Looking for a weekend getaway from Sydney? Just a few hours drive out of Sydney is the Snowy Mountains, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Part of the Great Dividing Range, Snowy Mountains is an ideal holiday destination all year round. Snow capped peaks, cool mountain streams, rolling hills - if you're a fan of the great outdoors you'll be in heaven here.
It's roughly a 5 hour drive from Sydney to the Snowy Mountain Region. Leaving Sydney, head in the direction of Canberra and follow onto the Hume Highway. From here continue onto the Federal Highway. Take the exit onto Majura Road, keep left at the fork on the road and continue towards Majura Road.
Continue through two roundabouts and turn right at Fairbairn Road. Take a slight left at Morshead Drive and at the roundabout take the second exit onto Dairy Road. Take a slight left at Monaro Highway, go through the first roundabout and you'll arrive at Bredbo.
Bredbo is a very popular ''stop off'' for many passing tourists - it's about 365 kilometers from Sydney, about a 4.5 hour journey time.
During the Gold Rush at Kiandra, Bredbo acted as a safe haven from bushrangers as well as being a great overnight location for the gold coach. Only about 200 people live here but you can rest up for the night in one of the guesthouses, and there's a lovely Pancake and Crepe Restaurant here too!
From Bredbo head south onto Monaro Highway towards Braidwood Street. At the roundabout take the second exit onto Snowy Mountain Highway. Another good popular ''stop off'' along the way is Cooma, about 410km from Sydney.
Cooma is probably best known as one of Australia's most genuine multi-cultural towns. In 1949 The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, now known as 'The Snowy Hydro' was established here. Workers from all over the world descended on Cooma and the largest electrical engineering project began.
Cooma is the biggest town in the Snowy Mountains Region and remains the headquarters for the Snowy Hydro. Attractions here include Snowy Hydro Information Center, National Trust listed buildings and churches, Aviation Pioneers Memorial, art galleries and craft shops, The Corey Memorial, Raglan Gallery and Cultural Center and Vintage Train rides.
A statue of "The Man from Snowy River" is a prominent feature in the town of Cooma and at the International Avenue of Flags you'll see the flags of the nations representing the men and women who worked on the Snowy Mountains.
Jindabyne is the next port of call and it's only about a 45-minute drive from Cooma and 462km from Sydney. Leave Cooma and head northwest on Vale Street. At the roundabout take the first exit onto Snowy Mountains Highway. Continue onto Kosciusko Road, then onto Jindabyne road, again continue on the Kosciusko Road. At the roundabout take the fist exit onto Kalkite Street where you enter Jindabyne.
Jindabyne is steeped in history and from here you can access many of the region's ski resorts. The original town of Jindabyne was submerged under Lake Jindabyne in the 1960's and as a result its residents were relocated when the Snowy River was dammed. The remains of the old town still exist beneath the lake and if the lake tide is low enough you can catch a glimpse of the ruins.
Today Jindabyne is a year round holiday destination. It offers a beautiful lakeside setting, and it's also a popular location for trout fishing, canoeing and many other water-sports. Jindabyne has many points of interest including Jindabyne Dam Wall and lookout points, Kosciusko National Park, situated in the heart of the Snowy Mountains Region, various art galleries and craft shops, and of course plenty scenic walking trails.
After leaving Jindabyne your journey will take you to other neighboring villages and towns including Perisher, a picturesque mountain village.
Perisher Village is home to the Perisher Blue Ski Resort. Located 1680 meters above sea level this is a very popular winter resort. Here you can enjoy a variety of activities including snowboarding and skiing - there's even a ski school for beginners!
During the summer months the majority of Perisher Valley's facilities are closed but it still remains a popular tourist destination for lovers of the outdoors who enjoy hiking, bush-walks, mountain biking and more. Perisher Village is also a popular location for those who just simply appreciate breathtaking scenery.
Tumut is the next location on The Snowy Mountain tour. From Perisher Village travel north on Perisher Blue Cow Link Road and take a sharp left staying on the Link Road. Turn left onto Kosciusko Road and continue forward, drive through two roundabouts and remain on Kosciusko Road. Continue then onto Jindabyne Road, take a left onto Middle Bank Road and left again at Snowy Mountain Highway arriving at Tumut.
Tumut was once home to three separate Aboriginal tribes. During the Summer months, the Aboriginals used to meet and journey together to feast on the plentiful Bogong moths. The name Tumut derives from the Aboriginal term meaning 'quite resting place by the river'. Today Tumut has a population of over 6,000 and offers an excellent range of shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, nightlife venues as well as plenty of accommodation.
Tumut is located two and a half hours from Cooma, about half way between Sydney and Melbourne.
Other towns in the Snowy Mountain Region which you can explore include Bombala, Dalgety and Adaminaby, each are within an hours drive from Cooma.
So there you have it, a driving tour of the Snowy Mountains Region. Hope this helps on your travels.
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