Our bumper guide to the ultimate summer Snowy Mountain escape

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Planning a summer holiday getaway? It may seem contradictory, but the Snowy Mountains have plenty to offer apart from skiing opportunities.

It’s a country of rolling gum trees, touched in the warmer months by flickers of sunlight that transform the landscape into raw umber and burnt sienna, where wild brumbies run free. It’s here that little gems thrive—waiting for the next tourist to pass on by. It’s the kind of escape that effortlessly transport us from the busy echoes of the city and connects us to the inner serenity we so often seek.

So, what are you waiting for? Dust off your boots and raise your Akubra to summer naps, all-day picnics, long bush walks, and soporific rhythms brought to life in the high country’s natural beauty. Heaven!


Nestled on the snowy mountain highway, ‘Cooms’ (as the locals call it) is truly a breathtaking little town. Known for its rich history, rustic charm, and vast hills, Cooma is making a name for itself as more than just a pit stop on the way to the snow—in fact, you might not want to leave at all.


The Lott

A high-quality, country café that won’t disappoint. This family-owned business has a focus on fresh ingredients, bursting with aromatic flavours. Think: locally poached eggs on warm sourdough, Smashed Avo with Potato Rosti, and a high-quality cuppa to wash it all down. Delicious!

177-179 Sharp St, Cooma | thelottcafe.com.au


The Alpine Pub

With its 1938 history sealed in every wall, the Alpine Hotel tells a story of this region—creating a special dining experience for those who wander on through. Simply order a beer and a ‘pub classic’ and immerse yourself within its country charm.

170 Sharp St, Cooma | alpinehotel.com.au


Hidden retreats immersed in the snowy mountain-rolling gum trees are something this region does best. Where you can momentarily hit pause, breathe in the crisp air and connect with nature in a landscape like no other.

For a tucked-away cabin that will do just that, we recommend visiting the Kallaroo Farmstay. Located just outside of Cooma in Nimmitabel, this rustic log cabin has sweeping views of the valley, with alpacas and horses in abundance. Perfect for those who love nothing better than bushwalking all day and warming your toes with tea in hand by a warm fire at night, it’s an oasis for making memories and letting life slow just that little bit down.

Cooma Cottage

For something slighter closer to the Cooma township, we recommend the Cooma Cottage. With warm wood exposures, sunset tones and vintage touches, this little gem quickly make you feel right at home. And the best bit? Everything is within walking distance, so your Alpine pub commute home is sorted.

70 Sharp St, Cooma  | alpinehotel


For a little town, Cooma hits a mighty punch in terms of attractions. Aside from some of the best swimming, hiking and fishing spots in the region, local gallery’s such as the Charles Davis gallery are always well worth the visit. Home to local photographers who capture misty mornings, fluffy kookaburra and the breathtaking landmarks that adorn this area.

In line with the talent that ripples through Cooma, the Birdsnest clothing store is local fashion at its finest. Trailblazing inclusive sizing for women who can take home a specially crafted timeless piece to cherish—a nod to country aesthetic while maintaining a contemporary stronghold. For a slight change of pace, the Yarrangobilly Caves are about an hour’s drive away, and if you can put up with the flies, the healing thermal pools won’t disappoint. With the water staying at a glorious 27 degrees and blue wrens frolicking below, it’s truly a magical swimming experience.


Perched at the foothill of the snowy mountains, Khancoban’s power lies in its sweeping mountains, an abundance of swimming holes, carefree streets and local eateries that will make your taste buds sing. So regardless of whether you are passing through to a neighbouring town or staying or lured into staying a little longer, you are not in short supply of places to explore, with alpine hospitality following in toe.


Pickled Parrot

A modern yet deliciously local café that brings to life local ingredients without skimping on flavour. Doubling as a general store, you can sip your brew while getting lost in local honey soaps and fresh fruit and vegetables from the region. Heaven!

Shop 3, Mitchell Avenue Khancoban | pickledparrot.com.au


Loved by locals, the Khancoban Alpine Inn is an absolute cracker. With beautiful views overlooking the Upper Murray valley, you are guaranteed a good time, with plenty of traditional hearty pub food to enjoy.

1399 Alpine Way, Khancoban | khancobanalpineinn.com.au


If you are in the area, a trip to the Khancoban dam is a no-brainer. Surrounded by rich gum trees and the towering snowy mountains, a day fishing, swimming or out on the boat couldn’t be set in a more picturesque location. The famous waterfall farm is within close proximity, a local well-kept secret I feel obliged not to reveal—perhaps ask around at the Alpine after a few sunset drinks (but no promises). Think crystal clear water mixed with fresh mountain snow layered underneath with intricate underground rock tunnels to discover. There’s a reason why locals don’t want this magical spot crowded by tourists.

