Fall in love with Australia’s favourite alps on a weekend wonderland adventure.
Do yourself a favour and explore the Kosciuszko Alpine Way, which takes you through the neighbouring country towns full of rustic charm, and up the slopes to the magnificent views atop Mount Kosciuszko. The route may only be short – 170 kilometres in total – but it certainly packs a punch. Here are some highlights of this iconic touring route.
Cooma is the largest town in the Snowy Mountains region and is full of fun. The town was selected as the headquarters of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme in 1949, which continues to provide renewable energy to Australia’s east coast! To discover the past, present and future of this remarkable engineering feat, head to the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre, where you can embark on a tour of the facility; hear the stories from some of the 100,000 workers who made the project possible; and find out what the site was like during its construction in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Cruise into Jindabyne and you’ll find an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Jindabyne, meaning ‘valley’ in the Indigenous Ngarigo language, is actually the second iteration of this beloved town, having been relocated in the mid 1960s to make way for Lake Jindabyne as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. Stop at the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for information, entry passes to Kosciuszko National Park and a coffee – complete with stunning views of Lake Jindabyne. Known by the locals as ‘Lake Jindy’, this fresh snowmelt-fed lake is a perfect place for fitness fanatics. Yogis can head to Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club for some sunrise yoga with The OM Collective, while adventurous types can enjoy canoeing and kayaking with hired vessels from Sacred Ride Water Sports Centre. If the weather is warming up, you can even spend time swimming at the lake’s Claypits Beach, or opt for a meander along the foreshore.
Intrepid hikers can opt to climb Mount Kosciuszko’s summit. The 6.2-kilometre trek to reach the 2228-metre summit of Australia’s tallest mountain will have you, quite literally, up in the clouds. Between June and October, the track is snowbound, so it’s advised that only experienced hikers attempt the climb. If that level of intensity isn’t for you, the Dead Horse Gap walking track is a 10-kilometre circuit, mainly downhill, starting 300 metres from the top of the chairlift.
Khancoban, also a significant location for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, sits on the banks of Khancoban Pondage – a wider section of the Swampy Plain River that also runs through the town of Geehi (also found along this touring route). If the weather is warming up, enjoy swimming, kayaking, wakeboarding and waterskiing at the pondage. Alternatively, fishing is popular year round here, regardless of the temperature. If you’re wanting to get out and about in nature, a range of lovely hikes are dotted all around Khancoban, including the Major Clews Hut trail and the Round Mountain Hut walking track (the latter being perfect if you’re wanting to spot some wildflowers).
To find out more, read the Spring 2023 edition of Caravanning Australia!
Pictured: Jindabyne, Snowy Mountains. Image courtesy of Destination NSW