An insider's guide to the Snowy Mountains

Brad Spalding

Brad Spalding

Aug 2021 -
min read

Where is a great place to have dinner?

My pick is Crackenback Farm, which is just across the road from the distillery. It has a French farmhouse-style menu, and the food is excellent. There’s also accommodation on site, but only about half a dozen rooms, so you’ll need to book ahead. It’s a lovely, humble place – great for couples who want to have a nice getaway with delicious food – and the building was designed by Glenn Murcutt, one of Australia’s most prestigious architects.

Crackenback Farm in Jindabyne, Snowy Mountains

Crackenback Farm in Jindabyne

What’s an alternative place to stay if Crackenback Farm is booked out?

Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa is another good option, particularly for larger groups and families. It has lodge-style accommodation situated right on Lake Crackenback, as well as loads of activities like archery, golf and a trampoline for the kids.

Man kayaking past Lake Crackenback Resort in the Snowy Mountains

Lake Crackenback Resort, Crackenback 

Before you opened Wildbrumby, you ran Thredbo Ski School. What’s your favourite ski spot in the area?

The ultimate experience is to ride the Karels T-bar up to the highest lifted point in Australia. Don’t forget to ring the community bell when you reach the top. Then, instead of skiing the main run, find the Dead Horse Gap run, which is a real locals’ scene: tourists don’t do it unless a local takes them. That’s great fun.

Skiers taking a selfie at Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains

Thredbo, Snowy Mountains

What’s a fun outdoor activity for people who visit the area outside of ski season?

Our favourite thing to do in the warmer weather is to rent an e-bike and tackle the lower Thredbo Valley Track. The upper part of the track is for walkers and riders of all fitness levels, but the lower part is more challenging. It follows the Thredbo River so it’s really scenic, and it takes you right into the bush and the wilderness before you even know it. The trail finishes at Lake Jindabyne, but if you’re really keen, you can cross the road and join the trail that goes around the lake. Crackenback Resort offers bike rentals.

Mountain bikers travelling over a footbridge on the Thredbo Valley Track, Kosciuszko National Park

Mountain Biking, Thredbo Valley Track - Credit: Tourism Snowy Mountains

Let’s talk culture. What are the things visitors won’t want to miss?

If you come up around Easter, make sure you visit the Lake Light Sculpture exhibition. It’s an iconic outdoor event in the Snowy Mountains, featuring illuminated exhibits that draw huge night-time crowds. If you’re interested in sculpture, we also have a public sculpture garden at Wildbrumby. The Thredbo Alpine Museum is worth a visit, too: you can learn about our ski history and the Olympians who have come out of the area.

Lake Light Sculpture in Jindabyne, Snowy Mountains

Lake Light Sculpture, Jindabyne - Credit: Boen Ferguson

What about retail therapy? Are there any interesting shops in the area?

I’d suggest checking out Design & Detail in the old shopping centre in Jindabyne. It sells homewares and mountain fashion and some art as well. It’s probably the funkiest shop in the area. It’s also worth stopping by JK Gallery in Thredbo to look at the paintings and to shop for antiques and gifts.


Can you let us in on a local secret?

Monika and I love ‘Hoppy Hour’ in the late afternoon, when the kangaroos hop down the valley to graze on the green grass at the bottom. If you turn off the Alpine Way onto Wollondibby Road and follow it for about a kilometre, you’ll reach a great viewing spot.

Does Wildbrumby offer tastings on site?

We certainly do. Visitors can book a dedicated tasting table at our daytime restaurant, Stillhouse, or have a drink with their food. My wife Monika is Austrian, so the food at Stillhouse is Austrian-inspired. From 10am every morning, we serve apple strudel with coffee and schnapps, and from 11.30am we offer lunch and cocktails.

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