If you’re after a scenic detour away from Canberra, with dramatic river scenery, primeval forests and unforgettable snow-capped mountains, then look no further than a drive towards the Snowy Mountains.
This scenic self-drive tour can take anywhere upwards of three days, depending on how long you’d like to linger along the way. But really, you wouldn’t be blamed for extending your trip indefinitely and never leaving the mountains, so impressive is the scenery.
Departing Canberra, drive south on the Monaro Highway for just over 100 kilometres and you’ll soon reach Cooma, gateway to the Snowy Mountains. Here you’ll find numerous walking trails and viewing platforms to explore, with beautiful views overlooking the town and surrounding countryside. The Mount Gladstone Lookout and Nature Reserve is a great place to start, as from here you’ll be able to get a sense of what’s to come, with a view straight over the Monaro Plains right to the peaks of the Snowy Mountains.
When you descend from the lookout, Cooma’s CBD is also full of fascinating insights into the region’s history, with numerous museums and galleries – such as the New South Wales Corrections Services Gaol Museum and the Southern Cloud Memorial – a movement commemorating the mysterious disappearance, of a passenger aircraft in 1931, which was only uncovered in the surrounding forest 27 years later.