Care in Walking and Backpacking

Please note the areas mentioned in this site may be in a wild or wilderness area of a National Park, such as Kosciuszko (KNP) in the Snowy Mountains of NSW or nearby Namadgi NP (NNP). Much of it is remote and can become dangerous with a variety of weather conditions including snow and strong winds that sometimes make it hard to stand up. Mobile phone reception is variable at best. Walkers should be prepared and carry a PLB, satphone or equivalent.

All walks should be undertaken with regard to the following recommendations (Note: I have used information from John Evans Blog for the basis of the following as he had laid it out quite well):

  • Do not walk alone – party size should be a minimum of 4 (This is a contentious issue for some. Especially those who are experienced solo walkers. Certainly if you are not very experienced don’t walk alone)
  • Plan your walk carefully including additional exit routes. Do not plan a route beyond the physical capabilities of the party
  • Leave details, including party members’ contact details & also an emergency contact person for each walker, location where the car is parked & registration number, proposed route & estimated time of return, with a responsible person. Inform them of your safe return. Its also a good idea to leave a legible note on the dashboard of your car informing any possible ranger passing by of who you are & your expected return date
  • Weather conditions can be extreme & can change rapidly. Consider postponing a walk if extreme cold or heat is forecast. Be prepared to be caught in extreme conditions
  • Always carry sufficient water & food, warm & protective clothing
  • Carry a first aid kit & know how to use it. Someone in the party should be First Aid trained
  • Carry an emergency kit including items such as matches, whistle, mirror, ‘space’ blanket, additional food, torch or headlamp
  • Exercise prudent navigation & safety strategies – carry map & compass & know how to use them. Carrying a GPS and know how to use it.  Make a track of your route & know how to trackback. Have spare batteries. Carry a PLB; or consider carrying a mobile or satellite mobile phone, or other communications device.

Protection of Culture and History

Please note the huts of the Snowy Mountains, Namadgi (ACT), Victoria and Tasmania should be respected and cared for. Any hut ruins or historic sites and relics should also be respected and not disturbed. The Snowy Mountains and Namadgi huts may be maintained by KHA in association with NPWS and ACT Parks & Wildlife Service and should only be used for emergency purposes.

Lessons from Bushwalking and Searching for Tracks and Sites

There are several lessons I have learned from many walks and a long time of walking and camping as well as searching for old hut sites:-

  • Australian topographic maps are not always correct. There are examples of mountain hut sites being shown incorrectly even out by 200m or more ie Kidmans, Boltons on the Finn in Kosciuszko NP
  • Others who profess to know where the site or route is are not always correct either
  • Collect all data available and assess the range of information. Within data there is often some truth
  • Hut sites are mostly located on fairly level ground and close to water. Usually they do not face west or south and are shielded by ridges or hills
  • Tracks and routes tend to follow high ground or ridge lines
  • Old photos can help especially in showing the landscape and the background hills etc
  • Once you have your data try and create a circle or similar in which to search. Looking for hut site or sign or marker use 100m x 100m search grids or similar
  • Don’t think you can find it the first time. You have to keep at it

Maps and GPS Data

I use UTM readings with Eastings and Northings. These are the accepted format for bushwalkers as you can directly relate the figures with co-ordinates on the latest 1:25000 map series which use datum GDA94. This is close enough to WGS84 which is what you need to set most GPS units to.

At home I have Garmin Mapsource (and Basecamp) on my PC with OzTopo Maps v5 installed, plus also Oziexplorer with various maps including TopoView 2006 & Ozraster (NSW and other States) digital topo Maps from OzTopo. You can also of course use Garmin Basecamp as Mapsource is an old product and is not being updated. How to get Mapsource and install it. Using Open Street Maps (OSM) for urban walking & cycling is useful as they show local paths quite well. How to load an OSM img file into Mapsource or Basecamp.

There is a free set of customised OSM for various countries and parts of some countries. Its provided by

It has a large OSM with several options for the whole of Canberra. The whole lot can be downloaded as an image or various areas selected and downloaded at a larger size.


