A HORSE TREK IN THE HIGH COUNTRY
One by one, Lin and Clay of Bogong Horseback Adventures lead their mountain-bred stock horses over toward your group and help you to mount. You haven’t been riding since you were a kid and are relieved to see the horses are cool, calm and collected, and know what to do without you lifting a finger. They mingle on the grass, nibbling away while the Baird brothers saddle you up.
Across the lush green paddocks of Spring Spur are bush-clad foothills that roll upward into alpine mountains. You’re feeling very ‘Man From Snowy River’ right now and the excitement is tingling through your veins.
"Thank goodness they had a last-minute cancellation," you think to yourself as you saddle up for the evening tour.
The brothers show you how to control the horses (although the horses clearly know the drill and follow their masters’ lead like clockwork) and when everyone is confident, the team begins to move.
You follow an old stock route through towering eucalypts up into the hills, crossing a shallow river, and gullies thick with ferns, then onward into the Alpine National Park. The horse's body sways rhythmically beneath you, rocking you to the musical tones of the forest birds and the whispering breeze in the tree canopy.
Onwards goes the team, trancelike. You can hear Clay behind you telling a story from his time guiding packhorse tours in the Sierra Nevada, and the alluring huts of the High Country around Dinner Plain, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek, but you’re in your own dream and his words are a thousand miles away. Perhaps you’ll ask again around the campfire. Those old huts do sound enticing. The sky begins to turn orange, then pink, then mauve, and you realise you’re headed back to the Spur. The dream is almost over.
Round the campfire, your group gets to talking about what to do tomorrow. You’re all in the mood for adventure and the starry alpine sky has you in the mood for camping – perhaps up at Mount Buffalo.
Then again, you did carry your gravel bike all the way to Bright with you and you'd love to explore the backroads around the mountains. Hmmm. Which will it be?
Choose your next adventure, or scroll down for more outdoor activities
A LIFE LIVED OUTSIDE
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