Diana Lawrenson

— Writer —

Diana Lawrenson Pages to Places Blog

Welcome to my blog that takes you from pages to places. Come and discover some quirky, little-known, or loose-but-relevant links from books to places around the world. You might even like to add a book suggestion of your own to the topic.

30 March 2017 | Australia, Mt Kosciuszko

NOTE ON A BALLAD

Track up Mt KosciuszkoBoulders lay strewn about. Patches of snow, softening in late spring’s gentle warmth, loosened their grip on alpine vegetation. And then we saw it: the headwaters of the Snowy River.

From beneath a shelf of dripping snow the stream eased out, then danced away over stones, Snowy River Headwatershurrying downhill to join other sparkling threads that would meld to form the Snowy River. Alpine marsh marigolds bloomed both underneath and above the clear waterAlpine Marsh marigolds, turning their delicate, pointed faces to the sun.

Long before the Snowy River became part of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectricity Scheme, A.B.(Banjo) Paterson – lawyer, contributor to The Bulletin, Boer War correspondent, and editor of a Sydney newspaper – immortalised it as the home of the fearless horseman in his ballad, The Man from Snowy River, widely known and much loved ever since.

We were climbing Mt Kosciuszko. Well, not really climbing since you can start the ascent by chairlift from Thredbo. When you alight it’s more of a walk, albeit several kilometres, along a raised metal walkway that protects alpine plants from hiking boots. It’s easy to see how riders from the Snowy River HeadwatersKosciuszko area earned their excellent reputations in Paterson and brumbies on $10 notePaterson’s time on the steep and stony sides of the mountain. Paterson, the man from Snowy River, the brumbies and the opening lines of the poem live on today on our $10 note.

And what is the view like from the top of Mt Kosciuszko? I’m afraid we didn’t reach the summit as the snow was late melting and deep soft drifts made it impossible for us to walk through. We’re going back, but next time in late summer.

 

A FEW OF A.B. (BANJO) PATERSON’S WORKS

  • Banjo Paterson: Complete Works
  • The Man from Snowy River, illus. Freya Blackwood
  • We’re all Australians Now, illus. Mark Wilson
  • Waltzing Matilda, illus. Desmond Digby
  • Mulga Bill’s Bicycle, illus. Kilmeny and Deborah Niland

BOOKS SET IN THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS

 

 

  1. I’m a little late on reading this post but, as with all the rest, interesting and wonderful writing, Diana. Reminded me a little of skiing memories too – the views from Australian mountain-tops, always spectacular.

  2. Another great post, Diana. The Snowy Mountains are one of my favourite places and so beautiful. There is so much history that is connected to the area and I always enjoy reading about the people who once lived there in the very early days of its settlement.

Would you like to suggest another relevant book to add to the list?

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