Melbourne to Jindabyne best route

Discussion in 'Questions & Answers' started by Goofyr, May 4, 2008.


    Goofyr New Member


    It's a little early but friends have asked me to join them in July in Jindabyne. I've recently moved to Melbourne and it looks like the most direct way is via the Alpine Way. How safe is this route in winter and at night, will it likely be icy? Also I will most likely be travelling alone.

    - Goof

    scottski Dedicated Member

    Goofyr. I drive this a few times each winter. I would be very careful driving it at night due to black ice and lots of wildlife. During the day should be no problem. Even if the weather does turn you can generally get through. There are a few problem areas mostly between Khancoban and Dead Horse gap.

    Drive it at the indicated speed limits. There are surprises around every corner. Enjoy, it is a very scenic drive.

    Graeme New Member

    road OK, but make sure you take chains.

    Phalanx Active Member

    I have gone on the Alpine way in storms, snow and night and never had a problem on it. Some of the dirt roads around that area can get more fun like towards Omeo.

    Bogong Addicted Member

    The fastest way is the Orbost route. Take the Princes Freeway through Gippsland (M1 / A1) and turn north at Cann River along the Monaro Highway (B23).

    The shortest distance (but the longest time) is via Buchan and the Barry Way (C608), but the road is rough, remote and part of it is unsealed. If you get a puncture, there are hillbillies who think nothing of capturing outsiders and making them "squeal like a pig".

    The route via the Hume Freeway and Corryong (M31, B400) is seven hours, IF you take short rests and the weather is fine. But the road beyond Talangatta has vast numbers of bends and if the weather is lousy you may have to fit tyre chains to get over Dead Horse Gap.

    Take the Orbost route. It's a good, straight, cruisey road the whole way, without any hassles or complications. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
    Principal Douglas

    Principal Douglas New Member

    I agree with Bogong.

    The route via Corryong/Alpine Way is a bit more interesting, but if you are just after the quickest, easiest drive, go via Cann River/Bombala/Dalgety.

    Be very careful between Bombala, Dalgety and Jindabyne because there's a tonne of wildlife and it is kind of isolated. It's dirt for a while between Bombala and Dalgety as well.

    Donza Pool Room Season Pass Holder

    Nearly hit a kangawallapuss one morning going that away last year. I guess thats what you'll get for driving at 6.30am in fog in autumn.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013

    Graeme New Member

    to make it clear , to get to Dalgety then Jindy from the Monaro Highway you turn left just before the locality of Ando, which is a few km past Bibbenluke.

    Graeme New Member

    which route is best will to soome extent be determined by where in Melbourne you are leaving from. If eastern suburbs its a nobrainer to go via Orbost. If to norht or west, this may be different.

    BrumbyJack New Member

    I agree with this. We go down the coast to Dandenong etc. we go inland to Whittlesea etc.

    Don't contemplate the Barry Way in Winter at night, it makes the Alpine Way look like a 4 lane freeway.

    The Alpine Way is actually a pretty good road, it is sealed 100% and has light but constant traffic, even in the middle of the night. It is rarely closed due to snow, more often closed due to fallen trees.

    Don't think the Cann River/Bombala/Dalgety road is a picnic either, Bombala/Dalgety has a large amount of dirt and lots of roos, but if you are going to the East side of Melbourne it is definitely quicker.

    BTW, you don't want to do the Orbost/Bombala Rd, that is worse than the Alpine Way, you want to do the Cann River/Bombala Road.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013

    Seth Old And Crusty

    Great thread. I had always just assumed that the Alpine Way was the quickest way. I'd heard the Barry Way but at the same time heard that it was going through the middle of no where and a crap road. Next time i think i'll go via Orbost.

    Goofyr New Member

    Cool, thanks for all the replies!
    I'll check out the Orbost route on gmaps.

    - goof

    letsgoshopping New Member

    hey all, we recently drove the route recommended on here( thanks again guys) and printed out maps from victoria tourism site, It took us 9 hours from laverton near melb -lake crackenback ....with prob an hour worth of stop offs (2 girls = lots of toilet stops) so around 7.5/ 8 hours total...and Im not a slow driver parents were in front of us in dads lovely new "prized" monaro and nearly hit a roo, so be super careful if travelling on dusk thru bombala/ dalgety..the dirt part of the road is 30km ...hope this helps..liz

    atlas New Member

    Could I just confirm:

    The Hume Hwy/Alpine Valley/Corryong route is per this link:
    Sealed roads all the way, but may have to fit chains just past Tallangatta to get through Dead Horse Gap. Approx time 7 hours.