And there’s nothing quite like a pre-swim bush walk, this area arguably has some of the best. So, if you are overwhelmed by choice, let us point you in the direction of the Evades flat trail. Perfect for those experienced hikers looking for a challenging long climb, with sporadic breathtaking views on offer throughout.


Looking for the perfect alpine camping spot but want to avoid crowds? Let us point you in the direction of Tom Goggin’s campground. A scenic spot to enjoy the start of Murray River and local native animals surrounded by sun-warmed gun trees! But if you would like to enjoy all of those things without having to commit to a tent (and the lack of a bathroom situation) the beautiful Brigham House in Tooma is just a short stone’s throw away. It’s the  place to relax —open a bottle of wine and a good book while taking in the enchanting views that surround. Heaven!


Hugging the edge of the Snowy Mountains, Jindabyne is (without a doubt) a spectacular place to visit. With its vast sparking lake, snow-dusted views and endless food retreats—and it’s easy to see why. And while most have us have become familiar with this alpine town as a meeting point between some of Australia’s best ski resorts, Jindabyne holds its own as an oasis to escape to during these long summer days.


Birchwood Café

There’s no better way to start the day than with this little local gem. With a focus on delicious food, seasonally shifting and bursting with flavours, everything on the menu will satisfy your tastebuds. And it’s all accompanied by a rich Single O coffee roast—alpine dining doesn’t get much better. All that’s left is to come back.

Unit 3/3 Gippsland St, Jindabyne | birchwoodcafe.com.au

Tracie’s Café

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth before a long day of bushwalking? Looking no further than Tracie’s. From ‘iced that morning homemade carrot cake’ to rich and much loved Jindabyne cake and plenty of vegan options too, you won’t be left disappointed (or hungry). Come for the cake and stay for the hospitality.

Shop 3 Snowy Valley Centre, Kosciuszko Rd, East Jindabyne | facebook.com/TraciesCafe


Jindabyne Brewing

With exposed wood beams and mesmerising views of the lake below, Jinabyne Brewing is the embodiment of rustic charm. It’s the perfect place to meet the locals, enjoy a locally sourced brew and plan tomorrow’s next adventure. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 5 Nettin Cct, Jindabyne | jindabynebrewing.com.au

Brumby Bar and Grill

Inspired by the wild horses that roam this steep and beautiful country, Brumby Bar and Grill is more than just an ode to this region—it’s that authentic pub atmosphere you just don’t get in the city. With aromatic beers on tap and a hearty menu bursting with flavour, this local gem is one that you won’t be leaving in a hurry.

Cnr Kosciuszko Rd & Kalkite St, Jindabyne | brumbybarandgrill.com


As the snow melts off the mountain tops, Jindabyne’s walking tracks come into their own. For walks under two-hour trails such as the Waterfall Track has stunning views along the way, with a small creek forming a spectacular midpoint waterfall viewing opportunity. Merritt’s Nature Track is equally as scenic, taking you up the mount Kosciuszko chair lift to the much-loved Eagles Nest restaurant before guiding you through Thredbo’s village.

For non-walkers who are looking for a yoga retreat, Jindabyne’s Yoga Shala is a heavenly oasis. Nestled in the heart of Jindabyne’s village, this warm and welcoming studio will quickly guide you on a journey of kindness, creative expression and personal growth—it’s a beautiful way to immerse yourself in the energy of the mountain landscape.

And if you are looking to pick up some local art before you leave, the Jindabyne gallery is home to local artists whose work captures this region’s ethereal nature. It’s a lovely way to not only fill your home with memory markers of your travel but to give back to this local community. After devasting fires and COVID, Jindabyne is just begging to heal, relying on us as tourists to keep its community spark alight.


While camping out in the bush under the stars is a great way to get lost in the country experience having a flushing loo, and warm bed can be equally as enticing. So if your family are in the midst of the debate, just one glimpse at Crafters will quickly persuade even the most passionate of campers. Located about 10 minutes from the heart of Jindabyne, this eco cabin is as chic as they get.

Situated within the native bush, crafters morph the surrounding landscape into this magical stay, honouring mountain rock, exposed wood and an earth-bound material palette in every room. Oh, and the outdoor heated bathtub is like a dip in the Murray River without the hyperthermia. Don’t want to leave? We don’t blame you.


It wouldn’t be a snowy mountain escape without a visit to the revered, the breathtaking—and the embodiment of alpine luxury—Thredbo. Known for its opulent snow cabins and home to some of Australia’s highest and jaw-dropping peaks, you may feel inclined to quit your day job and live here permanently. And while Thredbo is an Aussie skier’s paradise, there is plenty to see and do without a layer of snow needed. Enjoy!


Eagles Nest

Perhaps one of the best parts of dining in this area is the view—and no one does it better than the Eagles Nest. As one of Australia’s highest restaurants, perched 1937 metres above the village, you can wash down your lunch your fine dining lunch with a touch of hypoxemia (kidding, it’s genuinely beautiful and well worth the trek).

