Open the Slip Rails to a Ten Year Park Licence Sep 2012

Way back in the early 1990’s, Steve attended a meeting with Andrew Dwyer, Graeme Stoney, and others, to establish a dialogue between Public Land managers and the emerging adventure tourism industry. It was early days and the ‘Parkies’ bristled at the suggestion that any business based activity might try and make a profit from trading on public land. Things moved slowly and eventually a Commercial Tour Operators licensing system was established. One key demand of the young industry players at those robust meetings was to secure a long enough tenure to be able to invest and grow their business with some security of tenure. The 12 month licenses were eventually extended to three years by the end of the nineties, but the ten year license was always a firm goal of industry.

We must be a stubborn lot because after twenty years and tireless efforts by Steve and Kath Baird, and many people, including some within Parks Victoria, the ten year license is a reality this year.

Bogong Horseback Adventures is proud to have been a voice in this long debate, proud to now hold a ten year license and as a condition, achieved Advanced Eco Accreditation.

Big Snow Sep 2012

The 2012 winter has witnessed the return of some massive snow dumps, the like of which has not seen for over 12 years. With more than 2 metres of cover across the Bogongs, Steve is anticipating that some of the snowdrifts that have in past years survived right through the summer to the following winter, will be a feature of this summers rides. The drifts normally reside on the east side of narrow gaps and sharp edged ridges where the snow dumps deepest and only the morning sun reaches in. Some of the better known drifts occur at Warby Corner, on the south east face of Mount Nelse, east of Ben Coopers lookout and at the head of Cairn Creek on Mount Bogong.

A unique form of plant life inhabits these areas, referred to as snow-patch communities, they feature tough but beautiful small enduring plant species that can survive with limited exposure to the sun. These plant communities occupy less than one per cent of the landscape of the Bogong High Plains and are thus one of the rarest and most fragile plant communities in Australia.

Heritage of the Packhorse Sep 2012

Pack horses have been entwined in the European history of the High Country from the time the mountains were first glimpsed by the early explorers and pioneer settlers. The rugged, un-roaded terrain was mostly unsuited to wheeled vehicles and the packhorse became the means of moving goods and supporting enterprise as the mountains were opened up. Even today there remain places where only a pack horse can go.

And we only ride with the flowing tide

as we follow the blazed line back,

so we drink the toast of the vanguard host

and “The Men who blazed the Track!”

Will Oglivie Saddle for a Throne

Over time as many tracks were cut, including 100’s of miles of government ‘4 foot’ roads for the gold miners, and the remote mountain settlements and camps were linked. Commerce grew and so did packhorse loads of gold ore, meat and potatoes, butter, equipment and a regular traffic of cattlemen, police, mailmen, horse breeders and duffers, early artists and naturalists, all accompanied by packhorses.

Into the twentieth century pack horses continued to be used by cattlemen, brumby runners and horse breeders, government doggers, hut builders, hydro surveyors and a growing number of adventurers and tourists. In the late 1930’s you could buy a ticket for a Victorian Railways ‘Skyline Tour’ at a suburban railway station, and head off to the mountains for a multi day journey supported by local cattlemen and packhorses.

The consistent theme running through this rich cultural history of the High Country is the reliance on packhorse travel. Bogong Horseback Adventures strives to continue those traditions. Our tours supported only by packhorses, travel the old pack tracks, camp in long established remote mountain places far from roads and 4WDs. The types of gear we use, our camp routines and our packhorse team are all a continuation of the tradition.

Bogong Horseback Adventures are introducing a new clinic, Professional Packing School, scheduled for 21st April 2013

Colts, Fillies and Bays Sep 2012

Spring is here at Bogong Horseback Adventures and the orchard is showing the smallest hint of the new season’s buds. With spring, also comes, the waiting game of our four possible foals. Lin’s stallion Simply Red Robin has already had a hand in making some great young ones with the rising two year olds Stringer (out of Caddie) and Indigo (out of Feathertop) as well as beautiful Maude who has recently been weaned from her mother Harriet. This year Caddie, Feathertop, Lanky and the high country brumby Freda are all hopefully carrying an extra load! Its always a magical time of year when the newest members of our, ever growing, herd greet the world.

