Thredbo area campsite will be our base for two days of long range cycling through magnificent countryside. Day 1 is all about daring descents and courageous climbs. Our second day factors in the sublime suffering of the first and therefore offers a gentler profile with spectacular scenery.
In two days we will pedal nearly 300km and climb 5,478m in vertical ascent – 2.5 times higher than mainland Australia’s tallest mountain.
If we keep our eyes peeled we may also see rare mountain pygmy possums and the black-and-yellow corroboree frog in high-country areas. At lower reaches we’re likely to come across wombats, wallabies, grey kangaroos and emus.
Day 1: Ups and Downs (Thredbo to Khancoban Return – 149km)
The Kosciuszko Alpine Way is one of Australia’s greatest year-round scenic roads, a spirited evocation of the early explorers who forged a path across Australia’s high country.
After a short uphill exit from Thredbo we are quickly and undeservedly rewarded with the mother of all downhills covering about 15km and more than 1,000m of vertical. We then preserve our strength all the way to Khancoban keeping in mind the twisted gravitational rule that applies today – all that goes down must come up.
There is nothing directionally difficult about today’s route. We follow one road from beginning to end. There are no services along the way except for a café at Murray 1 Power Station and Khancoban town. So, we need to bring plenty of food and water.
The return journey from Khancoban is where the achievements begin as we have much climbing to do.
Some of today’s highlights include: KNP, Murray 1, Geehi, The Murray River (border between VIC and NSW), Tom Groggin cattle station and of course Dead Horse Gap at 1,580m above sea level. And last but not least the short downhill back to Thredbo village where we celebrate Day 1’s efforts by clinking glasses.
Day 2: Charlotte Adams (Thredbo to Charlotte Pass Return – 137km)
Our journey through rugged alpine landscapes continues in this valleys and peaks route. Expect roads lined with dense forest and revitalising fresh air to feed the lungs. Today’s route takes us through some of the highest points in Australia’s Great Dividing Range.
The day commences with a breathtaking +30km downhill from Thredbo to Jindabyne followed by a sizeable climb along Kosciuszko Rd to Charlotte Pass, Australia’s highest permanent settlement and our halfway mark for the day. Here we take a breather over lunch and ready ourselves for the return leg.
In the final +30km we face an uphill battle to the finish line. In those final kms it may help to remember that we’ve had more than 65km of downhill delights today. And, if that’s not enough, Thredbo pub awaits!
“We’ve been lucky. Not like our parents living through the Vietnam War, or our grandparents fighting in World War II and their parents in World War I and both coping with the Great Depression. There are some aspects of hardship and war that played a role in developing and shaping the character of men in prior generations. As young men we crave adventure and to experience danger and the excitement of truly living on the edge. In our current cotton-wool lives this isn’t available in domesticated, middle-class living and as a result many of us search for these experiences through avenues like drugs, alcohol and driving like an idiot. Young men are programmed to push their boundaries. Being out here on a trip like this had given Jonesy and me that excitement and danger and more importantly forced us to grow up.” – James Castrission, Extreme South.