Snowy hydro virtual excursion

Learn about the Snowy Hydro through a virtual excursion containing 12 videos.


This excursion explores the:

  • history and significance of the Scheme
  • environmental considerations
  • science behind the creation of renewable electricity created using running water.

The story of the Scheme is told through oral histories, archival film and photographs as well as through industry experts. The series has been developed in collaboration with community and industry stakeholders. It is aimed at students, teachers and any interested members of the public.

Virtual excursions are high-quality learning experiences integrating video and print materials.

Students are welcomed to Country by Wiradjuri-Walgalu man and Discovery Ranger, Shane Herrington.

Acknowledgement of Country

Shane shares his people’s ancient connection to the land, the story of the billadarang (platypus) and the formation of the landscape and river system of the Snowy Mountains region in the Acknowledgement of Country video (2:26).

Episode 1

The Scheme is a system of dams, tunnels, power stations and aqueducts, which have the purpose of diverting snow melt west of the Great Dividing Range for irrigation of farmland as well as creating hydroelectricity for the eastern seaboard.

About the Snowy Hydro

The Scheme holds a special place in Australia’s history. It was the site where Australia’s new ‘populate or perish’ policy was realised and workers from over 30 different nations came to work on the Scheme, many of whom called Australia home thereafter.

Welcome to your Snowy hydro excursion video (2:44)

Episode 2

Explore the location, landscape, climate as well as unique flora and fauna of the Snowy Mountains.

Environment and location

In the Environment and location video (3:57), students will also explore the cultural and spiritual significance of the area to First Nations people.

Episode 3

Learn about the history of the area.

Ancient history and Aboriginal heritage

Ancient History and Aboriginal Heritage video (5:10) examines the various impacts experienced by First Nations people from occupation and colonisation, through to the construction of the Scheme.

Episode 4

Explore the history behind the Scheme, why it was built and how.

The story behind the Snowy Scheme

The story behind the Snowy Scheme video (5:58) explains how the Snowy Hydroelectric Scheme became an engineering wonder and put Australia on the map of the world for our ingenuity and sheer determination.

Episode 5

Kent Allen, Snowy Hydro engineer and Area Manager explains how hydroelectricity is created.

What is hydroelectricity?

What is hydroelectricity? video (6:14) explores the necessity for renewable sources of energy in this country.

Episode 6

Explore what life was like in the Scheme’s temporary camps.

Life in the SMA camps

Life in the SMA camps video (7:08) includes heartwarming stories of the construction years, 1949-1974 as told by the workers themselves.

Episode 7

Explore the town of Adaminaby.

The development of Snowy towns

The development of Snowy towns video (9:07) uses Adaminaby as a case study to unpack the story of how a whole town was dismantled house by house, transported to higher ground before being reconstructed at the new site, all to allow for the development of the Scheme.

Episode 8

Ex-workers share what it was like to be a ‘New Australian’ during the construction years and how they navigated their new lives in the Snowy Mountains.

Toward multiculturalism

Toward multiculturalism video (10:38)

Episode 9

By providing a guaranteed supply of water to Australia’s dry inland, the Scheme brought stability and security to these areas, allowing them to prosper and develop.

Water a journey westward

In Water a journey westward video (6:37) find out how the Snowy Hydro has mitigated environmental impacts and what measures are in place to ensure minimal environmental degradation in the future, thus ensuring the continued viability of this hydroelectric scheme.

Episode 10

Explore the future of hydroelectricity in Australia.

The need for renewable energy

The need for renewable energy video (6:03) explains the future energy needs of the ‘energy generation’ and the construction of Snowy Hydro 2.0, which has a greater capacity to meet these needs.

Episode 11

Explore the legacy of the Scheme and its special place in Australia's history.

Legacy and national identity

Legacy and national identity video (4:34)

Episode 12
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