Thanks to its diverse landscape, contrasting seasons and abundance of local producers, the Snowy Mountains region pairs itself perfectly with anyone who has a thirst for adventure and a love of fine foods. The best part? Taking yourself on a gourmet getaway around the Snowies is easy, all you need is a car, an empty stomach and a touch of insider knowledge. Here’s our guide to hitting the road and seeking out some of the area’s best culinary destinations…
Wind your way to the top of Mt Gladstone, less than four-kilometres west of Cooma, to find glorious views across the Monaro Plains to the Snowy Mountains along with a unique, Austrian-style dining experience at Miss Heidi’s Austrian Teahouse. Housed in an original log cabin and decorated with old skis and alpine memorabilia, this restaurant will transport you directly to the Alps, and that’s before you’ve tasted the home-style schnitzel, goulash and Austrian pancakes!
The proprietors of Shut the Gate Wines are passionate about crafting fine wine in small batches, using grapes produced in the Snowy Mountains and Clare Valley. Their cellar door offers a cosy, chalet style setting or you can head outside to sip and nibble in the tranquil and airy country garden. Shut the Gate is also home to The Little Grocer, making this delicious precinct a one-stop-shop for a handpicked selection of wine, beer, cheese and artisan groceries.
The Dalgety Brewing Co., which sits alongside the Snowy Vineyard Estate, is a microbrewery offering a range of craft beers and pub style food at an authentic ‘off the beaten track’ location (access is via a well-maintained dirt road). Enjoy your beer, a meal and the relaxed, family friendly atmosphere all while sitting on the banks of the Snowy River.
The adventure for beer connoisseurs continues, this time complete with views over Lake Jindabyne and a seasonal menu of share plates and skewers. Jindabyne Brewing uses pure, local spring water to give their beers a particularly refreshing alpine taste. All their ales are crafted on site, as evidenced by the huge silver fermenting vats lining the walls and delicious smells of hops and yeast floating about the room. On offer is their very own pilsner, pale ale, red ale and veissbier, which is a German wheat beer made true to the traditional style.
The Alpine Way is regarded as one of the most scenic roads in Australia but don’t let the stunning vistas distract you from visiting the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery. Here you will find everything you need to turn a lunch into a long afternoon filled with mountain inspired meals, accompanied by schnapps of every possible taste and variety. Topping up the drinks menu is their house-made gin along with local beers and ciders, a curated list of wines and a tempting cocktail agenda, all of which can be served outdoors looking over the Distillery’s wildlife-filled front paddock and sculpture collection.
Reminiscent of a French farmhouse, Crackenback Farm welcomes visitors with a crackling fire in winter or, during the warmer months, a picturesque, sun-filled terrace. Food is served in generous, heart-warming portions and made with fresh, seasonal ingredients including herbs and vegetables grown in their garden. Also on offer is an extensive wine list, plenty of country hospitality and a charming ambiance unique to the region.
Twist and turn your way further along the Alpine Way and you’ll find yourself at Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa, which means it’s time to take a tasty breather at Alpine Larder. Known for its rustic setting, cosy atmosphere and hearty meals, Alpine Larder is an ideal spot for a relaxed brunch, extended lunch, or a quick stop amid a day spent raising your pulse around the exhilarating Snowy Mountains.
Swap your car for a chairlift and take wining and dining to the highest level! Eagles Nest is located at the top of Thredbo’s Kosciusko Express, 1937 meters above sea level, which means you’ll be eating and drinking with the resort and surrounding area laid out at your feet. Food is of the comforting variety, think generously sized schnitzels, creamy mash potato and full-bodied soups. The bar is generously stocked with all you need from ‘adult’ hot chocolates to cocktails, ciders, craft and European beers, local and international wines and everything in between. There’s no better way to top off your road trip around the Snowy Mountains.