In all seasons, Australia’s highest point provides peak relaxation and adventure. Here’s what you can do in…
From June to October, visitors to Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snow Resort (all inside Kosciuszko National Park) are there to ski.
During the green season Thredbo and Charlotte Pass are the starting points for the climb up Australia’s highest peak: Mount Kosciuszko. Thredbo is a shortcut: the Kosciuszko Express zips walkers up 560 vertical metres in 15 minutes ($37/19/74 adult/child/family return). You still need to walk the 13-kilometre round trip to see the spectacular views from the top (2228m).
Taste-test brews and batches at the new breweries and distilleries around pretty Jindabyne. Jindabyne Brewing gets rave reviews for its locally-brewed beers and Banjo Paterson Inn makes Kosciuszko Pale Ale in its brewhouse. Mod-rustic Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery on the Alpine Way is all about schnapps and gin.
Ski at night at Perisher Valley and Smiggin Holes from 6-9pm, Tuesdays and Saturday nights. Enjoy fireworks on Tuesdays.
Hike up Mount Kosciuszko from Charlotte Pass. A sharp turn to the right near the peak leads to a well-marked 22km loop that really shows off the Snowy Mountains: check out the stunning lakes and views of the Alps and walk through wildflower meadows (just as pretty as they sound). Or save this option for the annual Alpine Ascent trail running race: a 25km or 50km event held in March.
In Jindabyne it’s all “high country”. Expect plenty of odes to poet and solicitor Banjo Paterson; sit down for an al-fresco Banjo Beef Burger at Clancy’s Brasserie at Banjo Paterson Inn. Check out the monuments (including one of Count Paul Edmund de Strzelecki, the first westerner to climb and name Mount Kosciuszko).
K7 Adventures is not afraid of the snow; they take folk snow shoeing, alpine ski touring up Mount Kosciuszko. Afraid of the snow? Try their snow-survival tour.
BYO camping gear – you can set up camp almost anywhere in Kosciuszko National Park. Rydges Horizons Snowy Mountains in Jindabyne is open year round. Time your visit to correspond with full moon and join Sacred Ride’s “lunar-cy” bike ride. For $80, they’ll drive you to Charlotte Pass, lend you a mountain bike and help you navigate the ascent. Cyclists can moon-bathe while sipping local schnapps.
Spend some time by Lake Jindabyne, which is a hydro-electricity dam built in 1967. It’s a popular spot for sailing and fishing. Drive onto a beach called Claypits (just before town) and swim or chill. It’s shallow and great for families.