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Three Mile Dam

Kosciuszko NP, Snowy Mountains Region

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Three Mile Dam
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Located in the northern region of Kosciuszko National Park, Three Mile Dam offers a picturesque camp and picnic site. The dam offers a recreational spot to do a spot of boating, canoeing, swimming and fishing, or just sit back and watch the world go by.

Chamomile Sunray (Rhodanthe anthemoides) Family: Asteraceae

Access can be made from Khancoban via Cabramurra (Australia’s highest town - 1,488 m) along the Khancoban-Cabramurra Road or take the Snowy Mountains Highway, then turn onto the Khancoban-Cabramurra Road. The turnoff is on the right, just past the Mount Selwyn turnoff.

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Snowy Region Visitors Centre

Three Mile Dam Attractions

Snow Gums by the waters of Three Mile Dam.Snow Gums and Heathlands
• The most common trees to be found around Three Mile Dam are the Snow Gums. Beneath them are woody plants or heaths which can be covered with snow up to four months of the year. This type of vegetation typically occurs between about 1,500 metres and 1,850 metres above sea level — the sub-alpine area. Three Mile Dam is at 1,470 metres, being at the lower end of this zone.

Frost hollows are common at this altitude. Cold air drains into shallow basins and along valley floors. The cold air and competition from other plants prevent trees from growing and these hollows are dominated by grasses and low heaths. However not all treeless areas are frost hollows — some have been cleared by miners and stockmen.

The uncommon Spinning Gum is found along the Wallace Creek Fire Trail. It can be recognised by its young leaves which are waxy, blue-grey and arranged like papers on a spike.

The sub-alpine area supports a variety of animals some of which live in the hollows of standing and fallen dead timber. Many are active only at night, however you may see sins such as possum scratches on trees and the small pathways made by the naive bush rat and dusky antechinus. Animal faeces or “scats” can help to identify some o the wildlife in the area.

Source: Information from NSW Parks & Wildlife Service signage

Washing for Gold
• Water played an important role in the Kiandra miner’s search for gold. They used it to sluice or wash gold from loose gravel and to remove gold-bearing dirt from the hillsides. The first gold found near Kiandra in 1859 was in the gravel of streambeds where water was readily available for sluicing.

Later, gold was found in the deep leads (gravel) of ancient streambeds which had been protected from erosion by a flow of lave which cooled into basalt rock. The ancient streambeds lie just beneath the basalt which caps some of the ridges and plateaux near Kiandra.

Early in 1860 the Kiandra deep lead was struck at New Chum Hill. The miners dug a raceline to carry water from Three Mile Creek to the diggings. Typically, it followed a contour line, weaving in and out of gullies until it reached the miners’ claims near the hilltop. By early 1861 the main rush was over and only a few hundred people remained.

In the  1880s the Kiandra Goldmining Company began to rework the New Chum Hill deep lead by removing the dirt with water delivered under high pressure. Three Mile Dam supplied the large amounts of water needed for this hydraulic sluicing. The dam was completed in 1882, the old raceline deepened and a reservoir built above the diggings.

In winter, water leading from the company’s tail-race froze into long stalactites which had to be knocked from the structure before the extra weight toppled it.

The company had closed down its operations by the early 1900s. Small-scale mining continued until the 1930s.

In 1950, the Snowy Mountains Authority set up its first work camp here and restore the dam for the camp’s water supply.

For related information, click here...

Source: Information and images from NSW NPWS
signage at Three Mile Dam

Washing for gold - New Chum Hill

Washing for gold - New Chum Hill

Washing for gold - New Chum Hill

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Three Mile Dam Distance

Three Mile Dam is approximately 10 km from Kiandra (Kiandra is at the intersection of the Snowy Mountains Highway and the Cabramurra Road), or 14 km north-east from Cabramurra.
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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• Three Mile Dam Maps
Bing Maps - Three Mile Dam, NSW
Google Maps - Three Mile Dam, Kosciuszko National Park NSW 2642
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