Murray River and Snowy Mountains view, Towong, Upper Murray

Showcasing 'The Man From Snowy River' Country


the snowy mountains
hydro electric scheme

Australia's greatest engineering project of the 20th century

The Murray 1 power station and visitor centre, located just off the Alpine Way, is open most days of the year for your inspection.

The construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme was the result of visionaries who were able to take a dream and turn it into reality.

The thought of being able to manage large volumes of water from the Snowy Mountains to create a renewable, clean hydro electric energy and to provide irrigation water to the drought susceptible plains west of the Great Dividing Range could not have been made a reality without clever and innovative thinkers and a solid workforce, all striving for a common goal.

The construction phase of the Snowy Mountains Scheme took twenty five years (1949-1974). Over 100,000 people, from over 30 countries of the world, worked on the project during this time.

As a result of this effort, an impressive list of infrastructure was created including 7 major power stations (including 2 underground), 16 dams, 80 kilometres of aqueducts, 145 kilometres of tunnels and a large pumping station

Greater public access to the Snowy Mountains is the direct result of road development undertaken during the Scheme's construction phase.

Most of the work on the Upper Murray side of the Snowy Mountains occurred in the 1960s. The town of Khancoban was created to provide accommodation for the workers that built the two power stations, Murray 1 and Murray 2 and several reservoirs. A temporary township at Geehi, including an airstrip, was also created.

A lot of heavy equipment and materials used in the construction of this infrastructure were brought to the construction sites by train to Cudgewa and then transported by trucks into the mountains.

The Geehi Dam was created to manage water flow into the Murray 1 power station.

The Murray 2 pondage was created to manage water flow into the Murray 2 power station.

Khancoban Dam was created to control water released from the two power stations into the Swampy Plains River, which eventually flows into the Murray River at Bringenbrong.

The Tooma and Tumut Reservoirs or Pondages were built to control water destined for the northern power stations along the Tumut River and eventually out into the Murrumbidgee basin.

To gain a broader understanding of the entire hydro electric scheme, Snowy Hydro Ltd., who own and manage the hydro electricity infrastructure, operate a visitor information centre next door to the Murray 1 power station, 10 km from Khancoban along the Alpine Way. 

Free twenty minute tours inside the Murray 1 power station to a viewing area above the generation units occur twice a day, at 11 am and 2 pm. The Murray 1 power station is the second largest power station in the Scheme and it has 10 turbines, each capable of producing enough electricity to supply 95,000 homes.

The Murray 1 Visitor Centre is open seven days a week (Mondays-Fridays, 9am-4pm, Saturday, Sunday & public holidays, 10am-4pm)  from October to April. It is closed for Christmas Day and Anzac Day. Between May and September, the centre is open from Mondasy to Fridays (9am-4pm). Coach and school groups are welcome.

Barbeque facilities and picnic tables, over looking the Murray 2 pondage, are available. Fishing in Murray 2 is permissible, with a NSW inland fishing license.