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Five Adventurous Activities in the Snowy Mountains that Are Better in Summer

Avoid the beach-bound crowds and head to the hills for the biggest thrills this summer.
By Jasmine Crittenden
December 17, 2020
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By Jasmine Crittenden
December 17, 2020
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in partnership with

It's that time of year again. Temperatures are rising and we're planning our summer getaways, but when you don't want to follow the crowds to the beach — and the idea of lounging around isn't your kind of holiday — perhaps it's time to rethink mountain adventures. Once the snow melts away, New South Wales' Snowy Mountains transform into an adventurer's haven. There are peaks for conquering, trails for cycling, rivers for kayaking, long plains for horse riding and swimming holes for cooling off after all that adrenaline-boosting action. Plus, you'll be surrounded by incredible views, fields of wildflowers and incredible wildlife. In partnership with Destination NSW, here are five reasons to make your great escape to the Snowy Mountains in the summer months.

Please stay up to date with the latest NSW Government health advice regarding COVID-19.

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Thredbo

GO MOUNTAIN BIKING

Whether you're a newbie or veteran on two wheels, there are tracks and trails to suit your skills in the Snowies. A good place to start is Thredbo Mountain Bike Park, where there are 50 kilometres to explore — from skill parks to cross country routes. For a longer adventure, cycle to Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa along the Thredbo Valley Track — the 35-kilometre trail follows Thredbo River, taking in a few suspension bridges and plenty of pretty scenery. Note that it's closed until December 19 for track maintenance. Perisher's easier-going trails, which come with epic views, are also worth a spin. And, if you're looking for some local company, book a guided mountain biking tour.

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Tourism Snowy Mountains

TREK INTO THE WILD

Explore the legend that Banjo Paterson made famous on a pony of your own. At Thredbo Valley Horse Riding, you can choose from a range of trail rides, be it a one-hour taster, a 1.5-hour saunter or a two-hour adventure. All of them pass through magical, sub-alpine wilderness, and begin with a 15-minute lesson, so you learn the basics before jumping into the saddle. Ride at a level that suits you, whether you prefer a slow walk or a fast-paced gallop. Ready for something more epic? Plunge into a multi-day saga, with either Cochran Horse Treks or Reynella Rides.

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People hiking in the mountains with wildflowers

Tourism Snowy Mountains

TAKE A HIKE

You could spend months hiking in the Snowy Mountains without running out of terrain. The Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk is the best-known trail in the area, but there are loads of other routes to try. If you're into waterfalls, take a stroll along the Waterfall Walking Track, which passes through six kilometres of wildflowers, forests and granite boulders. For panoramic views, go for Dead Horse Gap Walking Track, a five-kilometre hike that passes beneath the Ramshead Range, 600 metres above Thredbo Valley. Or, to combine a walk with a swim, add Illawong Walk to your itinerary. It's an easy, five-kilometre return trail that follows Thredbo River from Guthega Village.

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Yarrongobilly thermal pool Kosciuszko Snowy Mountains

Destination NSW

SWIM IN SCENIC POOLS AND ALPINE LAKES

The water isn't exactly tropical in the Snowy Mountains, but it's definitely an adventure. At Thredbo, you'll find a couple of swimming holes that are popular with locals, including Merritts Pond and Friday Flat Pond. Another super-peaceful spot is Lake Jindabyne, where there are various bays suitable for dipping, one of the prettiest being Rushes Bay. Then there's Thredbo River, home to a bunch of swimming holes. But, if you really can't hack the chill, make tracks to Yarrangobilly Caves Pool, a thermal, spring-fed pool, right near Yarrangobilly Caves, which is 27 degrees all year round.

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Thredbo

SCALE THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS

Need to clear your head? There are stacks of places in the Snowies where you can climb your way to greater heights — whether you're a novice who's never left the ground before or a hard-corer who's summited Mount Everest. K7 Adventures offers a variety of tours, from half-day escapades in Charlotte Pass suitable for beginners to full-day experiences at Blue Lake designed for advanced climbers. Another popular operator is Snowy Mountains Climbing School, which runs trips among Thredbo's granite tours for climbers of all skill levels, including newbies. Once you've scaled great heights it's time to put your trust in the ropes and abseil back down again.

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To find more things to do in the Snowy Mountains or to start planning your trip, go to Visit NSW.

Top image: Tourism Snowy Mountains

Published on December 17, 2020 by Jasmine Crittenden
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