Outsiders Club

NSW's Hume and Hovell Track

10 May 2023
5 minutes

Lace up your hiking boots, embrace your inner explorer and follow the footsteps of overland pioneers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell on the epic Hume and Hovell Track.

Making its way south from Yass to Albury, this 426km track is a chance to see south east NSW like never before: its mighty rivers, its breathtaking forests and its fascinating reminders of yesteryear.

The route is a mix of roads, fire trails and purpose-built single track, and you can rest your weary head (and feet!) along the way at campsites including Reflections Burrinjuck Waters or Reflections Wee Jasper


So, what’s the story behind the track?

The Hume and Hovell Track closely follows the route taken by Hamilton Hume and William Hovell. The aim of the expedition, which commenced in October 1824, was to discover what lay south of the Murrumbidgee River.

Hume and Hovell, along with six convict servants, journeyed from Lake George in NSW - over rivers and mountains including the Great Dividing Range - to Port Phillip Bay in Victoria.

Their journey was not an easy one. Flooded and fast-flowing rivers disrupted their progress more than once; at one point they had to use one of their carts as a boat. They eventually abandoned their carts due to the mountainous terrain.

They were pestered by flies, ticks and leaches. They encountered bushfires and snow which forced them to change course numerous times. And the story goes Hume and Hovell actively disliked each other and bickered from start to finish.

But there were plenty of significant moments. They were the first whites to encounter the Murray River (they named it the ‘Hume River’) and to see the snow-covered peaks of NSW and Victoria. And their trip generated reports of good grazing land which prompted settlers to move into the area.

The expedition – which debunked the widely held view that the interior of Australia was an unliveable wasteland – was completed in January 1825. Rad more on the fascinating history of the track here


Burrinjuck Waters and the Hume and Hovell Track

Starting at Cooma Cottage in Yass, the home of Hamilton Hume from 1840 until his death in 1873, the walk winds through some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery; a mixed bag of alpine forests, open plains, mighty dams and picturesque creeks and rivers. It ends at the Hovell Tree in Albury.

The entire walk takes around 26 days, but don’t let that put you off. With so many campsites to choose from, it’s easy to customise a shorter walk to suit.

Where to stay near the Hume and Hovell Track

From Yass it is a 51km journey to Burrinjuck Waters Holiday Park, with two modest campsites along the track. The trail leading into the park is a particularly breathtaking traipse through the beautiful Burrinjuck Nature Reserve.

Where to stay near the Hume Set on the shores of Lake Burrinjuck, Reflections Burrinjuck Waters is the perfect pit-stop for weary walkers, known for its fantastic fishing and friendly wildlife. It’s also got a great range of facilities including an on-site kiosk and camp kitchens. You may find it hard to leave!

If you do decide to continue the hike (and we’ll understand if you choose to stay put!) you’re in for a relaxing ride on the NV Getaway across Lake Burrinjuck to reach Cathedral Rock. Boat bookings are essential (call Burrinjuck Waters for details).

The track then continues to Wee Jasper, with its 4 beautiful campgrounds, and the Snowy Mountains Highway, near the towns of Tumut, Talbingo and Tumbarumba, winding south as it reaches the cosmopolitan hub of Albury.

What to pack for the trail

As most camping on offer is unpowered and Yass is your nearest town, you will need to be well-stocked when you arrive. Check out this helpful list of what to bring on the Hume and Hovell Trail


A breath of fresh air

If you’re craving an escape from the day-to-day and are looking for a hiking or walking trail different, challenging and simply unforgettable, why not get out on the Hume and Hovell Track?

Whether you’re up for a weekend, a week or a whole month of hiking, the Hume and Hovell Track is the perfect excuse to get outside, breathe that fresh country air, and follow in the footsteps of some of Australia’s most famous explorers.