Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps



A long, slow wander along the Australian Alps Walking Track

Many mountain people will know Josh Kynaston for the music he plays with his partner Evie as the duo Life Dreamers. They are regulars at many venues across the valley towns and mountains of north eastern Victoria. Joshua loves music. And walking in the hills. He has a plan to combine the two passions – doing a slow traverse of the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWR) in late 2022, starting at the southern end. And writing new songs and maybe an album as he goes.

Continue reading “A long, slow wander along the Australian Alps Walking Track”

Music for the Mountain

The campaign against the cable car that has been proposed for Mt Wellington/ kunanyi is going from strength to strength. From a huge rally (more than 5,000 people) to overwhelming public opinion opposing the project, there is a growing sense that common sense will prevail and the proposal will be abandoned. The next big point in the campaign is getting close – Carlton and United Brewery (CUB), who own the Cascade brewery site, need to announce whether they will provide land for the cable car.

On Saturday August 4 there will be a fund raiser in Hobart to support the campaign.

Continue reading “Music for the Mountain”

Mountaingrass music festival

Dates: 18-20 November 2016
Harrietville, Victoria

The first Mountaingrass was held in November of 2013 and is organised by the Australasian Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association Inc. (ABOTMA Inc.)  For over 27 years the small township of Harrietville has played host every year to bluegrass and old-time music festivals.

The original Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention was held in October 1989.  It was organised by a group of musicians including Nick and Janet Dear, Rod and Judy Jones, Philomena Carroll and Laurie Grundy. With help from other dedicated volunteers the festival grew into the peak event on the bluegrass and old time music calendar in Australia and came to be known simply as ‘Harrietville’.

Mountaingrass continues the tradition of bringing U.S. Bluegrass and Old-Time acts to play concerts and run workshops for fans and players of all levels. Mountaingrass also showcases a selection of acts from Australia and New Zealand and runs instrument and other workshops for players of all levels.

Check here for full details and to buy the tickets.

MountainGrass music festival

The Mountaingrass festival is an institution, having been around for more than a quarter of a century. It is held in Harrietville. The dates for 2015 are November 20 to 22.

Continue reading “MountainGrass music festival”

Paradise Music Festival

Paradise Music Festival is a 3 day music, camping and BYO festival held at Lake Mountain Alpine Resort in Victoria in early summer.

The following comes from the organisers:

“Now entering it’s third year, Paradise will again be held at the enigmatic location it has become known for, amidst the Victorian alpine forest, at Lake Mountain Alpine Resort. Close to Marysville, the festival site has overlooking views of the Victorian Alps and Great Dividing Range.

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Mountain music

Many years ago, I spent a slightly surreal weekend on the Howqua River in north east Victoria, where, as luck would have it, there was both a mountain cattleman’s gathering and a big enclave of environmental activists holding campaign workshops. Our camps squeezed closer together as the crowds packed in along Sheepyard Flat, and the initial distrust dissolved on the second or third night as we found some common cause in shared music around the fire.

It was one of those nights to remember. I recall that we got on famously, that many songs were traded, and various social lubricants were consumed. What I most remember was the music.

Music is one of those things that defines culture. Any authentic culture has its own music, songs that grow from who its people are and how they live, and also the place they live in. There’s nothing wrong with playing other people’s songs, but almost everything I heard that night was from somewhere else.

Read the story here.

Perisher Peak Festival

a1June 6 – 9

The Perisher Valley in NSW’s Snowy Mountains will open the 2014 Australian Winter Ski Season with a vibrant 4 day festival packed with live music at the snow over the June long weekend.

From the organisers:

“The 6th Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music-Peak Festival will run from Friday 6th June to Monday 9th June 2014 and is presented by the Perisher Resorts Chamber of Commerce and led by veteran musician David De Santi who has been the Artistic Director of the famed Illawarra Folk Festival since 1996 and is a member of one of Australia’s most famous bush bands, Wongawilli. With Dave De Santi at the helm you can expect to hear some great new sounds from here and overseas and walk away with an experience to remember. Read more about David here.

This is your opportunity to soak up the magic of the snow fields whilst listening to some of our best musicians step up to the mic with a mix of world, folk, roots, celtic, acoustic, traditional music, song, dance, poetry and yarnspinning. Peak will take place across 8 indoor venues in Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes and Guthega Alpine Village”.

Full details here.

Mingling Waters Music Festival

January 18 and 19, Nowa Nowa, East Gippsland

Mingling-Waters-Music-Festival-logo-colour-300x223From the organisers:

Mingling Waters Music Festival is a small, grass-roots, high quality, well-organised, community-focused, family-friendly music event, supporting local artists and business, promoting Nowa Nowa as a special place to visit.

We plan to bring new and interesting artists in from the wider community.

We aim to create a scene that brings people together to talk, listen, play, and dance and celebrate together, in a beautiful natural environment!

It is a high priority to pay and look after all the participating artists as best we can.

We hope to do well enough to donate to two local charities, The East Gippsland Rail Trail and Melon’s Cottage.

There will be a small market, including food stalls, a bar, workshops, children’s activities and FINE MUSIC!

Check here for details on the artists.

Check here for details on tickets, accommodation, etc.


call out for mountain poetry and songs

Young Alpine Ash, near Dinner Plain, VIC

Andy Kimber lives on the Warby Ranges near Glenrowan. He has a life long connection with the valleys and mountains of north east Victoria, and has written extensively abut the area, in various forms including songs, as well as helping engender a sense of place for many people in the region, especially students he has taught over the years.

He would be interested in any poems or songs about the mountain valleys of the North East. If you have some, or know where to find some, please email him:

And stay tuned for a review of his daughters album ‘Sounds like Thunder’ soon, featuring some fine tracks, including about the Victorian high country.

review: Seven Summits

What’s not to like about this album? Climbing mountains, dying on mountains, falling off mountains, frostbite, hallucinations, listening to trees, and surviving ‘normal’ life.

Seven summits is, of course, named after the practise of attempting the highest peak on each continent. What Milagres, an Indie / Rock / Pop outfit from Brooklyn, NY, brings to this album is an atmospheric journey through some of the many things that go through your mind on a big peak, the things that can happen up there, and then the sometimes hard path of going back to the normalness of life when you’re back down, living far below ‘amongst the tiny trees’.

Full review here.

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