Brrrr! The ski season is about to hit again, so it’s the perfect time to plan a weekend away on the slopes! But how do you pick the best place to go? Da da! Introducing the easy-pick URBANSWEAT guide to where to ski. We have worked long and hard on this, so we hope it helps you plan the perfect getaway!
Best for party animals… Thredbo, NSW One of the most famous ski resorts in Australia, Thredbo has more than 50 runs, 14 lifts and the highest T-bar in the country at 2037m. There is an easy 6km run to the beginner’s section, a variety of lesson options and enough après-ski activities to fill every minute. We will love the night skiing in particular, the snowshoe back country tours and the shops and cafes.
Best for beginners… Falls Creek Alpine Resort, Vic. Falls Creek Alpine Resort looks exactly how you think a ski village should look. Located above the snowline, it’s Australia’s prettiest ski in/ ski out alpine community (in our opinion!), there are no cars, and the village is small and manageable. However, the best part is that it’s home to the longest green run in the country – Wombat’s Ramble is 2.2km long and it leaves you just metres from the lifts. Perfect for those new to skiing or boarding.
Best for families… Perisher, NSW The largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere, Perisher, is actually a collection of four smaller mountain areas – Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega. There are more than 70 runs, 47 lifts and five terrain parks, but it’s après ski when Perisher really shines. Look out for the fireworks, snow tube park, scenic chair lifts and entertainment, not to mention the half-pipe and snowboard terrain park.
Best for couples… Charlotte’s Pass, NSW This small snow-bound resort is the closest village to Mt Kosciuszko and it’s the most intimate of Australia’s ski destinations. In the heart of Kosciuszko National Park, Charlotte’s Pass is accessible by over-snow transport and has a huge range of runs from beginner to expert, all with a backdrop of some of the most beautiful views in New South Wales. The small village centres around the historic Kosciusko Chalet, built in 1930, which offers amazing Instagrammable views!
Best for expert skiers… Mt Buller, Vic. Victorian favourite Mt Buller is only three hours’ drive from Melbourne, making it perfect for a weekend (or a day trip if you’re keen). Apart from the busy Bourke St green run, there are 22 lifts accessing all sides of the mountain so it’s almost never crowded, especially on the steeper sections. It’s a great destination for skiers and snow boarders who know what they’re doing, as there are some of the steepest black runs in the state.
Best for small kids… Selwyn Snow Resort, NSW If you and your family are new to skiing, Selwyn Snow Resort is made for you. With a focus on learning to ski or board, and playing in the snow, this smaller resort caters for families and those who are new to snow… There is Snow World (for kids 18 months to 6 years), a Snow Sports School (for adults and kids 7 and up), and a mini terrain park (for beginners), as well as tobogganing and tubing. Plus, they’ve got one of the most affordable lift passes around.
Best for cross-country skiing… Cradle Mountain, Tas. Often forgotten, Tasmania has a couple of ski fields and one of which is Cradle Mountain. Not really an actual resort, Tasmania’s biggest mountain offers some of the steepest and most challenging backcountry slopes in Australia, so what you’ll miss in facilities you’ll make up for in views. Although you’ll need to take all your gear with you, the benefit lies in the fact you’ll pretty much have the slope (and possibly the mountain) to yourself.
Best for non-skiers… Mt Baw Baw, Vic. As well as offering 35 hectares of runs designed for all levels of skiing and snowboarding, Mt Baw Baw also features a range of activities off the slope. Our favourites are husky dog sledding, tobogganing, snow shoeing as well as three snow play areas. Adding to that is the fact it’s only 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne, so making it a day trip is easy!
Best for snowboarders… Mt Hotham, Vic. Known as the ‘Powder capital of Australia’, Mt Hotham is a purpose-built resort with a difference. The village is located at the top of the mountain, so you ski or board down the slopes from your accommodation. There are 66 runs, the majority of them intermediate and advanced, and the verticals are steep and challenging. Needless to say, the views are pretty spectacular, and while there are beginner runs, this resort is really designed for skiers and snow boarders who love a challenge.
Ever thought about Heli-skiing? Read our article on what it’s really like. Then if it’s your thing, sign up to our fortnightly newsletter for exclusive discounts and competitions! Plus, a round up of what’s happening in health and fitness in Sydney!