Late November to late March
This walk can be done in a number of ways:
We opted to do this walk starting at the Cascades car park and heading towards Thredbo before returning back to our car. This meant that the walk to Thredbo was mainly downhill and the return walk was on the whole uphill. Having done this walk in both directions I would strongly suggest to get a better experience you do this walk one way starting at Cascades and walking to Thredbo. We just found that we connected with the river better on the downhill run.
If you plan on combining this walk with the Dead Horse Gap Track then I would suggest starting off with the chairlift ride at Thredbo Village up to Eagle Nest, walking the Dead Horse Gap Track down to Alpine Way and then finishing the walk off with Thredbo River Track at Thredbo. This will provide an easier walk as well as providing the best views on both walks.
The Thredbo River Track is as the name suggests a walk that hugs the Thredbo River. We opted to do this walk starting at the Cascades car park along Alpine Way and walking downhill to Thredbo before returning back to our starting point. Doing this walk this way makes for a harder second half of the walk but it’s easier to park provided you get an early start to the day.
This walk is on formed trail which includes natural surface, steps and small sections of mesh. Starting at the Cascades Trailhead the walk to Thredbo Village is mainly downhill with sections that are almost flat along and some very small sections of uphill. This walk runs straight down the valley and stays very close to the river rarely straying far. Much of the upper section of this walk is also close to Alpine Way and as such you get a bit of traffic noise. This doesn’t last for long and the traffic noise disappears very quickly and replaced by the noise of the river itself.
Animal life was almost none existent on the day we did this walk mainly consisting of small lizards sunning themselves on the trail. On the return trip we saw two Highland Copperhead Snakes, also sunny themselves until we disturbed them. While we didn’t see any birds we could definitely hear them. Plant life in early autumn saw some species in flower but we weren’t walking at the peak flowering season.
The trail itself crosses over a number of small bridges and there’s even a small lookout that takes in the key waterfall along the way (see the trail slideshow below). The sign you are reaching Thredbo Village is when you start to pass the Thredbo Golf Course.
Signage is limited along this trail with the occasional marker post as you go. The thing to remember is that you’re staying very close to the river so if in doubt keep this in mind and you want stray off trail.
Once we reached the Crackenback Road at Thredbo Village it was time to turn around and make our way back to our starting point. For us the trip back just didn’t have the same feel and we didn’t feel as connected with the river so if you are only walking this track one way, start at Cascades and walk to Thredbo.
All up the return 9.2km trip took us approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes but we weren’t pushing the pace and took time to sit on the occasional seat as we went.
This is a lovely hike, accessible to most hikers and well worth doing.
Maccas at Cooma, our usual breakfast stop
Approaching Lake Jindabyne
Drive past both entry points for Thredbo Village
Pull into the car park for the Cascades trailhead
Cascade Hut trailhead information kiosk
Walk across the road and turn left downhill
Away we go on the Thredbo River Track
Thredbo River at the start of the trail
Temporary bridge (2 large adults at a time!)
Trail signage. Veer to the right onto the Thredbo River Track. Going left will take you onto the Dead Horse Gap Track
Still a bit cold this early in the morning
Gill on the Thredbo River Track
Eucalyptus, the dominant tree on this trail
Trail example on the Thredbo River Track
Small waterfall and lookout
Gill at the lookout
Bridge on trail
Trail example 2
And another bridge
Gill on the Thredbo River Track
Thredbo Gold Course
Bench near Thredbo
River at Thredbo Village
Bridge into Thredbo Village
Thredbo trail end
Trail example on the way back
Back to Alpine Way
Almost back to the Cascades trailhead
Back to the Cascades trailhead car park which is also the car park for the Dead Horse Gap Track and the Thredbo River Track
This short video contains photos and videos to show you the walk from start to finish
Google Map from Thredbo Village to the trailhead which is a distance of approximately 6.5km
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker