Australia’s Best Kept Secret is Perisher Valley in Summer

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Perisher Valley in Summer

It’s Australia’s best-kept secret that summer in Kosciuszko National Park is magnificent. It is a sensational place to enjoy the summertime. If you’re an outdoors person who likes adventure, this is the perfect place for you. Visiting Kosciuszko National Park is all about deciding which of your next adventures to do in the snow-capped mountains.

Perisher Valley is famous in winter as Australia’s best snow playground. People flock to the valley to go skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snow playing and that is super fun. I live in the valley all year round and I tell you I prefer summer to winter.

In summer, the valley is quite peaceful and easy to explore, with so many things to do such as walking, hiking, biking, and alpine swimming. Or you can simply relax and take it easy in the wilderness. Just this afternoon we watched a Nankeen Kestrel hunting rabbits near the lodge.

Stand on the Top of Australia day or night.

One of the most popular family vacation activities is to stand atop Australia. Mount Kosciuszko, which is far shorter than the Himalayas, nevertheless imparts a feeling of awe and grandeur. Just being the highest point in mainland Australia makes this an essential adventure.  It is a 10km cycle, walk or run from Charlotte Pass. You can do it either during the day or at night under the full moon, which we call lunacy. Electric bikes are easy to hire in Jindabyne and they make the trip much easier and more fun.


Cycling Mt Kosciuszko at night under the full moon.

Hike a Hill

They aren’t called the snowy mountains for anything. There are many hills to hike. Charlotte Pass is the start of the majestic Blue Lake Walk.  Said by some to be one of the world’s best hikes. Blue Lake is one of Australia’s few glacial lakes nestled in among Australia’s highest mountains. Its just 10km there and back

If hiking is your adventure we can show you some awesome tracks with great views, waterfalls, or even opportunities to meet the local wildlife.  Some walks take 1/2 hour and others that take all day…it’s your choice.  The new Snowies Iconic walks are taking shape, and the section from Guthega to Charlotte Pass is open. Then there is Charlottes Pass to Perisher Valley and Perisher Valley to Bullocks Flat.

3 Top Easy Walks near Kooloora Lodge;

1. Rainbow Lake Walk – 2.5km return (45min – 1hr 15min)

This walk winds through wide expanses of snow grass framed by snow gums and dotted with delicate alpine wildflowers the region is renowned for. Look out for billy buttons, paper daisies, and silver snow daisies. There are some gentle climbs and small creeks to cross before catching glimpses of the sun sparkling upon Rainbow Lake. It’s all part of the adventure to dip your toes in.

Rainbow Lake was created in the early 1900s to supply water to what used to be Hotel Kosciuszko, now Sponars Chalet. This delightful slice of Snowy Mountains heritage is also a great spot for fly fishing, so try your luck. The trail starts on the left-hand side of the road just up the hill from Sponars Chalet.

2. Pallaibo Walking Track – 5.5km each way (45min – 1hr 15min)

Pallaibo walking track can be completed as either a one-way walk (5.6km) or a return route. Going in one direction, this lovely track begins at the picturesque Sawpit Creek picnic area and finishes at the Thredbo River picnic area. Follow your way through dry eucalypt forests, along the Sawpit walking track, before continuing past the scenic Sawpit Falls and Charlie’s Cascades.
This is a great walk at any time of year. When the temperatures are high on the exposed higher altitude tracks in the park, don’t worry; there’s plenty of shelter and shade on this track. Park your car at Sawpit Creek past the visitor entry station for the walk down. For the uphill journey park at the Thredbo River picnic area just inside the national park.

3. Rennix Walking Track – 13km return (4hr 30min – 5hr 30min)

Rennix walking track crosses several small, forested ridges and offers scenic views over Snowy River to the west, as well as Lake Jindabyne to the east. The changing scenery continues to the dramatic boulder outcroppings at the turning point, called Giants Castle.
Wildflowers bloom along the track between January and Easter, adding an array of vibrant colors to your bushwalking adventure. Look out for yellow yam daisies, purple trigger plants, and cream candle heath. The trailhead starts halfway between Sponars Chalet and Ski Rider Hotel.

4 Moderate Walks nearby.

1. Cascade Hut Trail – 10km each way (3hr 15min)

Cascade Hut trail is one to try every season. In summer, bring your mountain bike or hiking boots. The remote path twists through snow gum woodland and the beauty of Pilot Wilderness Area. In winter the trail turns white with snow, offering terrific opportunities for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Starting from Dead Horse Gap, on Alpine Way near Thredbo, it’s a 10km ride or walk one-way (20km return) to historic Cascade Hut, deep in the Pilot Wilderness Area.

2. Waterfall Track – 6km return (1hr 30min – 2hr 30min)

The Waterfall walking track is a great option for most weather conditions as it’s a sheltered walk that is also conveniently close to Perisher. You can start the walk at either the Sawpit Creek picnic area or Kosciuszko Education Centre. Head to the platform on the south side of the waterfall for great scenic views. Be sure to check out the tall, fibrous-barked alpine ash trees nearby, which were logged in the area late last century and can grow to 90m tall.
This easy track is equally great for an afternoon bushwalk, early morning run, or nature-spotting session in Kosciuszko National Park. Start at Sawpit Creek and head under the overpass.

3. Porcupine Rocks – 5.6km return (1hr 30min – 2hr 30 min)

Set out along this moderate walk from the Perisher Valley reservoir car park, a short detour from Kosciuszko Road. The formed walking track follows Rock Creek before steadily climbing through open woodland to the beginning of the alpine zone at around 1900 meters. Continue straight at the junctions with Link track and Wheatley Link track and follow the Porcupine walk signs uphill to a broad gap. You’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Main Range. From the top, you can enjoy spectacular views of Thredbo River Valley and Bullocks Flat below and back to Perisher and the Main Range.

