Originally situated on a site that is now under the waters of Lake Jindabyne, the township was relocated to its present position in the 1960s before the damming of the Snowy River as part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The Scheme was developed from the 1940s as a way of increasing the flow of inland rivers in order to encourage the development of primary industries based on irrigation, and to create hydro-electricity. Completed in 1967, Jindabyne Dam is a major dam, located approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) south south-east of the relocated township. Parts of Old Jindabyne can be seen when the levels of Lake Jindabyne are low particularly the top of the church. The settlement of East Jindabyne is located above what was Old Jindabyne. The dam’s main purpose is for the generation of hydro-power and is one of the sixteen major dams that comprise the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a vast hydroelectricity and irrigation complex constructed in south-east Australia between 1949 and 1974 and now run by Snowy Hydro.
Jindabyne is a service town for Australia’s highest ski resorts: Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass. Thredbo and Perisher are approximately 30 minutes drive into the Kosciuszko National Park, although require the payment of park entry fees ($27 per vehicle per day) and the compulsory carrying of snow chains in winter. However, Jindabyne also attracts tourists in summer with Lake Jindabyne popular for activities such as fishing, water skiing and wakeboarding.
The town is heavily tourist-oriented with a large range of snow-sport rental outlets and accommodation facilities. Prices can be heavily increased during the peak winter season, although they generally remain lower than those of outlets within the national park and ski resorts.
Lake Jindabyne is a popular sailing and fishing destination. The body of water is one of the largest fresh water reservoirs in New South Wales, and has a resident population of Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout and Rainbow Trout. Lake Jindabyne also has a reputation as one of the best places to catch trout in Australia.