No matter the season, the Snowy Valleys offers spectacular alpine adventures and outdoor beauty. Take in the lush surrounds as you hike, mountain bike or ride on horseback through forested trails, and fish in the valley’s cold flowing streams and lakes. Marvel at the towering limestone cliffs and tumbling waterfalls, camp beside pristine waterholes, and feast on the region’s premium food and wine.
Near Tumut in Kosciuszko National Park, follow the 5km Clarke Gorge Walking Track, below dramatic limestone cliffs and cave formations, to the 15m Cave Creek Falls. Try your luck fishing for trout in the pools along Cave Creek, before heading to Blue Waterholes campsite for a night among the snow gums.
Take a refreshing dip at Paddy’s River Falls, close to Tumbarumba. A popular spot for locals, the 18-metre falls thunder onto the mossy rocks below. Take a picturesque stroll along the Yarrangobilly River and finish with a swim in the 20-metre-long Yarrangobilly Caves’ natural thermal pool, which is heated to a constant 27 degrees by a natural spring.
Thrilling mountains biking trails wind through the region, around Tumbarumba, Tumut and the northern part of Kosciuszko National Park. Travel at a slower pace by foot along the Tumut River Walk, birdwatching en route. Or tackle the new 21km Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, which passes many important historic sites.
Eat and drink
Follow the beverage trail from Tumut to sip your way through the Snowy Valleys. Start with lunch and a pint from Tumut River Brewing, a boutique craft brewery with 24 beers and ciders on tap, live music and bookable brewery tours. Next up, raise your spirits at Pretty Parrot Distilling where you can taste Tumut-made gin and native fruit liqueurs in their stylish tasting room.
Tumbarumba, on the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains, is one of NSW’s top wine regions, renowned for producing elegant cool climate chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wines. Make the scenic drive to family-run Courabyra Wines for lunch and a wine tasting (bookings essential), or go for the VIP experience and fly in with a True North Helicopter ride.
Famed for its rolling apple orchards, Batlow is a must-visit for cider lovers — taste a variety at the cider cellar doors of Wilgro Orchards and Crafty Cider (weekends only). Batlow also makes a gorgeous pastoral stop to pick fruit or browse roadside produce stalls laden with sweet crisp apples, cherries and berries. And don’t miss a photo opportunity with Batlow’s big red apple.
Things to do
Its abundant rivers lakes and streams make the Snowy Valleys one of the state’s most impressive inland fishing destinations. The constant influx of cold water from the surrounding mountains offers the ideal temperature to hook rainbow and brown trout. Fly fishers come from around the world to wade into the crystal-clear waters to catch Murray cod, yellowbelly, redfin and more.
For a family-friendly adventure, The Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins is a state listed heritage industrial site just 20km from Tumut. Here, you can see the historic gold mining works and even have a go at panning for gold in the creek. Another historic stop is the Tumut Broom Factory. The only original factory of its kind in Australia, the facility has been manufacturing handmade millet brooms since 1946.
Join the Snowy Valleys Way near Tumut or begin the route in Gundagai. Passing through a panorama of rivers and lakes, with Australia’s highest peaks in the background, this touring route offers a choose-your-own-adventure trip: go hiking, mountain biking or four-wheel driving in the bush; paddle or fish the serene lakes, rivers and streams; and sample freshly picked local produce.
Getting there are where to stay
The Snowy Valleys region is around five hours’ drive from Sydney and 3hr from Canberra. The closest airport is in Wagga Wagga, where you can hire a car for the 80min drive. There is accommodation available to suit all budgets and travelling styles, choose from campgrounds and caravan parks to motels and farmstays to historic lodges and cosy cottages.
Go glamping at Kimo Estate’s glamourous ecohuts, which are set on an idyllic cattle farm in Gundagai. Luxury travellers will also love the picturesque Nimbo Fork for its fine-dining restaurant and deluxe riverside accommodation by the Tumut River, the perfect base for all adventures in the Snowy Valley region.