Wee Jasper Things to Do
Approximately 20 minutes out of Wee Jasper driving towards Yass, the road crosses the Murumbidgee River. Again, according to maps, the river flows wide and deep - indicative of the heavy-duty bridge. But drought has made it little more than a shallow trickle. Great for messing about in water (too shallow for swimming), especially in the intense...more
Approximately 5kms out of Wee Jasper is 'the gem of Wee Jasper' - Carey's Cave. It's a funny little place, owned by the NSW Parks but run by a family who have been doing it for years. There are guided tours only, and whilst it may not be the most spectacular cave system, it's still an interesting descent into the limestone crags of the area.There...more
Approximately 10 kms out of Wee Jasper 'centre' on the road to Tumut is Micalong Creek Reserve. The waters of the creek start high up in the Brindabella Ranges and force there way through the landscape, joining the Goodradgibee River approximately 1km from the road and campsite. It's a small campsite with limited facilities and Nottingham Road is a...more
In 1824, explorers Hamilton Hume and William Lovell passed through the Yass Plains (on their way to what is now Melbourne) and crossed what is now the Goodradigbee River, opening up the land for (limited) settlement, with vast tracts of land being snapped up for farm stations. When gold was discovered in 1859 in Kiandra, the track between Yass and...more
Yellowed grasses, parched earth, soaring temperatures. All signs of an extended period of drought. But nothing makes drought more apparent than Burrinjuck Dam from the Wee Jasper shoreline.Referring back to the tourist map, the dam waters lap the road that crosses the floodplain, with the indication that water has been known to cross the road and...more
The road from the village pub to the Carey's Cave runs for approximately 5 kms along the valley floor. We stayed out here (3.5kms out - next the vineyards mentioned in previous tip) and so walked a little in the immediate vicinity (the week we were here, the daytime temperature hardly moved from 42 degrees centigrade, so we didn't do that much...more
A 54 km trip each time you wanted to leave Wee Jasper was quite a schlepp, the saving grace being that the countryside was quite stunning (even if somewhat affected by the drought). As the road curled and snaked up, down, across, through, up, round, hairpin bends, long flats etc, at least the saving grace was looking out the window! Frustrating if...more
The river meanders through some beautiful countryside - the valley floor being relatively wide to facilitate reasonably good farming (including Wee Jasper vineyards about 3 kms along the Carey's Caves road). It isn't what it was however - the building of the Burrinjuck dam at the valley head has depleted the water course considerably - again on the...more
The nicest spot for swimming was the spot where the Micalong Creek and Goodradigbee River meet - part of the Brindabella Ranges State Park. It's a very easy walk from the car park along the banks of the Creek to the confluence of the two rivers. The path then follows the river through towards Wee Jasper and past the Swinging Bridge and Billy Grace...more
Wee Jasper Restaurants
As you drive into Wee Jasper from Yass, on the right-hand side of the road, set back from the road, is the bluestone buildings of the former Police Barracks, built around 1880. It is now the Stables Tavern & Restaurant.
A delightful old ramshackle place, a tiny bar but large grounds serves the many day, weekend or more trippers to the area. It's as much a 2nd hand and vintage looking place as it is a bar - thankfully this has not been renovated to within an inch of its life - rough hewn slate floors, a lean-to that serves as the restaurant with approximately 6 tables.
But it's the food that is a delight here - and whilst most holiday makers stay in self-catering homes or campsites, the one visit in the week is more than worthwhile. Spectacularly fresh product is on the menu and, as one would expect in such farming land next to the river , the main emphasis in fish (locally caught trout) and meat (lamb, beef and pork). It's an excellent spot - the food delicious, the staff friendly.
Worth booking if planning to eat in the restaurant, open Wednesday-Sunday
There is also a bar menu with all the old favourites - burgers, wedges, steak sandwiches etc and the stables offer accommodation.
Favorite Dish: The trout was magnificent, the pork roast stunning, the steak spectacular. Only the salmon was a disappointment. Desserts are good but are not made on the premises - brought in frozen from a gourmet kitchen in Yass.
Wee Jasper Off The Beaten Path
I love the concept of a tip being off the beaten track for Wee Jasper. Wee Jasper itself could not be more off the beaten track!
Sadly, with the drought and limited access to the waters of Burrinjuck Dam, it is now a 200kms round trip from Wee Jasper to the Burrinjuck Waters, one of the few access points to the shores of the lake. Essentially a campsite and cabins run by NSW State Parks, there are plenty of activities going on at the site for all the family, but its not a place for quiet getaway spot for the day!
It's a spectacular drive once off the Hume Freeway as you drop several hundred metres to the shores of the lake.
Wildlife abounds - kangaroos came up to us on the beach (more interested in our bags than us, a sad indication that they have become tamed)
$A7 per car for day entry if you are not staying on the site.
To get there, turn off the Hume Highway 25kms south of Yass and drive through farmland for 19km before coming to the forest and a beautiful winding drive down the hillside to the lake’s edge.