New South Wales, July 1997

Thredbo landslide, 1997

Quick Statistics

18 Fatalities
1 Injured
2 Businesses Destroyed

The Thredbo landslide occurred at 11:40pm on 30 July 1997. Part of a road embankment slid down the steep hillside into the ski resort village of Thredbo, in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. Approximately 2,000 cubic metres of rock shifted below the Alpine Way.

The landslide pushed Carinya Lodge off its foundations onto Bimbadeen Lodge at high speed, burying the 19 victims under metres of rubble. The harsh environment, as well as the steep incline of the hill and instability of the land, all made the rescue operations difficult.

Eighteen bodies were recovered and one survivor was rescued from under debris more than 60 hours later. Subsequent investigation found the cause of the landslide to be a leakage from the water main leading to the saturation of the fill embankment on the road.


Australian Government, Geoscience Australia, ‘Historic Events – Landslides’, viewed online 24 May 2011.
Derrick Hand, Coroner, 29 June 2000, ‘Report of the inquest into the deaths arising from the Thredbo landslide’, viewed online 24 May 2011.
New South Wales Government Fire & Rescue, History of major incidents, ‘1997 Thredbo landslide’ website viewed 25 February 2015.