A Cracken good time


Sometimes all it takes is some time spent amongst nature to reignite a passion for living green...

Lake Crackenback Resort

A great way to reconnect with nature, the picturesque Lake Crackenback Resort in the NSW Snowy Mountains can be a relaxing retreat or an active adventure.

- Advertisement -

When you think of Australia's Snowy Mountains you think, well, snow. Gazing up into white-covered peaks, swooshing down thickly-powdered slopes, building cheeky snowmen in the frozen fields. But there's nary a frosted peak in site when this writer visits. Instead, ragged, sun-kissed mountaintops emerge under rapidly melting snow; rather than hurtling down ski slopes it's thrilling mountain bike tracks that get the blood pumping; and far from working on Mr Frosty, the only thing being built up here is a sweat! The sun is shining in the Snowies, and the warmer months have more to offer than you might first think.

Surprisingly well hidden in New South Wales' alpine region, Lake Crackenback Resort sits on 150 acres in the heart of the Thredbo Valley, bordered by the famed Kosciuszko National Park, the rushing Thredbo and Little Thredbo Rivers and gorgeous mountain scenery as far as the eye can see. It might sound like the ideal locale for a serene, relaxing getaway - and it certainly can be, if that's more your pace - but it's the outdoor action here that's a particularly enticing draw.

The resort's new Activate @ Lake Crackenback program is all about getting out and experiencing nature, appreciating the environment, experiencing the thrill of the outdoors...and did I mention working up a sweat?

After a late-afternoon arrival at the resort - a five-hour drive from Sydney (two from Canberra, seven from Melbourne) - and taking a moment to appreciate the warmly decorated mountain-view chalet I'll be calling home for the weekend, I jump feet first into the activities, my tootsies landing firmly in a pair of knee-high fly fishing boots.

Fly fishing. It sounds a little grandpa-esque, but don't underestimate the fun it can deliver - or the arm-toning workout! I think of this as the gentle muscle warm-up to prepare for the coming adventures. After some thorough instructions and a demonstration or five from our fishing guide, Steve, our group takes its position around the resort's very own, trout-filled lake. Casting the line is an art form, but once mastered the gentle swish-swish of the line, the bobbing of the tizzy fly atop the water and the gentle weight of the rod are actually quite calming. The resort is quiet - the other guests no doubt out exploring - the water still, and the fish decidedly stubborn.

With no fresh catch but a gentle burn settling in the arms, it's time to take in some of the resort's free, camp-style activities, which include archery, trampolining and volleyball. A quick pre-dusk walk around the winding trails surrounding the resort, a trip to the fine-dining restaurant, Cuisine on Lake Crackenback, and it's time to hit the hay.

Dawn at Crackenback brings with it the opportunity for some up close and personal animal encounters, with a kangaroo and her joey muching away just outside the chalet, native birds twittering from the overhanging trees and plenty of evidence of wombat activity scattered around the verandah area. I'm told there are emus roaming around, too, but the big birds remain elusive.

Today is all about eco friendly modes of transport: my own two feet and the two wheels of a trusty mountain bike. First up, a hike through the picturesque Kosciuszko National Park to get the body moving, guided by the resort's Activities Manager, Claire - a woman whose enthusiasm for experiencing the thrills of the natural world is infectious, even at such an early hour.

Single page view