Riding through the Snowy Mountains in Southern NSW is a ‘must do’ trip for any self respecting motorcycle tourer.
Approaching from the North there are two main ways to get into the Snowies: from the NE via Cooma and Jindabyne or from the NW via Gundagai and Tumut. In my opinion the Tumut way is more interesting than the Cooma/Jindabyne route as you see more of the mountains than coming across from the East.
Note there is little fuel available year round south of here so fill up in Tumut.
From Tumut head south around the lakes at Blowering and Talbingo. This is were you enter the Kosciuszko National Park. The caves at Yarangobilly are well worth a look as they are similar to the famous Jindabyne Caves West of Sydney. South of Yarrangobilly is the Long Plain Road which takes you through spectacular scenery and restored farm houses from the early European setters. Many scenes from the movie “The Man from Snowy River’ were filmed in this area. The road is good dirt and easily ridden on a road bike with care.
Turn right onto the Cabramurra Road and you’ll find some of the most spectacular, twisting roads in the mountains. Take it easy as there are many sharp turns and enjoy the scenery when you can. Head through Jagumba (watch for wombats on the road) and onto Kancoban to refuel.
From there take the Alpine Way south and then NE to Thredbo via Tom Groggin and the wonderfully named ‘Dead Horse Gap’. This is seriously winding road an totally beautiful. There are plenty of places to stop on the way. We ended up riding a lot of this road at night as it took us longer to get to Kancoban than we expected. There were a lot of deer (aka ‘Bambi’) on the road so don’t do this road at night if you can! The stars were beautiful tho …
We stayed the night at the YHA in Thredbo which is very comfortable and reasonably cheap, though during the ski season it is totally booked out in advance. Trying to ride in the Snowies in winter wouldn’t be too smart either!
From Thredbo we rode North East out of the Park to Jindabyne and then back in along the dead end Perisher Road to Charlotte Pass, the highest road in the Snowies and the main route to getting to Mt Kosciuszko. Again this is winding alpine roads with plenty of places to stop and take in the view. You can walk the dirt road to Mt Kosci from Charlotte Pass.
From here you backtrack to Jindabyne and then head East and then North to the main road to Canberra.
Or you can take the ‘Road of Doom' otherwise known as the back road from Cooma to Braidwood. Normally a gorgeous ride on the dirt the recent rain made it muddy as all hell with slick clay combined with a big camber.
I almost made it to the end (literally 100m from the tar but found myself sliding into a bank with zero control! Fortunately no injuries to rider or bike but it sure had Richard crapping himself!