The Great Dividing Range between the New South Wales and Victoria border is home to the famous Snowy Mountains or Snowies as they are also known. The Snowy Mountains are situated within Kosciuszko National Park where you will find Mt. Kosciuszko, the highest summit on Australia's mainland.
For more than 20,000 years the Snowy Mountains were home to a number of Aboriginal groups with a unique way of life. The high country was first settled in earnest by European stockmen, graziers and landholders in the early 1800s. This endeavour, immortalised in Banjo Paterson's poem 'The Man from Snowy River' created a myth that has become part of Australia's identity.
Today it's a significant tourism destination that attracts a lot of visitors each year for recreation and relaxation activities and to explore the rich history and landscape. The region is fantastic in the summer months with the staging of many major events and festivals. The area is also the perfect base for a natural adventure or to enjoy activities in a spectacular mountain environment.
This area attracts people for its summer bushwalking, horse riding and wildflowers as well as for its winter skiing season. White-water rafting is also popular on the Murray River which marks the border of New South Wales and the Kosciuszko National Park. There is a range of accommodation within the Snowy Mounatins.
Travelling to the Snowy Mountains from the east and you will pass through Cooma, which hosts a huge Hydro-electric scheme in the Snowy Mountains. West of Cooma is Jindabyne, a modern town situated on the edge of Lake Jindabyne. There are several water activities in the lake during the summer. There are also walking and activity tours into the Snowy Mountains from here. Accommodation is very popular in this area so book in advance. You can also try the letting agencies during the ski season which often rent out lodges.
The ski season runs from June to October although the best time for snow seems to be from July to September. You can never guarantee the weather, but don't worry the ski resorts have purchased snow making equipment so visitors won't be disappointed. Whether you enjoy skiing or snowboarding the resorts offer both, as well as equipment hire.
The main skiing resorts are Perisher/Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Thredbo, with several smaller resorts at Charlotte Pass, Guthega and Mt Selwyn. A range of skiing is available for beginner to advanced skiers.
There are a range of cross country trails which are very popular to explore, including Grey Mare Range, Kiandra to Kosciuszko and Thredbo or Charlotte Pass to MT Kosciuszko. The Perisher Valley also hosts cross country racing, while mountain climbers head to the cliffs around Blue Lake.
Charlotte Pass is a small and isolated resort at the base of MT Kosciuszko, which offers a great day pass including transport, lift pass and lunch. For beginners and families then Mt. Selwyn is a good place to go.