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Khancoban Pondage

Khancoban is a small settlement at the base of the Snowy Mountain Range, in New South Wales. It was set up and developed in the period after World War Two, when the Australian Government undertook the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electricity Scheme, at the time one of the biggest ventures in this field of engineering. Workers were needed and cheap assisted passages were offered by the Government to attract labour. Many came from the mountain areas of Europe and settled in Khancoban and even today the village has a distinctly European flavour.

Scenically this area is amongst the most beautiful on the continent. With the Snowy Mountain Range rising in the background and Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciusco, visible at the top the Khancoban Pondage completes the picture, collecting the final runoff from all the water powering the many power stations dotted amongst the ranges. There is a dam wall at the western end and the flow is controlled and released into the Swampy Plains River, which eventually joins the Mighty Murray River, which flows all the way across the top of Victoria and out into the Great Southern Ocean in South Australia. In summer the Pondage is a very popular place to swim and water ski. To be skiing on a glassy surface and look up to see the mountain ranges all around including. Australia biggest, the rocky Snowy Mountain Range, is mind blowing.

The Khancoban Pondage’s retaining wall has a road on top and the visitor can drive to the end and view the spillage into the Swampy Plains River. This is very pretty for on one side is the blue water and on the other the green airstrip. The water is used all along its flow through to South Australia for irrigation, so has a double use, as well as generating power for one third of the New South Wales grid and a slightly lesser amount for Victoria. If you are a keen fisherman or woman or child, take a small boat and be on the Pondage before sunrise to catch either a brown or rainbow trout.

By the shores of Khancoban Pondage nestles a grassy picnic area with plenty of room for visitors and barbeques supplied for cooking meat. This area has been placed under shady trees and is very pleasant. Many visitors and locals use this area for safe swimming during the hot, summer months. To get to this travel destination follow the Hume Highway from Melbourne to Corryong and then follow the signs to Khancoban and enjoy the delights of the Pondage.