Tumut and the Snowy Valleys: You won't need wild horses to drag you there

Tumut, in the Snowy Valleys region of NSW, is a high country heaven on earth.
Tumut, in the Snowy Valleys region of NSW, is a high country heaven on earth.

With all that's on offer in Tumut, you won't need wild horses to drag you there.

Fishing is probably not the first thing that comes to mind after this eventful summer. But as we move towards autumn and the weather cools, holiday thoughts usually move from the sea to the mountains. And as many people have had to cut short or even cancel their summer holidays they are now looking to re-book some reclaimable downtime.

While our NSW South Coast beaches are starting to regain the warm embrace of tourists, it's also time to look at the cool, clear trout-filled tailwaters of places like Tumut for your next break. This Snowy Valley destination features forest, farmland and fish as well as the town of Tumut itself.

Drifting the Tumut is one of the easiest ways to find trout here and Aussie Fly Fisher offers a custom-made drift-boat which can access almost every part of the river which is constantly fed by the Snowy Hydro scheme.

While away the day in the Tumut River.

While away the day in the Tumut River.

Guided fly fishing on the cold waters of the river is must-do for keen fly fisherfolk. And Aussie Fly Fisher practises "catch and release" for all stream-caught trout, whether you use drys or nymphs or streamers - don't worry, your guide will explain.

But it's not all cold water and fishing flies. Comfy accommodation in the area includes the luxurious Nimbo Fork Lodge which sits nestled in the foothills of the Snowy on the fork of Tumut River and Nimbo Creek.

At the northern end of Kosciuszko National Park, between Gundagai and Tumut, Nimbo Fork Lodge is the perfect end to a day on the river. If fly fishing is not your thing, then the lodge is also an ideal romantic escape - it's the place to go for a special celebration.

It's also a good spot to invite the staff on a corporate getaway. And if the accommodation is good enough for local NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers, who stayed there recently while they battled local blazes, it's good enough for us.

There are six suites in the main Nimbo Fork Lodge as well as six private cottages in the surrounding grounds. All room options sleep two. As the weather cools, there are fireside drinks to enjoy in the lounge before dining in the lodge's restaurant. The a la carte menu makes good use of local, seasonal and sustainable produce. Try the Snowy Mountains smoked trout pate with dill and caper salsa served on crostini.

Even though some grape growers have been affected by the recent fires, the wine cellar is fully stocked. The wine list includes premium local drops including Nick Spencer, Freeman Wines, Nick O'Leary and Calabria Family Wines.

But fishing and local food are not the only adventures on offer around this part of the world, as there are plenty of other "sports" to pursue - if coffee shops, delis, restaurants and homewares stores are your thing.

But seriously though, other local attractions and activities include exploring the Yarrangobilly thermal pool and caves, the Sugar Pine Walk at Bago State Forest, mountain biking, horse riding or being eyeballed by the brumby running beside you as you drive down one of the forest roads.

Transport: Nimbo Fork Lodge is almost a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney and a little over two hours from Canberra.

Fishing: One angler costs $700, two anglers $750, which includes 10 hours of guiding and tuition, lunch, snacks, beverages, all flies and equipment.

Stay: Suites from $220 per night; cottages from $295. No children under 16. Check Instagram @nimboforklodge_ for specials.

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