Australia Camping

Camping at Thredbo Diggings Campground in Winter

Afraid of camping in winter because of freezing cold temps? Don't be.

After a week of heavy snowfall at the start of June, we decided to go through with our plan to camp at Thredbo Diggings Campground, on Thredbo’s opening weekend.

We thought we’d be the only insane people there, but we weren’t. There were plenty of other happy campers, and for good reason.

When we arrived, it was foggy. We could hardly see a thing. But later in the afternoon, the fog cleared, and we could see a sprinkling of snow dusted over the top of the mountains.

diggings-fog-afternoon
Meh.
evening-camp-set-up
Right. Where’s the heater.

At night, the moon’s light made the top of these mountains glow. Pretty magical, really.

We set up the oz-pig, and sat back, sipping on hot chocolate, wearing gloves, a buff, a beanie, two layers of pants, three layers up top, thick socks, and steel-capped boots.

ozpig-thredbo

Safe to say, it was cold.

yay-thredbo

One morning, when we woke, frost was covering everything. As I peeled back the canvas cover of the swag, I could hear a slight cracking noise – the frost literally breaking apart.

frosty-morning-thredbo
Please rise faster, I beg of you.

As I sat and waited for the butane gas to un-freeze, so that we could make a coffee and heat up some water for the oats, I couldn’t help but feel pretty glad that we’d gone through with this trip.

frozen-thredbo

frosty-morning-thredbo-camping
This is fine, this is okay.
walks-near-thredbo-diggings
The Bullocks Track walk is a nice 2.5km hike.

So, what’s the key to camping in winter?

  1. Wear layers. Buy good merino wool thermals, both long tights, and long sleeved top. Do not take them off. Wear them under your clothes. Even if it means you don’t get changed for four days…
  2. Borrow snow pants, and a ski jacket, or just wear your own. This saved my life – not only because they are waterproof, but they aren’t uncomfortable to sleep in, and not too bad to go hiking in either!
  3. Use a suitable sleeping bag. We slept in -8 sleeping bags. They work.
  4. Take lots of vitamins. I was sick on this trip, but managed to avoid getting any worse by taking vitamins, and sipping on lemsip instead of booze in the evenings.
  5. Stay active during the day. Go for a hike, there’s nothing better than a crisp morning, hiking through the frosty grass, watching the morning due melt off the trees.
  6. Cook delicious (warm) meals. We cooked using the camp oven and the oz-pig both evenings. One night we made a stew, the other we cooked up steaks and vegetables.
  7. Stop complaining. If you’re cold, and want to go home. Go home. Stop complaining.
  8. The best part? There are no bugs! Literally, none. I’m allergic to mosquitoes, but I still battle through camping in the summer. But if there’s one reason I might possibly prefer winter camping, it’s the lack of mozzies, spiders, and not-so-friendly reptiles.

Where We Stayed:

  • Thredbo Diggings Campground will set you back $29 per day, in park entry fees – not necessarily camping fees.
  • There are a few toilet blocks – and I cannot stress how decent these are. They literally did not smell one bit. Cherish them. Treat them well.
  • We went there on Thredbo’s opening weekend – it was packed! We thought we’d be the only insane people camping, but we weren’t. Get there early to set up.
  • No fires outside of the designated areas.

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