Insiders guide to Jindabyne: Nolen Oayda

Nolen Oayda. Photo credit: Australian Geographic

Photographer, professional skier and now Snowy Mountain Cookies entrepreneur. Nolen Oayda is a talented man. Married to his partner in cookies and crime, Daisy, Nolen and his family call Jindabyne home.

How long have you lived in Jindy?

Basically moved to Jindabyne when I left school, so just over 30 years. Spent lots of time travelling but everything I owned always lived in Jindabyne

What made you move to Jindabyne?

First moved here for the skiing but stayed because I fell in love with the distinctive four seasons, the outdoors, the country town in summer and city vibe in winter (not your regular country town), the community and in the end a great place to bring up kids.

What do you love about Jindy the most?

Hard to isolate one thing but if we are talking about geography I’d have to say having Lake Jindabyne is an important factor to keeping me here year round .

How has your life changed for the better since moving to Jindy?

Less stress living in a country town…..not driving in traffic every day…..less people. Fresh air and open space.

Nolen on the cover of The Snowy Times in 1995
Nolen on the cover of The Snowy Times in 1995
Best place for coffee?

That depends what type of coffee you like. There are lots of coffee options in Jindabyne but there is an out of town venue in East Jindabyne called Tracy’s (next to the petrol station).

Best place for apres?

I’m not the groovy cat I use to be so can’t tell you from my experience of regular nights out but …. the La Cocina Mexican restaurant has a cool little bar upstairs.

Best place for breakfast and favourite dish?

Parc café (at the Snowy River Visitor’s Centre). Eggs Benny.

Special occasion dinner spot?

I like a few places, Namaste Indian , La Cocina Mexican, Café Darya Persian, Baccos Italian and The Larder at Lake Crackenback.

Best place for sunrise or sunset?

On top of the mountain or by the lake.

Best place to keep the kids entertained?

On the mountain or in the lake.

What is your favourite events on or off the mountain?

There are several mountain bike events in summer all worth checking out. In winter I’m a fan of the The Peak music festival on the long weekend at Perisher. Then there’s the several music events that Thredbo hold over the summer. Also love the Lake Light Sculpture event in Easter.

Where do you take out of town visitors to WOW them?

The old Trig station….but I’d have to show you.

Secret powder stash or favourite run in the region?

Paralyser at Perisher and Twin Valleys for Thredbo….but you need to hike.

Where do you ski the most during winter and why?

Perisher but 2014 will be the first time in 30 years that I will be skiing out of Thredbo!

Your favourite Jindy local character and where would we find them?

There are lots of has-beens and living legends in Jindabyne…..Pete Murphy plays a mean guitar and is a master craftsman building sweet guitars and ukes. The entire Berchtold family are all incredible from the amazing mountain bike Mum, stuntman son and Olympian daughter who owns the local gym…the Dad rocks too.

What can you get at Jindy you can’t get anywhere else in the world?

My beautiful family, great friends and a great place to nurture happiness within. Then there’s the combination of mountains and water….not to mention incredible coast line only 2hrs away……and Snowgums!

If you had to buy one thing to take back with you as a visitor to Jindy what would it be?

Snowy Mountains Cookies…..lots of the them.   timthumb.php   Don’t just take Nolen’s word for it, check out our other Insider Guides to Wanaka, Queenstown, Methve, Ohakune, Jindabyne, Mt Beauty and Mansfield as they are updated daily here.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.


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