The Tumut-Yarrangobilly area of the Australian Alps is one of the lesser-known, but still spectacular parts of the Australian Alps. Nestled within Kosciuszko National Park, the region boasts attractions and features not found in other well-known parts of the Australian Alps.
The Australian Alps Walking Track
You can join the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) at various locations within the area, as the AAWT skirts along the eastern edge of the Yarrangobilly region for 65 kms between Kiandra and the NSW/ACT border.
While it no longer travels along the Great Dividing Range in this area, the AAWT can be accessed at Kiandra on the Snowy Mountains Highway, or via the unsealed Port Phillip fire trail, or the track to Tantangara dam and Currango homestead.
The long-distance Australian Alps Walking Track stretches from Walhalla at the southern end of the Australian Alps to the outskirts of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory.
There are several reliable tour operators based in the region who can assist with drop-offs and pick-ups for hikers on the AAWT, or on other walks in the area.
The Hume and Hovell Walking Track
This epic walking track, while not as long as the AAWT, covers more than 440km. It starts in Yass and finishes in Albury and passes through this region for roughly 100km.
Walks in the Yarrangobilly and Tumut region
Other great walks of the Yarrangobilly region include:
- Four Mile walking track (14 km)
- Kiandra Heritage Trail (1 km)
- Yarrangobilly Caves (such as the Lookout and River walks)
There are some great walks at Blue Waterholes, to be enjoyed anytime outside winter:
Four wheel driving
There are a number of four wheel drive routes and experiences in this remote part of the Australian Alps, including:
- The Ravine – a drive into the green and cleared valley of the abandoned copper mining village (formerly known as Lob’s Hole) with its ruins and evidence of mining.
- Manjar and Black Jack fire trails – take you along the ridge above the Tumut river overlooking Tumut One power station, Tumut Two pondage and the area where the Southern Cloud air disaster occurred in 1931.
- Tantangara, Port Phillip Fire Trail, Long Plain – circling the northern end of the Yarrangobilly area and passing Currango Homestead and Tantangara Reservoir.
Located in the northern end of the Kosciuszko National Park, the Yarrangobilly Caves are set inside the deep gorges and rugged bluffs of the Yarrangobilly River Valley. Formed over thousands of years, this string of limestone caves features many stunning formations including delicate shawls, grand columns, underground pools and awesome chambers.
Yarrangobilly also has a natural thermal pool which is a constant 27 degrees Celsius, so bring your bathers as well as your walking shoes. Guided and self-guided tours are available daily, and special torch-lit tours can be arranged on request.
Aboriginal cultural tours are also run at the Caves during school holiday periods.
One of the smaller and quieter ski fields in the Australian Alps is Mt Selwyn snowfield, a small downhill ski resort ideally suited to families and beginners. There are several ski lifts and the resort also provides cross-country ski trails, a kiosk, accommodation, parking and toilet facilities.
The Yarrangobilly region is a haven for peaceful camping areas for those seeking solitude alongside mountain rivers.
A number of caravan parks in nearby towns are also available.
The Tumut region is a great place to learn more about the Indigenous culture of the local Wiradjuri and Walgalu people. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has put together a great publication telling the stories of nine Indigenous women from the Brungle and Tumut valleys.
If you would like to experience some of this culture yourself, then consider joining one of the Wiradjuri Wonders Aboriginal Discovery Tours. Learn about bush tucker, hunting and gathering, arts and crafts and the Dreamtime.
This section of the Australian Alps has a number of well-known huts, with some dating from early grazing periods in the region. You can get the sense of the conditions experienced by early settlers at the following huts: