has a region known as the "high country" or the "Australian Alps", where some of
Australias myths and traditions of Australian identity were born, this is the
locale of Australia's most famous man of the mountains - The Man from Snowy
Captured in the poem "The Man from Snowy River" and written by one of Australias most famous
Barton (Banjo) Paterson, the poem tells the story of a valuable horse which
escapes and the princely sum offered by its owner for its safe return. All the
riders in the area gather to pursue the wild bush horses and cut the valuable
horse from the mob. But they are all defeated by the country, all except for 'The
Man from Snowy River'.
It is thought that Banjo Paterson based the character on
Jack Riley from Corryong, although this is often disputed with the argument that
Paterson created a composite character from a number of people he met.
it is true or not, the character of the man is celebrated every year in 'The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival', held at
Corryong. This festival celebrates the heritage of the high country with Riley's Ride, bush
poetry, a parade, wine, food and much more.
There was also two
movies based on the poem, "The
Man from Snowy River" and "Return to Snowy River", as well as a TV series
"Snowy River: The MacGregor Saga".
Snowy Mountains are the highest section of Australia's Great Dividing Range.
Located in the south-western corner of New South Wales, with the
Kosciusko National Park covering most of the mountains, stretching from the
Victorian border to the ACT.
The first to travel the Monaro Plains to the peaks of the high country were the
coastal aborigines on their annual pilgrimage to the mountains to feast on
Bogong Moths. Although it is known that Aborigines from all directions visited
the high country each summer , the home of the ancestral spirits, to participate
They were followed in the mid 1800s by stockmen seeking their way through the
mountains, then by land holders taking sheep and cattle to graze the high
country, most likely following the same paths used by the Aborigines. Miners and
loggers also made the journey in search of perhaps a fortune, or in most cases,
a living. The twentieth century brought a new breed of mountain man - surveyors,
hydrographers and engineers - who sought to and succeeded in harnessing the
power of the abundant supplies of water in the high country.
In 1964 the area was declared a National Park and grazing ceased. Much of the
high country is now part of the network of eight national parks which make up
the Australian Alps National Parks system. The Parks contain more than 1,000
native Australian plant species and a number of threatened species such as the
Smoky Mouse, the Spotted Tree Frog and the Mountain Pygmy Possum.
The Snowy Mountains region includes Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest
peak and is only a six hour drive south of Sydney. The
Kosciusko National Park provides a fantastic summer backdrop of wildflowers,
alpine walks, cycling and horse riding. You can take the Crackenback chairlift
from Thredbo, up to the top of Mt Kosciuszko, or marvel at the breath taking
alpine scenery on any number of walking trails. There is also whitewater rafting
on the Snowy River, fishing for mountain trout, sail or cruise on Lake Jindabyne
and then play a round of golf on Australias highest golf course. You can also
take a swim outdoors in the naturally heated thermal pool of the Yarrangobilly
are seven ski resorts such as Kosciuszko-Thredbo, Perisher Blue,
Charlotte's Pass and Mount Selwyn, in the region, with more than 50 ski lifts.
You can be thrilled to challenging treks, rock and mountain climbing, cross
country skiing and heart-stopping downhill ski runs. The official ski season
running from June to October. After all that excitement you can relax to the
friendly village atmosphere that include piano bars and warm fires.
Visit any one of the snowfields townships of
Jindabyne, all offering great
accommodation, tours, crafts, historic sites and natural attractions such as
Lake Eucumbene and 'high country' wilderness.
The region is also home of the $400 million Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric
Scheme, an engineering triumph of the 1950s, which harnessed the waters of the
mighty Snowy River.
Check out our listing of
Snowy Mountains accommodation.
In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.