Boating on alpine waters

If you're planning on boating on NSW alpine waters, be prepared for challenging conditions such as cold water and sudden weather changes.


Alpine waters are enclosed waters in alpine areas. They include lakes, rivers, dams and reservoirs.

In NSW, alpine waters are:

  • Lake Burrinjuck
  • Lake Eucumbene
  • Lake Jindabyne
  • Khancoban Pondage
  • Swampy Plains River
  • Mannus Lake
  • Googong Reservoir
  • Blowering Reservoir
  • Pejar Dam
  • Yass River
  • Lake Oberon
  • all navigable waters within Kosciuszko National Park.

Plan ahead for alpine conditions

Alpine waters can be dangerous. High altitudes can bring cold and windy conditions that change quickly. It can be dangerously cold at any time of year, even in summer. Remote locations, submerged hazards and cold water temperatures all increase risk.

Make sure you're prepared for the conditions on alpine waters.

Be aware of cold weather and water

Exposure to cold weather and cold water present serious risks, such as hypothermia. Make sure you know how to reduce the risk – see Cold water and hypothermia.

Wear a lifejacket

If you fall overboard, hypothermia increases your risk of drowning. For your safety, always wear a lifejacket on alpine waters.

Check your safety equipment

Make sure you have the right safety equipment for your vessel on alpine waters.

Reduce the risk of capsizing

Because of the cold, capsizing in alpine waters can be life threatening. Take extra care. Avoid overloading your vessel. Distribute weight evenly and stow heavy items as low as possible.

Monitor the weather

At high altitude, the weather often changes quickly. Being surrounded by hills or mountains also reduces how much sky you can see and it can be difficult to see approaching changes. Check the weather continuously while you're out. Watch for warnings and be prepared to change your plans if needed.

Keep a proper lookout at all times

Hazards – such as submerged trees and other snags – may not be marked. As water levels can change, hazards can exist just below the surface.

Take extra care in small vessels

Conditions can be very cold and windy. If you're in a small vessel designed for calm water conditions, take extra care. Keep close to the shore and avoid travelling too far from shelter.

Webcam Lake Eucumbene

Transport for NSW has webcam vision of Lake Eucumbene to help boaters and skippers prepare for a safe trip. The web camera footage can help you decide if local conditions are safe.

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