Intro

The area of Perisher Valley surrounds the town of Jindabyne deep in the heart of the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales. Perisher Valley is just an hour’s drive from Australia’s capital Canberra and about 6hrs drive from Sydney. Perisher Valley is an area frequented mostly by winter sports lovers due to the proximity of Australia’s largest ski resorts. These include Thredbo, Perisher and Selwyn. 

This area has become a family favourite for us as we road trip from Melbourne to the South Coast of NSW each year. We have stayed in and around here over a 5 year period and always during autumn. As such this article is very much a “no snow” article however I very much look forward to visiting this area at some point during winter though. 

Essentials

Camera Gear Used

  • Canon 5D Mark III
  • Canon 5DsR
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
  • Hoya Pro1D Polariser
Moonbah - 18 Nov
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Clear Sky

61°

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All of the images are taken around the lower section of the Snowy Mountains along the Alpine Way from Khancoban, past Jindaybe and towards Cooma.

Sometimes a location is just too big for one article so here are some related articles

Map

The sun rises over Lake Crackenback on a cold autumn morning in New South Wales, Australia

Lake Crackenback 

The sleepy town of Crackenback is our usual choice of stay and there are numerous B&Bs dotted around the hills along the Snowy Mountains Hwy. We love the rural, high country feel. It is a real “Man from Snowy River” country. There are very few plains at this attitude in Australia where snow is common and the rugged landscape tells stories of years of winter storms. 

The Novotel resort at Lake Crackenback is a fantastic option for accommodation, families. We have loved our time here over the years.  

I have been lucky enough to complete some commissioned photographic work for this resort, and you can see some of this on their website and other promotional material. I generally concentrate on the sunrises and activities.  

There is a stunning lake with picturesque apartments surrounding. The hills around make it picture perfect. If you are into hiking, running or mountain biking then this is the resort for you. Numerous trails surround the resort and meander along the Thredbo and Little Thredbo Rivers. I’m in a happy place on the trails here. Great landscape shots are to be had here at every angle along these trails. Try starting on Muzzlewood or Thredbo River Loop trails that are easily accessible from the resort. 

You can also use the Thredbo Valley Trail (TVT) up to Thredbo, and soon back to Jindabyne. I have biked along this many times. Whilst spectacular I wouldn’t say the landscape is perfect for photos. There are some great river crossings however and worthy of a photo.

The walking trails along the Thredbo River at Lake Crackenback, New South Wales, Australia
Lake Crackenback properties in New South Wales, Australia
Lake Crackenback on an autumn afternoon in New South Wales, Australia

Jindabyne 

Jindabyne is a sleepy town in autumn but pleasant enough and great for some ski gear deals in off season! I imagine it would be a fantastic après ski town during winter. The lake is spectacular and I have spent some time looking for great viewpoints. There are little viewpoints driving towards Perisher. Instead take the road north east towards the coast and over the dam walk famous as part of the Snowy Hydro Scheme. A remarkable nation building project started in the late 1940’s and completed in the early 1970’s. There are numerous viewpoints, including from East Jindabyne. The best viewpoint however is a short walk up a hill from a gated road off the main road. This view gives you the grandest view of Jindabyne and the lake. The day I visited was cloudy but was none the less still impressive. 

The view over Jindabyne and its lake on a cool summer's day in New South Wales, Australia

Kosciusko Rd 

A must do drive is the one to Charlotte Pass ski resort along Perisher Valley Hwy from Jindabyne. There is stunning rugged Australian alpine scenery on both sides in between some large ski resorts. I love the winding road imagery that can be captured here. It screams stock photography keywording such as ‘alpine, road, travel, Australia, winding, road trip’. Classic cliché stock photos and that’s ok in my eyes. Great polarizer territory here as the sun crosses over the road. 

Once you reach the end at Charlotte Pass ski resort, park and access the lookout nearby. There may be many cars here as it is the starting point for the famous Kosciusko walk. The lookout is one of the more spectacular ones I have visited in Australia, with wide views across the Kosciusko landscape. Stunning.

The Kosciusko National Park entrance near Perisher on a sunny autumn day in New South Wales, Australia
The majestic view towards Mount Kosciuszko from Charlotte Pass lookout on a clear autumn day in New South Wales, Australia

Ensure you bring a wide angle lens to capture the vastness from this viewpoint. Its a fantastic vista

The majestic view towards Mount Kosciuszko from Charlotte Pass lookout on a clear autumn day in New South Wales, Australia
The Kosciusko Road at Spencers Creek near Perisher on a sunny autumn day in New South Wales, Australia

Thredbo 

Thredbo is one of Australia’s largest ski resorts and is fast becoming an all season resort with the introduction of mountain biking and walking etc in summer. It happens to be a prime access point for the famous Kosciusko walk. This is a 13km return walk and relatively easy with some fitness. 

This year as a family we attempted the Kosciusko walk from Thredbo, but a cold weather front hit and we had to bail. This shot sums up the conditions nicely. Keep close eye on weather forecasts. As this is an alpine environment, and the highest in Australia, conditions can deteriorate rapidly. I hope to update this article next year with completed walk images!

On another trip, I did however make it to the Kosciusko lookout which is about 4kms into the walk. This is an easy walk and offers good viewpoint of Mt Kosciusko.

A spectacular view across the valleys on the Kosciuszko walk near the summit of Thredo in Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

If you are prepared enough then a great way of seeing the area around Thredbo and Crackenback is via mountain bike. Perhaps use a padded bike bag option as opposed to your back pack in case of an accident.

Alpine Way

The drive from Khancoban thru to Jindabyne is a spectacular one. Its also one that takes us a long time to drive. Mainly due to a car sick daughter, than than photo taking! There are delightful bridge crossings and picnic areas dotted along the way. I particularly like Geehi Campground, Leatherbarrel Creek and Tom Groggin areas. This is right on the Murray river on the border of Victoria and New South Wales. Great spots for a picnic! The Snowy Hydro Scheme is well represented along this drive and in particular at Murray 1 power station. There is a fantastic visitor centre and chance for a wide shot of the immense pipes and power station.

The Alpine Way road near Khancoban on a sunny autumn day in New South Wales, Australia
Geehi Flats Campground on the Swampy Plains River in the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

Never leave home without a polariser. When you do forget it you will come across beautiful clear streams like above and regret it!

Geehi Flats Campground on the Swampy Plains River in the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
Leather Barrel Creek near Thredbo in New South Wales, Australia

Dalgety

Dalgety is worthy of a special mention as a rather cute town with a beautiful cafe set in an English style garden(Iona Gardens), along with abandoned buildings of interest. One of ther oldest bridges in Australia is here and makes for some interesting photos. The bridge at Dalgety is the only surviving iron-lattice bridge with an erection date plate, which is dated 1888, even though the bridge was opened on 18 May 1889.

Disused petrol pumps in Dalgety, New South Wales, Australia

Location Images

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