If you’re heading to Thredbo, Perisher or Charlotte’s Pass this season, you’ll be passing through the town of Jindabyne.

Over the years, this once-sleepy spot has transformed into a town that’s full of great accommodation options, tasty food offerings and plenty of year-round activities to keep you busy.

We’ve consulted Jindabyne locals and holiday regulars to work out the best of the best in town. Keep this list handy for your next trip, as it’s your true insider’s guide to the area.

Best breakfast

Birchwood Jindabyne

Super-popular Birchwood covers off on the best coffee and breakfast options in town. Open daily from 7am – 4pm, they have a variety of fresh, healthy options to fuel you up on a day on the hill – and modern options to please the city folk, such as tumeric lattes. With gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options available, try the popcorn prawn roll, the Buddha bowl or the to-die-for bacon and egg roll with house tomato relish.

Caffeine fix

The team at CBD (Coffee Beats Drinks) will sort you out with a cold brew, short black, gourmet latte or whatever your caffeine buds fancy. They know their stuff and also mix a fine cocktail or two.

Pop into The Market for some organic groceries and a fine side of smooth coffee beans served with artisan love and some sweet produce on the side.

Best bakeries

If you’re keen for a stopover in Berridale, the Whisk & Cocoa Cafe & Cake Parlour is a great option for a sweet treat, as well as a spot of lunch. Choose from burgers, sweet and savoury crepes and paninis, and wash it all down with a caramel thickshake.

Can you keep a secret in Jindabyne? Because the locals don’t really want you to know about Tracie’s Cafe at the East Jindabyne service station. Homemade cakes, biscuits and pies, along with healthier options, and all at reasonable prices.

Did someone say burgers?

Head straight to Burger Biz. Do not pass go. You’re welcome.

Best hangover food

Sleep in, then head over to Rokits for their Rokits Royale – a pimped bacon and egg roll. They can’t be beat when you’re feeling a little fragile from the night before. That said, they’re not open on Sundays, so make sure you save your big night on the town for a weeknight.

Dine out

Cocina Mexican Grill & Cantina and Agave Bar is the spot for a fun dinner after a big day skiing or snowboarding (or just hanging out around town). They have all your classic Mexican favourites on offer, whether it’s a margarita or a quesadilla. Try the Chicken Poblano Mole – it’s a traditional Mexican recipe with over 25 ingredients.

If you’re feeling less like nachos and more like nigiri, try Takayama Japanese Restaurant and Bar. From the ramen and the gyoza to the Sapporo beers, this will be a winner with anyone who wants authentic Japanese food in a casual, comfortable spot.

What about après

Let it be known that Jindabyne is not exactly the European Alps – there’s not a whole lot of table dancing going on when it comes to the après side of things. But you’ll still have fun.

But there are a few spots to grab a bevvie or two after a day on the slopes – namely the Banjo Paterson Inn, known to the locals simply as “the Banj”. With a cocktail bar, a nightclub (which can see some of Sydney’s most popular DJs visiting each week), and a traditional pub-style bar, you’ll find most of the town gravitating to the Banj to enjoy a drink and some tunes every night.

Jindabyne Brewing is a great option for those who want a taste of the local brews. They have six beers on tap with everything from a pilsner to a veissbier, a tapas menu to go with them all, and a super-chilled vibe with gorgeous views over the lake to accompany your beer tastings.

Shop shop shop

You’ll need to put aside an afternoon for this one. Lose yourself in the divine homewares, fashion, books and more in the mountain obsessed Design and Detail store. Tell Diana we sent you.

Fun activity to do

If you want a true blue Aussie experience, straight out of The Man from Snowy River, visit Snowy Wilderness. They offer a range of accommodation, including eco-friendly lodges, a cottage and a gorgeous homestead that sleeps up to 10 people; or you can join their multi-day horse treks that take you out to wilderness campsites. Look for the wild brumbies along the way and all the incredible views of the surrounding mountains. And if horses aren’t really your thing, they also offer up 4WD tours.

More insider tips

The Wild Brumby distillery. Photo via their website

The Wild Brumby Distillery is an award-winning spot that makes schnapps from local Australian fruits, including their own organically grown raspberries. Locals recommend stopping by to pick up a bottle or two, especially in the winter, when it seriously warms the soul. The gluhwein and the gin also come highly recommended, especially their raspberry-infused gin.

Need to learn more about the town of Jindy, or get some life admin done? Drop in at the Snowy Mountains Neighbourhood Centre to utilise their free resources, which include  a swappers library and free public access to technology and WiFi, as well as plenty of friendly faces to offer support or advice while you’re in town.

If you’re looking for some alone time with your significant other, get in touch with Snowy Mountains Babysitting. They can cover off daytime care if you’re skiing and snowboarding, and give you the option of bringing your kids to the resort even if you’re staying in Jindabyne, just in case you’d prefer them in closer proximity to you. They also offer evening or multi-day services to cover off any holiday needs.

Need a workout? Head to High Country Fitness. Yoga? The Jindabyne Yoga Shala has your downward dogs covered and for a massage head to The Massage Joint. 

And…if you’re staying in Jindabyne for a winter holiday, put it on your bucket list to return in the summer. While many people come exclusively in the winter, the warm temperatures make for perfect weather for relaxing by the lake, paddle-boarding or fly fishing; plus there’s plenty of hiking, biking and festivals to enjoy, making the year-round experience a seriously special one in this town.

Have you been to Jindabyne? What are your local tips?

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A skier's guide to eating (and drinking) your way around Perisher


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