Snowy Mountains Attractions
The Snowy Mountains rise to the southwest of Canberra near the border with Victoria, forming part of the Great Dividing Range and including the highest mountains in Australia, such as Mount Kosciuszko (2228m). They are the state's most popular winter sports area, but the combination of easily accessible mountains, alpine heathlands, lakes, streams and artificial lakes also attracts great numbers of bush walkers, climbers, anglers, water skiers and boating enthusiasts in summer.Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric SchemeThe object of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme of the 1950s and 1960s was to divert water from the eastward-flowing Snowy River to irrigate the interior (the Murrumbidgee irrigation scheme) and generate electric power. This involved the construction of many artificial lakes and power stations in Kosciuszko National Park, as well as the building of roads through previously inaccessible mountain country, thus opening up the region for recreation and tourism.Winter sportsAll the winter sports resorts in the Snowy Mountains are within Kosciuszko National Park. They are easily accessible, and the larger resorts have excellent winter sports facilities.The winter sports season usually begins towards the end of May or beginning of June and lasts until the middle or end of October.
The first settlers came to the Monaro area (from the Aboriginal word maneroo, meaning a treeless plain) in 1827, and the settlement of Cooma (pop. 8000) was founded in 1849. The finding of gold in 1859 at Kiandra, 90 km west, gave a boost to the development of the town. Cooma is now a favorite tourist center at the junction of the Monaro and Snowy Mountains Highways, the starting point for the Snowy Mountains.On Lambie Street are 21 19th C buildings, including the Raglan Gallery (the town's first inn), the courthouse, the old jail and the post office.When the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme was under construction in the 1950s and 1960s the population of the town was swelled by an influx of workers. The Avenue of Flags in Centennial Park displays the flags of the 27 countries from which they came. A monument commemorates the Southern Cloud, an aircraft which crashed in the mountains in 1931 on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne and was discovered only in 1958.
South of Cooma on the Monaro Highway is Bombala, a small settlement in the valley of that name (good trout fishing). Nearby is an old gold mine where visitors can look for gold.
Jindabyne (alt. 930m; pop. 2000), a new settlement on the shores of Lake Jindabyne, is a holiday resort which attracts skiers in winter and anglers, water sports enthusiasts and bush walkers in summer. The town's original site on the banks of the Snowy River was submerged by the damming of the river under the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme.Jindabyne is a good base from which to visit the Snowy Mountains and Kosciusko National Park. In winter there is a shuttle bus service to Perisher Valley and Smiggin Holes. After the snow melts it is possible to drive to Charlotte Pass, from which Mount Kosciusko can be climbed. A chair lift at Thredbo operates throughout the year.
Wadbilliga National Park
76,400 ha.Established in 1979, along with Deua National Park, as the southern continuation of a chain of parks (Morton-Budawang-Deua), Wadbilliga National Park takes in one of the largest unspoiled river catchment areas (Brogo and Wadbilliga Rivers).In the northwest of the park are beautiful waterfalls and an impressive gorge on the Tuross; the western part is a region of tall eucalyptus forest and great expanses of heathland. Bush walking and bush camping in the Brogo and Wadbilliga valleys; good places for swimming.
Address: Princes Highway, Narooma, NSW 2546, Australia
Useful tips: Access from the east: from Cobargo via Yowrie on the Wadbilliga Track, which runs through the park; difficult crossing of Tuross River. From west: track from Kybeyan to Countegany, skirting the park.All camping areas at Wadbilliga National Park are free.