10 September 2017

Canberra Day Trips: Khancoban to Kiandra (Kosciuszko National Park)

| Canberra Day Trips
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Khancoban to Kiandra Drive - Khancoban

Who says Kosciuszko National Park can only be enjoyed in the winter? From alpine forests and open bushland to Snowy Hydro-Electric dams, the drive from Khancoban to Kiandra has plenty to offer visitors in the warmer months, too.

There’s no denying that Kosciuszko National Park is one of the most stunning regions to explore in Canberra’s backyard. But have you ever experienced the park beyond its ski resorts?

The drive from Khancoban to Kiandra is an opportunity to do just that. Starting from the small town of Khancoban (around four hours from Canberra by car), this drive cuts across Kosciuszko National Park and connects Alpine Way with Snowy Mountains Highway. The drive begins in thick forest, winding up towards open plains with spectacular scenery.

Here’s what NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has to say about the drive:

“Historic huts, scenic campgrounds, bushwalking tracks, and trails for mountain biking and horse riding all tempt you to explore new areas of this vast and varied national park.”

Why you’ll love it

With plenty of attractions to break up the journey – including dams used in the Snowy Mountains’ Hydro-Electric Scheme and Cabramurra, Australia’s highest town – this ride is the perfect opportunity to explore a different side of Kosciuszko National Park.

Motorcyclists will also enjoy the route’s hills and challenging turns. However, be aware of kangaroos, horses and narrow stretches of road in parts.


Getting there

This ride starts in picturesque Khancoban, which is 236km from Canberra (allow just under four hours from Civic). With a café, barbecue area, and several hiking trails, it’s also a great place to recharge before starting the journey to Kiandra. Be sure to take in the views at nearby Scammells lookout too.

Here are the recommended directions from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service:

  • Drive for 5.8km until you reach the Swampy Plains Creek Road turn-off
  • Follow the signs for 57.9km until you reach Cabramurra turn-off
  • From here, follow Goat Ridge Road, and then turn right at Link Road for Kiandra (15.3km)
  • You can also continue along Elliott Way for access to O’Hares campground and Tumbarumba

The drive ends at Kiandra, an abandoned gold mining town and the birthplace of Australian skiing. Check out the courthouse and ruins before your return journey.


When to go

The Khancoban to Kiandra drive is best attempted in the warmer months. Note that the road between Khancoban and Cabramurra is closed from the June long weekend to the October long weekend.

Key details

  • Length: 83km
  • Duration: 1.5 hours (allow an extra four hours each way if driving from Canberra)
  • Cost: Kosciuszko National Park entry fee ($17 per vehicle, $7 per motorcycle per day during off season)
  • Recommended for: Experienced motorcyclists and drivers – beware of kangaroos!
  • More information: Go to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website

Have you driven from Khancoban to Kiandra? Let us know your recommendations and tips in the comments below.

Header photo: Khancoban to Kiandra, from Visit NSW.

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