4.Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk – 18.6km return (6hr – 8hr)

 This summer track is popular with nature-loving hikers and mountain bikers keen on an outdoor adventure. Set out along the old road to Mount Kosciuszko from Charlottes Pass. At around 4.5km from Charlotte Pass the Snowy River offers a scenic spot for a picnic. Cross the river and continue your walk or ride as the track winds slowly up to Seaman’s Hut, which was built in 1929, before carrying on to Rawson Pass. If riding, leave your bike at Rawson Pass (bike stands are available) and walk the 1.4km to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko (2228m). Return to Charlotte Pass along the same track. 

Mountain Bike in the Snowy Mountains

If cycling is more to your liking the big decision is whether to bring your road bike or mountain bike.  This area is awesome for both.  You may have already seen the  Six Days of Bike Adventures in the Snowy Mountains eBook of our favorite rides in the area. There are more, just let us know what you are looking for.  One of the things I love doing is cycling to a mountain hut. There are several in the area and they make a great stopping point for lunch or a snack. Every hut has its own unique story and they now act as a shelter for bushwalkers, cyclists, or skiers.

Mountain biking
Mountain biking to Rawson Pass

Road Cycling on Kosciuszko Road

The smooth Kosciuszko Road creates a unique challenge for any road cyclist.  The road is good, there is minimal summer traffic and the climbs are epic. Road riding in the Snowy Mountains is breathtaking, and challenging and creates a Strava moment.

Road cycling
Road Cycling down Kosciuszko Road

Jump into an Alpine Lake.

Are you brave enough for cold water swimming?  You don’t need to fill the bath with ice cubes here.  The alpine pools are crisp and relaxing after a big adventurous day. We have 4 natural pools close by for you to dive into. 

On Lake Jindabyne, you can hire water toys. If you would like to try the new Manta ( eBike on water), flite boards, or a sailing boat they are super fun to rent.

Relax in Nature

If this all sounds too adventurous or fast-paced that’s ok too.  There is plenty of opportunity to relax in nature and maybe just do very little so that you can recharge your batteries and return home vital and energized.

If you like wildflowers the show goes on and on and there are many alpine flowers up here that you won’t see in other places. I think it’s like a very slow fireworks display first come the yellow flowers, then the pink, mauve, and then the white over the summer months.

Spot the wildflowers.

Dip into Thermal Hot Pool and Visit the Limestone Caves

Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool, fed by a natural spring, is a magical swimming spot that’s easily combined with a picnic and walk in the Yarrangobilly area of Kosciuszko National Park.

In a pristine mountain river setting, you probably wouldn’t expect to find a pool, never mind one permanently heated to 27ºC by a natural spring. But that’s exactly what you’ll discover at Yarrangobilly Caves.

Test out the Local Breweries & Distillery

My top 4 are

  1. Wildbrumby Distillery is situated in the heart of the Australian high country between Jindabyne and Thredbo. Wildbrumby is the highest distillery in Australia. Located only 22km from Australia’s highest peak, the distillery has access to pristine Alpine water, organically grown fruit, and native mountain botanicals, which have become the inspiration behind its award-winning stable of schnapps, gin, and vodka. The distillery door is open daily with its full range of snowy mountain spirits and the Stillhouse Café opens from Thursday to Monday, offering a unique, relaxed dining experience.
  2. Jindabyne Brewery is founded on passion. Karl has a passion to provide the best experience with great food and drinks. They are a local family-owned business and its goal is to make you feel at home. There is a large selection of craft beers on offer, so much so, that you may not know where to start! They have created their pilsner, pale ale, golden ale, weissbier (a traditional German wheat beer) and even seasonal brews are available at certain times of the year. Go visit and enjoy the homely atmosphere and the Jindabyne way of life!
  3. Kosciuszko Brewery is beneath the Banjo Patterson Inn on Kosciuszko road. You will find arguably one of the best-known beers in New South Wales. It is sold far and wide at a range of bars and pubs throughout Australia. It is Kosciuszko Pale Ale.
  4. Dalgety Brewing Company is located on a farm in Dalgety. They serve beers brewed straight from the Snowy River. You’ll feel like you are hours away from anything, yet you are just a 15-minute drive from Berridale or a 10-minute drive from Dalgety. Enjoy a drink and a meal on the deck or the grass. It’s the perfect spot to grab some rays and relax.

See the Mountains from Above in a  Helicopter

Experience the Snowy Mountains from above on one of Snowy Mountain Helicopter’s scenic flights departing Jindabyne all year round. From Winery Tours to Wilderness Picnics, they offer a range of exclusive options that go above and beyond a typical day out in the Snowy Mountains.

Go Fishing to Catch Your Dinner

If you’re planning a fishing getaway, expect to have a great time in Australia’s Snowy Mountains The area around us offers visiting anglers the unique opportunity to catch the many trout that have been released over the last century in the area. Trout hatcheries have operated in the mountains since at least 1904 when the trout were carried to the various lakes by pack horse.

Snowy Trout Challenge

The Snowy Trout Challenge starts in October for seven months of fishing!  Five hundred tagged rainbow trout are released into Lake Eucumbene, Lake Jindabyne, and Lake Crackenback and anyone who catches the yellow-tagged fish can register their catch to win cash prizes.  Gaden Trout Hatchery has been nurturing the trout all winter long and they are released in early October. Check out the Facebook page for more details.

We are here to help you to discover more about our back garden, send us an email, give us a ring and we’ll do our best to help you plan your adventure.

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