Watching Platypus while wearing my Pyjamas

A trip to the Kosciusko National Park in the New South Wales ski fields led me to discover the unexpected surprise of watching Platypus while wearing my pyjamas.

Last winter we decided to take a last-minute ski trip.  The ski season hadn’t received the best snowfall however with Covid and lockdown finished we grabbed at the chance to get away for a much longed for change of scenery.

We mostly stay up in the mountains yet this year we decided to give lodge life a miss and booked an apartment at the Lake Crackenback Resort on the outskirts of the Kosciusko National Park.

Staying here allowed us to either drive 15 minutes along the Alpine Way to Thredbo Resort or take the nearby Skitube train to Perisher Resort and while not ski-in ski-out, it gave us options.

The Lake Crackenback Village has some of their apartments on the edge of the man-made lake which is fed from the Little Thredbo River. These apartments have balconies overhanging the lake and this is where our we discovered our unexpected surprise.

As with most lakes, birdlife, especially ducks, is bound to hanging around and also being on the edge of the national park there were several kangaroos happily grazing nearby too.

While sitting watching the sunset over the distant snow-capped mountains, I noticed some circular ripples on the surface of the water, similar to when a pebble is dropped. At first, I thought a duck had dived however 10 seconds later it happened again this time in a different location. 

We watched carefully and noticed a small trail of bubbles also breaking the surface of the water. Perhaps it was a turtle then next minute a dark flat object appeared with only the hint of a ripple. It moved slowly and less than 10 seconds later disappeared under the water.  The bubbles appeared and this time the dark object popped up right in front of us – it was a platypus!

We were amazed and excited however with the fading evening light it became too difficult to spot any more but I had read Platypus are nocturnal and I wondered if I woke early would I spot some in the early morning light?

The rain poured down all night long and with it any chance of some decent skiing the following day was washed away. At 6:30am with the temperature near 0ºC my alarm woke me. I lay there listening to the rain steadily falling then decided to peek out the window to see if I could catch a glimpse of the elusive curious platypus.

With just a hint of light piercing the gloomy early morning darkness I saw a platypus swimming past.

I jumped out of bed and too eager to change in case I missed it again, I grabbed my slippers and gloves and threw on my snow jacket over my pyjamas. With my camera in hand, I quietly crept out onto our balcony and there they were three Platypus all bobbing and diving right in front of me.

In the very early morning light and without a tripod nor a lot of dark light photography experience, I tried my best to capture these quirky, cute and elusive creatures!

As my husband and daughter woke and saw me outside rugged up in my pyjamas, they thought I’d lost my mind! They then saw what had dragged me from my cosy warm bed and as daylight transpired the Platypus quietly swam away and disappeared.

Each day afterwards I woke early in the hope of seeing them and occasionally I saw them in the distance but never as close as that first morning. 

In the very early morning light and without a tripod nor a lot of dark light photography experience, I tried my best to capture these quirky, cute and elusive creatures!

As my husband and daughter woke and saw me outside rugged up in my pyjamas, they thought I’d lost my mind! They then saw what had dragged me from my cosy warm bed and as daylight transpired the Platypus quietly swam away and disappeared.

Each day afterwards I woke early in the hope of seeing them and occasionally I saw them in the distance but never as close as that first morning. 

I think my favourite sculpture was of an Emu sitting outside the Alpine Larder. Created from metal chain creating a look of delicate lace on what was really a hard metal piece of art.

A drive up the road to Thredbo had us spotting a few Alpine Brumby feeding quietly amongst the gums, sadly there was no safe place to stop the car so a missed photo opportunity!

The New South Wales alpine region is one of my favourite places in the world and I hope you enjoy my images.

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