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Canberra Girl’s Guide to the Snowy Mountains

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One of Canberra’s most beloved neighbours, the Snowies were dealt a terrible blow during the 2019/20 bushfire season. 

But there’s still plenty to eat, drink, explore and experience in the Snowy Mountains region—this summer and beyond.

The best part? With most attractions located just 1.5 hours from Canberra, it’s an easy weekend or even a day trip.

With the warmer months offering a completely different take on this famous winter destination, here’s how to experience the Snowies no matter what the weather.

EAT

 

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Birchwood Café

Birchwood Café’s beautiful textured interior and extensive breakfast and lunch menu is a feast for the eyes and the stomach!

Using some of Canberra’s favourites – Three Mills Bakery and Lonsdale Street Roasters, Birchwood café serve up an extensive breakfast and lunch menu that caters for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.

The menu ranges from the humble avo on toast to toasties to the more indulgent Sri Lankan bowl and cauliflower & corn falafels. No one leaves Birchwood hungry!

3/3 Gippsland Street Jindabyne | instagram.com/birchwood_jindabyne | Open coffee from 7 am – 4 pm and food 7 am – 3 pm daily

Nimmitabel Bakery

With two stores in the snowys—one in Jindabyne and one in Nimmitabel, Nimmitabel Bakery products are baked fresh daily on site, with their skilled bakers using high-quality ingredients.

Famous for their pies, Nimmitabel Bakery slow cooks all the filling to produce tender meat, and flavorsome combinations, surrounded in a flaky pastry.

But if it’s something sweet you are after, you can also indulge in freshly made traditional bakery cakes & baked goods.

40 Bombala St, Nimmitabel OR Shop 3 Nuggets Crossing, 13 Kalkite St, Jindabyne  | Open 7 days a week from 7 am – 5 pm

Trader Joe’s Garage Bar & Café

We reckon this is the best-kept secret in the snowy mountains! Located at the Thredbo turnoff, Trader Joe’s is the perfect stop for a quick takeaway coffee or to sit in and enjoy a yummy breakfast or lunch. Grab a bacon and egg roll to go or sit down to a big breakfast.

The lunch menu consists of burgers and wood-fired pizza is served until the sun goes down! If you are after a sweet treat, homemade muffins and scones with jam and cream are also on the menu.

Trader Joe’s is a must-visit and can be accessed from town by walking or riding the path around the lake.

Shop 3, Snowline Service Center, 6532 Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne | instagram.com/traderjoesgaragecafe | Open from 7 am – 4pmish

The Market Jindabyne

The Market Jindabyne is a wholefoods store & coffee house selling bulk foods, organics, fresh produce, local goods, sustainability items + vintage clothing & accesories.

The café space has community hub focus where people come together to meet and exchange ideas and support each other, while the store offers the local area access to high quality, organic, local, ethical and specialty foods and lifestyle products.

Serving up great coffee and wholesome food, The Market cater for all dietary requirements such as gluten free and vegan.

6/141 Snowy River Ave, Nuggets Crossing Shopping Centre, Jindabyne | instagram.com/themarketjindabyne | Open 7 days. Check social media for more information.

CBD (Coffee Beats Drinks) Jindabyne

At CBD, they love all things coffee and liquor!

Open 7 days a week and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner the CBD team strives to bring you the greatest coffee in the region.

Partnered with the epic roasters, Pablo & Rusty’s. Pioneer is the house blend is the perfect balance in strength and flavour and uses only organic and Fair Trade beans.

CBD is coffee by day and liquor by night. Walk-in and enjoy the only speakeasy-style cocktail bar in the region. With bartenders that have been voted in the top 100 in Australia, the selection of classic prohibition-era cocktails is a huge hit with visitors.

18 Kalikite Street, Shop 18B, Nuggets Crossing, Jindabyne | instagram.com/coffeebeatsdrinks | Open – The cafe is open Monday – Saturday 7 am to 3 pm and Sunday 7 am to 1 pm. The bar is open Friday and Saturday nights from 6 pm till late.

