Ski season brings hordes of holidaymakers to the steep slopes of the Snowy Mountains. What happens when the snow thaws? Approximately six hours from Sydney, seven hours from Melbourne and two hours from Canberra, the Snowy Mountain region is the perfect long weekend destination for the summer. Check out our ideal family itinerary for 48 jam-packed hours in the Snowy Mountains in the off-season:
We recommend making Thredbo your home base. The bustling ski resort turns into a quaint village in summer with plenty of lodges, hotels and self-contained apartments. Alternatively, stay at nearby Jindabyne or Lake Crackenback. It takes roughly 30 minutes to drive along the Alpine Way from Thredbo to Jindabyne, and Crackenback falls roughly halfway.
Start your trip with a morning climb up all 2228 metres of Kosciuszko, Australia’s tallest mountain. Ride to the top of the Thredbo chairlift, then walk some or all of the 13 kilometres to the peak. Grab a hot chocolate and morning tea at the Eagle’s Nest café before your skyway descent.
Rest your legs and take a scenic drive around Lake Crackenback and Jindabyne. Enjoy a late lunch at the famous Wild Brumby Distillery. Fresh produce, contemporary sculpture garden and a sneaky schnapps sample for Mum and Dad are all on the menu.
Spend the afternoon making the most of the onsite activities at Thredbo. Thrill-seekers on the lookout for more active adventures can test the mountain bike tracks. There is also golf, disc golf and the Alpine Bobsled, a metal luge track that has you speeding down twists and turns.
Enjoy a meal at one of the many bistros, tapas bars, BBQs or restaurants in Thredbo village. The Burger Bar is a hearty option, although it is closed between November and December. The Local Pub is open year-round and the Black Bear Inn has a good kids menu.
Make Eucumbene Trout Farm your first stop on a day of scenic driving. Arrive at opening time at 10am on Wednesdays to Sundays. Try your luck at fly fishing and see if you can catch enough for a BBQ lunch! It takes about an hour by car from Thredbo to Eucumbene Trout Farm.
It is a further 45 minutes from the Trout Farm to Cooma, where you can learn about regional history at the Snowy Mountains Hydro Discovery Centre. Here, you can also grab coffee and cake for a nice afternoon tea. There are plenty of cafes, galleries and shops to explore, a Correctional Services Museum and walking tracks such as Tuross Falls walk and Nimmitabel Heritage Walk.
Older families who can withstand long distances in the car seat should aim instead for Yarrangobilly Caves in Kosciuszko National Park. The natural marvel is roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes from Eucumbene Trout Farm but is well worth the travel; there are amazing self-guided cave tours, short bushwalks and a thermal pool to take a dip! Make the most of the long summer days by packing a picnic dinner.
En route home to Thredbo, stop in for an early dinner at Jindabyne’s famous Sundance Bakehouse for fresh sandwiches, pastries or pies. In summer, the bakery closes at 6pm, so maybe grab some pies to demolish as you watch the sun set over the mountains.
Keen to know the best activities for kids of different ages, when visiting the Snowy’s? Check out our detailed destination guide to the Snowy Mountains.
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