Illawong Walk
Ngarigo Country

2 h 15 min to 2 h 45 min

6.1 km
return

↑ 250 m
↓ -250 m

Moderate track
From Guthega village, this walk leads you over Blue Cow Creek and alongside the Snowy River to Illawong Lodge and the suspension bridge. You will be using a narrow, unsignposted but generally clear track. A flying fox is in place over Blue Cow Creek, however a more modern bridge offers a safer path across. This walk takes you to remote (locked) hut on the flat plain beside the Snowy River, where the suspension bridge provides great views up and down the valley. Let us begin by acknowledging the Ngarigo people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Parking area below Guthega Alpine. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Walking along the roads at Guthega. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
The end of the road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
View across to the Dam. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Looking down to Blue Cow Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Guthega Pondage looking along Blue Cow creek arm. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Bridge over Blue Cow Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
The old flying fox on Blue Cow Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The track heading up the hill on the western side of Blue Cow Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
The Snowy River arm of Guthega Dam. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Following the track on the eastern side of the Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
looking down The Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
looking up at the illawong lodge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Illawong lodge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
the cable suspension bridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Suspension Bridge over the Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Snowy River below the suspension bridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-36.3819663,148.3726041)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
DirectionsFrom Barry Way
  • Turn on to Kosciuszko Road then drive for 12.4 km
  • Keep left and drive for another 255 m
  • Turn slight left onto Kosciuszko Road and drive for another 16.5 km
  • Turn right onto Link Road and drive for another 4.9 km
  • Keep left onto Link Road and drive for another 45 m
  • Continue onto Guthega Road and drive for another 4.6 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the car park (just below Guthega Alpine Inn, on Guthega Rd, 500m past the Guthega Centre), the walk follows the concrete road down the hill, keeping the main valley to the left. The road passes a small stone building and light post, just before coming to an intersection with another road heading off to the left, below the building named 'Toibunga'.
Turn sharp left: From the intersection, the walk follows the concrete road down the hill towards the dam. After about 100m, the track veers right at another intersection, following the lower track. The concrete track turns to the right, but this walk continues straight, onto the wide dirt management trail (between the small boulders). Soon the trail bends right and comes to an intersection with a bush track.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 25 m (at the intersection of Mount Tate Road & Farm Creek Place) continue straight, to head along Mount Tate Road.
Then find the "Guthega Alpine Inn" (35 m on your right).
Guthega Alpine Inn
Guthega Alpine Inn

Guthega Alpine Inn is on Guthega Road, about 500 metres past the base of the chairlift and 'Guthega Centre'. The hotel provides a year-round service including accommodation and meals. The hosts are friendly and the hotel provides a great base for walkers and other holiday makers. Please phone and book ahead for meals and accommodation. Phone 02 6457 5383
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Guthega Alpine Inn is on Guthega Road, about 500 metres past the base of the chairlift and 'Guthega Centre'. The hotel provides a year-round service including accommodation and meals. The hosts are friendly and the hotel provides a great base for walkers and other holiday makers. Please phone and book ahead for meals and accommodation. Phone 02 6457 5383

After another 55 m continue straight, to head along Mount Tate Road.
After another 150 m (at the intersection of Mount Tate Road & Illawong Walk) turn sharp left, to head along Illawong Walk (a residential road).
After another 135 m veer right, to head along Illawong Walk.
After another 25 m continue straight, to head along Illawong Walk.
After another 55 m pass the car park (on your right).
After another 80 m turn left, to head along Illawong Bridge Track.
After another 330 m head down the metal steps
Then cross the bridge (about 7 m long)
After another 35 m find the "Flying Fox" (15 m on your left).
Flying Fox
Flying Fox

This metal flying fox was put in place to provide a safer option for crossing Blue Cow Creek when the water rises over the rocks. There are many flying foxes in the area to help people cross creeks, especially useful during snow melt when water is cold, deep and fast-moving. In 2010, a metal bridge was installed over this creek, parallel to the flying fox, and the bridge is now the safest way to cross.
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This metal flying fox was put in place to provide a safer option for crossing Blue Cow Creek when the water rises over the rocks. There are many flying foxes in the area to help people cross creeks, especially useful during snow melt when water is cold, deep and fast-moving. In 2010, a metal bridge was installed over this creek, parallel to the flying fox, and the bridge is now the safest way to cross.

After another 910 m cross the ford.
After another 160 m cross the ford.
After another 40 m cross the ford.
After another 790 m continue straight, to head along Illawong Bridge Track.
After another 140 m continue straight, to head along Illawong Bridge Track.
About 125 m past the end is "Illawong Lodge".
Illawong Lodge
Illawong Lodge

In 1956, the year after the Guthega Dam was first filled, the Kosciuszko State Park Trust gave permission for the conversion of the then-dilapidated hut into the present simple lodge. The lodge is maintained by members of Illawong Ski Tourers and friends. The nearby suspension bridge over the Snowy River and the flying fox over Farm Creek were built by members of Illawong. NPWS now maintains the suspension bridge and a new bridge over Farm Creek which has replaced the flying fox. The lodge can be reserved by members of the general public - see illawong.asn.au. There is also a small emergency shelter in the base of the hut, on the western wall, with enough room for a few people to see out a blizzard, with some water, blankets and other emergency supplies.
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In 1956, the year after the Guthega Dam was first filled, the Kosciuszko State Park Trust gave permission for the conversion of the then-dilapidated hut into the present simple lodge. The lodge is maintained by members of Illawong Ski Tourers and friends. The nearby suspension bridge over the Snowy River and the flying fox over Farm Creek were built by members of Illawong. NPWS now maintains the suspension bridge and a new bridge over Farm Creek which has replaced the flying fox. The lodge can be reserved by members of the general public - see illawong.asn.au. There is also a small emergency shelter in the base of the hut, on the western wall, with enough room for a few people to see out a blizzard, with some water, blankets and other emergency supplies.

Then cross the bridge
Continue another 30 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 3 km to get back to the start.
About 30 m past the end is "Suspension Bridge".
Suspension Bridge
Suspension Bridge

Constructed and maintained by Illawong Ski Tourers, and only a stone's throw from Illawong Lodge, this cable suspension bridge provides a safer way to cross the upper Snowy River. This provides the main access between Guthega and the Main Range. The bridge also provides great views of the valley.
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Constructed and maintained by Illawong Ski Tourers, and only a stone's throw from Illawong Lodge, this cable suspension bridge provides a safer way to cross the upper Snowy River. This provides the main access between Guthega and the Main Range. The bridge also provides great views of the valley.

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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Illawong Walk


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 6.1 km
Time 2 h 15 min to 2 h 45 min
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Building
3.1 kmIllawong Lodge
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Articles
Discover more details to thrive on track
Covered in snow part of the year
This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with
Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should be carrying and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months.
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