Local life: The Sugar Pine Walk

A snowy Bago State Forest at Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it, I still find snow utterly magical. There’s something just so wonderful about watching giant flakes quietly descending from the sky and settling on the land below, turning it into a wintry wonderland.

When I spotted on the weather forecast last week the possibility of snow this weekend past, I got a little excited.  So on Sunday, Adam and I decided to head for the hills to see if we could spot any…

Laurel Hill is a tiny village, between Batlow and Tumbarumba in the Riverina Highlands.  At an altitude of just over 1000m, the area generally sees snow a few times every winter.  It never really sticks around for any longer than a few days, but given Laurel Hill is only a 90 minute drive from Wagga Wagga , it’s not too far to venture for a peek.

Just outside the village is the Sugar Pine Walk, within the Bago State Forest. I’ve only ever visited in the summertime when the smell of pine needles is intoxicating, but in a winter snowfall it’s simply breathtaking.

The Sugar Pine Walk at Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia covered in snow.

The walk itself is only about 500m, but it’s easy to linger amongst the giant pines, especially when there are cute snowmen to spot!

Looking up amongst the trees at the Sugar Pine Walk, Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

A snowman in the Sugar Pine Walk, Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

Snow covered foliage within the Sugar Pine Walk, Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

Even through there were quite a few other groups of visitors wandering around, everyone was quiet – murmuring to companions and taking in the landscape. The Sugar Pine Walk has also been called the ‘Pine Cathedral’ and it’s amazing how spiritual this little patch of forest does feel.

A snowy Sugar Pine Walk at Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

Adam and I decided to extend our walk beyond the sugar pines and found ourselves all alone in more open country where trees had recently been harvested. We spotted what we thought were a flock of crimson rosellas and a tiny robin, whose bright yellow breast shone brightly against the white snow.

A snowy Bago State Forest at Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

Snow covered weed in the Bago State Forest, Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

A snowy Bago State Forest at Laurel Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

It wasn’t an arduous walk, nor a particularly long one, but it was lovely to feel the cold air on our cheeks and watch the snow tumble from above.

 If you’re ever in the area, especially in winter, I recommend making a visit – it’s one of those places that doesn’t ever seem to disappoint.

Have a wonderful weekend. x

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