Snowy Mountains - Old Adaminaby


Old Adaminaby

It is still possible to view the remnants of Old Adaminaby. If you drive a couple of kilometres out of town towards Kiandra there is a sign to Old Adaminaby which is located 7 km from the Snowy Mountains Highway.
There's a nice irony about Old Adaminaby. It is now newer and more attractive than new Adaminaby. In recent times people have built attractive fishermen's chalets and holiday houses on the foreshores and the area has been turned into a pleasant holiday retreat.
In fact there are only four original buildings left in the town - the Methodist Church which is now surrounded by attractive picnic grounds on the edge of the lake, the Old Schoolhouse which is the office and residence for the Caravan Park, and two other dwellings. Apparently over 100 buildings, including 75 houses, were removed from Old Adaminaby to the site of the new town.
For filmgoers the Old Adaminaby Race Track (located on the road to Rosedale on the Cooma side of the town) was used in the film Phar Lap.


The Aborigines made their way to Australia around 50, 000 years ago, entering through Cape York Peninsula. Back then the Kosciuszko Plateau was the ultimate winter playground, set deep within the ice age. Life was scarce due to the big freeze, but as the earth gradually warmed the Snowy Mountains blossomed. It is believed that Aborigines saw this potential and took up permanent residence on the Monaro between 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.

The Aborigines that moved to the base of the mountains formed 4 major tribal groups: the YA-itmathang, the Wolgal, the Waradgery and the Ngarigo. The upper slopes were regarded as no-mans land, held in trust for the tribes and because of the winter chill remained uninhabited. The changing of seasons brought on a new lease of life for the Aborigines. In Spring the peaks became the perfect meeting place where thousands would gather for ceremonies, share in the wonder of the alpine environment and hold the annual feasting on the Bogong moth, which was considered a delicious delicacy.

These moths (Agrotis infusa) breed on the plains between Queensland to Victoria and migrate to the Alps in spring to escape the heatwave and chill in the rocky crevices. The Bogong moth was a crucial part of the Aborigines diet. After a long winter of fasting the moth was seen as the ideal meal, rich in proteins and containing 50-75% fat.