Khancoban lies at the south western edge of Kosciuszko National Park, on the Alpine Way, and provides an excellent base for enjoying a wide range of nature based activities.
In 1824, Hume and Hovell were the first Europeans to pass through the district and graziers soon followed, impressed by the abundance of fodder and water. Khancoban was a sleepy hamlet until construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme began in 1949. Khancoban was built by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority as a town to house workers on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme and their families. During this time, the population reached its peak of around 2,000 people. Today, the town has a population of around 280. It is the headquarters of the Murray region of the scheme, which is owned and operated by Snowy Hydro Limited, overseeing the nearby Murray 1 and 2 power stations and Khancoban Pondage.
The Alpine Way was constructed to give access to the scheme’s engineering features, and was not completely sealed until the 1990s, which immediately gave Khancoban quicker access to Thredbo, Jindabyne, Cooma and Canberra and has since provided travellers with a scenic connection from NSW through to Victoria.
Khancoban and surrounds…
Nearby Kosciuszko National Park is internationally recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering 1.5 million acres of magnificent alpine terrain. Kosciuszko is home to plant species found nowhere else on earth, as well as rare animal species such as the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pigmy Possum. In summer, experience the unique and beautiful landscape by hiking the Park’s extensive network of bushwalking tracks.
At this time of year, the boat ramp at Khancoban Pondage is a popular meeting place for locals and lovers of water sports. The picnic and swimming area is the ideal place to chill and relax on a hot day. Year round fishing is available at Khancoban Pondage, and budding anglers are reminded that a NSW recreational fishing licence is required to fish all local waterways, including the Murray River. A concrete boat ramp, free electric BBQs, picnic tables and shelters, playground and toilets are available for public use at the Khancoban Foreshore Reserve. In winter Khancoban is an ideal base for day trips to the snow fields at Thredbo, or cross country skiing in the back country.
Places to Stay in Khancoban
Accommodation options include Khancoban Lakeside Caravan Park with cabins, motel-style units, powered and unpowered sites; the Khancoban Alpine Hotel with 36 motel style rooms, Queens Cottage with 7 studio apartments, two cabins and two houses; and a range of B&B and self-contained cottage accommodation.
Free camping spots in the Khancoban area include Geehi Rest Area 34kms south of Khancoban beside the crystal clear Swampy Plains River, and Tom Groggin Rest Area 50km south of Khancoban next to the Murray River.
Services in Khancoban include a chemist, pub, service station, cafés, post office and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Information Centre (where visitors can obtain a National Parks Pass). Snow chain hire is available from Khancoban Lakeside Caravan Park.