There’s nothing better than a long weekend – and for most Aussie states, there’s one coming up. The Queen’s birthday public holiday is on the 12th of June – and with three days off work, it’s the ideal time to jump in the car and enjoy a short road trip holiday.

The Great Alpine Way is the perfect short winter escape. Often referred to as the Kosciuszko Alpine Way, it’s just one of Australia’s many destinations that is at its best during the colder months. Plus, the drive is just over 100km one-way – meaning it’s completely achievable at a slow and relaxing pace this Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Let’s explore just what makes this iconic Aussie road so enchanting.

Getting there

Situated in Kosciuszko National Park, a UNESCO-listed reserve in the heart of New South Wales’ Snowy Mountain region, driving through the Great Alpine Way is a trip like no other.

There are actually a number of ways you can approach this drive. You can join up in Jindabyne, in the southern reaches of Kosciuszko National Park, or Cooma – the unofficial gateway to the Snowy Mountain region. Alternatively, you can start the trip in the charming town of Khancoban, which is on the Victorian side of the drive.

Easily accessible from Canberra or Sydney, the Great Alpine Way offers a myriad of landscapes. From snow-capped mountain peaks to roads surrounded by wild forest, every jaw-dropping vista of the Kosciuszko region is as stunning as the last.

A range of activities to enjoy

The Great Alpine Way is truly Australia at its untouched best. Whilst in the Snowy Mountain region, you can’t miss the opportunity to hit the slopes. Whether you’re interested in skiing, snowboarding, sledding or just throwing a couple of snowballs, the Great Alpine Way could be your road to a mini snow adventure.

Alternatively, if you prefer a spot of fishing or bike rides in the solitude of the mountains, there are ample opportunities to do both on your journey. There’s also a huge selection of fantastic walking tracks, where you can hike through the exquisite alpine country and maybe even spot some local wildlife.

For those of us familiar with Banjo Paterson, the area also evokes memories of the iconic Aussie drama, The Man from Snowy River. So while you’re in the mountains, why not partake in some horse riding to truly get in the spirit of the High Country life?

Things to note

The Kosciuszko National Park carries park entry fees, and the amount you’ll pay will depend on the size of your vehicle and the number of passengers. Due to its popularity in winter, the rates are slightly higher during the mid-year months. However, in our opinion, it’s worth every penny for what you’ll get back in experience.

The Great Alpine Way can also be windy, steep and narrow in parts. In the interests of safety, let the most confident driver in your crew take the wheel to manoeuvre this Aussie landmark.

Whether you’re hitting the ski fields of Thredbo, getting active hiking or biking, or simply meandering between the unique, friendly towns along the way, the Great Alpine Way is an unmissable road trip to take. It’s easily manageable over our next long weekend holiday, so why not pick up a vehicle from one of our many convenient New South Wales car hire locations and experience it for yourself?