Kosciuszko Tourist Park picnic area, NSW. You can also start and Finish this trail from the Thredbo River Campground
Kosciuszko Tourist Park Picnic Area, NSW. You can also start and finish this trail from the Thredbo River Picnic Area
The Pallaibo Walking Track offers a lot of variety including open forest, creek and river frontage and grassland. The walk can be done in a couple of different ways. If you don’t feel like doing the full 11.2km you can start at the Sawpit Creek Picnic Area and finish at the Thredbo River Picnic Area for a distance of 5.6km and have someone pick you up otherwise you can start at either picnic area and do the return walk. The advantage of starting at the Thredbo River Picnic Area is that you do all the hard work on the first half of the walk and have an easier finish. Your choice!
This walk includes a good chunk of the Sawpit Walking Track but rather than turning off to do a loop you continue to follow Sawpit Creek down the valley until you hit the Thredbo River and then the halfway mark at the Thredbo River Picnic Area. If only doing half the distance, this is where your pick up pick point will be. If doing the full walk, this is where you’ll turn around and head back to the Sawpit Creek Picnic Area.
The trail tread on this walk is formed single file and I must admit prior to starting the walk, I had a different idea of what it would be like and it ended up being better than I expected. The walk on the way down is very much a downhill walk with the occasional small uphill and flat section but its when you start the return that it becomes harder and makes the legs and lungs burn just that bit more.
Vegetation wise the trail is mainly Eucalyptus forest with the occasional section of grassland as you approach the halfway mark. Animal wise there were lots of Wallabies but as usual as soon as they saw walkers they disappeared pretty quickly. On the day we did this walk in mid February we also came across a Tiger Snake just off the edge of the trail. Usually when we walk Gill will walk in front of me and I bring up the rear 10-20 metres behind snapping away with my cameras. On this occasion I was fairly close to Gill and she startled the Tiger Snake on the edge of the trail which proceeded to escape immediately behind her before realising it was now in the middle of the two of us. I must admit I had never seen a Tiger Snake in full threat mode before with the head raised and flattened, hissing and facing-off at us. Most other snakes will try to get away from us as quickly as possible but not this one. We left it in peace and continued on with our walk with no other sightings. We did come across a number of other hikers starting the walk from the Thredbo River end and one we talked with indicated she had regularly seen snakes before during the warmer months.
This is a great walk that provides plenty of versatility with the option of doing the shorter or longer version. It is well worth doing!
Entry to the tourist park on the left side of the road if approaching from Jindabyne
Trailhead information kiosk
Close up of Sawpit information signage
Crossing Sawpit Creek at the start of the walk
Follow the signs
Pallaibo information sign just after the trail starts
Trail example near the start
Panorama image of the track
Crossing the creek again
Trail directional signage – these are few and far between but the trail is relatively easy to locate
Follow the signs
Looking down to the creek below
Alternate track option
Wallaby in the bushes if you look closely
Another creek crossing
Bushland off the side of the trail
Angry Tiger Snake near the base of the tree in the centre of the image
Lake Jindabyne down below
Not quite in flower
Approaching grassland near the river
Another trail example
Approaching Thredbo River Picnic Area
Barbecue facilities at Thedbo River
Gill at Thredbo River Picnic Area
Bridge crossing Thredbo River
Trailhead signage at Thredbo River
Car park at Thredbo River
Heading back uphill
Steps on the way back
Back at the trailhead
This short video contains photos and video from our walk to show you the walk from start to finish
Travel to Jindabyne via Cooma and head towards Charlotte Pass. There is a park entry fee which you can pay for as a day or annual pass at the visitor centre in Jindabyne or at the toll gates on nearing the park. The visitor centre in Jindabyne opens at 8:30am most days but check the timings on the website just in case.
Follow Kosciuszko Road and turn into the Kosciuszko Tourist Park. Take the first turn on the left to the picnic area
Entering the National Park
Park entry point
Approaching Sawpit Creek with the trailhead on the left
Entry to the tourist park
Turn left on entering the tourist park
Trailhead car park
Entrance to the Thredbo River Picnic Area just after you cross the bridge over the river when coming from Jindabyne. This can be an alternate start site
Trail elevation graph
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker