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Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre

Home > Canberra > Cafes | Places of Interest | Snow
by Di Hill (subscribe)
I love writing, taking photos, travelling and enjoying life. I have a BA of Adult and Vocational Teaching and a Master of Arts (Writing). My business card says Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, and Bamboo Fan
Published September 21st 2016
Recycling snow
Recently I went on a 8000 km drive from Brisbane, to Canberra, Melbourne, Tasmania, and back to the mainland and home via the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide and back via Broken Hill. I like driving and I did it solo – dropping in to see places of interest along the way. I always wish I have more time and money to stay longer, but four weeks away from home is enough!

Snowy Mountains Scheme, Discovery Centre, Cooma
Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre

After leaving Canberra, I drove along the Monaro Highway – stopping from time to time to rest and take photographs – and when I reached Cooma, some 114 kms south, I stayed a few hours to explore the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre.

Snowy Scheme, water, snow, Cooma
In the Discovery Centre

Most of us have known some things about this amazing project that started back in 1949, just after the end of World War II, and was completed 25 years later. Many migrants from Europe came to Australia to work on the project and many stayed – boosting the population of Australia at the time.

Snowy Mountains Scheme, water, electricity, Cooma
In the Centre

It is an amazing project that harvests the water from the melting snows of the region, and through a complex system which involves sixteen major dams, seven major power stations, a pumping station and 145 kms of inter-connected trans-mountain tunnels and 80 kms of aqueducts! The water harvested is distributed to the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers for irrigation for crops in the region. The electricity generated is used in the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria.

Snow Hydro Scheme, Cooma, Discovery Centre

It is acknowledged as "one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world." - from this website.

Snowy Scheme, Cooma, Discovery Centre
In the Discovery Centre

The Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre is just 2 kms north of the town of Cooma and is well worth a visit of several hours or more as there is so much to learn – with a large number of displays, hundreds of photographs, a theatre with films of the project, a shop and a café. The staff are most helpful and clearly proud of the Centre.

Discovery Centre, Cooma, snowy mountains

It has interactive displays, historic and entertaining films, and children are well catered for at the Centre.

shop, Discovery Centre
In the shop

Sadly, I didn't have the time for further exploration, but there are a number of places in the vicinity to explore further – and a visit to the Discovery Centre will give you details of the places worth investigating – and they will give you maps and travel details.

The Centre is open 7 days a week – Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays from 9 am to 2 pm.
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Why? Learn about the Snowy Hydro Scheme
When: Open 7 days a week
Phone: 1800 623 776.
Where: Cooma
Cost: Free
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