Lower Snowy River area in Kosciuszko National Park
Jacks lookout in the southern precinct of Kosciuszko National Park, near Thredbo, offers scenic views of the Snowy River valley and Snowy River.
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, clothes for all weather conditions
- Please note
There is no mobile reception in this part of the 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 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
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in the Lower Snowy River area of Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains region
The Lower Snowy River area is open all year, but some roads and trails may close due to weather conditions or park management issues.
No park entry fees apply in the Lower Snowy River area. See vehicle entry fees for other areas in Kosciuszko National Park.Buy annual pass.
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.
- 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
- 2WD vehicles (no long vehicle access)
- 4WD required in wet weather
There's an informal hard-packed ground area close to the lookout where you can park your car.
There's an accessible picnic table close to the lookout. You'll need to cross over hard-packed ground to reach it.
- Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)
There's step-free access from the carpark to the lookout along a 1.6m wide gravel pathway. Once you reach the lookout platform, the ground surface changes from gravel to wood.
The lookout platform has handrails all around it, but there are no handrails along the gravel path.
- Step-free outdoor pathways
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - medium
The lookout is mostly flat and step-free, with a gravel pathway from the carpark to the lookout. The ground surface changes from gravel to wood once you reach the lookout.
There are handrails around the wooden section of the lookout, but not along the gravel path that leads to the lookout.
There's an accessible picnic table at the lookout, but it's set off the gravel pathway. You'll need to cross over hard-packed ground to reach it.
Flying a drone for recreational purposes is prohibited in this area. Drones may affect public enjoyment, safety and privacy, interfere with park operations, or pose a threat to wildlife. See the Drones in Parks policy.
This area may be a declared Drone Exclusion Zone, or may be subject to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules for flying near airports, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites. See CASA's Drone Flyer Rules.
Commercial filming and photography
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Snowy Region Visitor Centre
49 Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne NSW 2627
- 8.30am to 5pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
- 02 6450 5600
Jacks lookout is in Lower Snowy River area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A sanctuary for wildlife
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
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.
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.
- Pilot Wilderness mountain bike ride (Alpine Way to Barry Way) Pilot Wilderness mountain bike ride in Kosciuszko National Park is a challenging, long-distance mountain bike trail that is suited to experienced mountain bike riders.
- Snowy River wilderness experience Paddle the iconic Snowy River on a 5-day adventure in remote Kosciuszko National Park. Camp in Byadbo Wilderness with your Aboriginal guide on this unforgettable experience.
Plants and animals protected in this park
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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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.
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.
Bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
A large, squat marsupial, the Australian bare-nosed 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 (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.
Spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)
The spotted-tailed quoll is the largest remaining carnivorous marsupial on the Australian mainland. It’s protected as a vulnerable species in NSW.
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 (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.
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.