Photo | Barrington Tops via Jack Maunder

Snow chasers are being told to avoid the Barrington Tops this season with roads still severely damaged from the March floods.

The Tops are expected to receive their first dusting of snow of the year on Wednesday, however the main access road is closed.

Forest Road suffered major structural damage in the March floods and Forestry Corporation of NSW believes there is a high risk the road might collapse.

There is alternate access through Scone, but Upper Hunter Shire Council Acting Director Infrastructure Services Phillip Hood says the road wasn’t designed for large amounts of traffic.

“The unsealed road section is steep, narrow and winding, and ice and snow can make driving here extremely dangerous, even for 4WDs,” Mr Hood said.

“People who wish to see the snow are advised that the Northern Tablelands is a better choice, with the snow forecast being widespread from Nowendoc/Nundle to Walcha/Armidale.”

“With strong winds, there is also potential for trees and branches to fall, posing a direct risk to visitors, and possibly blocking access into and out of the area.”

NSW Police may close roads at any time to ensure visitor safety.

“During extreme weather, the status of roads on Barrington Tops can change at short notice, including during your visit. This could prevent access to or from snow covered areas and visitors may either have to turn back after long periods of travel, or even become stuck in sub-zero temperatures,” Mr Hood said.

“Mobile phone reception on Barrington Tops is very limited so always check road closures and conditions before you leave Scone.”

Those planning a trip to the Barrington Tops need to be prepared for rapidly changing extreme weather including rain or snow, strong winds and sub-zero temperatures.

“If you get stuck or are involved in an accident, help may be several hours away. Always pack additional warm clothing and extra food and water, and tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back,” Mr Hood said.

For up to date information about road conditions on the Barrington Tops contact the Visitor Information Centre at Scone on 02 6545 1526 (or Gloucester on 1800 802692) or visit ‘Barrington Tops Snow Chasers’ or ‘Visit Barrington Tops’ Facebook pages.