Travel across the Snowy Mountains and experience the region's stunning landscapes, historic towns and renowned food and wine.
The Snowy Mountains region is well served by a network of quality sealed roads, perfect for driving, riding and cycling, boasting spectacular scenery. The Snowy Mountains Drive can be accessed from Canberra in the north, Bega on the south coast and Albury to the southwest. Take your time enjoying one of Australia’s greatest natural resources at your own pace.
The Snowy Mountains contains the nation’s highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko, the inspiring civil engineering feat of the Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme, and the state’s largest preserved natural area in Kosciuszko National Park. This physical face is given its cultural heart by the heritage preserved in the park, in the people’s literature, storytelling and folklore.
Day One – Cooma, Berridale and Dalgety
Visit the new Snowy Hydro Visitor and Education Centre and unravel the design and technology of the Snowy Scheme. Walk along Cooma’s Lambie Street to the Raglan Regional Art Gallery, past historic architecture of stone and timber. Visit Cooma’s railhead, a functioning attraction with trains running to a regular timetable.
Take Tourist Drive 1 south of Cooma. Drive to the top of Mt Gladstone (three kilometres south of Cooma). Heidi’s Tea House at the top, provides great gluhwein and 360° views over Cooma, the Monaro, the Snowy Mountains and Mt Kosciusko.
"Good food, a great country pub, an historic bridge and amazing walk, is there to enjoy."
Beyond the Snowy Mountains airport lies Berridale, a cross-roads village that features a local winery and cafés. From here, drive to historic Dalgety, the town on the Snowy River that almost became the nation’s capital. Good food, an historic bridge, a great country pub and an amazing walk is there to enjoy. A 20 minute drive from Dalgety, brings you to Lake Jindabyne. Visit the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for information, park passes and maps, and to view an interpretive display of the towns history.
Day Two – Jindabyne, Kosciuszko National Park and Perisher Valley/Charlotte Pass
Cycle along the lake’s edge or hire a runabout or catamaran for time on the water. Take a scenic or fishing boat charter, or take to the air in a scenic flight. Visit the monument to Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki and learn why he was significant to the region. Check out at the Jindabyne Dam wall and take a mountain bike ride from there to Tyrollean Village. Go fishing in the lake or in one of the many surrounding streams, and catch Rainbow or Brown Trout and the occasional Brookie or Atlantic salmon. Fishing licences are required in NSW, and short stay licences are available from a number of outlets including many service stations.
Leave Jindabyne via the Kosciusko Road and venture into the Kosciusko National Park. Passes are sold at the gate or at the regional Visitors Centres. Stop at the Waste Point lookout for great views of the lake and Jindabyne. A little further on, the Kosciuszko Education Centre (open seasonally) gives some understanding of the features, flora and fauna of the mountains, including the illusive pygmy possum and corroboree frog. There are lovely mountain forest walks commencing from here.
Enter the alpine region, where the trees thin and become restricted to the warmer locations along ridgelines towards Perisher Valley. This ski village is a quiet haven for walkers in summer. A half-day trip walk to the Porcupine Rocks is a must.
Drive on to Charlotte Pass, Australia’s highest ski village (along the way stop at Alpine Eyre kiosk for a snack or lunch). Witness magnificent views of Australia’s alpine zone. On the horizon, across what is called the “Main Range”, is Mt Kosciusko. A return walk to the top of Kosciusko is a full day’s trek. Below, witness the first flows of the iconic Snowy River.
Day Three – The Kosciuszko Alpine Way and Thredbo Valley
Just three kilometres from Jindabyne, are two valley crossings; the first through folkloric grazing land, and the second through the longest geological fault in NSW. Crackenback Farm gives an idea of the local building styles from two centuries ago and offers a café, guesthouse and maze. Visit Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery & Cafe.
Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa is a magnificent property featuring award winning apartments overlooking Lake Crackenback. The resort offers great dining options in both Lake Crackenback Restaurant and the Alpine Larder Café, as well as a number of fun activities (swimming, Segway tours, mountain biking, golf, tennis to name a few) and is only a short walk to the Skittle.
The Skitube is Australia’s only alpine underground rack and rail railway. Parking the car at Skitube gives access to river walks, and the first purpose built fishing lodge at Bullocks Hut. There is some good fly fishing here as well in the nearby Thredbo River.
Drive into Thredbo and view modern mountain architecture in a genuine alpine village. A variety of accommodation and dining is available. Take part in a mountain walk, via the Kosciusko Express Chairlift to the top (for many an exciting trip in itself). Popular walks include the Mt Kosciusko summit walk and the Dead Horse Gap walk. When in the village, try tennis, golf or bobsledding. Or if incredible mountain biking takes your fancy, it is available for all ages and abilities.
