Snow on the Sugar Pines

Snow at the Sugar Pine Walk, Bago State Forest, Laurel Hill, between Batlow and Tumbarumba, Snowy Valleys, NSW

As Winter approaches, one of the questions our Visitor Information Centres in Tumut and Tumbarumba are commonly asked is, “When will there be snow on the Sugar Pines?”.

The Sugar Pine Walk – Bago State Forest

Can be found at Laurel Hill, between Batlow and Tumbarumba. This part of the Snowy Valleys, on the western slopes of the NSW Snowy Mountains, is a beautiful spot at any time of year and has become a popular location for travellers, photographers and Instagrammers. For some, no trip to the area is complete without a stop at the Sugar Pine Walk to try to capture that elusive flawless shot. Some arrive in the early hours, setting up by moonlight in the crisp cool air to capture the morning’s golden light as the sun rises.

Although known as the Snowy Valleys (encompassing the hills and valleys west of the Snowy Mountains), a large part of the region rarely sees snow. In the Laurel Hill area it only snows a handful of times each year, so experiencing the Sugar Pine Walk covered in snow takes good luck or good planning (or a combination of both).

The tip for travellers and locals alike, is to keep an eye on the weather report for the South West Slopes. When there is snow forecast down to 800m or below, there’s a good chance that there will be snow at the Sugar Pines. As with all weather forecasts, these predictions are no guarantee, and you may arrive and find that, although cold, the snow has not fallen.

Be prepared for there to be others with similar plans, vying for the perfect position. Some leave Sydney or Melbourne late at night, making the drive when there is the merest possibility of snow. Please be aware of your surroundings and be respectful of other visitors and photographers. Wear appropriate clothing, including appropriate footwear, as the ground will be cold and could be slippery. Please take your rubbish with you, to keep the area in its beautiful pristine state. Please note that there are no public toilet at the Sugar Pine Walk; nearby facilities are located at Pilot Hill Arboretum or Lochinvar Picnic Grounds.