The Snowy Mountains brings an allure of epic views and cozy ski town resorts, home to the highest mountain range in Australia and Mount Kosciuszko. In the winter months watch the snow resorts come to life with Perisher, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Mount Selwyn to name a few. The season runs from June to October, during the Australian winter.
The Snowy Mountains offers an indulgent experience for wine lovers and foodies, and the region is known for its pinot noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wines. The cool-climate brings delicacies that will tantalise your tastebuds, with cellar doors, fresh seafood and truffles as part of the local produce on offer.
There’s certainly no shortage of natural attractions in the area with the Yarrangobilly Caves made up of limestone structures, Bombala Platypus Reserve for a close up on Australia’s cute native wildlife or for total tranquillity, Lake Jindabyne or Lake Eucumbene. Learn more about Australia’s wilderness with the Wiradjuri Aboriginal Culture tour for a fascinating insight into Australian animals and history.
Beyond the snow, the Snowy Mountains offers a variety of scenic walks and pristine mountain waters to explore. As the snow begins to melt, tracks reveal, and the season for mountain biking and bushwalking starts. And of course, you couldn’t leave without conquering Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain. The summit walk will talk to you to the top with panoramic views across the land. Preferred months to explore are from December to March (summer), and you’ll have the choice of two starting points, Thredbo or Charlotte Pass. Each walk varies in distance with a couple of difference between them. From Thredbo, take a scenic ride on the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift to begin your adventure; a 13km return walk, which will take about four to five hours depending on your pace. Along the way watch the track wind above the crystal clear waters of Lake Cootapatamba, Australia’s highest lake. For something a little longer, begin the walk from Charlotte Pass, which is an 18.6km return walk and about 6 to 8 hours. The weather can change quickly on the mountain so make sure you arrive well equipped and do your research beforehand. On the way, look out for wombats, wallabies and echidnas, native to the Snowy Mountains area.
Getting around the area is quite easy with most visitors opting to arrive by car. If you choose to fly, you’ll need to take a one-hour regional flight from Sydney. Otherwise, drive directly into the Snowy Mountains and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way. Note that 2WD vehicles will need to be equipped with snow chains from June to October and beware of the vehicle fee for those using the Kosciuszko National Park. Entry stations are accessed from the main road, and prices vary seasonally from $16 to $27. You’ll also have a choice of train or coach services available if you prefer to sit back and let someone else do the driving. In the snow season, transport services increase due to high demand too.
Home to Australia’s highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko, the incredible Kosciuszko National Park brings an array of outdoor activities for you to explore. Set in the Snowy Mountains; make the most of snow spots in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.
Kosciuszko National Park brings three million visitors each year and is 150 kilometres in length. Choose from the of heritage accommodation options suitable for all travel styles or choose to camp, to truly experience Australia’s wilderness. Across the national park, you’ll find rare plants and temperate rainforest, with Mt Kosciuszko sitting at 2, 228 kilometres above sea level. In the national park, look out for the cute and native pygmy-possum and corroboree frog. Aboriginal people continue to reside in the park with a strong connection to the land; they make the most of the foothills and river valleys.
In the summer, Kosciuszko National Park has a choice of scenic walks perfect for all different skills levels. Spend extended time in Kosciuszko National Park with over twenty different camping sites, and a variety of lodges with self-contained accommodation options too. If you intend on completing a long hike or overnight adventure in the more remote areas of the park, make sure you complete a trip intention form and be sure to carry a Personal Locator Beacon for safety.
Kosciuszko National Park has seven different areas to discover and depending on the season; certain areas are more favoured than others for the best snow cover or walking tracks. Explore the Thredbo-Perisher area, Selwyn area, Lower Snowy River area, Khancoban area, Yarrangobilly area, Tumut area and High Plains area.
The Thredbo-Perisher area is where you’ll find Mount Kosciuszko, as well as an array of ski resorts, hike trails and mountain bike trails. It is excellent in both summer and winter months to ski in the winter and climb Mount Kosciuszko comfortably in the summer. The Selwyn area is a family friendly area with a snow resort as well as scenic walks and fishing spots; it is considered to be the central area for Kosciuszko National Park.
The Lower Snowy River area encapsulates the wild south of the park and is made up of scenic trails and the Snowy River, and the Khancoban area has a mix of camping spots, fishing and riding, as well as the Western Fall views. The Yarrangobilly area brings astonishing caves and thermal pools along with walks in the area. The Tumut area has an array of water spots at the Blowering Reservoir and is excellent to camp at or explore the foothills. Finally, the High Plains area is best during the summer months with horse riding and bike trails as well as heritage cottages and gorges.
When visiting Kosciuszko National Park, choose the area you’d like to explore and plan your trip around it with the choice of adventures and accommodation options available. Make the most of the winter ski season and the many ski lodges or the scenic hiking tracks available once the snow begins to melt.
The Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre is a great way to learn about the history of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The centre is located in Cooma, which is the alpine regions largest town. Acting as a crucial part of Australia’s electricity and water industries, the concept of the Snowy Hydro scheme is about creating renewable energy. Starting from the construction phase through to how operations by Snowy Hydro are run today, the centre is a great way to learn about the scheme. Experience photographic collections and exhibits along with power generation and interactive displays and learn about how much peddling is required to power a TV. With a cafe onsite, the centre provides two theatres for you to watch a series of short videos. Stop by for a day to the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre to learn about how the Snowy Hydro Scheme has helped the area.
On days when Lake Jindabyne's waters are low lying you'll see relics of the own town peaking through. 50 years ago this lake came to life from the damming of the Snowy River, now being fed continuously by the melting snow from the Snowy Mountains. The old town of Jindabyne was flooded in the mid-1960s, which left the town destroyed and covered by the waters to build the manmade lake. What Jindabyne is today is a newly restored and built up version, created around visitors needs. The lake is 30 square kilometres and its mirroring reflection makes it worth a visit to see the water sparkle. The lake links up to three rivers and leads into the incredible Kosciuszko National Park with the rugged mountains as the lake's backdrop. Experience the most dramatic vantage point of the lake from Waste Point Lookout along Kosciuszko Road.
The best time to experience the lake is in October as the snow begins to melt and lake level rises. At this time you'll be able to make the most of water activities like sailing, kayaking, canoeing or fishing across the lake. Lake Jindabyne brings an array of activities for families. Take a boat and experience the coves and crystal clear water, with the option to hire a motorboat, paddleboat, canoe or kayak. If fishing's how you prefer to pass the time, the lake is filled with incredible abundance of fish. From Atlantic salmon to rainbow, brown and brook trout with many fishing stores surrounding and guides available. There are no fishing restrictions on the lake except for a New South Wales Freshwater Anglers Licence, which can be organised when you arrive at one of the fishing shops in Jindabyne.