Jacks lookout

Lower Snowy River area in Kosciuszko National Park

Overview

Jacks lookout in the southern precinct of Kosciuszko National Park, near Thredbo, offers scenic views of the Snowy River valley and Snowy River.

Type
Lookouts
Where
Lower Snowy River area in Kosciuszko National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, clothes for all weather conditions
Please note

There is limited mobile reception in this park.

Jacks lookout, in the Lower Snowy Mountains region of Kosciuszko National Park, a scenic drive from Jindabyne, offers superb views across the southern Australian Alps. Located south of Jindabyne's Snowy Region Visitor Centre, this spectacular lookout is a perfect stop on a driving tour of the remote southern regions of the park.

It’s a gorgeous spot at any time of year, but is particularly striking on clear winter days when a bright blue sky makes the perfect backdrop to the surrounding peaks. It’s a perfect panorama fringed with towering eucalypts and cypress pines. In spring, the coloured wattles that bloom here are a delight to see.

There’s plenty of interesting wildlife to spot around this area too, so keep your eyes open for kangaroos, wallabies and emus during the day and wombats and quolls at night. If you’re keen to pitch your tent, it’s a short drive to Running Waters campground.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/jacks-lookout/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Jacks lookout.

Getting there and parking

Jacks lookout is in the southern (Lower Snowy Mountains) precinct of Kosciuszko National Park. To get there:

  • From Snowy Region Visitor Centre, in Jindabyne, drive 1.5km to the Barry Way turn-off.
  • Turn left on Barry Way and continue for 60km south
  • Jacks lookout is on the left, just off Barry Way.

Road quality

  • For most of its length, Barry Way is unsealed. It’s steep, narrow and winding. Watch for minor rock falls and potholes - especially after rain.
  • Check the weather before you set out as the road to Jacks lookout can become boggy when it rains

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles (no long vehicle access)

Weather restrictions

  • 4WD required in wet weather

Parking

Parking is available at Jacks lookout.

Facilities

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Alpine safety

Alpine areas present special safety issues. Conditions can be extreme and may change rapidly, particularly in winter. It’s important to be prepared and find out how to stay safe in alpine areas.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

  • Assistance may be required to access this area, as there‚Äôs a gravel path to the lookout.

Prohibited

Gathering firewood

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Cooma (80 km)

The Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art visitor facility showcasing the story of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme from the early construction days to the role the scheme plays today in the development of Australia.

www.visitnsw.com

Jindabyne (61 km)

For those heading to the Snowy Mountains snowfields, Jindabyne is a great place to hire or buy all of your skiing and snowboarding essentials from equipment to fashion.

www.visitnsw.com

Thredbo (48 km)

If you're thinking of taking to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko or want a fabulous photo opportunity, the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift is the best way to go. From Threbo village, the chairlift hoists you up the mountainside and close to the summit. From here, it's a short walk to fabulous views in all directions.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Jacks lookout is in Lower Snowy River area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A sanctuary for wildlife

Spotted-tailed quoll, or tiger quoll. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/DPIE

The Lower Snowy River is a haven for plants and animals, including rare species. While kangaroos, swamp wallabies and wombats are common, keep an eye out for the endangered spotted-tailed quoll, shy platypus, short-beaked echidna, and impressive wedge-tailed eagles. White box and cypress pine are common in the dry woodlands, as are grass trees - ancient flowering plants that have existed since dinosaurs roamed Australia.

Drive the old drovers route

Lower Snowy drive, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Luke McLachlan/DPIE

In the 1800s, Lower Snowy drive (Barry Way) formed the stock route for sheep and cattle travelling from summer grazing, in the high alpine country, to Bairnsdale markets. The eagle-eyed can spot tree markers and the remains of old stockyards near Jacobs River campground. Before federation, a customs house stood at Willis picnic area, for the Victorian Government to collect taxes on cattle crossing the border.

  • Lower Snowy drive (Barry Way) Lower Snowy drive is a sprawling road trip that takes travellers past picnic spots, swimming holes, campgrounds and lookouts in the Snowy River valley.

World-class wilderness

Lower Snowy River valley, Kosciuszko National Park. Image: Murray Vanderveer/DPIE

In recognition of Kosciuszko's unique value as a conservation area, it’s been named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. More than half of the park, over 350,000ha (almost 865,000 acres), has been declared wilderness, including Pilot Wilderness and Byadbo Wilderness in the Lower Snowy River area. Pilot Wilderness, which rises from just over 200m in the Lower Snowy River valley to 1830m at The Pilot mountain, makes up over 20 per cent of this protected area.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Emu, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

    The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Platypus climbing on to a submerged tree branch. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/OEH

    Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

    One of the most fascinating and unusual Australian animals, the duck-billed platypus, along with the echidna, are the only known monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, in existence. The platypus is generally found in permanent river systems and lakes in southern and eastern NSW and east and west of the Great Dividing Range.

  • Short-beaked echidna in Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/OEH

    Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

    One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

  • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

    Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

  • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

Plants

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • A red triangle slug on the trunk of a scribbly gum tree in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

    Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

    Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

Environments in this area

Jacks lookout, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray Vanderveer/DPIE