Crackenback Farm

This beautiful restaurant has a warm and relaxed atmosphere and is surrounded by stunning snowy mountains terrain.

A menu based on French farmhouse cuisine that uses fresh, seasonal produce and home-grown herbs and vegetables from the farmhouse garden.

An open fire welcomes you in winter, and during the warmer months you can enjoy alfresco dining on the sun-filled terrace.

914 Alpine Way, Crackenback | instagram.com/crackenbackfarm | Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday for dinner. Dinner from 6 pm till 10 pm

Black Bear Inn

The Black Bear restaurant is a favourite in the Thredbo village and is known for its European style of food. Think arancini and schnitzel.

With a buzzing atmosphere, Black Bear keeps things fresh, simple and uncomplicated and offers a wide range of imported and Australian beers and schnapps. There’s also an extensive wine list.

30 Diggings Terrace, Thredbo Village | instagram.com/blackbearinn | Open 7 nights a week from 6 pm till 9 pm dependant on demand

SHOP

 

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Birdsnest  

birdsnest HQ or the ‘Nest’ as it’s fondly referred to, is located an hour down the Monaro Highway in Cooma and from humble roots has grown to be an online retail powerhouse.

Hugely popular among Canberran’s, the store is run by birdsnest stylists, or your ‘Wardrobe Wingbirds’ as they like to say, who will help you discover new styles, and are always on hand to assist with any wardrobe dilemma—from needing something for a special event, to new Mum’s returning to work looking to refresh their wardrobe.

232 Sharp Street, Cooma | instagram.com/birdsnestonline | Open from Monday-Friday 10 am-5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am – 2 pm

JK Gallery & Mountain Shop

The JK Gallery & Mountain Shop has everything for a lodge and mountain lifestyle.

Showcasing a range of rare and unique quality pieces from around the world, you will find something to compliment any décor.

You’ll find fine local artworks, original sculptures, amazing photography, handcrafted wooden furniture, antiques, exotic furs, rugs, and homewares from around the world.

There is also a stunning selection of Scottish cashmere sweaters, scarves, gloves, wraps and throws to keep you warm and stylish whilst in the mountains.

The Gallery is abound with beautiful gifts and locally handcrafted souvenirs.

Shop 8 Squatters Run’, Thredbo Village | jkgallerymountainshop.com | Open – check website for seasonal opening hours

Apre-She

If you just want to spend a day exploring the shops then make sure you put Apre-She on your list.

In the heart of the snowy mountains, this gorgeous store is a curated collection of women’s fashion. Discover one of a kind pieces from exclusive brands like Desigual and Nu, Denmark. 

Shop 11, Nuggets Crossing, Jindabyne | instagram.com/après_she | Open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am – 5.30 pm Saturday and Sunday 9.30 am – 5 pm 

Ebony&Chrome 

Based in Jindabyne, Ebony and Chrome is where you will find independent, cutting edge denim and down-to-Earth style fashion.

Stocking brands like Rolla’s, Lee, Amuse Society, Status Anxiety and more you are guaranteed to find yourself something timeless and special for your wardrobe.

Shop 18A, Nuggets Crossing Shopping Centre, Snowy River Ave, Jindabyne | instagram.com/ebonyandchrome | Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm 

Design&Detail

From homewares to clothing, Design&Detail offer an evolving selection of timeless products.

A carefully chosen assortment of new and vintage items, some familiar, others not so familiar which celebrate functional design that fits into a traditional or contemporary space.

Shop 6 Snowy Mountains Plaza, Town Centre Jindabyne | instagram.com/designdetail/ | Open Monday – Friday from 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday from 9.30 am – 2 pm and Sunday from 9.30 am – 5 pm

PLAY

 

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Wildbrumby Distillery

Situated right in the heart of the Australian high country between Jindabyne and Thredbo, Wildbrumby is the highest distillery in Australia.

The distillery is well known for its sumptuous range of fruit-based schnapps based on local and seasonal produce and have now added three award-winning gins to their range – classic, raspberry-infused and stallion gin. A pure mountain vodka is also distilled on-site.

