On the foreshore of Lake Jindabyne (and easily seen from the road) is a huge statue of Count Paul Strzelecki who explored the wilderness of the Snowy Mountains, named Australia's highest mountain and had a life worthy of a novel. The plaque on his statue reads:
'Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki. Born in Poland on 20 July 1797. Arrived in Australia on 25 April 1839. From 1839 to 1843 he explored and surveyed vast areas of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. While exploring in the Snowy Mountains region he discovered and climbed Mt Kosciuszko which he named in honour of the Polish leader and patriot Tadeusz Kosciuszko. He discovered gold and silver in New South Wales, coal deposits in Tasmania, investigated the possibilities of irrigation, measured the heights of mountains, carried out soil analysis and collected and identified many fossils and minerals. Geology, meteorology, zoology and mineralogy.'
The park surrounding this statue has other little treasures and, in late winter and early spring there are some gorgeous blossoms surrounding the well defined walking paths. One of the things I came across was this ancient born-again tree that struck me immediately as a work of art.
Included in this list should be Smiggins Holes and Guthega as they are all accessible using the same lift ticket. This large area is Australia's premier resort (covered more fully in my Snowy Mountains pages) and, though lift tickets are pricey (you won't get a lot of change out of $100AUS) the facilities are the best on offer in this southern land. Having said that, don't expect gondolas or covered chair lifts; what you get is up-to 8 deater chair lifts down to beginners rope tows with quite a few T-bars on some of the popular slopes.
There are terrain parks to cater for the snowboarders both at Perisher and Blue Cow and you can access the whole area by taking the ski tube train whose terminus is on the road to Thredbo.
All this is within half an hour's drive from Jindabyne.
Even when you are taking it easy at around 3kph you can come unstuck. A bizarre combination of my ski slipping while I was traversing through some trees causing me to overbalance, then career down the hill feet first on my chest after losing my skis until a branch whacked me under my ear led me to hospital and seven stitches.
I should have put this under "Warnings and Dangers" but you wouldn't have bothered to read it would you?
I should also mention that I got concussion and a lift on a skidoo as a result of all this.
It happened to be the bucks weekend for my eldest son's wedding so it's two days I'll never forget!
If you aren't staying "on snow", the best way to avoid paying national park fees is to drive to the SkiTube and catch the train to Perisher. No chains needed usually. This year a day pass cost $105. They won't really commit to telling you the weather conditions at the train station - "chair lifts on wind hold" could mean a gale is blowing. However we found that if we bought a train ticket mid-morning, went up and had lunch, we could then pay the difference and ski from midday.
If you aren't staying on the snow, the best way to the snow avoiding paying national park fees is to drive to the SkiTube and catch the train to Perisher. No chains needed usually. This year a day pass cost $105. They won't really commit to telling you the weather conditions at the train station - "chair lifts on wind hold" could mean a gale is blowing. However we found that if we bought a train ticket mid-morning, went up and had lunch, we could then pay the difference and ski from midday
Of the fifty rope tows, pomas, T-bars and chairs (not a cable car in sight) that your $92 per day ticket gives you access to at Perisher-Blue Cow, you can expect a vast array of runs. There's a few beginners' areas, heaps of intermediate and some black runs.
Where I am standing here at Blue Cow is the best place for black runs though the steepest, though short, legendary black run is Olympic which is adjacent to Mount Perisher.
Most runs aren't long in the northern hemisphere sense but if you're skiing Mt. Perisher top-to-bottom enough then your legs will get tired.
Blue Cow has more terrain through the trees for its black runs while Guthega has several listed black runs but, for my money, there are only two that qualify, Parachute and Mother-In-Law. Others like Schnaxl and The Screw are more good intermediate.
This view also highlights the fact that you may get glorious weather from time to time down here but, be warned - you will get sunburnt if you don't take precautions!
I know this from bitter personal experience.
Guthega rarely, if ever, gets crowded, as the main access points to the Perisher group are at Perisher carpark itself or the skitube (an underground train) which lets you off at Perisher or Blue Cow.
Happy Valley is another of the trails you can ski at Perisher Blue.
It's sometimes a bit quieter than other areas which makes it an attractive ski run to just cruise on down.
And it's a nice easy Green Run... smooth...
There are a range of ski resorts inside the Kosciuszko National Park. One of the most popular and best equipped is Perisher Blue.
The Resort has...
1 minipipe alongside
4 Terrain Parks
Night Skiing and over 1000KM of marked cross country trails.
Park entry is $16 per car per day. Annual passes are $85.
Lift passes are a shocking $85 per day.
I just got back from Perisher 13/08/2004 and there was heaps of snow (by Australian standards) 199cm !
the Jindabyne area is dominated by the massive Lake Jindabyne, as a great backdrop to the town and source of many activities.
Blue Cow is one of the 4 mountains in the Perisher Blue Resort.
At the Blue Cow Terminal is prabably the best beginner area I know off with several runs available for the first timers.
Early Starter at Blue Cow is built for the beginner.
A Gentle slope and simple double chair make this the run for beginners to go up and down all day...