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Camping /Caravan Parks/ Campers It's all about the great outdoors. What you have and where you stayed.

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  #1  
Old 01-02-17
Vix2010 Vix2010 is offline
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Thumbs up Camping At Tom Groggin

Hi all,
Just thought I would give a quick review of our camping experience at Tom Groggin Campground on the 24th-28th January 2017:

My wife, Myself and our three kids left on the Tuesday morning and headed to Island Bend to campground in Kosciuszko National Park NSW. It had taken us nearly two days to pack all the necessary items into the Pajero and Camper Trailer but we were able to leave by 10 am (which is pretty good… for us). After a quick stop at Burra to visit some family members, we were back on the road by 12pm. We took it easy and arrived at Island Bend at 3pm. Perfect! Two hours to set up camp, then into the Snowy River for a dip before dinner…. NOPE! Island Bend camp ground had plenty of nice spots but the river was flowing too fast for the kids to safely go swimming and within minutes of exiting the Pajero, I was right back in it to escape the enormous biting Horse-flies. This wasn’t going to work! (After much asking my wife), we decided to head for Ngarigo Campground which is located on Alpine Way and was the closest trailer suitable campground to us.

A quick drive through of Ngarigo told us that we were not the only ones with this idea and the campground was packed to capacity! What to do?! All our careful organisation had not paid off, it was getting late, still boiling hot and to make matters worse…. The kids were hungry!!

There wasn’t much else we could do but to push on towards Tom Goggin Campground which was another 90mins down the road and hope we found something suitable. So we dug a couple of packets of lollies from the emergency supply (Trust me, when you are travelling with kids… this is a vital consideration) and managed to placate a 10 year old, an 8 year old and a 21 month old for another hour and a half. We arrived at Tom Groggin Campground just after 5:30pm and were immediately impressed with the size and location of the campsites (well I was impressed, my wife was just relieved!). In a very short time we had found a shady camp spot away from the main camping area where we were finally able set up the camper.

Our site was fairly isolated, about 300 meters away from the river and the nearest campers (very important in maintaining camping etiquette when your toddler doesn’t sleep through the night) and 400 meters from the nearest drop toilet (a blessing and a curse! I was forced to do a few early morning drives to the toilet for a child who just wasn’t going to make it in time on their bike!) But still close enough for the kids to make friends with other children at the grounds.

The temperature sat around 30-35 degrees during the days for our whole trip, but the evenings got down to a pleasant 12-15 degrees which made sleeping easy! Because of the heat we did not go on any of the many hiking trails but mainly spent our days exploring the 4WDing tracks and swimming in the nearby river. The river, which we thought was the Snowy River but later discovered was the Murray River was a bit too shallow to swim in most places but there was a deeper spot adjacent to the main camp area which was popular in the heat of the day. The older kids soon discovered the technique of floating in the current and catching a ride to the deeper calmer waters of the swimming hole. This resulted in many bruises as the bottom of the river is rocky not sandy but was also a lot of fun.

One of our favourite things to do whilst camping, is pack a lunch, jump in the 4WD and head off exploring for the day. Tom Groggin turned out to be an ideal base for this activity. It is quite literally surrounded by 4WD tracks which range from easy to fairly difficult. Unfortunately the main drawcard, the Davies Plains Track was closed but we were able to get pretty far up the Mount Pinnibar track before needing to turn back due to low fuel (Something we neglected to consider). The Mount Pinnibar track (or Mt Peanut Butter track as it was soon named by the kids) was pretty steep in places and I ended up staying in Low-Range for the majority of the time. It was also a popular alternative to the closed Davies Plains track and was quite slippery in places due to the dry conditions and many 4WDs accessing the track. This is a track that we will definitely be heading back to complete.

The Tom Groggin Track wasn’t quite as intense as the Mt Pinnibar but afforded us with some spectacular views of the snowy mountains and some great pictures. We spent a few hours on this track until needing to turn back as it is not a loop track. A passing 4WDer told us that the Mt Anderson track links the Tom Groggin and the Mt Pinnibar tracks to form a loop but we had run out of time to complete that particular journey and decided it was wiser to turn back.

Overall it was a great trip even though it started off a bit stressful (our trips usually do). We are keen to visit Tom Groggin again and hit the 4WD trails again!
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  #2  
Old 01-02-17
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old Jack old Jack is offline
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Yes Tom Groggin is a great campsite, I had morning tea there a few years ago on the way back from a Snowy's Hydro Reunion in Cooma, and was most impressed by the almost empty but fantastic campsite. I also took a detour on the Geehi Wall loop track via Major Clews Hut on the way out heading west, easy to medium 4wd track, great scenery and an important part of the Snowy's history. Plan is to head back that way next December before Christmas to avoid the crowds and the man eating flies that take over in January.

OJ.
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Last edited by old Jack; 01-02-17 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 01-02-17
Vix2010 Vix2010 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old Jack View Post
Yes Tom Groggin is a great campsite, I had morning tea there a few years ago on the way back from a Snowy's Hydro Reunion in Coma, and was most impressed by the almost empty but fantastic campsite. I also took a detour on the Geehi Wall loop track via Major Clues Hut on the way out heading west, easy to medium 4wd track, great scenery and an important part of the Snowy's history. Plan is to head back that way next December before Christmas to avoid the crowds and the man eating flies take over in January.