The full range of snowy mountain spirits are sold through the distillery door and free schnapps tastings are offered to all visitors.

Book a table at the café (reservations are recommended for dining in on weekends and during the holiday period) and take a stroll through the sculpture garden where you will see many works which engage with the alpine landscapes of the Snowy Mountains.

Alpine Way & Wollondibby Road, Crackenback | instagram.com/wildbrumbydistillery | Open The Wildbrumby café and distillery door is open daily from 10 am-5 pm (kitchen closes at 4 pm)

Kosciuszko Brewery

The Banjo Paterson Inn is located in the picturesque town of Jindabyne and is also the home of The Kosciuszko brewhouse.

The copper-clad mash tun/lauter and brew kettle, is located in public view immediately adjacent to the main hotel entrance.

Pop in and ask the staff to take you for a tour to see the wonderfully brewed Pale Ale. The original Kosciuszko Pale is a 4.5% alcohol, slightly cloudy ale that challenges the limits of the traditional Australian Pale Ale.

Crafted from a blend of Pale & Munich malts, and brewed using Tasmanian grown Galaxy hops, the pale ale delivers a pleasant maltiness with a refreshing fruity hop finish.

Brewed for enjoyment after a hard day of skiing, hiking, fishing or just relaxing in the mountains, it’s an ale that is always in season.

Banjo Paterson Inn, 1 Kosciuszko Rd, Jindabyne | instagram.com/thebanjo_jindabyne | Open seven days a week from 10 am ’til late

Mountain Bike Guided Tours – Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa

A number of guided mountain bike tours are available at Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa. The certified MTB instructors will help you get the most out of the scenic trails. Riders of all levels can take skills sessions and coaching clinics designed to improve confidence and technique.

Learn about the history, bush tucker and wildlife on a family-friendly tour of the Thredbo Valley Track. Or experience a day of unforgettable alpine riding that incorporates amazing sights and maybe the odd Brumby or two.

Guided tours operate November – April.

Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa | instagram.com/lakecrackenback | Check website for tour times and details

Watersports

With many amazing waterways hidden in and around the mountains, the snowy mountains provide the perfect playground for some serious water sport fun.

Have a go at anything from canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing and sailing.

To ensure the conditions are right and you have a safe experience, remember to always check the weather, road access and other important information before heading out.  And if you are going fishing remember to get your NSW Recreational Fishing License.

Several locations | instagram.com/snowymountainsnsw 

Jindabyne Brewing

Located at Nettin Circuit in Jindabyne, overlooking the lake, Jindabyne Brewing is a microbrewery based in the snowies.

Whether you enjoy a pilsner, a lager, or a pale ale, you will find something to enjoy here. All the beers are brewed from the fresh local water so why not check-in after your hiking, riding, fishing or skiing session and try these quality brews?

Enjoy with a hearty tapas menu, which rotates seasonally.

5 Nettin Circuit, Jindabyne | instagram.com/jindabynebrewing | Open Wednesday to Sunday from 3 pm – 9 pm

STAY

 

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The Eastern

Featured in issue 17 of the HerCanberra Magazine, The Eastern in Thredbo is one of our favourites.

Boasting two amazing spaces, The Eastern has two beautifully curated properties to choose from.

The Oak is set amongst breathtaking Australian silvergums on the foothills of Mount Kosciuszko. Architecturally designed with open plan space which is couple or small family. Although the apartment is only a 5 minute stroll from the shops and bars of the village centre, you won’t be able to avoid that hygge feeling in this oak-clad hideaway.

The Cedar Cabin is located on the west side of Thredbo’s ski village and on the banks of Thredbo River with uninterrupted views of Mount Kosciuszko. The space is both raw and refined with vaulted ceilings, exposed timbers, and a Japanese inspired onsen.

Thredbo | instagram.com/theeasternthredbovillage

Fawn + Fallow Lodge

 

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The stunning new Fawn + Fallow Lodge is a combination of modern European luxury with the vibe of a cosy cabin retreat.

