Regional travel restrictions have been lifted in within New South Wales. Throughout regional NSW, there is excitement that visitors are returning, but we want to make sure everyone stays safe and well…
We are welcoming visitors back to the Snowy Valleys, but remind everyone that social distancing measures remain in place, and to practice good hand hygiene. Visitors are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Please also be aware that some attractions and businesses may be operating under changed conditions or have different operating hours to normal.
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- All camping in NSW National Parks requires a booking. Find your campsite here to book. Check park alerts and visit COVID-19 updates for more information before visiting any National Park.
- Forestry Corporation encourages visitors to complete a Camping Notification form when camping in NSW State Forests. This is NOT a booking form. Camping in NSW State Forests is free and they do not take bookings.
- On 25th September, Forestry Corporation issued a media release advising that Blowering Dam’s western foreshore (the Batlow side of Blowering Dam) would remain closed during the September school holidays and October long weekend due to dangerous road conditions following widespread fires earlier in the year. To read the full media release, please click here.
- Paddys River Dam, in Bago State Forest, has now reopened to the public following major infrastructure and road repairs. The forest was burnt extensively in the Dunns Road bushfire earlier this year. Visitors are welcome, but asked to be mindful of ongoing work in the area. To read the full media release click here.
- For a map of closed areas in Bago State Forest, please click here.
- For camping on Crown Reserves (including the Hume and Hovell Track) please use the Crown Lands Camping Registration Form. This Camping Registration Form is not a booking and is not used to actively monitor the number of visitors in a given location.
Blowering Dam, is a popular camping, fishing and boating spot.
- WaterNSW have advised that from 1st June, they are reopening recreational areas for day use only. These areas include picnic areas, BBQ areas, walking tracks, access to lakes and public toilets.
- Blowering Dam below the high water mark is managed by WaterNSW. This means that camping here is currently not permitted. For details, please visit the WaterNSW website.
- The area above the high water mark on the eastern side of the dam is managed by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service – visitors can camp in National Parks campsites if they book.
- On the western side (the Batlow side), the area above the high water mark is managed by Forestry Corporation. Camping is not currently permitted on the western foreshore of Blowering Dam due to extensive bushfire damage. Please click here for a map of closed areas in Bago State Forest.
We know that many people visit the Snowy Valleys to enjoy Kosciuszko National Park. The National Park was badly damaged in the Black Summer bushfires, and some areas remain closed. Please visit www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/kosciuszko-national-park/local-alerts for the latest updates, including information on COVID-19 restrictions in National Parks. Please note that there are changes to the way that some areas operate due to COVID-19 restrictions.
NSW State Forests
Camping areas in NSW State forests are reopened to visitors from 1 June 2020. Forestry Corporation provides up to date information via their website and Facebook page www.facebook.com/VisitNSWForests.
- State Forests maps are available here.
- The My Visit – NSW State Forests app is available here.
- Information on Bago State Forest is available here.
- Please note that the western foreshore of Blowering Dam remains closed to the public. For a map of closed areas in Bago State Forest, please click here.
- Closures and notices are available here.
- NSW State Forests Camping Notification Form is available here.
Please be aware that some State Forests in the Snowy Valleys were damaged in the Black Summer bushfires. Visitors are asked to pay attention to all signage in State Forests, especially those restricting public access – they are there for your safety.
Please note that the Sugar Pine Walk, Bago State Forest, was devastated by the bushfires in early January. It is fenced off, and cannot be accessed. Please do not try to enter this area – it is not safe for visitors.
Snowy Valleys Council is working closely with The Office of Local Government and NSW Health to help prevent the further spread of the COVID-19. For the latest advice from NSW Government about what you can and can’t do under current restrictions, click here.
The following Visitors Centres in the Snowy Valleys have reopened:
- Tumut Region Visitor Centre
- Open 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm
- 02 6947 7025
- Tumbarumba Visitor Information Centre
- Open Monday to Thursday 9:30am – 1pm
- Open Friday to Sunday 9:30am – 3pm
- 02 6948 3333
- Khancoban Visitor Centre
- Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
- Closed from 12:30 to 1pm for lunch
- 02 6070 8400
Supporting Local Businesses
You may already be aware that, in January 2020, parts of the Snowy Valleys were hit by bushfires. Since then, the area has been in recovery and rebuilding mode, with the added challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. The growers, makers, brewers, bakers and baristas of the Snowy Valleys are ready to welcome you from 1st June. The Snowy Valleys encourages you to visit our farmers, shops, cellar doors, cideries and craft brewery with your #EmptyEsky. Our cafes, pubs and restaurants also welcome your visit.
