The only one of our 100 Best Towns to have been relocated and recreated in its entirety, the story of Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains is an unusual one.
The area was explored by Strzelecki, who named nearby Mt Kosciuszko in the early 1840s (a large statue on Lake Jindabyne’s foreshore commemorates his discoveries) and the decision to release rainbow trout into the Snowy River in 1894 helped shape Jindabyne into the popular fishing destination it is today. The damming of the river in the 1960s as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme submerged almost the entire original town, with only a few houses being moved to the new East Jindabyne settlement.
“Jindabyne stands as an example of the diversity of environments in Australia. Out with the dusty dry plains and beachside surf towns, enter the snow-capped mountain village. – MyPOWER Team
Some roads still lead mysteriously into the lake, and the underwater sister city can be glimpsed when water levels drop, but the high-altitude town is more famous for another variety of water: frozen. Its proximity to Thredbo and Perisher Blue make it an attractive base for skiing holidays, as well as bushwalking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, horse riding, mountain biking and kayaking year round.
Where? // 460km (6hrs) southwest of Sydney, 180km (2.5hrs) south of Canberra.
Did you know? // In 2007, a wedding was held on the foundation steps of the old town Catholic Church. That’s only unusual when you consider that the Catholic Church is usually underwater.
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