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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.