Maps Produced

These are produced using Oziexplorer and screen captured using IrfanView. The base maps used with Oziexplorer are either from Topoview with NSW Land and Property Information (was Land and Property Management Authority) approval for display (Others can copy for personal use but need permission to publish), or using OzRaster Map with permission of © BKK Enterprises Pty Ltd,

Around Canberra I often use just Open Street Maps as they are free and show local lanes and paths much better than topo maps. You can also look up OSM on the web and it will show you what footpaths and cycle paths are in which nature reserves or parks. That can be really useful when you are planning you next walk be it 1 hour or all day.

Diagrams and Pictures Available

My pictures of trips are still available in albums on Picasa. Since the move by Google to Google Photos, archive links to Picasa scramble all the Picasa albums so they are not in order. Better quality pictures are on Google Photos but I can only link to photos or albums. Any blog posts or special walk page I will include a link to a Google Photos album.

The original pictures were all ~4320 x 2432, 16:9, 10.5 Megapixels, ~ 5Mbytes; from May 2015 4000 x 2248, 16:9, 9 Megapixels, ~4 MBytes. The GPS map extracts are about 1000-2000 pixels wide but may vary.

I also create a Google Drive folder with gpx, gdb, kml or (kmz) and some jpg map pictures for each trip.

Google earth kml/z files cover a trip available on Google Drive. Note opening this link will go the Google Drive and open the trip file in Google Earth; you do not have to install Google Earth. You also have the option to download the file or view in Google Maps. Put your mouse over and click on a waypoint and it will bring up a small description. Since late 2018 this no longer works. You need to download the kml/z file and open using Google Earth.

Food Used (for overnight backpacks)

I use my own home made muesli mixture for breakfast and nothing else. This largely consisted of one cup in a plastic bag (freezer bag) of oats, wheat germ, barley flakes, millet flakes, rice flakes, oat bran some commercial muesli, raw sugar and powered milk. I am now trying Soy powered milk. You can get the Bonvit variety at some health food stores.

For lunch I used to take one packet of Mountain Bread (8 pieces). I found it got too brittle. Now I am taking 1 or 2 packets of crisp or rice crackers. Then I add pre-packaged cheese cubes, plus some peanut butter and honey mixture in a small plastic bottle (Small Sanitarium Marmite 250g plastic bottles are perfect as they do not leak. They can hold a mixture of peanut butter & honey (PB&H. Our US cousins would probably prefer PB&J i.e. Peanut Butter & Jelly) that will last you 5-8 days. If your desperate and run out of bread or biscuits you can simply eat the mixture straight out of the bottle).

For dinner I use for 2 nights half a packet of crunchy noddles (just add hot water) spiced with some cous cous and deb powdered potato/onion. The other 2 nights I would use a freeze dried dinner pack from Back Country Foods of NZ, 1 person serve about 90g (add boiling water and let stand for 10 mins) also spiced with some cous cous and deb powdered potato. I also add a small packet of soup per night as an entrée. I am starting to experiment again with TVP i.e. Textured Vegetable Protein. This is soy beans masquerading as meat. I note supermarkets are now selling small 250g packs as bland TVP or with Asian or Mexican varieties i.e. pre-flavoured. With this new TVP product you simply add hot water to a small cup containing a small amount of the TVP and wait 5mins, then its ready to eat. Obviously you can flavour it with various extras such as potato powder with or without onions, soup powder, chilli powder, and cous cous (i.e. The Jamie Oliver packets). It makes a nice meal, is quite light and doesn’t need much cooking. Just heating hot water. And its easy to clean. Those freeze dried packets are a pain to pack, clean, cook with and take home.

I also drink coffee and tea. Some instant coffee but I am now hooked on Robert Timms Italian Expresso coffee bags that my daughter introduced me to. These are much nicer than the instant. You can always get at least two cups from one coffee bag. My tea bags are mostly Twinings Lemon/Ginger. These latter tea bags pack a punch, so try them out before a trip

I also carry some munchy bars such as The Bar Counter Salted Caramel & Banana or similar and some energy satchels or energy bars and Supermarket Trail Mix or similar. You can make the latter easily by buying peanuts or cashews & mix with some sultanas.

I also drink water a lot, mostly from the local streams. In the high country its usually quite fine to drink it straight. Just make sure what’s upstream.