Love is also in the air with the inseparable odd couple Banjo the 13hh paint pony and the wonderful mule Mildred who stands approximately 17hh. The mismatched pair graze happily side by side, even though little Banjo doesn’t reach up as high as her knees. Any attempt to move Banjo leaves a whole lot of mule-flesh ‘braying’ and pining for her pint sized lover.

There has also been several new additions to the family recently with the expansion of the Spring Spur Stock Horse Stud. Ashlar Golden Treasure and Extreme Quarter Horses Chance of Mica are two new fillies who have joined the ranks. Treasure the leggy chestnut super model and Mica the chunky palomino are both being started to begin their illustrious careers under saddle this summer. Its amazing to see these young horses coming on, as the babies of today they are the ‘old faithfuls’ of the future and each of them has a wealth of personality, character and love to give Bogong Horseback Adventures.

A Salty Breeze in the Bogongs Sep 2012

For those lucky enough to join us here at Spring Spur, you may notice a little salty air about the stables and yards, as the old timber Barwon Heads bridge stands renewed in the Bogongs.
The tidal marks have long since dried and the splinters removed, but all her charm remains as the main trusses in the new Riders Lounge firmly assembled with raw steel plates and bolts rusting to match the well seasoned timber.

The new Lounge will be the centre of activities at Bogong Horseback Adventures, she stands tall, almost five meters at her top, welcoming, strong, friendly and bright, as her windows frame the rugged sky line of the Bogongs with silvered timber of bushfires past and the promise of new adventures. The Lounge will be a keeping place for artifacts from the rich history of the high country horse, a place for the BHA community to share stories, relax and enjoy the goodies from the kitchen garden and wood fired oven, local wines and beers or a great coffee.

In the gardens and adjacent to the Riders Lounge, is the Accommodation building, featuring six, king sized en-suite rooms. With double glazing and north sun these rooms are designed as a home away from home, where you can relax and enjoy your own private garden with a glass of wine and a little of our local produce.
The Riders Lounge and Accommodation is due to open for the 2012-13 season.

Free Accommodation in 2012-2013 Sep 2012

Book-end your adventure with Bogong Horseback Adventures. Book any of our extended pack horse expeditions for the season of 2012 – 2013 and we include the luxury of our purpose built accommodation for the night before and after your adventure into the Heart of the High Country.

Steve, Kath, Lin and Clay are proud to announce the planned opening of our hosted accommodation, Spring Spur, ready for guests to enjoy this coming season.

Here at Bogong Horseback Adventures we are have building some beautiful king and twin share rooms, all featuring en-suites. Enjoy a cheese platter on arrival as you settle in and soak up the stunning surrounds of Spring Spur. The family and staff will help you prepare for your expedition, and then the night is yours to meet your fellow riders or retreat to your room and enjoy a deep slumber in our comfy beds; ready to awake refreshed and begin your packhorse adventure into the mountains.

On your return to Spring Spur we will host a testimonial dinner at the ‘Tonimbuk’ table when all can reflect, laugh and fondly recall the weeks adventures before you retire to your lovely room and bed, as consolation for having surrendered your swag, to ponder your memories of your High Country experience. Rest soundly and dream of the wild brumbies rushing through ‘The stockyard in the sky’. There will be no rush on your departure day, awake at your leisure and help your self to a continental breakfast that will be available in the riders lounge/dining room for you to enjoy.

Dates for the 2012-13 season have been published on our website.

Featuring Natural Horsemanship clinics, Mount Fainter and Mount Bogong Packhorse adventures from three to seven days.

We have also recently introduced our new Bogonghorse online booking service and we invite you to check out the program.