Canberra and the Snowies: a 6-day road trip adventure
Ready for a nature-themed adventure with rugged landscapes and fine food? We’ve got just the road trip for you.
Start your trip in Canberra with its natural beauty and close proximity to adventure and lifestyle activities. After immersing yourself in Canberra’s walks, forests and feasting, drive south towards the stunning Snowy Mountains (affectionately known as the ‘Snowies’). At any time of year, the wonders of this country area will test your adrenaline levels and engage your senses.
Day 1: Enjoy Canberra city, outdoors and indoors
You will need to be suitably fuelled for a big day, so drop into Penny University in Kingston. A local favourite coffeehouse, you can choose a scrumptious brunch of green eggs and ham or a tasty Pialligo hash. There are many dairy-free and gluten-free options available, too.
Drive 10 minutes to arrive at the glorious Australian National Botanic Gardens; you really won’t believe you’re so close to the city. A serene experience, you can take a number of self-guided walks or join a tour. The misty Rainforest Gully is especially gorgeous. Join the Flora Explora shuttle on a 45-minute expedition around the grounds.
Pick up a delicious and equally artistic picnic hamper from Schmicnics and drive up to Dairy Farmers Hill – a lookout with 360-degree views set above the National Arboretum Canberra. You can sit on the lookout deck to devour your treats.Show more
Day 2: Canberra’s natural tracks
Rise early because the best way to see Canberra’s stunning scenery is at dawn from a hot air balloon or a stand-up paddle (SUP) board on Lake Burley Griffin. The Paddle Hub hires SUP boards and kayaks in the warmer months.
Head to Highroad in Dickson (a popular choice for coffee lovers) for a full-bodied Ona coffee and omelette in the airy and modern indoor or outdoor setting.
Now it’s time to drive to the start of the 145-kilometre (90-mile) Centenary Trail. For a great taster, try the One Tree Summit trail, which is nine kilometres (5.5 miles) return – about a three-hour walk. Drive to the little village of Hall, pick up some picnic supplies from Daughters at Hall, then walk north along Victoria Street to start your hike.Show more
Day 3: Canberra to Jindabyne
Start your morning with breakfast at Ritual Café (open Monday to Friday). Set in the bottom of the Little National Hotel, the café offers a range of simple, tasty options and delicious coffee. On the weekend, try a Blue Swimmer Crab omelette from Maple + Clove.
Spend your morning exploring the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, a couple of minutes’ drive from Barton. This national icon tells an inspiring and clever story of Australian democracy through the decades. Join a 10:45 am guided tour to help separate the political stories from the facts.
Enjoy a delicious and speedy lunch at local favourite Sammy’s @ the foreshore in Kingston; their mouth-watering Shan tun chicken and Sammy’s kitchen special are must-trys.Show more
Day 4: Introducing the Snowy Mountains
Wake to the fresh country air. Drive into town for breakfast at Birchwood with a daily specials board bursting with flavour and creativity.
Hire bikes from Gravity Jindabyne and ride out to Hatchery Bay – passing through cattle grazing paddocks – or some of the other trails around Mill Creek for sensational views of Lake Jindabyne.
Return your bikes and drive 11 minutes towards the Kosciuszko National Park and stop into Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery, an absolute must-do for any road trip to the Snowy Mountains. Beyond their award-winning schnapps, vodka and gin, the meals are tasty and satisfying. Finish off with one of their alpine desserts or a Schnappygato.Show more
Day 5: Thredbo thrills
In the depths of winter or the relative warmth of summer, Thredbo is an adventurer’s paradise.
Start your day with an Australian Akubra bush hat on your head (actually, a helmet) and ride like The Man from Snowy River with Thredbo Valley Horse Riding. This is a special way to experience the essence and history of the Snowies among the sub-alpine wilderness.
You can then head into Thredbo Village – an alpine town set at the base of the mountain. Keep in mind, to enter the Kosciuszko National Park you will have to pay for a pass. For some fun and frivolity, enjoy lunch at Bernti’s Brasserie & Grill.Show more
Day 6: Snowy Mountains Highway
Wander through the Thredbo Village Square for some boutique alpine shopping and drop into the Central Road 2625 for breakfast and a piping-hot coffee.
Start your journey back from Thredbo to Jindabyne and then head towards Adaminaby on the Snowy Mountains Highway – this will take you about an hour and a half. Time for another coffee or snack from Adaminaby’s Bake House near the impressive 10-metre tall Big Trout.
Speaking of trout, this is the place to learn how to fly fish, so organise a lesson with Adaminaby Angler Col Sinclair. Within 30 minutes you'll be ready to face two of the best stone trout rivers in the region.Show more
This article was written by VisitCanberra. For more information about road trips in and around the Australian Capital Territory, go to visitcanberra.com.