Set high to take advantage of the picturesque views over Lake Jindabyne & the snow-capped mountains, enjoy magnificent sunsets from the open plan lounge & dining space.

The lodge consists of 3 double bedrooms and 2 modern bathrooms and is situated a short drive from the centre of Jindabyne and the access roads to the ski fields of Thredbo and Perisher Blue.

Featuring modern Scandinavian architecture with floor to ceiling double glazed windows throughout you will be kept warm and cosy in winter and cool and breezy in summer without compromising on the view.

A fully equipped modern kitchen Fawn + Fallow is all about relaxation & luxury. The master bedroom and lounge room windows open onto a large deck which looks out over the green roof garden to the magnificent views of Lake Jindabyne and the snow-capped mountains of the Kosciuszko National Park.

East Jindabyne (address details provided upon booking confirmation) | instagram.com/fawn.and.fallow

Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa

 

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Nestled on 150 acres, Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa is bordered by Kosciuszko National Park and the majestic Thredbo River, and is just 15 minutes to Thredbo Village and Perisher Ski Resort (via the Ski Tube in winter).

Offering a huge range of boutique accommodation, free activities, unique on and off resort experiences and a choice of restaurants serving the finest local produce, this all-seasons destination provides a luxurious base for you to unwind, explore and create lasting memories.

All accommodation options include access to a huge range of free activities and facilities. Choose from our Lakeview Apartments situated on the edge of Lake Crackenback or one of our individually unique Mountain Chalets.

lakecrackenback.com.au

Second Flat Retreat

 

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Nestled in a cool, pristine valley, Second Flat Retreat is the ultimate place to find peace and tranquillity AND is only 1.5 hours drive from Canberra.

Second Flat Retreat is located in the Yaouk Valley and accommodates up to 14 people in a beautifully renovated large family home. Situated on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River where you can find nature at its best with platypus, birds and an abundance of wildlife.

With luxury finishing’s, Second Flat Retreat is truly unique to the area. Offering open plan living areas with large windows that take in the breathtaking views. The perfect place to gather with family or friends and explore the mountain wilderness.

Yaouk Valley | instagram.com/secondflatretreat

Eliza Lee One

 

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Located in the heart of Jindabyne, Eliza Lee One is a boutique, fully contained and recently renovated three-bedroom apartment for up to seven guests. Sitting high on the hill but only a 7-minute walk to the shops, restaurants and cafes.

With luxury in mind, the apartment features a designer kitchen, a comfy 4 seater lounge with additional seating to enjoy the large screen Smart TV with access to Netflix.

A slow combustion wood fire is the perfect place to enjoy a nice glass of red wine in the winter and both bathrooms have underfloor heating to keep you warm and toasty.

Immerse yourself in the sweeping views of the lake and the surrounding mountains from the private balcony.  Stocked with designer amenities Eliza Lee One is the perfect destination for a snowy mountains getaway.

1/50 Gippsland Street, Jindabyne | instagram.com/elizaleeone

SNOW VIEW UNITS 

 

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Snow view is a charismatic lodge with lots of 60’s charm and has a casual and friendly atmosphere. It’s the perfect affordable stay for families and couples.

Located in East Jindabyne, Snowview is a short walk to the lake, as well as other amenities such as a service station and cafes. A short 5-minute drive to the Jindabyne town centre and 30 minutes drive to the snowfields.

Sitting on the hill offering beautiful views over Lake Jindabyne and across to the mountains.

With two styles of accommodation options – lodge-style rooms and self-contained apartments, there is something for everyone. The lodge rooms have ensuite bathroom, TV, fridge and coffee and tea facilities and access to large communal kitchen/living/dining area with an open fireplace.

The self-contained apartments feature a full kitchen, an ensuite bathroom and a comfortable living area. Apartment 1 also has an open fireplace.

These apartments include one king bed and two single fold out lounges, so are perfect for young families looking for an independent stay overlooking the lake. 

1 Jerrara Drive, East Jindabyne | instagram.com/snowviewunits

Feature image: Tim Bean Photography

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