Top Of Kosciuszko Chairlift Kosciuszko Express, Quad Chair, Thredbo | thredbo.com.au

The Burger Bar at Knickerbocker

Burgers and bushwalking? It doesn’t get much better than that. At the Burger Bar, we can guarantee that everyone in the family will find something to enjoy. The meu is not only expansive but there is a touch of creativity in every meal.  From the Fair Dinkum to the Chook Norris—come for the charm and stay for the flavours.

1 Diggings Terrace, Thredbo | thredboburgerbar.com.au

Drink (and stay)

The Denman Hotel

If all your soul needs is a relaxing evening with a glass of fine wine in hand or the zing of a cocktail—you can call Denman Hotel your little oasis. Oh, and the breathtaking views of the mountain range behind you aren’t bad either.

The Denman Hotel, 21 Diggings Terrace, Thredbo Village | thedenman.com.au


From jaw-dropping hikes, endless shopping and a lot of non-skiing activities to keep kids busy, Thredbo is proof the Snowy Mountains have more to offer than just snow. Like all towns in this region, the hikes that live at your fingertips are some of Australia’s most magical places to explore. If you are looking to spend soaking up this rich landscape, then Mt Kosciuszko will guide you on a slow and steady climb, with moments to pause and bask in awe at the views below you along the way. Oh, and it’s home to Australia’s highest loo (if that can’t tempt you, I don’t know what will).

For a fun activity that that whole family can enjoy (yes, even parents), the Alpine Bobsled is without a doubt a memory maker. A 700 m fast-paced, thrilling experience that will take you through the mountains. And if you have found yourself saying, “we’ll have to come back here in winter,” it might be worth heading to Thredbo’s village to indulge in some new ski gear or take part in some casual browsing of local homewares inspired by this region. The JK Gallery & Mountain Shop and Snow Sport will have everything you need.


Long summer days are truly when Corryong comes to life, and it’s a little gem you will want to return as quickly as it took you to drive through it. Nudged in a valley and shadowed impressively by mountain Mittamatite Mount Elliot, it has a quiet beauty dances throughout the landscape—a muse for bush poetics such as Banjo Patterson, who spoke of the legend Jack Riley, the Man from a Snowy River whose bones now find themselves resting at the heart of this historic town.


The Black Sheep

Effortlessly fusing modern aesthetics with touches of country charm, this delightful little cafe is well worth visiting. It’s the perfect spot for long, lazy Sunday brunching while soaking up the views that impressively surround. Not to mention their menu is fresh, seasonal and bursting with flavour—the melt-in-your-mouth meatballs over ricotta gnocchi are a bowl of foodie heaven.

59/61 Hanson St, Corryong | facebook.com/blacksheepcorryong

Café Brew

Before you begin your country adventures, we recommended fuelling up at Café Brew. A humble little café that focuses on healthy options and creative combinations that don’t skimp on flavour. A hidden gem loved by locals and tourists—and for good reason!

1-9 Hanson St, Corryong | facebook.com/cafecorryongbrew


There are two pubs on either side of town (known conveniently known as the top and bottom) and they promise a drink with a view. They also both serve a hearty, comforting meal—the kind that evokes something primal after a long day out in the sun.


With the Murray River flowing resolutely throughout North East Victory, there is plenty of swimming opportunities just a short drive away from Corryong’s township. Spots like Towong bridge and Camp Slackness are some of the most assessable swim locations along the river where sun-baking and somnolent afternoons can unfold without disturbances. For a leisurely bush walk, the whole family can enjoy Bluff Falls is our recommendation. Not to mention a spectacular waterfall before a primarily downhill hike is always a crowd-pleaser.

Paddy River Falls are as equally impressive, so go forth and indulge in these breathtaking waterfall experiences while they are within arms reach. In the mood for a day trip? There are plenty of small towns to explore—Tinalidra is a scenic 15-minute drive away—and  it takes about 14 seconds to drive through (yes, the entire town), but the Large sculptural cod in the middle of the river is well worth the commute. The little general store nearby will have a local to guide you, plus a meat pie on offer should that tickle your fancy. For a slightly longer drive, the township of Tumbarumba is roughly 40 minutes away. A sleepy historic place with plenty to explore and historical buildings to admire.


If you are looking to camp in this region, you are spoilt for choice—but Nariel Creek Recreation Reverse Towong Bridge are the local’s recommendation. For accommodation in the heart of the town, Riley’s is a popular choice, with exposed brick, dark wood finish and country quirks, it’s a functional and quiet place to recharge in. For a contemporary escape, The Milton is a boutique accommodation perched above one of Corryong’s most popular cafés—The Black Sheep. Did someone say modern aesthetic with picturesque views? Don’t mind if we do.

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