Getty Images/Flickr Open

Snowy Mountains

The 'Snowies' offer a landscape entirely different from anywhere else in Australia. This is the country's only true alpine area, where snowfall brings skiers from early June to late August (sometimes later). Though winter's peak season, the region is equally pretty under a blazing blue sky, when there are ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, kayaking and horse riding. The Australian mainland's highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko (2228m), is a memorable ascent, accessing expansive views of boulder-strewn plateaux and hills where gum trees cling on for dear life.

The Snowies form part of the Great Dividing Range where it straddles the New South Wales–Victoria border. Ski tourism began in gold-rush town Kiandra in the 1860s, hastening the growth of resorts like Thredbo and gateway town Jindabyne. For thousands of years before settlers came, the Snowies were home to Aboriginal Australians, largely the Ngarigo, most of them displaced when Europeans arrived.

Explore Snowy Mountains



Learn more about Snowy Mountains

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.