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An Afternoon at Venables Hut

An Afternoon at Venables Hut

Written by Chloe Symons.
I like keeping a list of places handy that are less than one hour away, have no phone reception and are only accessible by human power. So that when I have a spare afternoon, I can seamlessly escape on a whim to someplace that has the same effect as essentially being in the middle of nowhere.

Chloe putting the wheel on her mountain bike, her corolla is parked in the background.
Chloe riding past the many rapids of the Goobarragandra river.
An overnight or multi-day outdoor adventure needs time to be planned, organised and scheduled. And sometimes (most of the time), I prefer to wake up, look out the window to assess the weather, pack a bag and go. I’m not saying the experience of thoroughly planned activities such as a multi-day hike can be replaced by shorter micro-adventures. However, when the craving for the healing power of nature sets in, it’s not always possible to set off on a big story-worthy journey.  
Chloe riding along Stokes Hut trail in Kosciuszko National Park
Sometimes, we simply need the benefits of time spent unplugged in untouched landscapes without all the packing, GPS downloads, creating routes, freeze-dried food and unpacking.
Chloe crossing one of the tributaries flowing into the Goobarragandra river
Venables Hut ticks all those boxes for being close to home but with no phone reception and a doable hike or bike in. Venables Hut can be found in the northern end of Kosciuszko National Park, tucked away in the Goobarragandra Valley. 
Chloe pushing her bike up the hill towards Venables Hut
Chloe removing her helmet having arrived at Venables hut.
The hut neatly sits on a spur overlooking the bushy peaks of the Goobarragandra Wilderness, the Goobarragandra River and its tributaries can be heard flowing nearby. The history of the hut is best told by the Kosciusko Huts Association.
Chloe sitting on the steps at Venables Hut in Kosciuszko National Park
Chloe sitting in the sun on the steps of Venables Hut
It’s an easy hike or ride, with a couple of small hills but nothing too big to be uncomfortable. After the recent rain, there is plenty of muddy puddles to unleash your inner child in (I’m still cleaning mud out of my car). 
Chloe riding through a big puddle of water making a big splash
Chloe riding along Stokes hut trail in Kosciuszko National Park
Chloe covered in mud pushing her bike up a muddy hill
With a book to read or a journal to write in, it’s easy to lose track of time, especially with the contentment that comes with having no phone service. Gratefully, the gentle incline on the way in makes for a quick ride back to the car.

It’s human nature to seek time in the natural environment, but it doesn’t always have to be big. While I won’t ever stop chasing life-changing adventures, I will always prioritise the less-significant escapes. All together, what’s to say they aren’t life-changing in their own right?
Chloe riding through the goobarragandra valley in Kosciuszko National Park
Please note that the road to Venables Hut, while public access, does travel through private property. Please respect landowners by staying on the track and closing the gates.
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