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Outdoor Adventure In The Snowy Mountains
snowy mountainsAustralia's Snowy Mountains lie amongst The Great Dividing Range, between New South Wales and Victoria. This is the country's premier destination for snow holidays and snow experiences. Nestled in the cold regions of Kosciuszko National Park, this is an ideal destination during the peak months of July to October, when ski and snowboard enthusiasts come to life. This is the ultimate tourist destination that draws in 'Snowies' (as they are affectionately known) from across the globe who are seeking to experience the wide range of slopes on offer and to feel the buzz and excitement that envelops the region during the winter months.

The best place to embark on your Snowy Mountain adventure is from Sydney, as it is just a six-hour drive. They are fairly easily accessible, with the drive a pleasant and picturesque one. Most people choose to start at Jindabyne, which offers several great places to stay which are only a half hour drive to either of the main ski resorts, Thredbo or Perisher Blue. Thredbo would have to be the favourite resort in the Snowies among visitors, as it offers everything a world-class ski resort should. It is a grouping of hotels and accommodation that closely resembles the stereotype of an Alpine village in Europe. Quaint and picturesque, it almost looks like something out of a fairyn tale, and it has all the facilities and amenities you would expect in a modern village.

Thredbo also boasts the slopes to back up its high status as a ski resort. In fact, it is home to the longest ski run in Australia, the Funnelweb, which stands at over three kilometres in length. The quality of its slopes attracts international events here every winter, including an FIS approved downhill racecourse. With over seventy kilometres of trails that can be accessed by seventeen ski lifts, there is something here to cater for everyone's needs. Thredbo is a hive of activity during the day, but at night time it really comes to life. The bars and nightclubs fill with holiday makers satisfied after a day on the slopes and keen to party the night away. Of course if your partying days are behind you then just enjoy a quiet meal in one of the restaurants and resort to your hotel room. Alternatively, why not snuggle up in front of a warm fire place with a bottle of wine and a good book? Everybody is catered for in Thredbo.

Perisher Blue is Australia's biggest ski resort, and is home to four villages, countless hotels and an abundance of other accommodation options. The train system that runs underground between the villages makes this place unique and easy for you to get where you want to go. Due to its size it has more facilities and resources than Thredbo, but is somewhat lacking the cosy alpine feel of the smaller town. The slopes are great though, with kilometres and kilometres of groomed trails to keep you occupied.

When the snow here has melted away, don't think for a second that the people will disappear and the place will become deserted. The area remains beautiful and enticing, with the wildflowers blooming, and Kosciuszcko National Park turning into a sea of colour. The slopes people skied on are transformed into a haven for mountain bikers, and white water rafters cruise down the rivers that are bursting at the seams with the melted snow.

Horseback riding is another popular way to soak up the summer atmosphere here and kodak moments are guaranteed. The streams and lakes turn into an anglers dream, as the trout begin breeding and their stocks increase. Lake Jindabyne is famous for its fishing, and also offers great opportunities for watersports such as skiing, kayaking and canoeing. Perfect for any adventure lover!

A visit to the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme should also be on the cards. Situated close to the town of Cooma, it took over twenty five years to complete and is an impressive and ineresting tribute to human engineering capabilities. Cooma is the gateway to the Snowies from Sydney, so it's impossible to miss if you are coming from that direction. From here its just a short drive to the rest of the attractions in the Snowies, including Mt Kosciuszko, the highest peak in Australia.

Even though the mountains here are at their best in winder, the Snowy Mountains are ideal for an all year round holiday destination. The extreme changes between the seasons make this an invigorating and interesting place to visit whatever the month, and the endless amount of outdoor activities on offer will keep you and your family occupied. A hire car will give you the freedom to explore the region to your hearts content, so why not hop online and start planning your holiday now!

Christine Barton

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