Calling Alpine Australia expansive is an understatement. It encompasses the Snowy Mountains (the Snowies) and Victorian Alps (the High Country), as part of the Great Dividing Range. Containing peaks exceeding 2000m high, this impressive part of the country crosses three state borders: south eastern New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and eastern Victoria.
It’s Australia’s highest mountain range, with 16 national parks and reserves plus the country’s only mainland skiing spots – therefore the promise of snow photography! Although the baby brother to the Alps of Europe, New Zealand and the Andes, that’s a major positive for aspiring landscape photographers, as most peaks can be reached without a fancy mountaineering kit.
We’ve listed our favourite top 5 photography spots, but you are seriously spoilt for choice when exploring the best landscape photography locations in Alpine Australia…
1. Mount Kosciuszko – for diversity
Let’s start big with Australia’s highest peak – Mount Kosciuszko. Perched at 2,228 metres (7,310 ft), it’s a photographic highlight of Alpine Australia. Visit in summer to capture some of the best views of the Snowies from the summit, with the chance to grab shots of amazing alpine flowers or try your hand at snow gum photography. For a sensory-filled adventure, try the old track that takes in Charlotte’s Pass, crosses Snowy River, Seaman’s Hut and Rawson’s Pass before reaching Kosciuszko’s peak (9km one way). Not up for a big hike? Take the Kosciuszko chairlift from Thredbo to cut off a few hours. As a whole, Kosciuszko National Park offers photographers diverse scenery including herb fields, limestone caves, alpine resorts and, of course, the Snowy River itself. You might even spot a rare mountain pygmy possum or corroboree frog.
2. Cooma – for history
If you’re taking a photo tour through the Alpine Australia region, include a visit to historic (and photogenic) Cooma. Established in 1849, it’s the largest town in the Snowy Mountains with a rich history as a base for visitors, local and abroad, during the gold rush era and the building of the Snowy Mountain Scheme in 1949. Take the self-guided Lambie Town Walk for a quick tour through the years. Cooma is your portal to explore the legendary river, snow-covered peaks, waterfalls and rolling plains that surround it. Start a walk directly out of Cooma (wear weather-appropriate clothes), heading to the Tuross Cascades to capture waterfalls flowing through mountain fog. Warm up with coffee and culture at one of the town’s popular eateries or galleries.
3. Lake Crackenback – for a base
Nestled between the townships of Jindabyne and Thredbo, sits Crackenback in Thredbo Valley, with a large alpine resort and spa centred around its lake. This spot is not only an incredible source of accommodation for a photo tour, but it is the perfect gateway to explore the region’s sites. Some would even call it an oasis. Lake Crackenback itself is filled with trout and surrounded by opportunities for fishing, walking, skiing, canoeing, hiking, biking and photography.
4. Alpine Huts – for isolation
A popular landscape photography scene is a building in a wild setting – it’s the perfect contrast of the man-made co-existing with nature. Alpine Australia is one of the best places to capture this kind of landscape photography, with roughly 120 active alpine huts dating back to the days of the mountain cattleman and regional surveyors. The huts are seasonally used by hikers, skiers and fly-fishermen, maintained by park volunteers, and occasionally lost to bushfires. We recommend finding Moscow Villa Hut, Valentine Hut, Mawson’s Hut or the Slaven House, a stunning High Country hut kept company by large Poa Tussocks (bluegrass).
5. Mt Howitt’s Cross Cut Spur – for an edge
Scale Mt Howitt in Victoria’s Alpine National Park for an incredible landscape photo during a ridgeline hike across the Cross Cut Spur. Most weather conditions allow you to get a great shot, but clouds can drastically reduce visibility, so do your research before setting off! Another photogenic gem on this hike is Howitt Hut. It’s one of the oldest cattleman mountain huts in the entire Alpine National Park (built in the early 1900s), located beside Caledonia River. Although difficult to access in heavy snow, the hut makes a great camping or meeting spot with Mt Howitt’s summit reachable in just a few hours.