Snowy River/Barry Way

Submitted: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 22:45
ThreadID: 134878 Views:2523 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Hi folks. What is the road through from Buchan to Jindabyne Like? Suitable for caravan 15' long x 6' wide off road van? I have taken a camper trailer through there a few years ago, but can't remember what it was like.
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Reply By: Stevo_62 - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 05:53

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 05:53
Came up through there about 4 weeks ago , road surface was fairly good. There are a few steep sections and several km of narrow /single lane sections with very steep drops over edge. As long as you only meet polite drivers coming other way it should be ok , but would hate to have to back caravan up if you cant pass on coming vehicle in narrow cutting
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Reply By: splits - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:04

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:04
There are signs at each end of that road saying it is not suitable for trailers. I drove over it about 18 months ago. The unsealed section was very smooth but so narrow in places that two cars could not pass each other. I even stopped on one corner and took a photo while standing about twenty metres in front of the car. It clearly shows there would be no room for a second car.

I would recommend the trip to anyone not towing, The scenery is outstanding, particularly the extensive elevated views of the Snowy River and the Little River Gorge which is off on a short detour.
AnswerID: 611161

Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:27

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:27
Ditto...drove the Barry years ago and found it 'scary'...just how two vehicles could be expected to safely pass in those squeezy unguarded spots has me baffled too...especially seeing that a miscalculation could readily lead to...'aaaaaaaagh'.....
beautiful scenery, but the Barry is off my revisits-list !
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Reply By: Ozi M - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 16:25

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 16:25
I have a lousy head for heights and would like to do the drive but the description of the drive concerns me.
Would I be better to drive it north or south, is one direction easier than the other ?
AnswerID: 611164

Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 16:48

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 16:48
The problem is room for passing (in the particularly narrow spots - surface quality was good throughout on my drive years back)....so direction doesn't matter much as I see it. As I recall though, northbound drivers would be more likely to be looking over the precipice on their left, while passing. Sections of the road were cut through the range in the pick and shovel days...while a whisker wider would have meant a lot more work, it would also have involved a lot more hill face having to come down.
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Follow Up By: Ozi M - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 18:10

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 18:10
Thanks for the extra info, I will think about it ...........
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Follow Up By: Member - J&A&KK - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 21:12

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 21:12
I drove that road on many occasions in the middle 1970's when working as a hydrologist with the NSW govt. The rig at the time was a Land Rover Series 3 LWB 6 cylinder tray back. A slow grind up all the hills was guaranteed.

We only went as far as the Jacobs River crossing coming down from Jindabyne. I have no idea what the road is like now but I doubt a lot has changed. The terrain was quite challenging and any road improvements would be extremely expensive.

I had two accidents on that road. In both cases I was going uphill, very slowly, and hit by the downhill vehicle.

Accident one was the one I remember very well. The downhill guy was in an EH wagon and hit us at some speed around the middle of the LR drivers door. We were as close to the edge of the road as we could get with a sheer drop off on our left hand side. The force of the impact resulted in our RLHS wheel dropping off the edge of the stone retaining wall and the diff hitting the ground.

We were going very slowly and stopped within a few metres. The EH, after hitting us, tore the FLH guard off his car on the big rocks sticking out of the cutting. Nobody hurt but some high blood pressure evident.

After getting out of the LR, my offsider scrambling out the drivers side, we exchanged some pleasantries. Unfortunately the EH driver was pretty aggressive and obviously a little drunk. There were a couple of cartons of beer on his back seat, an esky and 2 rifles and a shotgun. Needless to say we were somewhat apprehensive. The EH was driveable and after jacking the mudguard off the tyre the EH driver continued downhill after our assurances the NSW Govt would pay his repair bill. No idea if they did or didn't. We just wanted him to go away with his beer and guns.

We had and capstan winch and some wire rope. After smashing a groove in the road retaining wall with our petro Kango we skull dragged the LR back onto the road.

So unless things have improved dramatically forget towing on this road unless you have a " good fairy" looking out for you. Also beware of pale blue and white EH Special Station Wagons.

It is a great drive and best taken in the passenger seat. In the section from Jacobs River crossing to the top of the hill the driver has his eyes full of road only.

Cheers John

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 23:08

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 23:08
"Would I be better to drive it north or south, is one direction easier than the other?"

The narrowest gradient is the one climbing out of Suggan Buggan to the south. The drop off is on the eastern side. My preferred direction would be to drive south to north.
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Follow Up By: Ozi M - Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 09:07

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 09:07
I will take you advice, when I go to Melbourne I will come home that way
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 10:32

Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 10:32
We have travelled the road from Jindy to the Limestone Road turnoff to Omeo every 2 years or so with and without our 14 foot off-road van. Super scenic, steep, narrow in places and winding. But you and I have the rigs to do it. And the surface is 2WD. Take it slowly, pull over at Jack's Lookout and other spots. Camp at Pinch River or Willis - Vic not NSW. Down hill heading south from Wallace Craigie Lookout has a ball bearing-like surface not amenable to stopping quickly as an above poster recalled and with which I can sympathise. You will be lucky to see 10 cars in a two hour drive if it's not a long weekend............W
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Follow Up By: Twinkles - Monday, May 22, 2017 at 10:57

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 10:57
Glad to hear this. I have done Buchan to Jindabyn twice with my camper trailer and don't remember being worried, but when I suggested doing it with my off road van my family all said not to do it.
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