At the spot, but not quite, but close enough.
We have made it to Tom Groggin Campground. A pleasant enough drive along the Alpine Way from Khancoban, 52 km or so. It is another 58 km onto Thredbo. The road was fine, steep and a bit narrow in sections. Some great views out over the ranges and valleys below.
We had the campground at Tom Groggin mostly to ourselves, a couple of other campers were there, but they came and went after a night stopover. The campground is the most accesable point to the Murray River from its source which is more than several km further upstream in the vicinity of ‘The Pilot’, a 1580m peak that sits out on its own. One can drive up a bit closer on mountain tracks but then face an overnight hike to the source at what is known as the ‘Indi’ spring.
The river at Tom Groggin is swift flowing and only a metre or so deep, but it is a great spot, smoother flowing waters upstream and some mini rapids below the campground. All very tame though.
We have used Tom Groggin as a base to head further along the Alpine way to Thredbo, ultimately going down to Jindabyne to get fuel, Sundays are not a good day for fuel at Thredbo. Along the way we passed the ‘Pilot’ lookout, we felt no desire to pursue the source of the Murray further in its direction. Coming into Thredbo the road passes through Dead Horse Gap, requisite photo taken on the log looking down into the valley below. We retraced our steps to Tom Groggin, these sort of testing drives always seem easier on the return, one knows the bends I suppose!
We have no power or water at the campground so are reliant on the sun to top up our batteries and the water tanks to last. Renewables have proven a boon for campers but you do really hope the sun shines. We don’t have one of those diesal generators as support or for that matter a EV battery charger point to rely upon. Oh, well, lets rely on the sun for the time being others seem willing to do!
Along the Alpine Way there are a number of lay by points which allow views over the ranges and valleys below. A number of side tracks take one to lookouts, Scammels Spur and Olsens Lookout provide great views of the main range, Mt Kosciuszko albiet hidden behind another peak on the right. The Swampy Plains River is crossed at the Geehi Camping area, a great riverside camp spot.
A couple of days before we set off on this journey it was the time of our wedding anniversary. The old romantic had picked up some flowers to help celebrate the occasion. The flowers proved resiliant and Allthego thought it appropriate to take them on the road. As might be expected thay withered and at Tom Groggin it was acknowledged that their time had come. So Allthego tossed them into the Murray and they set off on a long passage to the sea in South Australia. Maybe they would wash onto a bank along the way and we would stumble upon them?
We have taken the opportunity at Tom Groggin to have some fires, in part to keep warm but also to experience that great outdoors feeling of heat and a bit of smoke. Had some steak one night over the fire and the other a freshly made meat lovers pizza in the Weber and then enjoyed by the fire. It was a pretty cool night; doona, blanket and rug keep the chills at bay! Some brumbys charged through the campimg ground during the early night hours, they lingered it seems and left tell tale signs of their passage.
Tom Groggin is the start of our Murray River passage, but we need to head back the way we have come to Khancoban and then continue along what is known as “The Great River Road’ beside the Upper Murray.