This is Cam’s diet on the trail from The Hiking Life. Cam is slightly excentric. He doesn’t drink tea or coffee nor has hot food. I am not a believer in constant snacking. I always have a good hot muesli and coffee breakfast. Morning tea is snack bar and maybe some trail mix. Lunch a couple of slices of mountain bread or crisps covered with peanut butter/honey and cheese. Afternoon tea more snack bars, trail mix. Dinner is soup and main meal which can be quite varied but typically a small freeze dried dinner pack enhanced with powered potato/onion and cous cous. Sometimes I just mix some noodles with the other bits for taste and maybe add some salmon from an aluminium packet. Note that Changs Noodles can be eaten uncooked. Cam would approve!

Equipment (for overnight backpacks)

Below is a list of things I use sometimes or always –

Stove: In 2014 I bought a new Kovea Titanium piezo ignition (no matches required) small isobutane-propane stove. It’s was about $90 maybe cheaper on EBay. I used to use a MSR Pocket Rocket small isobutane-propane stove. In 4-5 nights and mornings of use I would use most of one 230g gas canister. This latter unit requires a match to light it. I typically buy the 230g gas canisters and carry one or two depending on the number of days of the trip and if I can cook on a fire or not. Its useful also making out of an aluminium baking tray, a wind protector to place around the stove and cooker or buying something similar. If you cook inside a hut or in a shallow depression its less of an issue

Cooking equipment: Minimal: one small aluminium billy, one spoon, one polycarbonate knife, one spondonicals (old Paddy Pallin classic billy grips), one flexible plastic plate (polycarbonate one might do). One stainless steel pad for cleaning the billy if required and small plastic container with detergent (reuse one of those hotel mini shampoo bottles

My Cooking Equipment Containers and Billy Grips 2021

The spondonical (old Paddy Pallin classic billy grips) or pair of spondonacles (or spondonicles?) was designed by early bushwalkers in NSW Australia. Paddy Pallin in NSW used to sell a metal one and I have used one since the early 1970’s. I still use it. This predates the Trangia concepts. I actually call mine spondonicals or spondonicles. See also David Nobles great information Yep my spondo comes from the same source as Davids

Billy Grips & Spondonicals 2021

Slurp Tube: small length ie about 450-750mm of plastic tubing of dia 7mm internal and 8-10mm external. Used for placing into creeks or cliff cracks to drain out water, also used to blow concentrated oxygen into fires to get them going well. Works well with damp and wet wood. Great in the Snowies where wood is often quite damp in autumn & spring

