Snowy Mountains are world-wide known for Australia`s highest peak – Mount Kosciuszko (2228 m), situated within the Mount Kosciuszko National Park. Other popular holiday destinations are Jindabyne, Eucumbene, Monaro, Upper Murray and Cabramurra.
Every traveller making their way to the Snowy Mountains will pass through the friendly town of Jindabyne and its picturesque lake. This lovely resort never sleeps: summertime brings pleasant temperatures ideal for horse riding, bushwalking, mountain biking, caving, swimming, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, and waterskiing.
In springtime, the region gets suddenly covered with carpets of colourful wildflowers and turns the landscape into a fairyland. Winters welcome crowds of visitors and winter sports lovers who stop by before continuing towards Thredbo and Perisher.
The alpine village of Thredbo (1320 m) is one of Australia`s most visited ski resorts, and the prices reflect its reputation. Nevertheless, the location is worth spending a bit of money for the cosy atmosphere and spectacular views of Mount Kosciuszko whose summit can easily be climbed or reached via a chairlift throughout a year.
Thredbo promotes a good variety of accommodation, ranging from private alpine villas, and luxurious hotels to rustic guesthouses, with plentiful entertainment, bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs. The highlights are the Thredbo bobsled and hiking Mt Kosciuszko.
The Perisher Valley is another popular ski resort within the national park and part of the Australian skiing development. Top facilities, services and numerous attractions guarantee a well-spent winter holiday. Situated at the altitude of 1720 m Perisher features the best ski conditions in the region, and it is the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere.
Perisher Valley, Guthega, Blue Cow and Smiggin Holes are the main villages, offering comfortable accommodation and several ski fields with chairlifts for all levels of skiers. One of the biggest attraction is the Skitube – Australia`s only underground rack railway.
At elevation 1760 m, Charlotte Pass Village is the highest permanent settlement in Australia and one of the oldest ski resorts. The Charlotte Pass Village is considered to be the most romantic ski resort of all due to its picturesque setting and quite a remote location. Well-groomed ski slopes and scattered alpine guesthouses only add on its attractiveness.
There are many trails ideal for summer hiking and mountain biking, including the Main Range Track. Charlotte Pass Lookout, accessible by car, offers fantastic views.
THE ALPINE WAY
The Alpine Way is a tourist scenic drive (126 km long), starting at Jindabyne. The road follows the Thredbo River, passes through the Thredbo Village and crosses the crest of the Great Dividing Range and Dead Horse Gap to continue around the other side of the range to reach the Murray River and Murray Valley.
The drive was built in 1950, and it covers most of the main points of interest. It will take the motorists through the characteristic landscape of the region and typical alpine scenery: rolling hills, pristine rivers, glacial lakes, mountain peaks covered with rocks and woodlands and there are good chances of spotting some of the native animal species, e.g. wombat, kangaroo, emu, pygmy possum and wild horse.
ESSENTIAL WINTER EXPERIENCES IN KOSCIUSZKO NATIONAL PARK
ESSENTIAL SUMMER EXPERIENCES IN KOSCIUSZKO NATIONAL PARK
For walking tracks and hiking in the national park go to: http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/kosciuszko-np-south/
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Canberra, hire a vehicle and drive to Thredbo/Perisher (Canberra- Cooma- Jindabyne-Thredbo/Perisher). The journey takes 2-3 hours.
NOTE In wintertime (June-September) you MUST carry snow chains, and they frequently get checked by the police. There is an entrance fee to the national park.
Optionally, there are local flights directly to the Snowy Mountains Airport from most of the Australian cities, but they tend to be quite expensive.
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