Melbourne to Snowfields

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 04:29
ThreadID: 136492 Views:571 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Hi,

I am looking for some advice on best route to travel. I am planning to go from Melbourne to Mount Kosciousko and then eventually onto Canberra. I will be towing an 18 foot van with the wife and 2 kids and want to know what the best way to get there would be. Would like to travel via the coast to Bega and across to Cooma but not sure how easy it with the van? Would I be better off travelling via Albury? Also where is the suggestion to park the van and stay while we explore the area?

Cheers,
Jon
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Reply By: GarryR - Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 04:53

Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 04:53
Its an easy drive around the coast an to Bega. Stop at the cheese factory as its a good venue to buy and taste cheeses. From there through to Bemboka, Nimmitabel, Cooma and onto Canberra is still an easy drive. Just watch out for the logging trucks from Orbost onwards. I have towed many times through this area. Jindabyne has a good caravan park in which to base for trips to Threadbo, Charlottes Pass etc. Threadbo to Khancoban is steep down hill drive if you go home that way, but a nice drive. Watch out for motorbikes on this stretch of road. Coming back through Tumbarrumba is a scenic drive and still an easy tow. Another good spot to set up camp is along the river at Jingelic. You are now not far from Albury depending on your plans and what you want to see
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 10:10

Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 10:10
"Threadbo to Khancoban is steep down hill drive if you go home that way, but a nice drive. "

I second that, but be aware that that part of the Alpine Way from Thredbo to Tom Groggin is signposted "Not Suitable For Caravans". Doesn't say "Caravans Prohibited", so it's ok to go with a bit of common sense. Just be aware that the road is steep and winding with many tight turns.

It's a LLOONNGG steep downhill drive. Use your transmission to give as much engine braking as possible, lest you cook both your car and van brakes. Be kind to following vewhicles - let them pass. There's a nice camp/rest area at Leatherbarrel Creek, about half way down - a good place to stop for a breather for driver and vehicle.

I've driven the road many times in both directions towing a Kimberley Karavan behind a Prado and a BT50 with absolutely no issues.

Cheers
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Reply By: Athol W1 - Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 07:46

Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 07:46
Jon
It is an easy drive from Melbourne around the highway to Bega, then a good climb up Brown Mountain with some very slow corners then an easy drive for the rest of your intended route.

There are at least 2 good caravan parks in Jindabyne which is within easy reach of the NSW high country.

Whilst in Canberra we usually stay at EPIC (Exhibition Park In Canberra) which is the local showgrounds. No frills CV Park at a reasonable price and within easy reach of all the Canberra attractions. Be aware that there are some times of the year when camping there is not available due to the park being fully booked for some form of festival or event.

The road from Tumut to Cooma/Berridale has an equally hard climb from Talbingo and passes through the National Park and CAN be subject to closure due to weather conditions (snow), as can the roads to Charlottes Pass or Thredbo.

I have towed 21' plus vans on all of these roads except up the hill from Jindabyne, and driven to the conditions I would not expect any issues. I would not attempt to tow anything across the Snowy Mountains Highway if snow or ice is forecast.

Enjoy your holiday.
Regards
Athol
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Reply By: Erad - Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 09:52

Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 09:52
Reinforcing the comments above,the easiest way to do this trip is via Bega, Cooma and then to Jindabyne if you want to see snow or the Snowy Mountains. Coming to Cooma or Jindabyne from the West involves some steep climbs and descents on narrow winding roads. Not impossible - you just have to take your time and ensure that you stay on your own side of the road.

What are you towing the van with? When are you coming? How confident are you on narrow roads? Where in Melbourne are you coming from? If it is from the East side, going through Gippsland is a far easier option than going up the Hume Highway - for a start you don't have to fight Melbourne traffic. There are too many variables to make a specific recommendation without knowing more background.

The trip via Bega is a lot longer than from the Western side of the Snowies. You have a climb up Brown Mountain, but this is only 10 km of steep climb and then it is relatively flat. Even then, it isn't that bad - I have ridden my bicycle down and up Brown Mountain (I was a lot younger then though...)

If you are not interested in the Sapphire Coast (Eden, Merimbula, Bega - beautiful area by the way), you can turn off the Princes Hwy at Cann River. This road is sealed all the way and is a good alignment. You only have one major hill before Bombala, and then it is a fairly easy run into Cooma or Jindabyne. Do not consider the Bonang Hwy from Orbost to Bombala - it has some gravel but it is winding and narrow and a lot of logging trucks use this road. It is 15 km shorter than the Cann River Road (The Monaro Highway), but 1 hour longer.

The trip over the Snowies from the West involves longer and steeper climbs. If you are intending to come during winter, take careful note of the road conditions - snow and ice can be encountered at any time of the year, but moreso in winter or late Autumn and Spring. If you are after some snow fun for the kids, Mt Selwyn near Cabramurra is a forgotten area during winter. You can park your car right next to the snow, the ski and sled runs are gentle and the overall picture is a lot less flashy and gaudy.
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Follow Up By: jmharris - Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 22:17

Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 22:17
Thanks for the reply mate. We are actually traveling from Rockhampton, Qld. Having a a week at the game at the Gold Coast then traveling to Melbourne via the inland road. Not sure where we will stay in Melbourne as yet. Plan is to then take about 3 weeks to travel back to Rockhampton via the coast all the way. Towing our van with a VW Amarok
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 15:40

Sunday, Apr 01, 2018 at 15:40
During the snow season the shortest way for you is this route. It is also easier than going through Bega and I would suggest going that way if you don't have a reason for going through Bega. Without snow around I would suggest the route through Khancoban if you feel competent through hilly roads without shoulders.

As for camping I would recommend the Adventist Alpine Village.
PeterD
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