Residents have woken up to white capped mountains on Monday as snow continues to cover the high country as two nights of snow falls heralded the start of the winter season.
Over the weekend the white stuff was falling anywhere above the 1100m mark, with Sheba Dam copping a dusting, and forcing the closure of the road up to Hanging Rock and beyond.
The region plunged to minus 3 degrees in parts overnight, while on Monday the mercury topped the charts at just seven, allowing a few inches of snow to remain settled.
Despite the slippery conditions hundreds of tourists hit the highlands over the weekend, and into Monday, as residents took the opportunity to get some closure on what was one of the longest, hottest and driest summers on record.
For three and four year old siblings Hamish and Hallie Campbell, Sunday was the first time they had seen snow, and it was so good mum Shelby took them back on Monday.
“We didn’t make it up here when it snowed last year,” Mrs Campbell said.
“Winter definitely came on fast this week, but we have had plenty of fun – they love it.”
For Gunnedah’s baptist pastor Ian Cameron and his wife Ciska, the chance to get away and feel the cold air on their face at Sheba Dam was too good to miss.
“We just wanted to see the snow, the mist, the rain, and feel the cold air – it is beautiful up here,” he said.
The falls have been a bonus for Nundle, who experienced a much welcomed influx of snow chasers over the weekend.
Machina Cafe owner Phebe Whale served “a couple of hundred hot chocolates and warm donuts” on Sunday, and was hoping for a similar scene on Monday afternoon.
“We only opened in August so haven’t had snow yet, but people have been waiting for it and the town was really busy which is great,” she said.
“I have never seen the road to Dungowan as busy as it was on Sunday evening, and the pub (Peel Inn) was packed for lunch.”
Walcha, Uralla, Guyra, Glen Innes and Armidale also copped a light dusting, although temperatures are expected to slightly rise above the snow point for the remainder of this week, after Tamworth dipped below minus 5 degrees twice last week.
While the change in conditions was welcomed all over the region, the outlook is still dire for farmers, with no real falls of value over the snowy weekend, and nothing on the horizon according to the Bureau forecasts.
Morrisons Gap Road – has been re-opened
Crawney Road – remains open
Barry Road – remains closed at Sheba Dam and will be re-assessed on Tuesday.
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