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Snowy Mountains - Australia's Skiing and Hiking Paradise

With their beautiful peaks, great skiing areas and the guarantee of snow in winter, the Snowy Mountains are the most significant winter sports region in Australia. Local myths, the scenic heath and the unique mountain panorama create an alpine atmosphere.

National park in the Australian Alps

Geography - The highest mountain range on the Australian mainland

The Snowy Mountains, also called the "Australian Alps", constitute the highest mountain range on the Australian mainland with Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 m) and Mount Townsend (2,209 m). The range is part of the Great Dividing Range and extends over the states of New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. In addition, the Snowy River, the Murrumbidgee River and the Murray River rise in the Australian Alps. The weather in the Snowy Mountains is dominated by temperate climate and four seasons. You can count on snow in winter as well as on warm temperatures and sunshine in summer.

Nature in the Snowy Mountains

Nature - Alpine heath

The Snowy Mountains are covered in alpine vegetation. Vast hill pastures, colourful wild flowers, snow gum, numerous herbs and mosses as well as dry heath characterise the natural environment, which is home to toads, snakes, kangaroos, wombats and wallabies. In addition, small streams and dams, scenic valleys, impressive mountain ranges and several lakes are part of the region's nature. Lake Jindabyne and other lakes are remains of giant glaciers, which covered the Australian Alps in the Ice Age. The mountains' nativeness is preserved by several national parks and other nature reserves. One of the best-known examples is the Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, which accommodates Mount Kosciuszko and Mount Townsend, the highest mountains on the Australian mainland. The Alpine National Park, the Namadgi National Park and the Mount Buffalo National Park protect the wonderful landscape of the Snowy Mountains as well.

Lake in the Australian Alps

Culture - The Man from Snowy River

From over 20,000 years ago to the beginning of the 19th century, several aboriginal tribes (Ngarigo, Walgalu, Southern Ngunnawal) settled on the territory of the present-day Snowy Mountains. Australia's native inhabitants lived on fishing, hunting and the caterpillars of the Bogong moth. The arrival of European settlers in 1835 caused the displacement of the native tribes. From that point on, shepherds and their livestock production formed an important part of the Australian Alps. A few mountain huts still bear witness to this time and the Australian writer Banjo Paterson describes it in his poet "The Man from Snowy River". The legendary epic, which was inspired by the farmer Jack Riley, made the mountain range famous across Australia's borders and represents a part of regional and national identity. Travellers can experience this identity during the annual Man from Snowy River Bush Festival in Corryong or on a visit to Craig's Hut on Mount Stirling, which was the shooting location of the film "The Man from Snowy River" (1982). Another important part of the region are the many skiing areas. Resorts such as Perisher Blue, Thredbo, Falls Creek, Charlotte Pass and Mount Buller gained in importance in the Australian winter sports tourism after the construction of the Snowy Mountains scheme and the thorough development of the range.

Mountain cabin in the Australian Alps

Experience - Tourist locations and rural ambience

Although the Snowy Mountains are mainly rural and have more pastures than towns, the range contains several resorts and towns (e.g. Blue Cow, Thredbo, Perisher Blue, Falls Creek, Jindabyne) which have a tourist infrastructure with shops, hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants. Holidaymakers who want to enjoy the typical rural life in the Australian Alps can stay overnight in a historical mountain hut or in an alpine hotel on a visit to a cattle hut or a local farm. The regional dishes and local types of wine, beer and liqueur are another way of diving into the mountains' alpine atmosphere. The region of the Snowy Mountains is known for its trout dishes, the liqueur from the Wildbrumy Distillery, the beer from the Kosciuszko Brewery and the wines from the surrounding valleys (e.g. Rutherglen).

Eating in the Snowy Mountains

Activities - Skiing oasis in winter, hiking paradise in summer

The Snowy Mountains are without doubt the ideal holiday destination for winter sports fans and hikers. The mountain range with the skiing regions of the Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass is the Australian winter sports centre. Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoe hiking are only a few of the many kinds of winter sports you can do here. In summer, the peaks of the Australian Alps transforms into a real hiking paradise. The numerous hiking trails in the national parks offer excellent conditions for long hikes, during which you can experience the Australian flora and fauna as well as the impressive mountain panorama. Other popular leisure activities in summer are horseback riding, swimming, climbing, fishing and golfing. In addition, visitors can go on helicopter flights, bushwalks and guided night walks.

Skiing in the Snowy Mountains

Information

The Snowy Mountains can be travelled throughout the year. The best time depends on what you want to do during your holidays. While skiers and snowboarders prefer the winter months (June to October), hikers and anglers visit the region in summer (November to March). Many holidaymakers arrive at the Cooma Snowy Mountains Airport, which offers flights to Canberra and Sydney.

The Snowy Mountains are the ideal holiday destination for winter sports fans and hikers. Travellers who to be active on the region's pistes or climb high peaks while being surrounded by Australia's flora and fauna will find everything they could wish for here.

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