Sitting on the banks of Jounama Creek, eating our hamburger, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch and were delighted to spot a brown trout feeding in a water hole formed by the rocks in the centre of the stream. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, just before Easter and the free camp area was virtually deserted. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and the valley of the creek on the other, it is serviced by a gravel road, from the Snowy Mountains Highway, with designated camp fire places and toilets. The creek is great for a summer swim with magnificent mountain trees for shade and during Autumn and Spring, the campfire makes for a restful break away from the rat race. During winter, it could be snowing!
Jounama Creek, starts as a small trickle high up in the mountains and tumbles out of the base of Talbingo Mountain, the crystal clear cold water, winds its way over rocks and falls and feeds into Jounama Pondage at the junction (now under water) of the Tumut River and Jounema Creek. An essential design of the Snowy Mountains Hyrdo Electric Scheme, allowing water to be stored and pumped back up to Talbingo Dam, creating hydro electricity as it pounds its way through massive pipes, back into the pondage.
The free camp area is extremely busy over the school and public holiday periods, but beautifully quiet and peaceful at other times. We have visited this spot in the off season and we have had it all to ourselves. There is a pretty walk up the gravel road which follows the creek for a while and then turns off into the mountain. We have not ventured further than a couple of kilometres.
The gravel access road is rough, but caravans and campers manage to find their way over the 200 metres or so, with ease.
The township of Talbingo is only a few kilometres west of the Snowy Mountains Highway and has a grocery store, with take-away food, it also supplies daily newspapers and liquor. The town also boasts a caravan park with on-site cabins and vans, swimming pool and resident kangaroos. The Talbingo Country Club, has a very busy Chinese restaurant and provides take-aways. Each time we have had a meal, it has been very tasty and enjoyable, and mostly more than we can eat. We have played many a game of golf on the 9 hole course, the view of the pondage is spectacular and the best part of the day is sitting on the balcony with a cool glass and catching up with friends.
Talbingo Dam, is only a few kilmetres from the Jounama Creek free camp area and Talbingo township. It is popular with locals and visitors to spend a day fishing, waterskiing, swimming and some quiet time, in its many bays and large expanse of beautiful blue, but cold water.