Porcupine Walking Track car park
Porcupine Walking Track car park
As I work my way through the walks in Kosciuszko National Park I was looking forward to doing the Porcupine Walking Track having previously done it during wintertime as a snowshoe trip. While I knew I would enjoy this walk it surprised me and from my perspective ranks as one of the best walks we have done over the past year.
First up this walk really is one for the warmer months but it does share some common trail tread with the ‘Porcupine Trail’ which is the snowshoe version for the snow covered months. Probably the hardest part of this walk is getting to the trailhead (see details below). Take the first turn on the left past the Man From Snowy River Motel which you will come across as you enter the Perisher township. There are signs at this turn and others along the way that will take you through to the trailhead adjacent to the local water supply dam. Parking is limited consisting of two small pullout areas that will suit about seven cars providing everyone has parked straight.
There is a small interpretive sign at the trailhead and then you will cross a small metal bridge to commence your trail. The trail tread is a well worn single pathway interspersed with the occasional metal mesh or small wooden bridge that takes you across small creek crossings and wet areas. Along the way you will come to two turnoffs, both on the left hand side. The first is well sign posted as a link trail and the second takes you off the main walking trail onto the wintertime snowshoe trail. The snowshoe trail (Porcupine Trail) has its own signage (see below) but if you feel like going off track, this trail is well worth a visit.
To stay on the Porcupine Track ignore both of these turn offs and continue on the well worn path. Your destination is the saddle at the top of the hill and at this stage you will come across directional signage that takes you to the Porcupine Rocks which is the high point of the trail and provides great views across the valley you have walked up as well as the valley on the other side of the ridge line.
On the day I visited this peak the wind gusts were reaching 40km+ so I opted for the nearby adjacent rock outcrop that provided good views but also some protection from the wind gusts. After taking in the views I wandered over to the main rock peak and took in the views from the differing vantage points. The return journey is much quicker and follows the same track you followed on the way out but it does provide views down the valley as you go. While there were plenty of people on the trail the weekday I did this walk it still has that primal almost wilderness feel about it and combined with the shadowing created by the incoming cloud cover, this walk just had a really good feel.
Wildlife was non existent on this day which isn’t surprising and given the wind gusts the birds were also nowhere to be seen. Vegetation consisted of heathland and eucalyptus mallee but what I really loved were the wildflowers spread along the trail including trigger plants which are a favourite of mine.
This is a great walk that also allows you to go off track if you feel so inclined – it is well worth doing.
Close up of trailhead sign
Off we go
Trail example near trail start
View to the side of the trail
View on the way up
Link trail turnoff
Snowshoe Track – this is not the walking track
Mesh over wet areas on the trail
Summit direction signs
Direction to the summit
Trail sign near the summit
Yarrow, looks pretty but is actually a weed
Approaching the summit
Epicormic growth on a eucalyptus
View to the main summit. On the day I walked this track it was too windy to climb the final summit
Panorama coming off summit
View across the valley on the way back
Leek Orchid on the side of the trail
View on the way down
Vehicle acess to the pumphouse
Trigger plants (Stylidium)
Returning to the car park
This short video includes still images and video showing this 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
Once you have entered the park follow Kosciuszko Road until you come to Perisher Valley. The turn to get to the trailhead car park is on the left hand side immediately as you pass The Man from Snowy River Hotel
Entering the Kosciuszko National Park
The Man from Snowy River Hotel
Turnoff to the trailhead car park immediately as you go past the Man From Snowy River Hotel
Turn right at this turn
Approaching the trailhead
Turn right to the trailhead
Car park 2
Turn right again
Car park at the trailhead
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker