ALPINE WAY – NSW – 110kms

Jindabyne to Khancoban via Thredbo Alpine Resort – Links to towns along this route are at the bottom of this page

The Alpine Way is a sealed touring route, open year round, traversing magnificent High Country landscapes, ranging between 330 and 1580 metres altitude.  We are describing it from the Snowy Mountains town of Jindabyne, passing Thredbo Alpine Resort and descending to Khancoban, near the Victorian border. 

Jindabyne, affectionately known as ‘Jindy’, sits on the southern shore of Lake Jindabyne at an altitude of 915 metres and the surrounding mountains provide a stunning backdrop.  Jindabyne has a large shopping centre with many retail stores and dining/cafe options, a supermarket, ski hires, outdoor sports stores, and services, including 2 medical centres.  This is one of the most beautiful locations for a town, in all of the High Country.  Accommodation ranges from holiday parks, motels, self-contained apartments, holiday houses and hotels.

The Alpine Way starts only a couple of kilometres west of Jindabyne turning left off Kosciuszko Rd into the Thredbo Valley which is home to the Thredbo Alpine Resort and the small rural area of Crackenback.  Several accommodation options and activities and attractions are located around Crackenback about 10km from the start of the Alpine Way.  Between Jindabyne and the Thredbo Alpine Resort the Thredbo River, a trout fishing favourite, wanders down the valley, eventually flowing into Lake Jindabyne. 

One of the most popular, well designed and maintained walking and mountain bike tracks for visitors to Kosciuszko National Park, is the Thredbo Valley Track.  This 16.7km (one way) track is generally flat and of an easy standard and has suspension bridges over the Thredbo River and passes through beautiful scenery between Bullocks Hut and Thredbo Alpine Resort.

The trail is shared (with bike riders being requested to give way to walkers) and can be enjoyed in stages by entering or finishing at various points along the way, including the Thredbo Diggings Campground or Ngarigo Campground.  If you park at the eastern end of the trail near Lake Crackenback, to start the trail at Bullocks Hut, you don’t need to pay the Kosciuszko National Park entry fee.  If you park further along the Thredbo Valley or at the campgrounds you will need to pay the entry fee.  Further information on the Thredbo Valley Track, entry fees and road and track closures in the area are all outlined here

The 2 campgrounds along the Thredbo Valley are beside the delightful Thredbo River, having excellent facilities, ample space and one of the most picturesque settings in the High Country. 

About 30kms from the start of the Alpine Way is the world class alpine resort of Thredbo which aside from its busy ski seasons, offers regular, fantastic festivals and events year round.  Thredbo is close to Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak and this European style village is positioned at the base of the slopes, with a huge choice of accommodation within walking distance of the Village Square, restaurants, cafes, all village facilities and the lifts.  Thredbo Village offers a superb atmosphere at any time of year, but strolling the snowy streets in Winter offers a memorable and true snow holiday experience.   From families experiencing snow for the first time or experts exploring the advanced terrain, to trout fishing in an alpine stream or hiking to the top of Kosciuszko in the cool Summer air, Thredbo offers something for everyone in every season.

The Alpine Way ascends to Dead Horse Gap at 1580 metres altitude, the highest point on this touring route, a few minutes from Thredbo, where brumbies can often be seen on and beside the road.  (This may be the last time a mobile phone is in range until approaching Khancoban).  Here the forest is entered and throughout the next 70km descending to Khancoban, it’s a unique drive, often with native animals such as emus and kangaroos seen and like most forested, mountain roads, should be driven with care and unhurried. From Dead Horse Gap the road descends around 1000 metres in just 18kms.  Allow at least a couple of hours for the trip and stop off to explore the campgrounds, rivers and creeks and soak in the wilderness feeling, that we don’t often get by arriving somewhere by car! 

The 2 main campgrounds along The Alpine Way between Thredbo and Khancoban are at Tom Groggin and Geehi Flats.  Both of these riverside campgrounds are free, with huge areas of space, set among a mountainous backdrop.  Tom Groggin is next to the historic Tom Groggin Station, which has been farming cattle since around 1860.  This was the home of John (Jack) Riley, said to be Banjo Paterson’s ‘Man From Snowy River’, who was the Station Manager from the 1880’s.  The campground is alongside the Murray River and more information can be found here

Geehi Flats Campground is alongside the Swampy Plains River and features a superb old mountain hut, Geehi Hut, made of river stones and in a pretty setting.  This campground has views to the towering western side of the Main Range and these rugged crags look even more stunning in sunset light.  More information can be found here

This 70km section is a narrow road with some very tight corners and is unsuitable for caravans.  There have been caravans on the road when we’ve gone through and the longer the caravan, the more difficulty you can get yourself and others into.  About 20kms south of Khancoban is Scammells Lookout, affording spectacular views of the western side of the Snowy Mountains, including the 2nd highest peak in Australia, Mt Townsend, at 2209 metres altitude. 

On the western side of the Snowy Mountains and the Victorian end of the Alpine Way is the picturesque town of Khancoban, only 13kms from the Victorian border. Khancoban was established around the 1870’s, although Europeans had settled in the district up to 30 years earlier and over the years, avenues of deciduous trees and a large rose garden were planted.  These plantings provide colour and enjoyment for visitors and locals to this day.  Khancoban has a variety of accommodation options, a country pub, small town centre and a 9 hole golf course, with grass greens, in a beautiful setting.  There’s also a skate park, playground & fitness stations, all in one picturesque location.

The Snowy Hydro Scheme has been a large and important part of the town since the 1960’s, with 2 power stations operating via huge pipes that run down the nearby mountainsides.  About 7kms before you reach Khancoban, along The Alpine Way, is a roadside lookout over the Murray 1 Power Station, with informative signage about the scheme. 

From the Autumn colours and the stunning reflections of mountains over the Khancoban Pondage (part of the Snowy Hydro Scheme) to the dream trout fishing waters, like the Swampy Plains River beside the town and the Murray River only a 10 minute drive towards Corryong, Khancoban is well worth a visit.  The Alpine Way ends at the Vic/NSW border crossing over the Murray River, in the stunning Upper Murray region of North East Victoria.