year commitment. For the first year they live in small enclosures either inside or in the back yard. It is important to take them for daily walks and encourage them to dig and eat grass.

Wombats are both determined and cheeky. They will get into everything. Often at night we would wake up to hear little footsteps running up and down our hallway, only to be faced with two little wombats who have escaped from their indoor enclosure and got into EVERYTHING. I remember one day Harriet was watching me organise my linen cupboard – she was trying to get into it and I wouldn’t let her. Then the next morning I woke up to find she escaped from her enclosure and went straight for the linen cupboard. She managed to open the door and she pulled everything out and had a good play with the pillowcases. I found pillowcases on the couch, in the kitchen and in her enclosure. She was determined to find a way into that linen cupboard.

Even though wombats are very bold and cheeky with their carers, they still get nervous very easy around other people which can be detrimental to the wombats well-being. It is not ideal to have wombats exposed to noisy environments, hence why we don’t bring out wombats in the public – only for educational talks when requested.

Getting Ready For Release

Once the wombats reach 10-12kilos it is time to relocate them to a permanent outdoor enclosure to enable them to get ready for release. While the wombats adapt quite easily to the change us humans tend to miss having them around all the time.

They will generally spend up to a year in this enclosure. Elvis and Harriet are currently in wombat heaven – they have been relocated to a beautiful property that is far away from any roads. Eric and I go out and visit them every 3 or 4 weeks – and they are super excited to see us which is super sweet. Over the next 8 months the gates will open to the enclosure and they will be free to come and go as they please. Eventually once they feel comfortable to be on their own they will stay in the wild. Even though they leave their enclosure many raised wombats will still drop in for a visit every few weeks or so. Some even bring around their babies.

How You Can Help

There are several ways you can help us help our native animals. Your help and support gives animals a second chance.

 

Harriet has graduated to soft release grounds
Elvis enjoying his nap
Elvis having a nap with Eric
Harriet hanging out with Claire
Elvis + Harriet
Elvis chilling out
Wombat hugs
Outside exploring
Baby Elvis
2nd day after rescue
Elvis enjoying a belly rub
More naps
Wombat selfies
Snug as a bug
Comments Off on Swimming At Rushes Bay Lake Jindabyne

Swimming At Rushes Bay Lake Jindabyne

 

Take time out and head to the simple yet beautiful Rushes Bay where you can cool off in the pristine alpine water. It’s the perfect place to wind down after exploring the local trails [either by bike or foot] or venturing into Kosciuszko National Park.

The sheltered beach is great for swimming, picnicking, floating on an inflatable lilo, snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding. There is also an unsealed road that takes you all the way to the bay – perfect for bringing along the BBQ and canoes. Boats on trailers can be launched from Boronga Point to the west of the beach. (Note: there is no formal ramp).

Chill out under the beautiful big trees that grow from the shallow lake shores that provide shade from the sun on a hot day. Take in the beautiful rugged scenery and make sure you keep an eye out for a local wombat or two. Aside from the clear water the bottom of the lake is smooth and silky – so no sharp rocks or pebbles to step on.

Without a doubt, one of Jindabyne’s greatest attractions is Lake Jindabyne – a man-made dam for the Snowy Hydro Scheme. Both the Snowy River + Thredbo River [also Eucumbene River] flow into Lake Jindabyne providing clear and pristine water from the melting snow.

Note: There are no toilet facilities or rubbish bins so come prepared to take away everything you bring in.

 

Been To Rushes Bay? Then Check Out Curiosity Rocks. Click Here

 

Getting There

There are 2 ways to get to Rushes Bay.

  1. Follow Jerrara Drive along through the residential area. Note the 50kph limit and watch out for the many pedestrians and blind driveways. You can turn left at Boronga Street and follow the road all the way to the end. You will find an unsealed road heading right that hugs the rocks and leads you to the swimming beach. When you arrive, park your car above the beach so as to keep it clear and safe for toddlers. If you have a boat on a trailer, launch at the end of Boronga Street – not on Rushes Bay beach itself – to keep swimmers safe.
  2. Alternatively you can turn left off Jerrara Drive onto Rushes Bay Avenue. On the left you will see a sign ‘Pedestrian Access To Beach’. Park on the road there and walk down

 

 

 

Hiking Mt Kosciuszko
Comments Off on Walking Mt Kosciuszko Via Thredbo

Walking Mt Kosciuszko Via Thredbo

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Wanting to trek to Australia’s highest peak of 2228m above sea level? The 13km return track from Thredbo is definitely the most popular option as it is rated an easy-medium grade and is great for most fitness levels – including families. If you’re visiting Kosciuszko National Park in the warmer months, a walk to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko is a must-do.

If you are not up for walking the full 13km then there is a look-out point at 2km [4km return] which overlooks the Kosi Peak.

Starting at the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo, this popular day walk takes you to the rooftop of Australia. After the scenic chairlift ride, the boardwalk takes you through the rocky granite outcrops of Ramshead Range, and through alpine wildflowers (spring).

The track crosses The Snowy River, before climbing above Lake Cootapatamba [a glacier lake] and on to Rawson Pass [where there are toilets]. From here, it’s a gradual climb to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko (2228m). The sweeping 360 degree views across the Snowy Mountains, Monaro Plains and Victorian High Country are sure to impress. Stay a while at the top to breathe in the fresh alpine air.

Start Of Walk

We highly recommend to catch the chair up to Eagles Nest Restaurant so that you can experience the amazing view of Thredbo and the Snowy’s.  The scenic chairlift takes about 15 minutes and is open 365 days a year. Tickets are purchased on the day from the ticket office located at bottom of the chair at Thredbo. Alternatively you can walk up Merritts Nature Track from Thredbo Village to the top of the chairlift. This difficult 2km track takes around 1-1.5 hours uphill.

 

Things You Need To Know

  • There is a National Park Fee to enter the park. View most current fees here
  • Thredbo charge for the chairlift. You will find the up to date prices here
  • Pack a few layers of clothing + a waterproof wind jacket as the weather can change drastically. Read these safety tips before you head out.
  • Make sure you wear good shoes [as often there is snow up the summit in Nov/Dec/Jan] and pack plenty of water, sunscreen + a summit snack.
  • The track is generally covered by snow between June and October, and possibly at other times. You can get to Mount Kosciuszko on cross-country skis or snowshoes at these times, but there are no snow poles marking the walking route.
  • While some people can do the walk in 2.5 hours – give yourself plenty of time to soak in the views. We recommend 4-5 hours.
  • If you are planning on camping out there for the night make sure you read Think Before You Trek.