A young couple were savagely set upon in a vicious sexual assault and bashing in NSW's Snowy Mountains.
Detectives are hunting three men who are alleged to have carried out the attack, in which the 25-year-old man was knocked out while the 22-year-old woman he was with was physically and sexually assaulted.
NSW Police say the attack took place as the pair was walking along a footpath after enjoying a night out at the Banjo Paterson Inn near Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne four days ago.
The couple, who were visitors to the town from Newcastle, were then approached by unknown men opposite Foreshore Park who confronted them about 1.30am.
Police say the man was knocked unconscious after being punched in the head, while the woman was physically and sexually assaulted by one of the men. When the man regained consciousness and tried to intervene, he was struck again.
He finally managed to flag down a passing car at which time the men fled.
NSW Ambulance paramedics treated the pair at the scene for serious facial injuries before the woman was taken to Canberra Hospital for treatment and examination, while the man was taken to Cooma Hospital for treatment.
A crime scene was established and examined by specialist forensic officers. However, police are understood to be worried that the trio may have been holiday-goers who have already left town.
The man police want to talk to has been described as about 180m tall, solidly built and wearing a light-coloured, baggy, hooded jumper at the time.
Detective Acting Superintendent Tom Barnes, commander of the NSW Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad, also appealed for anyone who was driving in the area early on Thursday morning to check their dashcam footage.
Monaro Police District Commander, Acting Superintendent Sandra Green, said while the local community welcomes visitors throughout the snow season, they will not tolerate acts of violence or anyone causing harm to locals or tourists.
"The Snowies is a popular destination at this time of year, and we have an increased police presence to ensure everyone who visits can enjoy our ski fields and surrounds safely and without fear of violent or anti-social behaviour," Supt Green said.
"We have a close-knit community, who have already provided investigators with significant assistance in the investigation, and we expect anyone who has any information relevant to this incident to come forward."