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The Snowy Mountains, known locally as "The Snowies", are Australia'a highest mountain range and are located in southern New South Wales. The Snowy Mountains contain Australian mainland's highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko. Snow normally falls the most during June, July and Early August.
The Kosciuszko National Park came into existence as the National Chase Snowy Mountains in 1906. In 1944 this became the Kosciuszko State Park, and then the Kosciuszko National Park in 1967. It was the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme from 1949 that really opened up the Snowy Mountains for large scale development of a ski industry and led to the establishment of Thredbo and Perisher as leading Australian ski and holiday resorts.
The last establishment of a major skifield in NSW came with the development of Mount Blue Cow in the 1980s. In 1987 the Swiss designed Skitube Alpine Railway opened to deliver skiers from Bullocks Flat, on the Alpine Way, to Perisher Valley and to Blue Cow, which also opened in 1987. The operators of Blue Cow purchased Guthega in 1991, and the new combined resort later merged with Perisher-Smiggins to become the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2009 Perisher had 48 lifts covering 1,245 hectares and four village base areas: Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega.
The Snowy Mountains range is also well known for the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a project to dam the Snowy River, providing both water for irrigation and hydroelectricity. The principle lakes created by the scheme include: Lake Eucumbene, Blowering Dam, Talbingo Dam, Lake Jindabyne and Tantangara Dam.
Many rare or threatened plant and animal species occur within the Snowy Mountains. The Kosciuszko National Park is home to one of Australia's most threatened species the Corroboree frog. The endangered Mountain Pygmy Possum and the more common Dusky Antechinus are located in the high country of Kosciuszko National Park.
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