Take the high road to the Alps and the Snowy Mountains
Whether it’s hurtling down the hillside on skis or a mountain bike, wandering amongst the wildflowers on a bushwalk or casting a line for fresh river trout, you’ll love the fresh mountain air, the beautiful scenery and the great range of things to see and do in Australia’s Alpine region. Best of all, it’s practically on Canberra’s doorstep.
Located a picturesque three-hour drive from Canberra, the Snowy Mountains is home to an alpine wilderness of rivers, mountains and glacial lakes. From summer wildflowers and horse riding treks to great skiing and snowboarding, this region offers plenty of seasonal activities to do and discover whatever the weather.
In winter, ski or snowboard at popular resorts including Thredbo, with its beautiful alpine village, Perisher (the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere), and Australia's highest ski resort, Charlotte Pass.
The snow season runs from June to October, with peak seasons in late July to August. With a range of terrains to suit beginners as well as seasoned snow lovers, you can enjoy chairlift rides with family and friends, night ski under the stars, or sit back and relax in the region’s great restaurants and cafes.
In spring and summer, the snow melts into clear alpine streams perfect for salmon and trout fishing. With an abundance of Atlantic salmon and brook, brown and rainbow trout, you can cast your lines at Lake Eucumbene, Tumut River, Lake Jindabyne, Bombala's streams or take lessons in Jindabyne and Thredbo. The spectacular lakes of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme fill for boating, fishing, paddling and sailing, and sightseeing driving tours to key scheme locations are also popular.
With spectacular displays of wildflowers across the Main Range and Mount Kosciuszko, soak in rugged landscapes with bushwalks starting from Charlotte Pass or Thredbo. In a place steeped with legend and fame of the Man from Snowy River, you may even see a brumby on a bushwalk, along with countless kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and birds. Alternatively, check out the region's magnificent scenery and wildlife at the Charles Davis Photography Gallery in Cooma.
Scenic drives and caves
Drive the Monaro Highway from Canberra to the town of Cooma and then on to Jindabyne to access the main alpine areas. Visit quaint towns like Bredbo, Berridale and Numeralla. Explore gold mining relics at Kiandra, or spy Australia's iconic mammal, the platypus, in rivers around Bombala which have some of the highest populations of platypus in New South Wales.
A drive on the Snowy Mountains Highway from Cooma to Tumut will take you through Blowering and Talbingo Reservoirs, interspersed with alpine grasslands and streams. At the Yarrangobilly Caves, take a journey into the earth to view stunning frozen waterfalls, limestone caves and underground pools.
Stay a night (or two)
Accommodation in the Alpine region includes resorts, luxury bed and breakfasts, backpacker hostels, camping sites and caravan facilities.
Sounds like fun but not sure how to get there? No worries – organise your hire car in Canberra and you’ll soon be on your way.