Lights: One small LED from Kathmandu that uses 2 CR2032 batteries (very light), one large LED with 3+ LEDs and three AAA batteries (good for reading)
Pack: I have a Macpac Glissade Pack (2002) with size 3 frame. It’s now 20 years old but is still going or was. Its maybe a bit too heavy for the modern light weight yuppies! In 2020 I bought an Osprey Exos 48L pack on a sale price online. It was $210 online delivered, plus $10 for lifetime paddy membership. It fits well but I am going to struggle to fit everything in. Thats the objective to cut back and travel lighter. Well the Exos wasn’t big enough so in 2021 I tried a larger 58L Exos. It failed me with the sternum strap connector popping off so I returned it. It was also still hard to get all things into it. So now I have bought a new Macpac Torlesse 65L. Its not as light as the Osprey models but its built to last and it came with its own rain cover. Its certainly lighter than the old Macpac.
Boots: I have new Scarpa leather boots Terra GTX in May 2019 from Mont, size 45. I note they are now made in Romania. My old ones were on their last legs in 2019 as I have walked over too much tough scrub and rocky terrain searching for mining sites around Kiandra.
Gaiters: Velcro gaiters from Kathmandu (also leather strap under to hold in place). I have also bought Macpac Velcro gaiters with stainless steel strap under. The latter are also wearing out from too much hard use.
Tent: MSR Hubba HP 1 man (2010) (very expensive but very light and fits into the light weight backpacking regime). Note it can leak in very heavy rain when the fly flaps against the inner. After damaging my fly in April 2018 I was able to buy a newer model fly from the Australian distributors of MSR, Spelean
Airbed: Self inflating Prolite 3 – full length, now many years old but still great
Raincoat: 2013 Macpac Hollyford eVent jacket. Macpac eVent fabric alternative to Gortex. I still have my original Paddy Pallin Gortex jacket although it leaks a little. I also have newer Paddy Pallin version I bought for the son on a school excursion but he outgrew it. I had to get the zip fixed which Macpac Canberra did for me for no cost. I feel the zip is the weak point in such jackets
Overpants: Mountain Designs gortex. Expensive but great in bad weather. Only catch is it does not have a fly. You know the issue!
Sleeping Bag: Fairly old Paddy Pallin Gingera mummy bag (~1990). It’s still effective and warm down to maybe -10C. if I keep going i will have to replace this bag with a Western Mountaineering bag or similar. In 2020 I bought a Western Mountaineering Versalite Bag direct from USA. It was damn expensive but was delivered in a week. However its too warm for summer so I’ll still use the Gingera.
Sleeping Sheet: Expensive $60 silk inner liner. Great for warmth and keeping the bag clean
Camera: Panazonic TZ10 (with one spare battery if longer than one day). April 2015 I acquired a Panzonic TZ70 (battery charges through AV port) 9M pixels in 16:9. I have also used my new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Phone (16M pixels). My new Oregon GPS also has a camera but I keep it as a backup
PLB: RescuMe PLB1 made by Ocean Signal of the UK. Its only 50mmW x 75mmH x 35mmD Weight: 115 g or 164g inc Pouch (Used to use a MTE 406Mhz GPS equipped personal EPIRB. It expired in 2016)
Satellite Phone: I know a local guy who 4WDs & walks & also carries a PLB but has also started using a small Satellite Phone. Its quite small and has an extending aerial. It is charged from a USB port. It works using an Australian 04 standard mobile number. You need to pay for a Thuraya phone $15 per month access fee & its AUD$0.99c per minute outgoing call. It accesses a GeoStationary Satellite so you need open sky coverage ie no deep gorges in SE Australia. He uses the Pivotel service which uses the Thuraya network. There are a range of Thuraya phones available with the Thuraya XT Lite available on EBay for $655. These are the specs of the phone Thuraya XT Lite
GPS: Garmin Oregon 650 (with spare batteries) GPS Maps: GPS Oztopo v5, plus OSM Garmin img version for NSW
Maps: Old Jagungal sketch map, Khancoban 1:50,000 old topo for Jagungal area. For other places the latest and appropriate 1:25,000 topographic maps
Reading Material: Well if you in a tent or hut for several hours per day a good book is useful. I now use my Kindle Paperwhite with inbuilt light for up to 8+ nights. I have found it amazingly useful and can be easily read with no lights. PS you can use it in bed at home as well

Snakes (in the Snowies)

Whilst uncommon, the alpine environment has snakes. The two that you are most likely to come across are the White-Lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides) (often referred to as a Whip Snake) and the Highlands or Alpine Copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi). While snakes can look innocuous and quaint as little things less than a foot long and very skinny, they can be poisonous. Copperheads tend to be not aggressive however, they are highly poisonous thus avoid. Also unfortunately around Canberra the altitude can vary from 350-800m meaning brown and black snakes can be found. I once saw a brown snake go across a sports oval where young children were playing.

Snake on a Trail
Tiger Snake on Cascade Trail

Well in March 2019, I was walking back down the Cascade Trail to Dead Horse gap after a day’s trip up the Upper Thredbo River Valley with others. Around 500m from the Car Park the leader nearly trod on a Tiger Snake. I was sort of shocked as Tiger Snakes don’t exist at this altitude, ie 1,580m! When home I contacted the NPWS and also a professor at the ANU. The professor was dubious about it being a Tiger. It should have been a Copperhead, which is what I also thought. He indicated that Tigers and Copperheads are overall similar, and Copperheads can come in various shades and colours. The NPWS ranger who replied said that it was a Tiger Snake and he had also seen them around 1,500m. He also said their field staff had recently see one on the summit road a little below Seaman’s Hut. That’s a lot higher than 1,500m. Also in late April 2019, I was on the Tabletop Trail near 4Mile Hut and ran into a guy from the Nordic Ski Club of NSW who had recently been helping with clearing the old Hannel’s Spur Trail from Geehi to Byatts Camp near Mt Kosciuszko and he said he had seen a tiger snake on the trail and another one also closer to Kosi on its western side trail. Well take note and be careful out there. Note on 29th Nov 2020 David Scott and I poked a rusting flat lid of an old water tank and what pops out was another Tiger Snake. He was not too fussed and slid back under his shelter. I vaguely remember it was more green with dark stripes. Might have been a Death Adder?

