News 25.11.19

THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS AND THE MONARO: RUGGED MOUNTAINS, GLACIAL LAKES AND WIND-SWEPT PLAINS



The Snowy Mountains (the ‘Snowies’) and the Monaro is one of the most spectacular and geographically diverse areas of New South Wales.  

A breathtaking fusion of craggy, snow-covered mountains, glacial lakes, gushing rivers, eerie wind-swept plains,  forests, and quaint villages. 

Backcountry, Kosciuszko National Park
Backcountry, Kosciuszko National Park. Image courtesy of Destination NSW.
Charlotte Pass. Image Courtesy of Screen NSW.
Charlotte Pass. Image Courtesy of Screen NSW.
Cooma Plains
Cooma Plains. Image courtesy of Colin McDougall.

Depending on the season,  you might think you are in Europe, Patagonia,  North America or even Mongolia. 

Spencers Creek. Image courtesy of Brett Smith.

Located on the traditional lands of the Ngarigo, Walgalu, Bidhawal and Ngunnawal people in the South-Eastern part of New South Wales, this area is also home to the ‘Snowies’ – the highest mountain range in Australia, which is home to Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain. 

Snowy River, Kosciuszko National Park.
Snowy River, Kosciuszko National Park. Image courtesy of Brett Smith.

LOCATIONS THAT CAN MATCH EUROPE, NORTH AMERICA, PATAGONIA & MONGOLIA 

  • Rolling plains and rugged mountain ranges 
  • Highest mountain in Australia 
  • Grassy steppe lands 
  • Glacial lakes 
  • Quaint villages 
  • Modern regional towns 
  • Running rivers 
  • National Parks, State forests and agricultural lands 
  • Sealed roads that go forever 
  • Abundant accommodation 
  • Regional airport 
Kosciusko National Park
Kosciuszko National Park. Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Snow Season 

Ski lifts open in June in Perisher, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snow Resort. The snow season is at its peak in July and August, but you’re likely to have good snow until October when the lifts close. 

Thredbo
Thredbo. Image courtesy of Matt Carroll.
Dead Horse Gap
Dead Horse Gap. Image courtesy of Matt Carroll.

Charlotte Pass is a location, snow resort and village in the Snowy Mountains. The pass is located in the Kosciuszko National Park and is the closest village to Mount Kosciuszko.  

Charlotte Pass
Charlotte Pass. Image courtesy of Tourism Australia.
Kosciusko Chalet Hotel, Charlotte Pass
Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel, Charlotte Pass. Image courtesy of Mandy Lamont.

Thredbo is built in the valley of the Thredbo River, also known as the Crackenback River, at the foot of the  Ramshead Range.  When the mountain is fully covered by snow, Thredbo has the highest ski lift point in Australia.  

Thredbo River
Thredbo River. Image courtesy of Brett Smith.
Thredbo Village
Thredbo Village. Image courtesy of Thredbo Tourism.
Thredbo Challet
Thredbo. Image courtesy of Matt Carroll.

Wind-swept Plains

In stark contrast to the snowfields, are the stunning grassy plains along the Snowy Mountains Highway, reminiscent of places like Montana and Wyoming.   

Wind farms, South West of Nimmitabel
Wind farms, South West of Nimmitabel. Image courtesy of Mary Barltrop.
Monaro Plains
Monaro Plains. Image courtesy of Colin McDougall.
Monaro Plains
Monaro Plains. Image courtesy of Mary Barltrop.
Monaro in Winter
Monaro in Winter. Image courtesy of Colin McDougall.

Lakes, Running Rivers and Creeks 

Monaro in Winter
Monaro in Winter. Image courtesy of Colin McDougall.
Snowy River towards Monaro Plains
Snowy River towards Monaro Plains. Image courtesy of Screen NSW.
Thredbo River
Thredbo River, Dead Horse Gap. Image courtesy of Matt Carroll.

WHAT HAS FILMED HERE

The region has been the background for a number of films, most recently Leah Purcell’s film, The Drover’s Wife. Other notable films include the award-winning film Jindabyne, starring Laura Linney and John Howard and Somersault, starring Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington.

Lake Jindabyne in Fall
Lake Jindabyne in Fall. Image courtesy of Mandy Lamont.

SPECTACULAR SUMMERS 

Charlotte Pass
Charlotte Pass. Image courtesy of Brett Smith.
Thredbo River
Thredbo River. Image courtesy of Screen NSW.
Snowy River
Snowy River, looking south to Mount Kosciuszko and the Main Range. Image courtesy of Screen NSW.

GETTING THERE

By Car  
The region is well serviced by sealed roads and highways. Cooma is just over a four-hour drive from Sydney and about 80 minutes from Canberra, Australia’s capital.   

By Air  
Rex Regional Express (REX) flies directly from Sydney into the Snowy Mountains Airport, only 15 kilometres (~9.5 miles) south of Cooma, the largest town in the area. 

Dead Horse Gap
Dead Horse Gap. Image courtesy of Colin McDougall.

Traversing the stunning landscapes, historic towns and undulating farmland, are the Snowy Mountains and Monaro Highways. These seemingly endless sealed roads are a popular and spectacular backdrop for TVC car commercials. 

Thredbo Valley
Thredbo Valley. Image courtesy of Colin McDougall.

ACCOMMODATION 

As a popular destination for residents, tourists and filmmakers alike, there is an abundant and diverse range of accommodation options in the region for cast and crew, including in Cooma, the largest town in the region, which has significant infrastructure. For additional information and options, check here.

Moonbah Lake Huts
Moonbah Lake Huts. Image courtesy of Brett Smith.
Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa, Crackenback
Lakeview apartments at Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa, Crackenback. Image courtesy of Destination NSW.
Thredbo
Thredbo. Image courtesy of Thredbo Tourism.

CLIMATE 

As the area varies from tablelands to the highest mountains in Australia, naturally the weather conditions vary according to altitude. 

The higher regions of the park experience an alpine climate which is unusual in mainland Australia. However, only the peaks of the main range are subject to consistent heavy winter snow.  The sub-alpine areas generally experience fine and sunny weather, with warm to hot days and cool nights in summer, and cool to warm days and cold nights in winter.  

Rainfall also varies considerably between the alpine and sub-alpine areas. Generally, the sub-alpine annual average is between 400mm (15.75”) and 500mm (19.68”) with occasional snowfall.  

The Glacial Lake, Lake Cootapatamba
The Glacial Lake, Lake Cootapatamba. Image courtesy of Matt Carroll.

REEL SCOUT IMAGES 

Location images of the Snowy Mountains and Monaro Region and other regions in New South Wales are also available via www.screen.nsw.gov.au/reel-scout  and on the free  Create NSW  Film Scout iPhone app on iTunes.  

Click here to see more Sydney and NSW locations.

FILMING IN NEW SOUTH WALES 

For information on locations, technical and creative talent, studio space, post-production, visual effects facilities and any other aspect of filming, please contact Screen NSW’s  Production Attraction team on
[email protected]  or + 61 2 8289-6443.

Monaro Plains
Monaro Plains. Image courtesy of Colin McDougall.

Header image top of page: Main Range behind Blue Cow. Courtesy of Brett Smith.