snowy mt highway tumut to cooma and bega.

We hope to travel across this highway to the east coast from tumut after atttending the Man from Snowy River Festival in Corryong on mid April, towing our 18ft van. I would appreciate some advice on the road steep narrow trucks etc. I am sharing the driving and not very experienced driving the van.
Last year we drove to Darwin on our first big road trip and some members gave me fantastic advice. We had a wonderful trip. Cheers Cecilyt
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Athol W1 - Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 22:44

Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 22:44
We towed a 25 ft van along that road from the coast to Tumut about this time last year without any issues. There are a number of steep sections, and some very tight bends on the Brown Mountain section.
Drive to the conditions and make use of the low gear on the down hill sections, Use the gears to avoid using the brakes as much as possible, do NOT let following vehicles pressure you into going faster down the hills than what you are comfortable with and make use of any passing sections or bays so that the following vehicles can get around you.
The road is generally average 2 lane highway, so no issues with excessively narrow sections.
Driving too fast on the down hill sections and relying on the brakes to maintain speed WILL result in brake fade, especially when towing.
Enjoy a very picturesque drive.
AnswerID: 550081

Follow Up By: Cecilyt - Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 22:53

Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 22:53
Thanks Athol for your helpful reply...still not sure if we should go that way or not. I appreciate your specific comments re gears etc. thanks again. Cecilyt
FollowupID: 835519

Reply By: Steve - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 04:58

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 04:58

Have a look at the Imlay Road which goes just south of Bombala to the coast near Eden. If that suits your itinerary? We travelled it both ways a week ago and no need for low gear work at all. Hills were pretty minimal and overall an easy run. One or two forestry trucks but no problem.
AnswerID: 550091

Follow Up By: Cecilyt - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 07:37

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 07:37
Sounds good Steve..much better as we don't have a problem with itinary or time. Cheers
FollowupID: 836528

Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 12:11

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 12:11
I guess the problem with Brown Mountain is that it goes for many kilometres downhill with no flat sections or uphills, so you are constantly braking all the way, and it is pretty steep.
I am trying to recall rest areas , but AFAIR there are few. There is a large rest area at the top .
Probably the second longest continuous climb /descent in OZ after the Alpine Way from Thredbo to Kancoben.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 551106

Follow Up By: Cecilyt - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 14:58

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 14:58
Thanks heaps for all this info. My husband has a problem with only 2 toes on his rt foot so this would be too stressful. Thanks again. We will look at alternatives.
FollowupID: 836547

Reply By: Erad - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 17:26

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 17:26
From Tumut, the road over the mountains to Cooma is generally OK for caravans etc. Large trucks use it all the time. There is one major climb you have to take - up Talbingo Mountain. It is narrow and steep. Not sure what your tug is, but an 18 ft caravan isn't that heavy, so most vehicles should do it OK.Once up the top of the mountain, you still have a few climbs, (one near Yarrangobilly turnoff is also fairly steep) but they are short and the road is wide. After Kiandra, the road is generally undulating and althoug winding, should present no problems provided you keep your speed down.

From Cooma to the coast, the Snowy Mtns Hwy goes to Bega, but this week it is closed at Brown Mountain, so you have to detour via Mt Darragh, near Bombala. Good wide road, a few hills but nothing too dramatic. Once over Talbingo Mountain, you have it mastered. The other option as already said is to go past Bombala and go along the Imlay Road, which is undulating by straigh. It is used by logging trucks.

If you are coming from Corryong, the road to Tooma Dam and then Cabramurra is sealed all the way, but it is narrow and fairly steep. You have two steep climbs out of the Khancoban valley (one beside the power lines and the other just after them), and the road winds around a lot on itself. Once at the top of the climbs, you have a fairly easy run until you start to go down into the Tumut Valley and cross it at Tumut Pond Dam. If you go this way, take it easy and use your gears all the way down. The road is reasonably narrow and winding (very slow), but is OK. You are on the inside of the cliff and it is not a major drama. The climb out of Tumut Pond is spectacular and not that steep. That brings you to Cabramurra, and then you make your way to Kaindra and Cooma, and then follow your nose to the coast from there.