Snake Protection The best protection is avoidance. However if your paranoid about these critters then good boots and gaiters may give you piece of mind. You might like to read about Protex Snake Gaiters. Here is a YouTube video on the product | These Protex Snake gaiters look well made but may cost around $144. Availability of these gaiters is through safety places such as Protector Alsafe, Unit 1, 80-82 Kembla St, Fyshwick 6290 0155, or Fyshwick Outdoor Power Centre, 6 Wiluna St 6280 5203.

Bushwalking Equipment (including Gaiters)

Normal gaiters and most bushwalking equipment can be sourced through Paddy Pallin of Lonsdale St, Braddon; Macpac out at Majura Park, soon at Belconnen Mall; BCF, 47 Newcastle St, Fyshwick, 6280 8888, also Nettlefold St, Belconnen, Anaconda, 36 Iron Knob St, Fyshwick, 6123 3600; Kathmandu, Belconnen Mall, 6251 7678. Mont of 18 Pirie St, Fyshwick, 6162 1661 also has lots of excellent items and is worth checking. Yes these are all Canberra addresses but most of the companies are Aust wide. Just Google for your local outlet or buy on the web. I have bought Macpac and Paddy Pallin stuff on line OK.

Note: The Spotlight Group now owns Mountain Designs as well as Anaconda. Macpac was also sold to The Super Retail Group. They also own BCF which sells camping gear. You can get small gas canisters and freeze dried food packets at my local BCF.

Accessing and Using NSW SIX Maps and Other Mapping Options

Below is information on how to access SIX maps and how to download 1:25000 topo maps in pdf format for free as well as how to use SIX Maps on line. You can also see a catalogue of 1:25,000/50,000 NSW topo maps and even order on line. Note that they are no longer printing some little used topo maps. It is also possible to buy topo maps through bushwalking stores and at the Lifeline Bookfairs in Canberra that they hold 3 times a year, where they sell them for $1 second hand. However the most popular maps go quickly so you would want to go there early on a Friday. They also sell some of the older outdated 1:50,000 maps that covered Kosciuszko National Park

Go to Six Maps (i.e.  Tick the little box that you agree and then you should see a big map of NSW.

Learning by way of an example: Finding One Tree Hill (ACT) on SIX maps

Double click with your mouse (or other device) until you zoom in and can clearly see say Lake George (LG). Or you can type Canberra into the search bar on the top left. (OK why not type in One Tree Hill. Well there are a lot of One Tree Hills in NSW making it hard to go straight there.)

OK so you’re elsewhere or in Central Canberra. Then click on the screen and drag the mouse around until you can see a large Lake George or Hall village. You should be in an aerial coloured view which is the default.

You should be able to see Gungahlin on the left hand side or at the top. Once you have that, drag the map around so you can see the loop road of Horse Park Drive between middle of Gungahlin and Casey. Stands out like a sore thumb. Keep zooming and repositioning so the Horse Park Rd loop occupies the right half of the screen. You should be able to see Hall on the lower left hand side and the track along the border north from it should be obvious. To see One Tree Hill (OTH) you will need to zoom in a fair way and the Horse Park loop should drop away down below to the bottom right.

That’s probably too far as you won’t see anything west, so zoom out a bit click on the selector on the top right BASEMAPS and it will open another selector. The default option is NSW Imagery. Then select instead NSW Maps (you can click on the option or drag the bar on the right from top to bottom, same result). If you have it correct you will see a simple map with the border and OTH shown. You can drag it around until you see that point. Have a look for several peaks to the west in the range from north to west from OTH and less than 10km away. The map view is not that fantastic, so on the selector at the top right click on Basemaps then Looking for 1943 Imagery? Another selector should pop out to the left. Now choose Topo Maps (Current). You should now be able to better see peaks around OTH.

Co-ordinates and Printing

You can use the Dock Tool toolbar across the middle top of the map screen to select various features and download data.

For instance you can select the Eyeglass option (Print PDF tool) to select to create a PDF map version of the view you are in and download it as a pdf file.

