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Road tripping to Jindabyne

Hiking, Lake JindabyneCREDIT: Destination NSW

Hiking around Lake Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Road tripping
to Jindabyne

Hiking, Lake Jindabyne CREDIT: Destination NSW

Hiking around Lake Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Whether you’re a winter ski fanatic or love hiking among alpine fields coloured with spring wildflowers, the Snowy Mountains region in southern New South Wales doesn’t disappoint. Many choose to base themselves in Jindabyne, a five-hour drive southwest of Sydney and the gateway to a range of seasonal experiences and adventures, including the state’s major winter resorts. Here’s how to get there, and what to do when you arrive.  

Highlights: 

  • Driving past Australia’s highest peaks on the Kosciuszko Alpine Way 
  • Horse riding, biking, hiking and climbing through national parks 
  • Enjoying a rewarding beer or schnapps made fresh from Snowy Mountains water 

Sydney to Jindabyne via Goulburn 

The initial 200km of your journey takes you to Goulburn. It’s Australia’s first inland city, but it still retains plenty of country swagger. Take a selfie with the Big Merino, a 15.2m concrete statue of a merino ram, celebrating Australia’s fine-wool industry. After two hours on the road, you’ll probably need a little pick-me-up — visit Trappers Bakery for morning tea. Everything sold here is baked on-site, from the pies to the brownies to the classic custard tarts.  

It’s another two hours south to Cooma, the start of the legendary Kosciuszko Alpine Way, a scenic 180km route that traverses the Monaro Plain, passes through Jindabyne, carries on to Thredbo, then snakes down a steep of mountain to pretty Khancoban, finally ending in Corryong. Follow this stretch of road for 45 minutes, until you reach Jindabyne, in the heart of Kosciuszko National Park. Staying here not only gives you access a wealth of supplies, from food and ski fashion to essential outdoor equipment, but also to great apartments, hotels and guest houses. 

Where to stay in Jindabyne 

Take your pick of places to sleep: Avonside Alpine Estate is a dreamy off-grid farm stay with chickens, a vegetable garden, sheep and big-eyed highland cattle. The two- and three-bedroom cottages here unite high-style with sustainability in design, and come with calming country vistas.  

On the outskirts of town, Ecocrackenback is an eco-certified resort with 18 self-contained cabins among snow gums on 16 hectares, while the two timber Moonbah Hut cottages sleep four or five guests in character-filled spaces replete with stone fireplaces, granite walls and exposed beams.  

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service manages a number of lodges throughout Kosciuszko National Park, including Creel Lodge overlooking Lake Jindabyne.  

Where to eat in Jindabyne 

You’ll have had a long day of driving, so you’ll be looking forward to some downtime over a hearty meal. If you’re self-catering, head to The Market — part café, part market, this establishment serves wholesome dishes and great coffee, plus organic fruit and veggies and specialty grocery items to take away. Bacco Italian Restaurant has been preparing pizzas and pastas for more than 25 years; kids are well catered for with a dedicated menu of tasty bites. And much-loved Café Darya dishes up welcoming Persian favourites including dips, pastries and stews.  

In the morning, head to Birchwood Café, which brews seriously good coffee courtesy of Axis Roasters, best paired with cheese toasties, muesli bowls and breakfast salads. Make sure you fill up in preparation for your day of adventure.  

Lake Jindabyne, Jindabyne CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sun setting over Lake Jindabyn in the Snowy Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Lake Jindabyne, Jindabyne CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sun setting over Lake Jindabyn in the Snowy Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Kosciuszko National Park, Kosciuszko CREDIT: Tourism Snowy Mountains

Marking the moment at the summit of Mt Kosciuszko in Kosciuszko National Park. 

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Kosciuszko National Park, Kosciuszko CREDIT: Tourism Snowy Mountains

Marking the moment at the summit of Mt Kosciuszko in Kosciuszko National Park. 

#lovensw #newsouthwales

What to do in Jindabyne 

In warm weather, try your hand at mountain biking or rock climbing with K7 Adventures; when the mercury drops, the company also offers snow-shoe expeditions. Just south of Jindabyne, explore the region’s ridges, gullies, rivers and forest on guided horse treks at Snowy Wilderness resort, which is set on more than 3,000 hectares of alpine high country.  

You could also lace up your hiking shoes to scale Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest point at an elevation of 2,228 metres. It’s an 18.6km return trail from Rawson Pass, so plan on spending the full day (six to eight hours) in the great outdoors. For a quieter afternoon of walking, head to Rainbow Lake, a stunning alpine lake that’s only a 3km round trip.  

For an even quieter afternoon, take a deep breath and relax with a session at Jindabyne Yoga Shala, which offers classes in vinyasa, yin and hatha yoga.  

To reward your day’s efforts, linger over gin, vodka or schnapps made from locally sourced fruit at Wildbrumby, which has a distillery door, organic raspberry farm and restaurant, overlooking a sculpture garden. Prefer something softer? Jindabyne Brewing bar and tasting room have unbroken views across Lake Jindabyne — find a scenic perch and sip everything from a red ale to a pilsner and wheat beer.  

Or visit the home of Kosciuszko Brewery, located at Jindabyne’s Banjo Patterson Inn. The pale ale is the perfect refresher after a day of adventure activities. 

Jindabyne to Sydney via Cooma 

You’re headed back to Sydney the way you came, along the Kosciuszko Alpine Way. Around halfway between Jindabyne and Cooma, pause to enjoy a hands-on foodie experience at the ecotourism-accredited Eucumbene Trout Farm — here, you can cook your catch for lunch. Lovers of black truffles can join a truffle hunt at Macenmist Black Truffles and Wines on the outskirts of Cooma during the season (June to September). 

Cooma is the largest town in the state’s alpine region and has a rich heritage, as you’ll discover on the Lambie Town Walk, taking in three National Trust-classified areas and pretty Centennial Park, perfect for a picnic in the warmer months. Also stop by Cooma Cottage, home to the first Australian-born explorer, Hamilton Hume — you can tour the original colonial bungalow and have a picnic in the grounds. Admire local art at the Raglan Gallery and Cultural Centre, surrounded by gardens that have flourished here for more than a century.  

Then end your explorations at Kettle & Seed, which uses beans roasted by local Snowy Mountains Coffee, and has a tasty selection of daily baked cakes, quiche and bulging sandwiches.  

From here, it’s just over four hours northeast back to Sydney. 

Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery Door and Cafe, Snowy Mountains CREDIT: Destination NSW

Women ready for drink tasting at the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery Door and Cafe in the Snowy Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery Door and Cafe, Snowy Mountains CREDIT: Destination NSW

Women ready for drink tasting at the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery Door and Cafe in the Snowy Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Thredbo, Snowy Mountains CREDIT: Alexandra Adoncello

Scenic road trip along Alpine Way, Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Thredbo, Snowy Mountains CREDIT: Alexandra Adoncello

Scenic road trip along Alpine Way, Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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