OJ.
The Snowy Hydro is amazing the work that was done over the years, I have alot of family from my Dad's side from Jindabyne and my aunty who is still living there. From her living room window you can sometimes see the top of the church poking out from the lake from the old Jindabyne town.
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Old 01-02-17
Ian H Ian H is offline
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Originally Posted by Vix2010 View Post
The Snowy Hydro is amazing the work that was done over the years, .
It certainly is but imagine if it was proposed today. It would never get through all the red/green tape. Luckily, those before us had more sense and it was built.
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Old 01-02-17
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old Jack old Jack is offline
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It certainly is but imagine if it was proposed today. It would never get through all the red/green tape. Luckily, those before us had more sense and it was built.
Totally agree, it was a the first major infrastructure projects that provided for the future. Further more it has not been left to deteriorate and become out of date, constant upgrades and modern technology make this almost 70 year old installation state of the art. If only we and our elected members could have such vision and commitment, I am sure we could achieve something of the same magnitude again. It was also built by a hugely diverse and multicultural workforce from all over the world, many were refugees from World War 2.

OJ.
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Old 01-02-17
gringo gringo is offline
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Love the post mate ......thank you
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  #7  
Old 01-02-17
erad erad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old Jack View Post
Totally agree, it was a the first major infrastructure projects that provided for the future. Further more it has not been left to deteriorate and become out of date, constant upgrades and modern technology make this almost 70 year old installation state of the art. If only we and our elected members could have such vision and commitment, I am sure we could achieve something of the same magnitude again. It was also built by a hugely diverse and multicultural workforce from all over the world, many were refugees from World War 2.

OJ.
I have lived in Cooma for nearly 51 years now. Tom Groggin is virtually my backyard. Even after all this time, I am still overawed by the grandeur of the place the whole of the Snowies, not just Tom Groggin. I used to cross over the mountains 2 or 3 times per week for work, winter and summer, but I never tired of the task. Work was not a chore - it was a pleasure. One Contractor who was doing some major work for us even said to me that I should pay the Snowy to work there, not the other way... So much history in the area. I still love it all.

As for the multicultural aspects, it was amazing. There were German foremen leading British workers and vice versa. There were Italians, greeks, - you name it and they were all there for a common goal - to build the scheme. The only troublemakers were the Yugoslavs and Croats. They carried on their wars from Europe and continued them here. The Snowy was a major triumph of man over nature and also of blending differing races together. It is a pity that the current immigrants don't assimilate in the same manner.

You stayed at Tom Groggin. In my book, an even better site would have been Geehi Airstrip, but I guess that would have been relatively crowded at the time. I am almost teary eyed thinking about my times in this area. More people should see it to appreciate it. No, on second thoughts, stay away, leave me alone in my wilderness....
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Old 01-02-17
Vix2010 Vix2010 is offline
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As we headed down to Khancoban we wanted to visit the Murray 1 Visitor's center but the entrance gates were shut. Was a shame but makes me want to go there even more now
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  #9  
Old 01-02-17
erad erad is offline
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As we headed down to Khancoban we wanted to visit the Murray 1 Visitor's center but the entrance gates were shut. Was a shame but makes me want to go there even more now

Murray 1 Power Station Visitor's Centre is closed whilst they are doing upgrades of the turbines. This should go on for quite a while because there are 10 machines to do. Murray 2 Power Station was open for a while - not sure if it still is. If you are interested, call Snowy Hydro in Cooma (02) 6453 2888 an ask if any of the visitor centres are open. What is the best is if you can get inside a power station, not just the display shed outside. The best is Tumut 3, near Talbingo. The pipelines coming into the station are 5.5 m diameter. Standing beside them makes you feel very small indeed. The visitor's centre in Cooma is open nearly every day, and has some very good displays and information, along with films. They also have excellent coffee...

Cabramurra township has a cafe (for another few months at least) which serves basic cooked meals at a very reasonable price. This is also the mess for the personnel who live there. They also have a coffee shop cum visitors centre there with displays and information about the scheme. It makes a nice day out to do aa run up to Cabra and have lunch there. Snowy Hydro is looking to move all personnel out of the town, so I am not sure of the future of the mess facilities and also the coffee shop..
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Old 01-02-17
Vix2010 Vix2010 is offline
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Originally Posted by erad View Post
Murray 1 Power Station Visitor's Centre is closed whilst they are doing upgrades of the turbines. This should go on for quite a while because there are 10 machines to do. Murray 2 Power Station was open for a while - not sure if it still is. If you are interested, call Snowy Hydro in Cooma (02) 6453 2888 an ask if any of the visitor centres are open. What is the best is if you can get inside a power station, not just the display shed outside. The best is Tumut 3, near Talbingo. The pipelines coming into the station are 5.5 m diameter. Standing beside them makes you feel very small indeed. The visitor's centre in Cooma is open nearly every day, and has some very good displays and information, along with films. They also have excellent coffee...

Cabramurra township has a cafe (for another few months at least) which serves basic cooked meals at a very reasonable price. This is also the mess for the personnel who live there. They also have a coffee shop cum visitors centre there with displays and information about the scheme. It makes a nice day out to do aa run up to Cabra and have lunch there. Snowy Hydro is looking to move all personnel out of the town, so I am not sure of the future of the mess facilities and also the coffee shop..
Thanks erad, sounds awsome. So keen to go and check it out, need to get a spare weekend and go. My two older kids would love looking at the pipelines
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