In our modern age of smartphones and solar panels, genetically modified foods and 3D printers, we often take the most simple and incredible of earth’s gifts for granted. We never really consider the path that water has taken over the almost countless centuries until now. Water in the seas, lakes, rivers, streams and lagoons evaporates into the air, or transpires through plants from roots to leaves, released as vapour. It then condenses into clouds and can travel for hundreds of miles in prevailing winds before precipitation forms and falls as rain, ice or snow.
The water in our seas travels endlessly in strong currents, circling in various routes around the globe. The seawater of New South Wales usually comes via either northwestern regions of South America or its southern tip, depending on the swell direction. The snow falling on the Snowy Mountains may come from water in the Brüggen Glacier of southern Chile, melting and meandering its way through the fjords, then travelling west across the currents of the south Pacific. The cycle is endless.
Australia is entirely surrounded by water, and first impressions of this huge island bring to mind scorching hot summers on the beach or in the desert, hourly applications of sunscreen and the neverending need for ice cold water. Rarely imagined are the bitterly cold winters, the crispy fresh air and white mountaintops. But that’s Australia – you can be surfing in the morning and make it to the slopes before lunch, then spend an afternoon playing around on the white stuff.
The roads through New South Wales’ Kosciuszko National Park are littered with roadkill – kangaroos and wombats, and damn big ones too. The landscape’s vastness is comparable to the Cardrona Valley Road in New Zealand, not as extreme, not as wet. Trees that look like they have been dead for years claw up towards the sky, mangled after years of severe weather. Snow conditions can vary immensely in this part of the country. I’ve heard stories of people having to dig their cars out from three feet of powder and beautifully scenic runs through the gum trees growing on the mountains. We didn’t quite score it that good this time around, but there was more than enough to play with. You just need a little curiosity to fuel the hunger for more.