Brad Spalding of Wildbrumby explores the Snowies.

Brad Spalding, his wife Monika, and their award-winning distillery Wildbrumby produce schnapps and vodka. The distillery is located near Thredbo in the middle of NSW’s ski country. Brad shares his favorite things to do and see in the area.

What is the best place to eat?

Crackenback Farm, located just across the street from the distillery, is my pick. The food is delicious and has a French farm-style menu. Accommodation is available on-site, but there are only a few rooms. You’ll have to reserve ahead. The building is designed by Glenn Murcutt – one of Australia’s top architects – so it’s perfect for couples looking to enjoy a romantic getaway.

If Crackenback is fully booked, where can I stay?

Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa is a great option for large groups and families. The lodge-style accommodations are located right on Lake Crackenback and offer a variety of activities for kids, including golf, archery, and trampoline play.

You ran Thredbo Ski School before you opened Wildbrumby. What is your favorite ski area in the area?

It is the ultimate experience to ride up the Karels T bar to the highest point in Australia. Remember to ring the bell at the top. Instead of skiing down the main run, you can find the Dead Horse Gap, which is the local scene. Tourists don’t ski it unless they are taken by a local. This is great fun.

What are some fun outdoor activities for visitors to the area who don’t ski?

Renting an e-bike to tackle the lower Thredbo Valley Track is our favorite thing to do in warmer weather. The lower part of the track is more difficult. The upper part is suitable for riders and walkers of all levels of fitness. The trail follows the Thredbo River, which is scenic and takes you into the wilderness and bush before you know it. If you want to continue the course, it ends at Lake Jindabyne. However, if you are really interested, you can go across the road and take the path around the lake. Crackenback Resort provides bike rentals.

Let’s talk about culture. What is the most important thing visitors should not miss?

Visit the Lake Light Sculpture Exhibition if you are in Sydney around Easter. This is a popular outdoor event that features illuminated exhibits in the Snowy Mountains. It attracts huge crowds at night. We also have a public art garden in Wildbrumby if you are interested in sculpture. You can also visit the Thredbo Alpine Museum to learn more about the history of skiing in the area and the Olympians that have come from the region.

Retail therapy is a great idea. Do you have any interesting shops nearby?

Design & Detail is located in the old shopping center in Jindabyne. The shop sells mountain fashion, homewares, and art. This is probably the most funky shop in the region. JK Gallery is also worth a visit in Thredbo, where you can browse the artwork and buy gifts and antiques.


What’s a local secret that you can share with us?

Monika and I love the “Hoppy Hour” in the late afternoon when the kangaroos graze the grass at the bottom of the valley. You can find a good viewing area if you take the Wollondibby Road off of Alpine Way and follow it about a kilometer.

Wildbrumby offers tastings at the site.

Yes, we do. You can reserve a tasting table in our Stillhouse restaurant or order a drink to go with your meal. Stillhouse’s food is Austrian-inspired, as my wife Monika is Austrian. We serve apple strudel every morning at 10 am with coffee, schnapps, and cocktails. At 11.30 we also offer lunch.

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