For lovers of the mountains and the outdoors, Khancoban in the Snowy Valleys is an excellent base from which to explore the NSW Snowy Mountains and Kosciusko National Park.
Things to do
This little town in the high country was built to house workers on the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme – considered to be an engineering marvel. The Khancoban Pondage is part of the Scheme, the three-kilometre-long lake now a playground for adventure and photography.
In the warmer months, swimming, kayaking, waterskiing and wakeboarding are all popular, while fishermen utilise the lake all year round. The view over the water is quite beautiful, especially in autumn when the leaves turn the landscape into a riot of colour. There is a good boat ramp by the lake, as well as barbecue facilities.
There are some excellent walks in the surrounding mountain ranges, including the Major Clews Hut walk that begins 16 kilometres south of Khancoban. You’ll hike through forests, along ridgelines and through gullies, with magnificent views all along the track. The Round Mountain Hut walk is another scenic – and relatively easy – route, especially when the wildflowers are out.
Day trips & scenic drives
If you like a pretty drive, buckle up for the photogenic trip from Khancoban to Kiandra, which is rich in mining history. The road winds through Kosciuszko National Park to Australia’s highest town, Cabramurra, past historic huts, and crosses two dams.
In winter, Khancoban’s location on the Alpine Way means skiing and snowboarding at Thredbo is an hour and a half away – with Perisher a little longer.
Eat & drink
Pickled Parrot Providore is a fantastic general store and cafe in town. Peruse the locally sourced fruit and veg and gourmet products – shelves are mostly stocked from within a 100-mile radius – before ordering a coffee and bite to eat. Be sure to pick up a spice kit by Khancoban Kitchen.
Khancoban is south of Tumbarumba on the scenic Alpine Way that connects Thredbo and Jindabyne. The town is a 6hr drive from Sydney, 5hr drive from Melbourne, and less than 2hrs from Albury, where flights arrive daily from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.