Take it easy and follow the advisory speed signs and you should have no worries.
AnswerID: 551124

Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 18:45

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 18:45
I'd second Erad's suggestion of the Mt Darragh Road from Bombala to the coast rather than the Brown Mountain road. Much less stress and a more comfortable trip when towing.
FollowupID: 836561

Follow Up By: Cecilyt - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 22:03

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 22:03
Thanks so much for your really helpful replies..these are so much appreciated With all the details Erad. My husband has some health issues and the less stress the better. I really didn't want to go home to Nowra the same way we came..through Nerriga and Goulburn make it a round trip is so much more interesting. We are just getting our confidence back again after quite a few years away from caravaning due to these health concern. We had such a wonderful trip last year with the help and encouragement from this forum. We are looking forward to a bigger trip in June.
This is our first trip free camping at Jugiong and Corryong.
About how long in time is it from say Tumut to Eden?? It's hard to judge gIven the nature ofbthe road. should we camp.overnight along the way?
Do you know any good spots to free camp between Eden and Ulladulla Erad?? Otherwise I will post a request. Sorry to ask all these questions but I am not at all familiar with this area.
cheers Cecily
FollowupID: 836575

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 10:45

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 10:45
If you have not already done so get a copy of the Camps Australia Wide book (version 8 is now out) as there are plenty of free or low cost areas along that route including one at Humes Crossing on the foreshore of Blowering Dam (S35.28.23 E148.16.33) and also at Nimmitabell ($14.00/night last year in their CV Park), these are just 209km apart which took us 3.4 hrs driving time, an easy day's drive.

Enjoy your trip.
FollowupID: 836599

Follow Up By: Cecilyt - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:55

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:55
Great thanks Athol. Have the book also wikkicamps apps but a personal recommendation is great thanks again
FollowupID: 836607

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 22:59

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 22:59
Firstly the Brown Mountain is only closed this week. It will be open by the time the festival at Corryong is over.

Secondly I dodged the hill last week because of the road works. Big mistake, there is a lot of narrow road with blind bends and narrow bridges east of Wyndham. I found it more stressful than Brown Mountain, I would rather wait for road works than go that way again.

Brown Mountain has two steep sections, one at the top and the other at the bottom. The long stretch between is not very steep, your speed is limited by the bends rather than the gradient.

Cecily, I feel it would be a pity for you to dodge this road just because you have not been over this type of terrain before. You are going to miss out on a lot of nice country up the eastern side of the country. If you take the advice of the others regarding the use of low gears to descend hills. If you are using the correct gears there is very little heavy application of the brake pedal. Extend your driving skills. If you cant handle that sort of driving then what is going to happen when you accidental encounter something much worse? That will probably end in disaster.
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

FollowupID: 836647

Follow Up By: Erad - Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 09:33

Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 09:33
CecilyT: My wife and I had to go to Bega on Monday, the Brown Mtn road was closed, so we had to take an alternative route. No probs for us - we took Tantawangalo Mountain. Very pretty, but definitely NOT suited to caravans of any size. Coming back, we came up Mt Darragh.

Mt Darragh road is very slow and winding. The gradient is gentle, the scenery reasonably interesting but the road is rather narrow and it meanders like an old billy goat track.By choice, I would opt for Brown Mtn any day. Yes - it is steep, but if you are coming from Tumut, you will climb even steeper grades, and come down some grades which are nearly as steep as Brown Mtn. When you get to the truck uncoupling bay (B Doubles are not allowed to use the mountain, single trailers are OK), drop the car down 2 gears and quietly drive down the hill. You will get to Piper's Lookout (fabulous view if it is a clear day). Then, pick low gear and leave it there. Further down the hill, the rig will still tend to run away, so you will have to use brakes as well, but it is not that scary. When you get to the third hairpin, at the bottom of the hill, the road flattens out and although still winding, is ok. Speeds can go up to 40 or 50 km/h then. Finally, you will see the speed limit change from 60 to 100 km/h and it is all over. The steep bit is only about 10 km long, and the worst is then over.

The hill is not that bad. I use second gear in my car without a van. Cars blast past me when I move over, (there aren't many points where cars can get past) but I just sit back and enjoy the vegetation and the views. The road is wide and there are guard rails where needed. Finally, to give you some idea of how steep the hill is, 37 years ago, I rode my bicycle down and back up the mountain, so it isn't that scary.
FollowupID: 836725

Reply By: Erad - Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 09:36

Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 09:36
Cecilyt: Brown Mtn road re-opens at noon today. There will still be one lane roadworks in places for a few weeks, but the road is at least open again. See my followup above for comments on the chocie of roads.
AnswerID: 551253

Follow Up By: Cecilyt - Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 10:41

Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 10:41
Thanks Erad all your details and suggestions are so much appreciated. We are going to wait and see how my husband's foot is. He has list 3 toes on rfoot and develops an ulcer in what's left of the ball of the foot. He doesn't feel the brake or accelerator too well with the bandages on the ulcer. It is healing slowly do we will wait n see how it is when the time comes to make the decision In a couple of weeks time.
Thanks again everyone for uour help and encouragement. Cheets Cecilyt
FollowupID: 836730

Sponsored Links