Driving in the snow
Driving in the snow requires all your attention and can often cause tiredness, particularly when conditions demand a high level of concentration. Remember to be patient and enjoy your trip.
When driving in snowy or icy conditions, leave double the normal distance between you and the car in front. Don't break hard and avoid sharp steering movements: stopping on icy roads takes a lot longer. The speed limit in many areas of Kosciuszko National Park is reduced to 80 km/h during winter.
Take extra care around snow ploughs. They may be operating on the wrong side of the road and are not easily manoeuvrable.
To protect your vehicle ensure that your radiator has effective antifreeze. If in doubt, have your service station perform an electrolyte test. If you drive a diesel vehicle you will need a 'winter' diesel mix. Winter mix has special additives which stop the fuel freezing. If you still have plenty of fuel in your tank on arrival in the mountains, it may be sufficient to top it up and run the vehicle for 10 to 20 minutes. Check with a local service station.
Some helpful tips for safe motoring on the snow can be found on the following websites:
It is compulsory to carry properly-fitting snow chains if you are driving a two-wheel-drive vehicle from the June to October long weekends on the following roads:
Chains may also be required in certain weather conditions on the Alpine Way between Jindabyne and Thredbo and the Snowy Mountains Highway. Check road conditions before you travel.
For this reason the RTA recommends that chains be carried during winter along the Alpine Way between Jindabyne and Thredbo and when travelling along the Snowy Mountains Highway.
Snow chains should be fitted as directed by authorised NPWS, RTA and Police officers.
4WD vehicles are not required by law to carry snow chains but due to the high incidence of 4WD vehicle accidents in Kosciuszko National Park, the RTA now recommends they do-especially if drivers have little experience driving in snow/ice risk sections.
Chains can be hired at many service stations and ski hire shops in the region, including Thredbo.
Check road conditions
For more tips and information on staying safe in national parks, visit the Park Safety webpage.
Page last updated: 19 July 2011