The Snowy Valleys stretches from western slopes of the Snowy Mountains towards the plains of the Riverina in Southern NSW. Reaching from just south of Gundagai in the north, to the Murray River on the Victorian border in the south, and from the ACT border in the East, towards the plains of the Riverina in the West, it’s a region of contrasts. The rugged ranges, rolling hills, beautiful valleys and crystal clear streams combine to make it a place like no other. Blessed with State Forests and National Parks –including Kosciuszko National Park, and Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko – it’s a perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts.
Tumut and Tumbarumba, the largest towns, are just over an hour from Wagga Wagga, the Riverina’s largest city. This is also home to the closest commercial airport. Canberra, Australia’s capital and the nearest International Airport, is an easy drive from Tumut (just over 2 hours), while the drive from Tumut to Sydney is around 4 ½ hours via the Hume Highway. Tumbarumba is less than five hours from Melbourne via the Hume Highway. Alternatively, join the Great River Road at Albury and enjoy the amazing new sculptures along the mighty Murray River or take the Snowy Valleys Way, from Wangaratta through Beechworth, Yackandandah and Tallangatta – either scenic route will be a road trip to remember. When you reach Corryong, home to the Man From Snowy River Festival, follow the Snowy Valleys Way north to Tumbarumba. The drive continues on through Batlow, famous for producing Batlow Apples and for Batlow CiderFest, before continuing to Tumut and joining the Hume Highway at Gundagai.
Driving from Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba, travellers pass through the village of Rosewood, soon to be a drawcard for cyclists as the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail opens next year. Rosewood is also known for its collection of garden gnomes, in the park beside the main road, wonderful milkshakes at the nursery/café, and the Rosewood Country Round Up – a country music festival held each October at the local golf club.
Only 20 minutes off the Hume Highway, Adelong is known as the “Town with a Heart of Gold” – referring to both the friendliness of the locals, and the area’s rich gold mining history. Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins, just north of town, is a state heritage listed site. A popular spot for hiking, picnicking and swimming, the walking tracks allow visitors to explore the ruins, while interpretive signage provides context. The new Adelong Creek Walk allows for an easy walk from the falls to town, where the verandah-lined main street’s heritage buildings are listed by the National Trust (NSW). Adelong has all the services needed by weary travellers looking to break their journey.
Khancoban, in the south, is a popular spot for budget-conscious skiers to stay during the winter, as the Alpine Way connects the town to the ski-fields of Thredbo, Perisher and beyond. In warmer months, water-skiers make the journey to Khancoban Pondage – also a great place for year-round fishing. Talbingo, at the northern end of Kosciuszko National Park, is another gateway to the snowfields – the family-friendly slopes of Mt Selwyn less than an hour’s drive away. Visitors to Talbingo also enjoy boating, fishing and water-skiing, and with Yarrangobilly Caves, not to mention excellent hiking, right at their doorstep, families return year after year.
Where is the Snowy Valleys? West of the mountains. East of the Outback. And a country mile from stress.