Sunday, 7 March 2021

Ascending Mt Mitchell and Mt Cordeau

 Sunday 21st February

On Tuesday of this week, [9 March], my husband and I are making the 1300 km drive, over a couple of days, to Jindabyne on the edge of the Kosciuszko National Park. We are basing ourselves here, while I spend 4 days walking in the High Country. Frank will happily fill in his time on shorter walks.

In preparation for this adventure, I have been trying to increase my fitness and endurance, through hill walking on bush tracks. My friend Jan was very happy to accompany me on this outing to the twin peaks of Cunningham Gap.

Mt Mitchell was our first destination. Starting soon after 8 am, the climb was initally facing east, with a cool breeze blowing

Our first trail view of Mt Mitchell, 1162 m.

Mt Cordeau opposite our trail.

Initially the trail was of open bush and eucalypts, with numerous grasshead trees.


The path was quite clear to start, but the higher we ascended, the recent rain meant the weeds, grasses and bushes often hid the trail. It was a tad nerve wrecking, wondering if there were any snakes lurking.

Everlasting daisies growing wild, were a cheerful sight.

Another view across to Mt Cordeau.

The higher we climbed the more expansive the views became across the Fassifern Valley to the east.

The Cunningham Highway winding its way to the gap and the Western Downs. [The road we had driven]

View to the Western Downs.

Pleasant trail.

A few tricky stairs to climb.

This one was quite open and had my legs turning to jelly. It seemed that one missed step would have me plummeting to the road below.

The peak.

Definitely worth carrying the thermos for a rewarding, regenerative cuppa. 
Thankfully, given the temperature forecast for the day, reaching this point hadn't been too hot. A gentle breeze, forest canopy and hiking in the lee of the cliffs kept us cool. Birdsong proliferated, as sadly did the sound of the semi trailers, slowly hauling themseleves to the top of the range.

Other scenes

Mt Cordeau reminding us that he was our next challenge.

10.30 am saw us entering the Mt Cordeau trail. This was to be the fourth time I had made this hike. Its beauty never fails to inspire. The gradient is perfect through the lush rainforest. For some reason it catches the breeze far more frequently than Mt Mitchell, which made for a cool, pleasant walk.

There were some open sections that had become overgrown, and at one point I had almost decided the fear of snakes would have me turning around. I normally don't worry about them, but they are dangerous if you can't see them and accidently step on them. 

At Mt Cordeau Peak we had this view of a good 110 km back to the Brisbane skyline.

Also looking east.

Our lunch spot view at Bare Rock.

A selfie, feeling totally elated with our days exertion. 25 kilometres under the belt on our return to the car.

As we ate, storm clouds gathered to the south. We didn't linger.

We followed the storm on our journey back to Brisbane. About midway, this rainbow appeared in the sky. I've never seen such wide bands and intensity of colour. We were travelling on a motorway, so it was imposssible to pull over and take photographs. I eventually took an exit where I knew there would be parking almost immediately, so was relieved to get these captures, even if the rainbow was now fading.

Sunset colour to the west, just before I restarted my journey.

A truely magnificent and rewarding day of walking. I now feel quite confident that I will cope with the hikes in the High Country.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Great job tackling those 2 summits and covering 25 km! Lovely rainbow - your reward for a good days hike.

    1. Another hike on the list, for when you visit!

  2. You are ready after that trek for certain. That was a beautiful climb. How you survive the heat is beyond me. What a gorgeous view though.

    Good luck this week. Safe travels on the way! You got this.

  3. Thank you Marie. My fingers are crossed that today's forecast for Sunday will quickly change. ie, a 90% chance of 20 - 40mm of rain. That's just a little too much.

  4. Another amazing post--- All kinds of interesting plants and a rainbow!

  5. Those look like difficult hikes! The snakes lurking is a big nope for me!

  6. I'm glad you had a cooler day for your hikes. Those stairs looked treacherous. The views were spectacular and what a treat to see the rainbow.