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High Plains area

Kosciuszko National Park

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the High Plains area.

Getting there and parking

To get to the High Plains area of Kosciuszko National Park:

Access from Tumut:

  • Take Snowy Mountains Highway south
  • Long Plain Road is around 75km from Tumut
  • Tantangara Road is around 110km from Tumut

Access from Cooma:

  • Take Snowy Mountains Highway via Adaminaby
  • Tantangara Road is around 85km from Cooma
  • Long Plain Road is around 124km from Cooma

The nearest fuel and supplies are located in Adaminaby, Cooma, Talbingo, or Tumut. Limited services in Cabramurra.

Parking

Road quality

Road closures

  • Long Plain Road and Tantangara Road (beyond the dam wall) are closed in winter. There's no winter access to Currango or Blue Waterholes areas.
  • Check weather and road conditions before you set out as unsealed roads can become boggy.
  • Tantangara Causeway, on Port Phillip trail, can close due to flooding. Contact the Tumut Visitor Centre before you set out.

Snow chains

The Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) recommends snow chains are carried by all vehicles driving in the park in winter, including 4WD and AWD, in the event of extreme weather. Visit the Live Traffic website for current conditions.

Best times to visit

The vast and varied High Plains area is packed with activities and attractions, during the warmer months. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Enjoy the crisp mountain air and purple-tinged heath on a heart-pumping bike adventure, horse ride or walk. Try easy Pocket ride to Pockets Hut, moderate Plain ride, or the challenging Gavels Circuit. Rise early to climb Batlow Rocks and watch the mist rise off the valley. Throw a fishing line in Tantagara Dam or the waters of the Murrumbidgee River, then warm up by the campfire under a sky full of stars.

Spring

In spring and summer, many of the slopes surrounding the high plains are covered in bright wildflowers. Set up camp and unload your mountain bike, saddle up the horses, or lace up your hiking boots. Discover Coolamine Homestead along Blue Waterholes trail, or Hains Hut on the 39km return Nungar Bullock ride. Follow Murrumbidgee ride to Townsend Hut, Pedens Hut and the wonderfully-named Love Nest in the Sallees. Experienced hikers who are well-prepared will find landscapes mostly unchanged by modern human activity in the vast Bimberi and Goobarragandra wilderness areas.

Summer

Escape the heat and head for the high plains. Why not enjoy a digital detox at Currango’s cottages, where you can relax on the verandah as the resident roos lounge on the lawns and the sun turns the plains gold. Base yourself at one of the many designated campgrounds in this area and relish the network of walks, rides, and scenic drives. Bring your boat and fishing gear to see what’s biting at Tantangara Dam. Lower water levels make this a great time to paddle or swim in a mountain stream, or tackle the river crossings on the walks to Clarke or Nichols Gorge.

Facilities

Maps and downloads

Fees and passes

No park entry fees apply in the High Plains area. See vehicle entry fees for other areas in Kosciuszko National Park.

Safety messages

All Kosciuszko National Park visitors planning a long hike, off-track or overnight adventure, or visiting a remote part of the park, are recommended to fill in the trip intention form and carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Find out more about hiring a PLB and completing a trip intention form on the dedicated iPads available at Snowy Region Visitor Centre, Tumut Visitor Centre and the Perisher NSW National Parks office.

Adventure sports

Adventure sports like caving offer a thrilling opportunity to explore our unique environments. Before you head out, be aware of the risks and stay safe during adventure sports.

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.

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).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Wildlife safety

Always remember that wildlife is just that - wild. Please do not approach or feed animals, as they may become aggressive or dangerous if threatened.

Permitted

  • Mountain biking and horse riding are permitted on all public roads and most management trails in the High Plains area, except wilderness areas. Please stay on established trails. Bike riders should give way to walkers and horse riders.
  • Caving: 4 wild caves are open to visitors in the Blue Waterholes area. These include: Murray Cave, Barbers Cave, Cooleman Cave, and Right Cooleman Cave. All other caves within the area require permits to visit.

Camping

Vehicle based camping is permitted only at designated campgrounds. Huts can be used for emergency shelter only. Campgrounds with facilities to camp with horses include: Cooinbil Hut, Long Plain Hut, Ghost Gully, Old Snowy, Wares Yards, Rocky Plain, and Bullocks Hill campgrounds.

Fishing

You can fish in rivers and streams between the October and June long weekends. A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required to fish in all waters. Fishing in dams and lakes is permitted year-round, but some waterways may close temporarily or have restrictions. Refer to the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide for information.

Prohibited

  • Vehicles, mountain bikes and horse riding aren't permitted in Clarke Gorge or Nichols Gorge at Blue Waterholes, or in wilderness areas.
  • Firearms, chainsaws and fossicking aren't permitted in Kosciuszko National Park.

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. The alpine resorts of Selwyn, Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass, Ski Rider and Kosciuszko Tourist Park are exempt, though some commercial and outdoor places within these resorts may have no smoking areas.

Map of High Plains area in Kosciuszko National Park. Image: OEH

Contact

Nearby towns

Adaminaby (19 km)

Visit the fascinating Snowy Scheme Museum at Adaminaby to learn about the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme.  Find out about the achievements of the engineers, the workers, the machinery and the role the project played in the development of the modern Australian nation. The museum is open on weekends.

www.visitnsw.com

Talbingo (37 km)

Talbingo is surrounded by some of the most inspiring scenery in the Snowy Mountains. At Talbingo Dam you'll enjoy panoramic views of the region as well as superb fishing for brown and rainbow trout. You can even go water-skiing on the dam.

www.visitnsw.com

Tumut (75 km)

Tumut is a country town on the northern foothills of the Snowy Mountains. The Rolling valleys, mountain streams and alpine mountain ranges make it popular for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

www.visitnsw.com

Cooma (85 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

High Plains, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray van der Veer