Kosciuszko National Park – planning, hiking, camping & photographing
I’ve always been intrigued by the Kosciuszko National Park. It has the highest peak in Australia & an alpine alien-like landscape, unlike anything else in NSW. So when I got an opportunity to camp overnight I jumped at the chance!
If you’re just after the landscape photographs scroll to the bottom
Gear, prep & planning
We had booked the trip but kept having to cancel when rain and storms created dangerous conditions weekend after weekend for months, so we ended up heading out in November.
I kept an eye on the forecast by checking the Bureau of Meteorology MetEye which gives specific weather predictions, in this case it was info from the Thredbo weather station only a couple of km’s from where we camped.
I got info about tracks from the NSW National Parks website, Google Earth & more importantly the very very helpful lady at the National Parks Info centre where I also bought a topographic map.
I’ve got a 40L F-stop Ajna camera bag. I use it all the time & it has been great, except! I found personally on longer hikes it digs into my shoulders & not having a proper padded hip strap sucks when hiking. So what I got the Internal ICU compartment from that bag and put it into a larger backpacking bag (55L Kathmandu Overlander)
I now had a starting point – I could fill that ICU with the camera gear I needed and it would be protected from the elements, including rain. I filled it with my Nikon D610, 4 camera batteries, a 16-35mm f4 & a 70-200mm f2.8 and the rest of the space was used to store smaller items that I wouldn’t need to access often.
For food, I brought dehydrated Back Country Cuisine packs, snacks & 3L of water in a bladder as well as a Lifestraw water bottle.
For sleeping at night I had a Sea To Summit insulated mat, pillow & Black Wolf Hiker 300 sleeping bag. All were super compact but the sleeping bag was only rated to -1°C. At night, the temperature dropped to -4°C BUT with a sleeping bag liner and thermals, I created a pretty comfortable sleep.
Filling out a trip intention form to let the rangers know what the plan for the trip was & an expected eta.
2. Having an EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon) which is a device that once pressed calls in emergency services to your location. I borrowed one from a friend but you can hire one for FREE at the Jindabyne information Centre.
Then you’ve got the general stuff like making sure you’ve got sunscreen, a long sleeve top, hat etc – although cold, the sun was still intense & very much in a burning mood. I also had gloves which are essential.
In the middle of the night, I thought I heard an animal sniffing around the tent – nope, it was just wind! It was a cold, noisy night.
Here are a few things I made the mistake of doing: not putting down a small tarp before setting up the tent (creating more insulation to the ground), not bringing earplugs & not bringing an extra pair of socks (I didn’t sleep with my socks on and they got frozen).
Still, it was worth waking up to this…
We were lucky enough to get clear skies at night. Despite freezing my fingers, I also managed to capture some astrophotography, including the below shot of the milky-way over an alpine pool. Capturing this took a few exposures: one for the sky, one for the water & one for the land while I ran as fast as I could with a torch lighting up rocks.
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