If you can’t make it here in person, you can support many of our local producers, makers and retailers online. Some of these businesses have been badly fire affected, and greatly appreciate your support of their online stores:
- Courabyra Wines
- Johansen Wines
- Obsession Wines
- Mount Tumbarumba Vineyard – On the Fly Wines
- Tumbarumba Wines Escape
- Crafty Cider
- Tumut River Brewing Co
- Pretty Parrot Distilling
- Farmgate and Twine
- Twisted Willow Homestore
Or ask for these at your local bottle shop:
Once you arrive in the Snowy Valleys, we recommend the Snowy Valleys Beverage Trail (being aware that some cellar doors remain closed), but ensure you have a designated driver.
NSW / Victorian Border Closure
The NSW Police Force launched a large-scale operation to enforce the closure of the NSW/Victorian border from midnight 7th July 2020.
On Friday 4 September 2020 a single border region was established. All residents of the border region, including critical service workers and residents in remote communities can apply for the new border region permit.
You’ll need a valid permit to enter NSW if you’ve been in Victoria in the last 14 days, except if you’re entering NSW:
- as an emergency or law enforcement services worker
- to access emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
- to avoid injury or escape a risk of harm.
All NSW residents are strongly urged not to travel to Victoria. If travel is essential, then permits are in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and jobs of NSW residents.
Both adults and children are required to get a permit to travel from Victoria to NSW.
In almost all cases, permits are issued subject to conditions. Your permit will indicate if you need to:
- go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days
- self-isolate for 14 days
- get tested for COVID-19
- abide by a COVID-19 safety plan or
- comply with any other conditions.
For the most up-to-date information on applying for a border declaration permit visit https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-covid-19-nsw-border-declaration-permit
For information regarding road closures please visit Live Traffic.
Driving Safety, and Road Closures
Now that restrictions are lifted in New South Wales, we are seeing a lot of travellers on Snowy Valleys roads. We’ve missed you, and we want to remind you that the types of traffic you may encounter here are different to what you might be used to.
Roads throughout regional NSW have holiday traffic of caravans, campers and boats, as well as drivers and motorcyclists enjoying scenic drives. Bushfire clean-up is on-going in areas damaged by the Black Summer fires; B-double freighters and logging trucks also operate throughout the Snowy Valleys. We ask you to be patient, and drive to conditions. Take regular breaks, even if you don’t feel tired. We love having you here, and want to make sure you stay safe on our roads.
All 2WD vehicles need to carry snow chains between 1 June and 11 October on the following roads:
- Kosciuszko Road from the park boundary at Thredbo River.
- Alpine Way between Thredbo and Tom Groggin.
- Island Bend/Guthega Road for its full length.
- Snow chains are also recommended on Alpine Way between Jindabyne and Thredbo, and on Snowy Mountains Highway.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service list of FAQs regarding visiting Kosciuszko National Park this winter are available here.
Many NSW National Park campgrounds, accommodation and visitor centres have reopened but important changes are in place to keep visitors safe. All camping in NSW National Parks requires a booking. Check park alerts and visit COVID-19 updates for more information before visiting any National Park.
Yarrangobilly Caves is open for self-guided walks and access to the thermal pool. The Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre is open, but access to all caves (including self-guided cave tours) remains closed to the public.
We remind visitors to be conscious of their safety in alpine areas. NSW National Parks has some great tips for Alpine Safety on their website including filling in a Trip Intention Form, and carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (available from Visitors Centres in Tumut and Jindabyne).
Snow chains can be hired from Go Play Outside Talbingo, and caravan parks and service stations in Talbingo and Khancoban.
For safety tips on driving in snow visit: www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/safety/alpine-safety/snow-driving
- Elliott Way remains closed, and is not expected to reopen before May 2021.
- Tooma Road – KNP5 (Khancoban to Cabramurra Road) is also closed and is expected to reopen in December 2020.