18 February 2018

Canberra Day Trips: Discover the tranquil haven of Talbingo

| Canberra Day Trips
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Yarrangobilly thermal pool near Talbingo. Photo: Visit NSW.

It’s a tiny township, but picturesque Talbingo is a pristine haven for fishing, water sport and relaxation. Its breathtaking views of the Snowy Mountains are unforgettable. It’s a quiet, charming spot to use as a base for a range of activities. Explore Yarrangobilly Caves, rejuvenate in natural thermal spring waters, explore bushwalking, mountain biking and 4WD trails, or just get away from it all.

Talbingo sits next to the Tumut River between two dams – Blowering Dam and Talbingo Dam. Both waterways offer fantastic fishing, water skiing and boating. Bushwalking and mountain biking opportunities also abound in the region.


Talbingo’s current location is its second incarnation. To make way for the Snowy Mountains Scheme – Australia’s most significant engineering project that creates hydro-electricity – the original township was relocated in 1968 before the original site was flooded.

Talbingo now lies at the base of the Snowy Mountains Scheme’s Tumut 3 Power Station, and there is a display and visitor centre in the township.


Why you’ll love it

  • It’s just a short drive to the Snowy Mountains and all that they offer, including some tremendous 4WD touring routes in nearby Kosciuszko National Park;
  • Talbingo Dam is nearby, with a good boat launching ramp and always lots of water and abundant fish;
  • There’s state forest on one side and national park on the other, making it perfect for soaking up some peace and quiet immersed in nature;
  • There’s abundant wildlife, with wild brumbies a short drive away and possums, bats, wallabies, parrots and lyrebirds close by;
  • There are plenty of things to do and local history to explore, including excellent walks like Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool walk.

Getting there

The fastest route (although not the shortest) to Talbingo is via the Barton and Hume Highways. Head toward Melbourne, turning onto the Snowy Mountains Highway at Gundagai and continuing through Tumut into Talbingo. The shorter route via the Wee Jasper road varies from sealed to single lane gravel with blind bends and no roadside guideposts. There are no service facilities, no mobile phone coverage and subject to the weather and flooded creek crossings on this route.

When to go

There is plenty to do in the Talbingo region regardless of when you visit but the milder seasons are particularly suitable. In autumn you’ll see gorgeous colours, and in spring the native wattles and wildflowers bloom. This is also the time the rivers reopen for fishing season and a great opportunity to explore the mountain bike and horse riding trails of the nearby High Plains. Picnicking, bushwalking and birdwatching are better in the warm weather.

Key details

  • Duration: allow up to 3 hours to get from Canberra to Talbingo, with a few stops to admire the scenery along the way.
  • Distance from Canberra: 240km.
  • Cost: fees apply if you’re entering Kosciuszko National Park or Yarrangobilly Caves. A $4 per vehicle fee per day applies at the caves for cars without a Kosciuszko National Park day pass or All Parks annual pass. You’ll need to buy a ticket or cave pass from the Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre to visit the caves.
  • Recommended for: birdwatching, fishing, tennis, hiking, swimming, golf, bike riding, kayaking, winter sports or just getting away from it all by escaping into nature.
  • More information: Visit Tumut.

Do you know any other rural townships we should feature on Canberra Day Trips?

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