This area inspired the legendary poems and stories of the mountain horsemen who were most famously immortalised in Banjo Paterson's 1890 poem, The Man from Snowy River. Below is a suggested list of things to do in Jindabyne.
Snowy Region Visitor Centre
We always make a point of dropping into any local visitors centre on our travels for insider tips from those in the know, and the Snowy Region Visitor Centre right in town is excellent. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the place is well stocked and includes some interesting displays. Worth while stopping in here for advice and there’s an onsite cafe as well.
Walk around the Lake Jindabyne
There are nice walking paths along the shores of Lake Jindabyne, and early morning is just perfect for a stroll, bike ride, or even a yoga workout overlooking the lake. There’s BBQ facilities and free car parking available, and in season you can watch people wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing, kayaking, fishing and canoeing.
You know you want the Man from Snowy River horse-riding experience, and there are numerous horse riding companies to choose from that can be found on the periphery of Kosciuszko National Park near Jindabyne that take you among the mountainous scenery that forms the setting for the classic Australian poem. You can take guided trail rides from one hour, a whole day, and up to several days with some operators offering pony rides for the kids.
Wild Brumby Distillery
A 10 minute drive along Alpine Way brings you to the award winning Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery, owned by an Austrian couple. You can sit outside or inside and the schnapps, along with the Austrian inspired food we had was amazing, hearty mountain food, and included the best hot chocolate I think Craig and I have ever had, topped with some schnapps of course – peppermint for me and Butterscotch for Craig – the perfect accompaniment to alpine living.
Stop by the Gaden Trout Hatchery
At the Gaden Trout Hatchery you can see how premier sport fish are bred and raised. Located on the Thredbo River near Jindabyne, it’s one of Australia's main centres for breeding and rearing cold water sport fish. They produce four species of fish; brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and Atlantic salmon. Guided tours of the hatchery are conducted daily, and you can view feeding of the fish and go for a walk around the grounds with one of the staff.
Tour the Kosciuszko Brewing Company
The Kosciuszko Brewery within the Banjo Paterson Inn is the Snowy Mountains newest brew pub, started by Chuck Hahn in 2009 after the Hahn Brewery in 1988. I can recommend the Kosciuszko Pale Ale as a nice drop, available on tap directly from the brewery storage tanks, you can’t get any fresher than that! Chat with the staff about taking a tour to see the wonderfully brewed Pale Ale.
The Little Thredbo walk that starts at Lake Crackenback is also nice. For a longer walk combine it with the Bullocks Walking track to Thredbo Diggings. It snowed while we were on this walk (early October) such an exciting moment to share with our kids.
Jindabyne boasts several quality trails custom built to take advantage of the wilderness terrain and cater to all fitness levels. The Lake Jindabyne Foreshore Trail is an easy going concrete trail that runs along the lake close to town. Once the snow melts on the ski fields, you can choose from a number of superb mountain biking tracks across the Snowy Mountains. You can also bike through Thredbo Valley or take part in one of the many bike events and races throughout the year.
Climb Mt Kosciusko
If the weather is favourable, a climb to the top of Australia is achievable. Starting in Thredbo, take the Kosciusko Express chair lift to Eagles Nest and follow the boardwalk to the rounded peak, a 13km return. Alternatively, you can just walk the 4km return to The Lookout. This was as far as we got as the conditions turned windy and cold. Colourful, wild flowers carpet the area during the summer time, making it extra special. Stop off at Eagles Nest Restaurant (Australia’s highest restaurant) for a gourmet hot chocolate before taking the chair lift back down.
Go Skiing or Snowboarding
Thinking of hitting the slopes in winter? The Snowy Mountains has got you covered, offering great trails whether you’re a family of beginners, experts or somewhere in the middle. Largely because of prices, a good percentage of snow-holiday makers choose to stay in Jindabyne, located roughly 45mins from the ski resorts of Thredbo and Perisher.
For those not staying in Jindabyne and heading into the Snowy Mountains snowfields, Jindabyne is a great place to hire or buy all of your skiing and snowboarding essentials from equipment to fashion and food.