    The Orbost route is per this link:,4.927368&z=8
    Cruisy (easier?) drive, but will have to take care on dirt roads between Bombala and Dalgety. What is the approximate driving time for this route?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013

    currawong Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    chains may need to be fitted on alpine way but not till past Tom Groggin and well on the way to dead horse gap. maybe a once a decade storm could give you problems between tallangatta and corryong but extremely unlikely.

    depending on when you are going, I would also factor in the ease of driving on freeway all the way to wodonga compared to freeway running out at morwell on the orbost route

    SnoWhite New Member

    Atlas, I've just had a look at the link on the Orbost route map. It has you going from Dalgety to Jindabyne via Berridale. That's the long way around. It's probably around 15 to 20 minutes quicker via Beloka (which is just a locality).

    When you arrive at the T intersection in Dalgety turn left, then turn right to the old bridge that goes over the Snowy River. The road is sealed all the way and a lovely drive.

    When you get to Jindabyne you either turn right to go into town or hang a left to skip town and head into the mountains.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    Can't comment on the Cann River route because it's a long time since i've driven it.

    Have done Melbourne (centre) to Wodonga a few time this year and do that in around 2hr 50min. The road from Wodonga to Khancoban isn't that bad. I guess you could average 90km/hr which makes that stretch about 1hr 45min. Khancoban to Thredbo is 1hr 10min. Thredbo to Jindy is 30min.

    That makes total of 6hr 15 min.

    The route via Cann River is well over 600km. The roads aren't good enough to average over 100km/hr so i guess that way would be slower. It depends how you drive.

    sli1 Dedicated Member

    My driving times match very closely with SB's. Hence the frustration. You may be able to get to 1900 m ASL in Vic a tiny bit quicker but you will di it in almost the same time just driving to DHG and climbing from there. On the latter I sip a latte in the car. On the former I slog up some decent vertical from below the snowline.

    StuckinQld Active Member

    It is 2 and a half hours on the dot from Cann River to bottom of the skitube via Dalgety. The turnoff from the Monaro isnt overly clear, and if you arent looking out carefully you may end up going via Cooma. Oh, and after Dalgety dont take the turn to Jimenbuen....... take the Jindabyne road!
    Ditto the comments about wildlife from Orbost onwards in the afternoon / evenings.
    All in all the roads are pretty good from Melbourne, via Cann River. So much better now that they are sealed on the NSW side between Cann and Bombala!
    Guess you can keep an eye on the weather closer to the time if you have any worries about driving in the snow.

    bdenny4 Dedicated Member

    Here is the summary of the trip I did last year:

    SE melb to Jindy

    Depart: Friday 28th August 7:15am
    Route: Princess Fwy to Cann River; Monaro Hwy; through Dalgety on Snowy River Way to Jindy
    Conditions: Clear, sunny day with light traffic
    Stops: 45 mins for lunch at Bairnsdale
    Arrived: 3pm
    Total Drive time: 7 hours

    Jindy to SE Melb

    Depart: 9:15am Friday 4th Sept
    Route: Alpine Way; Murray Valley Hwy through Corryong, Talangatta to Wodonga; Hume Hwy; Goldburn Valley Hwy through Yea; Melba Hwy; Maroondah Hwy and Eastlink
    Conditions; Overcast with ocasional rain along Hume with heavy rain through Yarra Valley; light traffic - medium to heavy from Yarra Valley onwards
    Stops: 1 hour total for lunch and afternoon coffee
    Arrived: 5:30pm
    Total Drive Time: 7:15 hrs
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013

    atlas New Member

    So I'm heading to Jindabyne tomorrow from Melbourne city. Leaving midday. What do people think would be the best route?

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Season Pass Holder

    Joizus, it's pretty clear, take Bogong's advice!
    Having said that, everyone should drive the Barry Way at least once in their life, magnificent scenery, just don't drive too fast, and be alert!

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture

    You're stupid leaving at midday if you've never done that drive before. You'll be driving up the mountain in the dark. You should be leaving around 9am to leave yourself plenty of light in case anything happens on the way up. Speaking from experience...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    If you go via the alpine way that would put you around Scammels Spur or Olsens lookout at sunset. Nice views. But you will probably strike ice getting over dead horse gap. Nothing to worry about if you drive to the conditions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    atlas New Member

    Yeh unfortunately have committments this morning so can't leave as early as I would have liked.

    But we're only driving to Jindy, and I think if we take the Cann River route, it should be ok? Just take a cautious drive the for the last few legs along the Monaro and Snowy River.

