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Jindabyne, NSW

New town at the edge of the Kosciuszko National Park.

There was once a small town in the Snowy Mountains named Jindabyne. In the late 1960s the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electricity Authority created Lake Jindabyne and in the process drowned the old town. A new town was created primarily to provide accommodation for the men working on the Snowy Mountains scheme. Today Jindabyne owes its continuing existence to its proximity to the major ski resorts in the Snowy Mountains and the superb facilities it offers to trout fishermen. It lies below the snowline but is close enough to the ski runs at Thredbo, Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Guthega and Perisher Valley (and it is outside the Kosciuszko National Park) that it has become an ideal accommodation option for visitors not wanting to stay in the more expensive chalets on the snowfields. It has been described as "the adventure base camp for the Snowy Mountains." It offers accommodation and eating for skiers and has a number of tourism operators who can organize fly fishing for trout and horse-riding in the mountains.


Jindabyne is located 471 km south west from Sydney via the Hume Freeway, Monaro Highway and Kosciuszko Road. It is 73 km from Cooma and 991 metres above sea level.


Origin of Name

The town was originally spent "Jindaboine" which was a local Aboriginal word for "valley".


Things to See and Do

Statue of Count Paul Strzelecki
Beside Lake Jindabyne the Australian Polish community have built a huge statue of Count Paul Strzelecki who explored the Snowy Mountains and named Australia's highest mountain. The plaque on the 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. Paul Edmund Strzelecki was one of the first scientists in Australia to undertake investigations in many fields including geology, meteorology, zoology and mineralogy."

Sculptures By the Lake
Each Easter long weekend the Lake Light Sculpture exhibition and competition is held on the shores of Lake Jindabyne. It complements the sculptures which are already on display. In Banjo Paterson Park there is the impressive, rather Soviet-style sculpture of Count Paul Strzelecki and nearby is an Irish harp, a "memorial to the Irish men and women who worked on the construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme."

Jindabyne Community Trail
The best way to enjoy Lake Jindabyne is to take the Lake Jindabyne Community Trail which winds around the lake from Banjo Paterson Park for 9.51 km until it reaches Hatchery Bay. The first section, which passes the statue of Count Paul Strzelecki, some works of sculpture and The Clay Pits is 4 km and is a sealed path which is shared with cyclists. The second section, which is a dirt path, starts at Widows Inlet and continues around the shoreline to Hatchery Bay. It is proposed that south of Banjo Paterson Park the trail will continue across the Jindabyne Dam Wall and for over 7 km until it reaches the Tyrolean Village.

Jindabyne Churches
1. St Columbkillies Catholic Parish Church
The original St Columbkillies Catholic Parish Church existed in the Jindabyne that was drowned by the rising waters of Lake Jindabyne. When new Jindabyne was built a new church was constructed and was opened by the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn on 21 March, 1966. It was estimated to have cost $60,000 part of which was paid by the Snowy Mountains Authority. There is a good account of the removal at http://www.monaropioneers.com/jindabyne/st.columkilles.htm.

2. Alpine St Andrews Uniting Church
Located at 19 Gippsland Street, Alpine St Andrews Uniting Church (1966) replaced the original St Andrews which was opened on 7 November, 1913. It was transferred to Gippsland Street and has subsequently amalgamated with the Anglican Church and is now as the Snowy Mountains Church.

Lake Views
There are a number of impressive, panoramic viewing places around the lake most of which are on the main road - Kosciuszko Road and the Alpine Way - they offer panoramic views across Lake Jindabyne.

The Alpine Way - Driving through the Snowy Mountains
Jindabyne is the starting point of the Alpine Way which was constructed by the Snowy Mountains Authority and opened in 1956. It is a dramatically beautiful road which winds through the Snowy Mountains to Khancoban offering spectacular views of both the mountains and Murray 1 and Murray 2 Power Stations which are hidden in gorges on the far side of the range.

Trout Fishing
Lake Jindabyne is recognised as one of the best trout fishing destinations in the Snowy Mountains. It is fed by the Snowy, Thredbo and Eucumbene rivers and holds brown, rainbow and brook trout as well as Atlantic salmon. The excellent Snowy Mountains Fishing website (http://snowymountainsfishing.com.au) notes: "There are no boating restrictions on Lake Jindabyne and there is a concrete boat ramp near Snowline Caravan Park, along with numerous other launching points around its foreshores for smaller boats. All methods of fishing are permitted however, as with all waters within the region, a New South Wales Freshwater Anglers Licence is required. These licences may be purchased online, or at fishing retailers in the region." It also has information about the Gaden Trout Hatchery and Steve Williamson's Trout Fishing Adventures.


Other Attractions in the Area

Jindabyne - An Activity Centre
There are companies in Jindabyne specialising in white water rafting, mountain biking, horse riding, canoeing and walking treks. The town is a magnet for action sport enthusiasts, triathletes, cyclists, sailing, water skiing, paddle boarding, fishing and swimming. For more information about companies specialising in these activities contact the Jindabyne Visitor Centre, Kosciuszko Road, tel: (02) 6450 5600. Open 8.30 am - 5.00 pm daily.



* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the district was inhabited by Thaua and Ngarigo Aboriginal people.

* The Pendergast brothers, sons of an ex-convict, settled in the area in the 1820s.

*  By the late 1830s both the Pendergasts and the Ryries had runs and were raising sheep and growing a little wheat.

* The Ryries built a flour mill in the area in 1847.

* The Kiandra goldrush in 1859-60 gave the area a brief boost.

* A general store and a post office were built in 1862.

* In 1882 a school was opened at Jindabyne.

* The Police Station was built in 1883.

* In 1890 Banjo Paterson wrote The Man from Snowy River about the area.

* Rainbow trout were first released into the Snowy River in 1894.

* The Alpine Way from Jindabyne to Khancoban was opened in 1956.

* Modern day Jindabyne is a new town created after the original settlement was drowned by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electricity Authority in the late 1960s.

* St Andrews Presbyterian Church (now the Uniting Church) was consecrated in 1966.

* Lake Jindabyne was completed in 1967 and has a capacity of 689,790 Megalitres


Visitor Information

Jindabyne Visitor Centre, Kosciuszko Road, tel: (02) 6450 5600. Open 8.30 am - 5.00 pm daily.


Useful Websites

There is an official site. Check out http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/snowy-mountains/jindabyne-area.

Got something to add?

Have we missed something or got a top tip for this town? Have your say below.

3 suggestions
  • No rubble from the old church was used in the new catholic church. I purchased the old church and removed the roof and floor. The rest was blown up and scattered on site.

    Tom Barry
  • Hotel and Police station were first built at Leesville about 6 ks from Jindabyne before there was a punt on the Snowy River prior to the bridge being built. This would be the buildings referred to in 1862.

    Tom Barry
  • Add development of summer activities, sailing, mountain biking,

    Alan Slater