Visiting three outstanding national parks including Kosciuszko in New South Wales, Alpine and Snowy River in Victoria this interesting drive follows the beautiful Snowy River along what was once an important stock route through the picturesque Snowy River valley. We commence this tour high up at the monaro tablelands town of Jindabyne. Present day Jindabyne was the second town built with the original being flooded by the damming of the Snowy River for the construction of the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme during the 1960s.From Jindabyne we head south along the Barry Way entering Kosciuszko National Park some 40km from Jindabyne. A few kilometres after entering the national park we arrive at our first stop, Wallis Craigie Lookout. At 900 metres above sea level this vantage point offers magnificent views down into the Snowy River valley and is a great spot for a photo opportunity. The lookout was named in honour of Wallis Craigie, an editor for the Cooma-Monaro Express who played an integral role in the construction of the Barry Way. Facilities at the lookout include a picnic table and toilet.Continuing past the lookout we descend into the valley along a narrow, winding, gravel road passing stands of impressive grass trees before crossing Jacobs River and arriving at Jacobs River Camping Area. This is the first of many great camping spots along this section of the drive. This pleasant location was once a stopover point for cattle on their way to the markets in Bairnsdale. Today it is still a great spot to throw down the swag beside the river.
From Jacobs River the road now begins to follow the winding course of the snowy southwards passing numerous camping areas including Halfway Point, No Name, Pinch River, Running Waters and Scotchies Yard. After Pinch River camping area keep an eye out for Jacks Lookout. Named in honour of a local park worker, impressive views of the river and valley beyond can be had from the lookout. At almost 80km from Jindabyne we reach the New South Wales/ Victorian border at Willis. Once a customs stop charging a tax for cattle crossing the border Willis is now a pleasant camping spot. A small camping area beside the road is located on the New South Wales side with a larger, well spread out area a few hundred metres up the road on the Victorian side. Willis camping area on the Victorian side is also the perfect spot to launch a canoe and explore this section of the river further.Only 15km south of Willis we drop into the small, isolated hamlet of Suggan Buggan, once home to Edward O’Rourke. A schoolhouse was built here in 1865 for O’Rourke’s thirteen children and still remains today. A small camping area beside the road is located in town just over the bridge.Leaving Suggan Buggan we begin the climb out of the valley along a narrow, winding gravel road. Keep an eye out for oncoming traffic as well as cattle on the many blind bends along this section of the roadway. At 23km from Suggan Buggan we turn east onto Mckillops Road for the run into Snowy River National Park. A mere 8km along is our first stop at Little River Falls. A picnic area with tables and toilet is located here, as is a short walk of 400 metres leading to a viewing platform over the falls. Little River plummets over the escarpment and into the valley on its way to meet with the Snowy River further downstream, an awesome sight when flowing. Only 3km further on from the falls is the Little River Gorge. A small picnic area with tables is also located here along with another short walk of 400 metres to this awe inspiring gorge which is said to be the deepest in Victoria, a sight to behold.Continuing on we begin the descent into the valley, again along a winding, narrow, gravel road. Watch out for the turn off to Little River Junction Camping Area about 9km east of the gorge. Located at the junction of Little and Snowy Rivers this pleasant camping area is only accessible to 4wd vehicles due to the steep access track or via canoe from the river. A perfect spot to spend a night or two in splendid isolation. At 6km east of Little River Junction turn off is the large Mckillops Bridge camping area. Only accessible to larger vehicles and caravans from the east this camping area is set high above the western bank of the Snowy River with a short walk leading to ideal swimming holes, a great spot to cool off on a warm day.Our next stop is Mckillops Bridge, only 800 metres from the camping area. In 1932 the first bridge here replaced Mckellars Crossing ferry service which had been in operation for many years, the bridge only lasting eleven days before being destroyed by a disastrous flood. The current bridge was completed in 1935 and is some 19 metres above the low water level and has survived a flood of the same level that destroyed the first bridge. At 250 metres long this impressive structure is a sight to behold in this isolated valley. Just over the bridge on the eastern side is a popular canoe launching spot for those wishing to explore the river further. Another picnic area with tables, wood bbqs and toilet is also located on this side as is a small camping area. The Deddick Trail heads off to the south 600 metres from Mckillops Bridge. If you have a 4wd vehicle, are a competent 4wder and have the extra time then this excellent trail which cuts through the some of the most spectacular and remote country Snowy River National Park has to offer is a must do.Once out of the park it is a winding journey out to the small village of Bonang, 40 km from Mckillops Bridge. An easy run up the Bonang-Delegate road leads back across the border and up to the drives end at Bombala. From here you have the choice of heading back up to Cooma and Kosciuszko again or east across to the beautiful far south coast and more delights of this wonderful region.Even though this trip can be completed in a day with accommodation options available at both Jindabyne and Bombala we suggest throwing the swag in and spending a few days exploring this spectacular and remote area. Please be aware that collection of firewood along the route is not permitted so carry enough with you. This route travels through remote country so please ensure you are well prepared for any problems or delays that may be encountered along the way. Always carry extra supplies with you even if only out for the day. Fuel is available at Jindabyne, Bonang and Bombala. Towing of caravans is not recommended for this drive and is not possible between Mckillops Bridge and Little River Gorge. This route can be completed in a normal 2wd vehicle if driven with care.
All camping areas along the way have facilities including picnic tables, toilets, wood bbqs. All are accessible to camper trailers with the large Mckillops Bridge also suitable for caravans and motorhomes. Please check road conditions first. No fees apply for camping along this route.