Day Four – Kosciuszko Alpine Way and Khancoban
This stretch of Tourist Drive 1 takes you across the natural watershed of the Australian Alps. Below Deadhorse Gap the rivers flow east into the Snowy. Wild brumbies gather here to exploit the sub-alpine pasture. They are best seen in mornings and late afternoons, and there are more good walking trails here to explore.
Continue along the Alpine Way past Tom Groggin Station, once claimed to be home of the “Man from Snowy River”, to Geehi. Grey kangaroos, wombats and emus live here and can be seen at almost any time of the day. Geehi, on the Swampy Plains river, is a beautiful spot for lunch or camping and has good facilities. Scammers Spur lookout (a stop further along) is a must. Observe Mt Kosciusko as it rises 1900m from the valley floor. Constructed for a visit by Queen Elizabeth in 1950s, it gives the best view of the western faces of the Australian Alps.
Plan a stop at the Murray 1 Power Station and Information Centre, which features an excellent display on the Snowy Scheme’s history and the people who built it. The Tourist Drive 1 concludes in Khancoban where good food and accommodation is on offer. In the pondage below Murray 2 Power Station, trout fishing is popular or take up a relaxed game of golf with the kangaroos at the Khancoban Country Club.
Days Five to Seven – Tumbarumba, Batlow, Tumult, Adaminaby, Nimmitabel and Bombala
Follow the signposted Tourist Drive 5, which briefly crosses the Murray River and into Victoria passing through Towong, Tintaldra and back into New South Wales.
Tumbarumba is the next stop. Visit the spectacular Paddy’s River Falls, and the location of the mid section of the Hume and Hovell Walking Track. Taste Tumbarumba’s increasingly popular cold climate wines. Experience one of many adventure activities, such as mountain biking, or visit a berry farm. The main street displays fine examples of country Australian architecture. Accommodation available includes motel, hotel and B&B. For a great Australiana experience visit the Boggy Creek Shows, it's a must!
Tourist Drive 5 continues to Batlow, the home of cool climate apples and stone fruits. This beautiful town is a great stopover, before travelling on to Tumut, which sits at the crossroads of Tourist Drive 5 and the Snowy Mountains Highway.
Once in Tumut, visit the Old Butter Factory, now the Tumut Region Visitors Centre. You can take the River Walk, visit the historic millet Broom Factory, Tumut Valley Violets, catch a guided tour of the state-of- the art paper mill, and visit the Adelong falls and gold mine ruins.
Turn south onto the Snowy Mountains Highway. Make a stop at Blowering Reservoir Dam wall, or just a short drive further at Tumult 3, visit the largest power station in the Snowy Hydro Scheme.
On this diversion, you will pass the birthplace of author Miles Franklin in picturesque Talbingo.
Visit Yarrangobilly Caves and Thermal Pool, or the more adventurous can turn at Rules Point, to visit the preserved and maintained family homestead at Currango (featured in many high country photo shoots).
Visit Kiandra, a historic gold mining town, and the birthplace of skiing in Australia, and the second oldest ski club in the world. Observe the interesting original buildings and cemetery.
Take the turn to Cabramurra, the highest town in Australia. Many of this area’s waterways and dams, such as Eucumbene River and Three Mile Dam make great fishing locations, especially for brown trout.
Adaminaby’s “Big Trout” welcomes the visitor to this popular centre for trout fishing, although horse riding in summer and skiing in winter (at nearby Selwyn Snowfields) are big draw-cards as well.
Drive to Lake Eucumbene where a variety of fishing lodges and caravan parks at Old Adaminaby and Anglers Reach are to be found. The Lake’s Dam Wall is testament to the awe- inspiring vision of the architects of the Snowy Hydro Scheme.
From Cooma a trip through Nimmitabel across the Monaro Plain provides a good introduction to these prairie-like grasslands. On the road to Bombala, these grasslands and cold winters create the conditions for some of the finest woollen fleeces in the world.
"Bombala is fast becoming known for its production of lavender oils as the soils, climate and altitude match the lavender plants’ needs perfectly."
Bombala is fast becoming known for its production of lavender oils as the soils, climate and altitude match the lavender plants’ needs perfectly. Visit the Bombala Lavender House for visitor information. Drive through town to the platypus reserve on the Bombala River, and catch a glimpse of these timid but interesting creatures from the specially constructed viewing platform.
Bombala is a great base for mountain biking, bushwalking and 4WD adventures. Twenty minutes south of Bombala, Bondi State Forest has over 85km of trails winding through pine and stately native forests. Visit the South East Forest National Park to witness lush old-growth forests, spectacular granite formations and the Myanba Gorge. Take a drive to Delegate and visit the Early Settlers Hut, believed to be the first European dwelling on the Monaro.
Sign up for newsletters and deals from
Snowy Mountains and our partners.