Canberra Day Trips: Jindabyne – a year-round destination

Canberra Day Trips 19 August 2018

Heading towards Lake Jindabyne from Bato 93, via Flickr (used under Creative Commons licence).

Jindabyne is the gateway to the alpine playground that is the Snowy Mountains, but it’s the perfect place for an escape at any time of year, not just during ski season. On the edge of a beautiful lake, the scenic town offers outdoor adventure and gourmet delights. Whether it’s adventure or relaxation that you’re looking for, Jindabyne has something for everyone, from horse-riding, mountain biking, bushwalking, fishing, and kayaking to helicopter joy flights around Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak.

As well as being the gateway to the Snowy Mountains, Jindabyne is part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Australia’s most significant engineering project that creates hydro-electricity. The town was relocated before the old township was flooded in 1967 to form the lake, and now sits on the impressive shores of the majestic and beautiful Lake Jindabyne, near the base of the Thredbo Valley.

Reasons you’ll love Jindabyne

  • There is a distillery just outside town. Check out Wildbrumby, which boasts award-winning schnapps and gin, Austrian inspired food and contemporary art.
  • Mountain biking is a super-cool way of having fun, getting some exercise and taking in the Alpine scenery. With a wide range of trails in and around Jindabyne, it’s a great time to get on a bike and start pedalling.
  • Enjoy a tasting at Kosciuszko Brewery, a brewpub with Kosciuszko Pale Ale on tap directly from the brewery storage tanks below the bar. Beer doesn’t get much fresher than that!
  • Indulge in a spot of fly-fishing for trout in the crystal-clear waters of the area. There are some excellent fishing opportunities throughout the region.
  • Indulge your taste buds with a visit to Snowy Mountains Cookies bakehouse: you may have tasted their delicious baked goods on Qantas flights. You can view the tasty treats being made and buy some imperfect, but still high-quality cookies at a discounted price.
  • Walk or cycle around the lovely Lake Jindabyne, or enjoy some water sports in the warmer months. Head out on a stand-up paddleboard, soak up stunning views of the mountains while strolling around the boardwalk, or check out the flora and fauna around the shoreline. You can even refresh yourself with a swim in the bracing water of the small coves around the lake. Check out the spectacular dam wall too.
  • Snowy Region Visitor Centre is an excellent place to pick up information, brochures, maps and park entry passes if you plan on heading into Kosciuszko National Park. Find out more about the park, the landscape, history, Aboriginal heritage and wildlife and even spot a corroboree frog in the visitor centre’s display. There’s also a small gallery of local art exhibitions and the Parc Cafe for refreshments.
  • You can also treat grab coffee or a more substantial meal at several casual cafes, restaurants and pubs.
  • Take a helicopter tour and view the magnificent peaks and unrivalled beauty in the vicinity of Mt Kosciuszko, where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the ski fields, chalets, Lake Jindabyne and the township.

Getting there

Getting to the Jindabyne region is easy. Drive from Canberra and through Cooma via the Monaro Highway, which joins Kosciuszko Rd and takes you through the town of Berridale and onto Jindabyne.

When to go

Jindabyne is a year-round destination – it just depends on what you’re looking for. In winter, it becomes a busy hub as skiers head for the slopes of the Snowy Mountains. In summer, Jindabyne is a wonderful destination for mountain biking with great rides from beginner to very technical and everything in between, including family-friendly rides. It’s also a great base for bushwalking, white-water rafting and canoeing, horse riding, water sports and fishing.

Check out the Jindabyne events calendar before you go. It has a listing of all the festivals and events (and there are plenty) like the Snowtunes Music Festival that happens every September and the Man from Snowy River Rodeo each December.

Key details

Do you have a favourite activity or place to visit in Jindabyne? Let us know in the comments.

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