Or you can select the XY Option (Co-ordinate tool). Here you select that tool with the mouse and it opens a co-ordinate window. You then select a point with a mouse (say One Tree Hill trig, it won’t be accurate unless you zoom right in) and it will offer geographic co-ordinates in degrees i.e. Latitude -35.142141 Longitude 149.091324. Yes degrees down to 6 decimal places. However for topo map reading for walkers UTM is more useful. Select the Geographic label and choose GDA94 – MGA55. It also offers MGA 54 and 56 which are for zones well away from ACT. The others are unknown although DMS is the degrees, minutes and seconds option. It will then give you a UTM reading which can be programmed into GPS devices. For OTH say Easting 690520.571 Northing 6109191.918. For practical purposes these would be rounded to give a UTM reading of 55H 690521 6109192. This could be loaded into a GPS. For older style map reading this would be equivalent to Grid Reference ie GR 905 092 which comes from 2-4th digits of the easting and the 3-5th digits of the northing. These are thus directly plottable on a normal topographic map.

Further Information on UTM – GDA94 & GDA2020

Things are changing in this area with GeoScience Australia introducing a new datum called GDA2020. This is due to the Australia as a continent having moved 1.8m north east by 2020 since GDA94 was introduced. Read about it here.

Free Topographic Maps in pdf Format

If you want a free pdf map of the area go to Select Map Store and launch. Then zoom in on the large map until you can see the area NW of Hall. Should be Bedullock and Hall maps. On select a map to the right it should show BEDULLUCK or HALL1:25,000. Then select PDF and download it. Do the same for Hall as it’s the one below Bedulluck and shows One Tree Hill. However don’t bother printing them. If you have a tablet you could load the maps onto that and carry the tablet if you going in that area. Of course you could do the same thing if you are going to Mt Kosciuszko, Mt Jagungal, or anywhere you wish to explore.

You can access the right map through the main Catalogue Map which shows which maps can have a purchased printed copy or which are only available in digital format. You can also select a map through the select or search function window.

They state that the pdf free maps can be used with Mac and Smart Phones.

GPSoz also sell Ozraster which is a digital version of all NSW topo maps similar to the NSW SIX topo maps that can be viewed in Oziexplorer either PC or Tablet version or Android version. Its $59 for USB Flash drive version for all NSW topo maps.

Other Alternatives

There are other options becoming available.

Memory Map sells Australian topographic maps that can work on PC, Mac, IOS and Android devices. I am unsure how accurate or usable these are. This lady, Caro Ryan uses Memory Map software and maps for hiking purposes.

Australia Topo Maps”  I found on Caro’s site, this information from Keith:- quoted with some re-formatting

“I’ve used many different mapping apps & software on my android phones over the years and many different Garmin units and various car units & still kept searching for the GPS Holy Grail.

Well I think I’ve just about found it … it sure is close to perfect for just about everything for hiking and much more … lacks some mapping in Australia but that is being sorted out … just a case of getting the respective State Governments to follow through with licensing their mapping.

If you travel overseas then for a very small price you may find that country’s mapping as a separate app e.g. New Zealand.

Back to Australia following is a list of mapping available in the free and Pro versions of the app…but if you want to download the tiles for your area of interest then you need the Pro version for a paltry $13AUD, much cheaper than Garmin mapping I’ve purchased.

It’s called “Australia Topo Maps” and is distributed by Atlogis…….I purchased the Pro version within an hour of starting to use the free, it was that good … ” Australia Topo Maps” …cost $13 …the best mapping money I have ever spent.

Included FREE map layers:

• NATMAP 1:250.000 Topo Maps, latest edition, enriched with hill shading and additional placenames
• Australia Base Map: Seamless national dataset for whole of Australia. Very detailed
• Queensland Topo Maps: High resolution topographic maps
• New South Wales Maps: High resolution topographic maps
• Tasmania Maps: High resolution topographic maps
• OpenStreetMaps: These crowdsourced maps are a very useful addition to other map layers. Contains many unique features.
• OpenCycleMaps: These maps are ideal to plan bicycle trips and Hiking
• Geological Map (for biologists, geologists, miners, etc)
• ESRI Topographic, • ESRI Aerial Images, • ESRI Street Map
• Google Road Map (online access only), • Google Satellite Images (online access only)
• Google Terrain Map (online access only), • Bing Road Map (online access only)
• Bing Satellite Images (online access only), • Earth At Night
• Hill shading overlay, • Transport/Infrastructure overlay”

