The Snowy Mountains Region is well known as a NSW winter holiday destination, but did you know that there are lots of things for adventurous families to do there in the warmer months?
If you’re into mountain bike riding, bushwalking or simply looking for a family holiday somewhere interesting and scenic this region, located approximately 6 hours south of Sydney, is a great place to explore.
Explore Jindabyne and surrounds
Overlooking man-made Lake Jindabyne, this scenic village is a great base from which to explore the Snowy Mountains. Start by visiting the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for information on accommodation and activities, maps and park passes.
Lake Jindabyne is serene and picturesque and perfect for summer water sports such as kayaking, waterskiing and fishing. It’s also a pleasant temperature to swim in on a hot day and, with stretches of sandy areas at the lake’s edge, it is a great place to spend a couple of hours with kids.
The foreshore trail is a concrete path, approximately 7km long, stretching around Lake Jindabyne’s shoreline. Our preschoolers had a great time riding their bikes along this easy path and also had the chance to test their mountain biking skills on the easy trails that run intermittently alongside the path.
For older kids and more experienced riders, there are plenty of great trails to explore further around the lake. These trails are shared trails and are just as pleasant for hiking.
There are a couple of fantastic playgrounds for kids, one close to town and the other further around the lake’s edge.
For supplies, including groceries and hire gear, Nugget’s Crossing Shopping Centre, located in the town centre, has everything you’ll need.
Tip: Learn all about the Snowy Mountains Scheme and Snowy Hydro while you’re in the area. The scheme consists of 16 major dams, one of which is Jindabyne Dam, constructed in the 1960s. You’ll find some good information at the Visitor’s Centre.
Hike to the top of Mount Kosciuszko
There are a couple of different ways to get to the top of mainland Australia’s highest mountain. One option, with kids, would be to take the Express Chairlift from Thredbo, which takes you to the start of the 13km return Kosciuszko Walk.
We chose to ride the alternate 18.6km return Summit Walk from Charlotte Pass.
This path (the old road to Mount Kosciuszko) although wide, is rocky and steep in many parts.
Bikes must be left at the bike stands at Rawsons Pass and the final 1.4km to the summit be done on foot.
Besides making it to the summit, crossing the Snowy River and a rest at the Seaman’s Hut, built in 1929, were highlights and the alpine wildflowers in bloom at this time of the year are a real treat.
The views from the top are sensational and, as the Summit Walk is snowbound in winter, it can only be tackled in the warmer months.
A ride or hike to the top of Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 metres) is an exhilarating and breathtaking experience. It is, however, a challenge (especially with kids) and proper equipment and preparation are essential.
Tip: With three five-year-olds and two four-year-olds in our group, tow-ropes, bike trailers and a huge amount of enthusiasm were all required. Older kids and adults who are fit and experienced mountain bike riders may not require a tow-rope or trailer.
Mountain biking in Thredbo
In the Summer months, this alpine snow sports village turns into a mountain biker’s dream. With clinics and programs for kids 7+, catering for all abilities from beginners to more experienced riders, Thredbo is a fantastic place for mountain bike enthusiasts.
We found a couple of tracks to suit our younger children and really enjoyed our morning here, but would recommend Thredbo for families with older kids.
Teenagers especially would love it. For the very brave and experienced riders, there are chairlift-accessed gravity trails for ages 7+.
Ride the Alpine Bobsled at Thredbo
The Alpine Bobsled at Thredbo is a 700m, twisting, turning bobsled track. Kids 9 years and older and over 130cm tall are allowed to ride the bobsled alone. Others must double up with a responsible adult. Although I couldn’t convince my kids to ride the bobsled on our visit, we had a lot of fun standing at the bottom and watching others coming down the mountain.
There is so much more to see and do in the Snowy Mountains Region. From trout fishing and bushwalking to horse riding and a visit to the Yarrangobilly Caves and Thermal Pool.
Our five day visit was predominantly a mountain biking holiday with friends, exploring and enjoying Lake Jindabyne in between bike rides.
I’d recommend the Snowy Mountains as a great family holiday destination in the warmer months, especially for adventurous families, families with a love of mountain biking and families with older kids/teenagers.
For more information, vist the Snowy Mountains tourism website.
Meg is a stay-at-home mum whose interests include gardening, reading, writing poetry and not staying at home. A born and bred Novocastrian, Meg enjoys camping and travelling with her family and weekend road trips to discover new and interesting places. Meg has two energetic kids and is passionate about kids having the opportunity to be outdoors as often as possible.