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It well might make the boldest hold their breath -  View From Craigs Hut Mount Sterling - The HDR Experience by Philip Johnson
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It well might make the boldest hold their breath - View From Craigs Hut Mount Sterling - The HDR Experience by 


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The districts surrounding High Country were home to the legendary cattlemen, immortalised by poet AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson in ‘The Man from Snowy River’. You’ll still find their historic huts on the Bogong High Plains and Mount Buller. The rustic huts were built by the cattlemen to use as shelter when driving their cattle up to the plains in summer. Although they are not generally accessible by car, you can visit the following huts on foot, horseback or bicycle:

Craig’s Hut, a replica cattlemen’s hut, is situated on Mt Stirling, approximately 51 kilometres from Mansfield. Originally constructed for The Man from Snowy River film in 1981–82, Craig’s Hut was burnt down by bushfires in 2006. It was completely rebuilt and reopened to the public in January 2008. The last 1.2 kilometres is only accessible by 4WD or via the walking track from the Day Visitor Area.

Equipment: Nikon D300, Sigma 10-20mm lens , Manfrotto Tripod

Technique: HDR, 5 Bracketted Exposures, processed with Photomatix 3.2, Capture NX

The Man from Snowy River by A. B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from Old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.
There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,
The old man with his hair as white as snow;
But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up -
He would go wherever horse and man could go.
And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
No better horseman ever held the reins;
For never horse could throw him while the saddle-girths would stand,
He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.

And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast,
He was something like a racehorse undersized,
With a touch of Timor pony - three parts thoroughbred at least -
And such as are by mountain horsemen prized.
He was hard and tough and wiry -
- just the sort that won’t say die -
There was courage in his quick impatient tread;
And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,
And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.

But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
And the old man said, “That horse will never do
For a long and tiring gallop - lad, you’d better stop away,
Those hills are far too rough for such as you”.
So he waited sad and wistful - only Clancy stood his friend —
“I think we ought to let him come,” he said;
“I warrant he’ll be with us when he’s wanted at the end,
For both his horse and he are mountain bred”.

“He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko’s side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse’s hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between;
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen”.

So he went - they found the horses by the big mimosa clump -
They raced away towards the mountain’s brow,
And the old man gave his orders, “Boys, go at them from the jump,
No use to try for fancy riding now.
And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right.
Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills,
For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight,
If once they gain the shelter of those hills.”

So Clancy rode to wheel them - he was racing on the wing
Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
And he raced his stock-horse past them, and he made the ranges ring
With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face.
Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash,
But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view,
And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash,
And off into the mountain scrub they flew.

Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black
Resounded to the thunder of their tread,
And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back
From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead.
And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way,
Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide;
And the old man muttered fiercely, “We may bid the mob good day,
No man can hold them down the other side”.

When they reached the mountain’s summit, even Clancy took a pull,
It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full
Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,
And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
While the others stood and watched in very fear.

He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,
He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,
And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat -
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground,
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,
At the bottom of that terrible descent.

He was right among the horses as they climbed the further hill,
And the watchers on the mountain standing mute,
Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still,
As he raced across the clearing in pursuit.
Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met
In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals
On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet,
With the man from Snowy River at their heels.

And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam.
He followed like a bloodhound on their track,
Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home,
And alone and unassisted brought them back.
But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot,
He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;
But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,
For never yet was mountain horse a cur.

And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around the Overflow the reedbeds sweep and sway
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
The man from Snowy River is a household word to-day,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.
The Man From Snowy River:

See Also

Philip Johnson is a Photographer located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Specialising in HDR photography his works have been shown in galleries,published in Tourism campaigns. His work will also be available as Jig Saws through Crown & Andrews

Winner of the Art Unlimited Photography prize 2011

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Comments

  • Akkra
    Akkraalmost 5 years ago

    Lovely bit a HDR Philip… gorgeous detail and a lovely view!

  • and no boats lol…. i love this part of the country it can snow in summer

    – Philip Johnson

  • dont forget to watch the video

    – Philip Johnson

  • Rick  Friedle
    Rick Friedlealmost 5 years ago

    Great capture!

  • thanks Rick its one of my favourite spots

    – Philip Johnson

  • Rosalie Dale
    Rosalie Dalealmost 5 years ago

    The extent of the vista is breathtaking Philip

  • thanks Rosalie I used my trusty 10-20mm Sigma

    gotta win the lotto to buy a wide angle, and get some tips from David Lori on panoramas

    – Philip Johnson

  • rocamiadesign
    rocamiadesignalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful photo and scenery!

  • Rosalie Dale
    Rosalie Dalealmost 5 years ago

    Lenses are more expensive than wives I think Philip!!!

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Moorealmost 5 years ago

    Your image is breathtaking, Philip. And this poem gives me chills whenever I read it. It’s memorable, beyond compare. I’m off to see the others…. (fav!)

  • Terence Russell
    Terence Russellalmost 5 years ago

    I love image, Philip. Wonderful scene, but my monitor must be dirty, because even in full size, I couldn’t make out the hut!

  • lol i should have said view from

    – Philip Johnson

  • Jay Stockhaus
    Jay Stockhausalmost 5 years ago

    Fantastic image. I watched the movie again a couple of weeks ago.

  • Matthew Jones
    Matthew Jonesalmost 5 years ago

    nice pano phil.

  • Marilyn Harris
    Marilyn Harrisalmost 5 years ago

    Stunning image Philip!! Hubby was there only last month. Would love to go myself one day! :o)

  • marilyn happy new year !
    yes you must go along next time i love the high country

    – Philip Johnson

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