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.
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.
Can you keep a secret? 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 – plus great coffee.
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.
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 only open from Monday to Friday, so make sure you save your big night on the town for a weeknight.
Cocina Mexican Grill & Cantina 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 & 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.
Let it be known that Jindabyne is not exactly the European Alps – there’s not a whole lot going on when it comes to the après side of things. 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.
Best 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.
Best insider tips
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.
Last but not least… 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?