    Alternatively, if it's night time, would it better to go via Cooma and avoid the dirt road, despite being a longer drive?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture

    Whether you're driving up the mountain or across the Monaro, driving at dusk and night you need to be especially careful for wildlife. Some nights you'll see zip, some nights you'll see hundreds of animals. It's going to be a long trip!

    I'd personally be either shifting morning commitments to leave earlier, or driving til dusk that afternoon, staying somewhere like Tallangatta or Cann River overnight and leaving first thing next morning to get to Thredbo mid-morning, especially as it's your first time. I lived up there for 15 years so I know the roads very well and don't worry about the roads, but always worry about wildlife from dusk onwards.

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture

    Think back to the movie Jindabyne, with the wild guy driving the Monaro Plains when he killed the girl near the start. That's what the dirt roads are like if you bypass Cooma, then imagine driving them at night for the first time in utter darkness except for your car headlights. If you're comfortable with that, go for it! (He won't be there [​IMG] ). If you're a bit cautious, stay overnight and take it easy. You know your experience and limits, like none of us do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013

    atlas New Member

    Does the Alpine way actually go through Thredbo village? ie. you have to traverse up and down the mountain to get to Jindy?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Graeme New Member

    "Does the Alpine way actually go through Thredbo village? ie. you have to traverse up and down the mountain to get to Jindy?"
    Yes, well almost - it skirts immediately above Thredbo village on its way down to Jindy from Dead Horse Gap.

    atlas New Member

    Thanks for the tips everyone. Trip was a success!

    Departed Melbourne city around 1:30pm after eating lunch. Went down the Monash and out via Bairnsdale. Was just touching dusk by the time we reached Cann River at about 5:30ish. Took it easy heading north and even ventured through the dirt road to Dalgety, along which we managed about 80-90km/h quite comfortably. Thankfully no wildlife got in the way. There was a bit of ice on the bitumen just after the dirt road ended, but it was not too bad. Reached Jindy just after 8pm which I thought was quite good all things considered. I must say the lighting from the X5 made the night-time driving a lot easier. Compared to driving up Hotham/Falls at night - this was easier imo. But then again, you do appear to be in the middle of nowhere.

    In the morning, did the drive to Thredbo and was surprised by how relatively easy it was. I thought I had to climb up a mountain ala Falls or Hotham but no such duties were necessary.

    Departed Thredbo today at about 12:45pm via the Alpine Way through Tom Groggin, and arrived back in Melb at about 7:30pm. I must say that those 65km of twisties were a lot more challenging than the Cann River/Bombala route. Thankfully this was in the middle of the day where the risk of ice was minimal, but I'd hate to do that route at night. Compared to the roads up to Hotham and Falls - I'd say these were a lot harder, and now I understand why people would sometimes have to fit chains going that way. It's much like anyone would have to fit chains going up to Hotham or Falls.

    I think the route I'd take next time would be dictated by timing and weather. If I was going to hit the Alpine Way during daylight, then sure I'd take that route because it's possibly about 30-45mins faster. But if the weather was wet/snowy or I was going to reach there at night time, then Cann River/Bombala it is.

    On a side note - the snow at Thredbo is rather mediocre at the moment! Would not bother, especially with the school holiday crowds!

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture

    Good to hear [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    Got a nice view of the sunset on the way home last night.


    The section between Khancoban and Thredbo is a bit painful but once you get used to it it is OK.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013

    Donza Pool Room Season Pass Holder

    Power steering only.
    never turned the wheel in such a short period in all my life
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture

    That's the best bit of the whole trip!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    bobly Active Member

    Thanks for all this info guys.

    Think it sounds like it's worthwhile doing a big loop just to explore the different country. I'm going to head up in September and I'll go east to Cann River and will head back the Hume with a stop off at Falls for a few days. Nice not to repeat the road too. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013

    Curto Dedicated Member

    I drove the Alpine Way home yesterday and here are some pics of the Main Range I took on the way.

    Scammel Spur lookout:

    Just out of Khancoban:

    Again from just out of Khanchoan:

    The Vic/NSW border towards Khancoban:

    Melbourne side of Corryong:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013

    Pettit1988 New Member

    Hi mate,
    I'm currently in melbourne myself and am looking to go to jindabyne about the same time! Were about in Melbourne are you staying? Are you a traveller or Australian?

    luvthabumps Addicted Member

    [​IMG] <span style='font-size: 8pt'>really hope that goofy is not still waiting for someone to go with him / her</span>
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013