Jindabyne, about three hours' drive from Canberra, is the New South Wales town closest to the ski resorts of Thredbo and Perisher Valley in the Snowy Mountains. Jindabyne lies some 60 kilometres west of Cooma.
While the Thredbo Alpine Village in the Snowy Muntains is very much self-contained, with restaurants, shops, small supermarkets, hotels and ski lodges conveniently clustered close to the ski lifts and slopes, there are advantages in staying at Jindabyne winter or summer.
If you were staying at Thredbo and wanted to go to Perisher, you'd have to drive back to the edge of Jindabyne town before taking the road to Perisher Valley, a trip that could take an hour, and possibly longer in snowy conditions.
If you were staying in Jindabyne, both Thredbo and Perisher are about 30-40 minutes away. You avoid having to double back.
Taking the train
if you didn't wish to drive, the Skitube starts at the Bullocks Flat terminal just outside Jindabyne and brings you to the Perisher skiing areas.
A cheaper place
For those with a careful eye on the budget, Jindabyne is also much cheaper. This includes lower accommodation, food, and equipment hire costs.
The present town of Jindabyne started to grow in the 1960s after the old township was flooded when the Snowy River Dam was built, creating a lake that laps the new town's front yard.
If you go sailing on the lake when the water is low, you may be able to catch glimpses of the submerged town now lying at lake's bottom.
A particular ambience
With its lake close to centre of town, and the Snowy Mountains as a backdrop, there is a particular ambience to Jindabyne that has attracted movie makers in recent times.
Australian director Cate Shortland picked Jindabyne for the character of the location to film her first movie, Somersault, a coming-of-age story in that transitory time between adolescence and adulthood.
The film won all 13 Australian Film Institute awards in 2004, including best film, best director, best actress (Abbie Cornish), best actor (Sam Worthington). It was the most AFI awards that had been won by a single film.
In early 2005, Jindabyne again became a film location, this time for the movie Jindabyne based on the short story by American writer Raymond Carver. The film was directed by award-winnign director Ray Lawrence (Bliss, Lantana) and starred Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, Australian actors Max Cullen and Deborah Lee-Furness (wife of Hugh Jackman), and American Laura Linney who received an Academy Award nomination in 2005 for her work in Kinsey.
Things to do
In winter, it is of course ski season activity that fills Jindabyne, with the town providing relatively cheap accommodation, ski clothing and equipment for hire, restaurants and coffee shops, and snow tours.
In the less crowded summer, visitors have a choice of bushwalks into Kosciuszko National Park; boating, sailing, windsurfing and fishing for trout on Lake Jindabyne; horse riding and bicycle tours; whitewater rafting in the Upper Murray; and leisurely walks by the lake starting from where the statue of Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki, Snowy Mountains explorer, stands.