I am unsure about all this. Some others were less enthusiastic. However sounds prospective

Naming of Mt Jagungal

Or should it be Bogong, or Big Bogong, The Big Bogong, or The Big Bogong Mountain. It appears that to the Aborigines, our first Australians, the area was known for its Bogong Moths which they sought out in summer and often trekked long distances to feast on these delicacies. Thus its likely that the use of Bogong crept into the naming regime from the modern surveyors who first checked out the Snowy country. Thus we find that alternative names based on the bogong moth appeared in the early explorers reports and often they are spelt differently.

The word ‘bogong’ is used extensively in KNP for creeks, mountains and swamps. If you search the maps you will see Bogong Peaks, 1718m just west of the Goobraganda Powerline Trail. These peaks can be seen from Tabletop, Jagungal and Tantangara Mt. They are very peaky and standout.

There are multiple Bogong Creeks:

  1. one starts between Mt Morgan and Half Moon Peak near the border with the ACT
  2. one starts at Jagungal Saddle east of Mt Jagungal and flows north down to join the Tumut River
  3. there is another Bogong Creek which starts on the slopes of Bogong Mountain which is in the Bogong Wilderness in North KNP. The ck flows north and then north east to join the Peak River which then joins the Goobragandra River which in turn joins the Tumut River.

Also Bogong Swamp sits around the source of the Tooma River south west of Jagungal

Bogong‘ is also the Aboriginal word for big fella – the name the local Yiatmathong clan gave the huge mountain that towers over Victoria’s highest peak at 1,986 metres. Yes Mt Bogong is Victoria’s highest mountain. It is located in the Alpine National Park and part of the Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Range, is the highest mountain in Victoria, at 1,986 metres (6,516 ft) *Wikipedia

In the Aboriginal Waywurru and Dhudhuroa languages, the mountain is named Warkwoolowler, meaning the mountain where Aboriginal people collected the boo.gong fly.[1] Additionally, in the Dhudhuroa language the word Bugung means the brown moth.

While “Bogong” in the local Aboriginal language is believed to mean bigfella.

Bogong also shows up in the ACT. One of the main sources of Gudgenby River is Bogong Creek that rises near Mt Kelly. As the creek flows down and through the Gudgenby Valley it is joined by Middle Creek and thence is known as the Gudgenby River. As it leaves the Gudgenby Valley it is further joined by Rendezvous Creek.

KOSCIUSKO – The Mountain in Historyand more about Jagungal

This is a book written by Alan E J Andrews and published by Tabletop Press in 1991. Its mainly about Mt Kosciusko, finding it, climbing it, why it was named thus and the various other people who tried to find the tallest Oz mountain. However in Ch 14 – “Jagungal and Table Top Fixed” is what caught my attention.

Its about finding and the Various Names and Spelling for Jagungal.

Alan Andrews relates how surveyor Granville Stapylton in Oct 1833 at the extreme head of the Goodradibgee on Mt Maragwrall (actually Mt Morgan) recorded his view of the Kosciusko massif. He also recorded for the first time Mt Jagungal. Eventually in 1851 it was given the title Big Bogong or Targil, then in 1853 it received the title Jagungal. These names apparently appeared in Townsend’s 1848–1849 field books.

Andrews writes “Strzelecki, possibly from P. J. King had it as Coruncal in 1840 and as Teangal in 1845.”

Andrews writes further “It is tempting to propose that Teangal was a draftsmans’ error for Jeangal, since Ts and Js were very often misread. Again the word Tar-gan-gil is very similar to Jagungal if spelled Jar-gan-gil, although that word, according to James Spencer in 1885, was the name the Aborigines called  the Kosciusko massif. But Thomas Townsend’s field book, has as an alternative to Jagungal, the word Targil, which again is similar to Dargal. It is surmised that the sound of the consonant lay somewhere between “t”, “d” and “j”.

Even should we not consider the nature of the sounds or sound represented by Targil, Dargal, Teangal, and Tar-gan-gil, we can not fail to be struck by the similarities of the names, Youngal, Jagungal, Coruncal, and Corungal. If that aboriginal sound is not related to the Bogong Moth it will be most surprising. We cannot pronounce Jagungal as it must have sounded, but there is certainly no need to insist upon the pronunciation “Jargnl” – surely and affectation adopted by some skiers from the nineteen thirties.

To the north of Jagungal is a prominent elevation which could be considered to mark the northern end of the Snowy Mountains as defined here. Stapylton fixed this also – Tabletop”

In 2020 Historian David Scott in his investigations on Snowy History found that a surveyor in Victoria assisting the Victorian Surveyor General with documenting Ligars Route to the Kiandra Goldfields had found that the “Murray Blacks” called Jagungal “Dallangong

David’s take on the issue is – NAMING JAGUNGAL

David wrote – “Like many peaks across the Northern Alps – Youngal, Welumba, Dargal, Toolong, Jagumba, Man(d)jar, Crackenback, Gungartan, Tantangara, Yarrangobilly, Nungar, Nattung, Bulgar, Talbingo, Bimberi, Gingera, Ginnini, Coree, Gudgenby, etc – the name Jagungal clearly originates from the Anglicisation of a traditional Aboriginal name. Having periodically pondered the origin of the Jagungal name, I recently had the chance to look through the fieldbooks of surveyor Thomas Townsend, who was tasked with surveying the divide of the NSW Main Range in 1847-48.

Many of you may recall the old-timer graziers and skiers of 40 years ago pronouncing the peak ‘Jargunl’. If you consider how ‘ng’ is pronounced in many traditional names (eg Ngunnawal, Ngarigo) the old-time pronunciation would have indeed been more accurate than the modern term ‘Jah-gun-gal’ used by most of us freeze-dried and thermal-clad latte-swillers.

The attached sketch of a view from Yaouk Bill Peak within Townsend’s 1848 fieldbook appears to be the first capturing of this name. Interestingly, Townsend has written ‘Big Bogong or Targil’ as the name and then added ‘Jagungal’ below.

Adjacent to the name Jagungal, Townsend has made the note ‘Murray Blacks’ (sic) indicating this was the name given to the peak told by a tribe from the Murray River area – potentially Wiradjuri, Djilimatang or Jaimatang. It is important to recognise that peaks along tribal boundaries or in areas of shared traditional use and significance – such as many parts of the Alps – each group that frequents an area will have its own name for the various peaks, rivers and other topographical features. A question remains as to whether Targil is the name given to the peak by another tribe, or whether he is merely writing down phonetic variations of the same term – a guttural pronunciations of Tar-gil and Jar-gunl may have sounded similar to European ears. Having ascended the range from the east, Townsend has likely captured the name Targil from some Ngarigo, Wolgal, or Ngambri contacts.

Adding to the debate, it should be no surprise that the Victorian surveyor assisting Charles Ligar in mapping a preferred route for miners to travel from the Ovens Goldfield in Victoria to the new goldfield at Kiandra in 1860, recorded a third traditional name for the peak – ‘Dallangong’. Considering this surveyor climbed the range from the Upper Murray, it appears this is the name used by a differing group from the Murray tribe that advised Townsend. The 1860 map is also interesting in that it shows Round Mt with the Aboriginal name ‘Cutchona’, and ‘Thargal’ in lieu of Dargal.

Lastly, we get to the other popular name for Jagungal – ‘The Big Bogong’ – also captured by Townsend in 1848 and which remained the popular name for the peak within surrounding communities up to 1970. An Anglicised name albeit, this name may well reflect a more generic traditional Aboriginal term for the peak.  Jagungal sits within a small group of three peaks adorned with granite outcrops that are aestivation sites (Ed. means this occurs during the summer season. During high temperature, animals stay inactive to save energy) for Bogong moths, the others being Rocky Bogong and Grey Mare Bogong. In many traditional language groups the term Bogong (aka Boogong, Bugong) was used interchangeably for both the flying food resource and the mountain-top locations from which it was harvested. Within this cluster of peaks, recorded as the Bogong Mountains in some C20th publications, Jagungal is clearly the biggest and most prominent. Hence it is possible that some local Aboriginals, in describing the peak to Europeans, may have merely described it as the biggest of the bogongs. Alternatively Europeans may have derived the name from it being the biggest peak in the Bogong Mountain range.”

Jagungal_1860plan Dallangong