The best locations for skiing in Australia
Skiing in Australia is not one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about Australia. Rather, what comes to mind are the picturesque beaches, the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, the kangaroos and the burning heat of the Outback.
There are very few people who immediately associate Australia with snow, let alone as a place that offers perfect skiing grounds. It may come as a surprise to some, but Australia offers some of the best skiing terrain in the world.
Australia experiences snow during the months of June to October. This means that when the snow season is sparse or finished in other places around the world, it is in full swing in Australia. The best part about this is that since most skiers are flocking to well-known spots in France, Austria, Germany and more, Australia’s slopes face less traffic. Less traffic makes Australia’s slopes great skiing spots.
This also means that finding accommodation is easier. Australia also offers a large range of activities off of the slopes. This makes it an ideal destination for a family holiday.
If you’re considering heading out to Australia for skiing, we have done all the research for you. The following resorts are a few places that you should consider visiting. These resorts were evaluated based on factors such as terrain, difficulty, vertical drop, and accessibility. We have also included some other factors for you to consider when choosing a resort – accommodation, nightlife and food. We are sure that you will be able to experience some of the best skiing in Australia at these resorts!
Skiing in Perisher
Perisher is situated a few hours’ drive from Melbourne and Sydney and is home to the breathtaking Kosciuszko National Park.It is one of the largest ski resorts in Australia, offering skiing terrain of up to 3076 acres.
The ski resort has broken down this terrain into four different areas, all of them easily accessible. They have further divided their expansive terrain on the basis of skiing expertise. 22% of the terrain is perfect for beginners. A further 60% is suited for intermediate skiers and the remaining 18% is suited for experts. The resort has dedicated a further 100km of the terrain to cross-country skiing, for those looking for a heart-pumping workout.
The resorts ski season runs from May to October. With so much diversity, this ski resort is a favourite spot to visit for local and foreign skiers alike.
Besides the obvious skiing attraction, Perisher also has some of the best après ski locations. Lawson’s Bar, Happy Jack’s Tavern and The Man From the Snowy Ridge Hotel are some to choose from. Accommodation will be easy to find, with various chalets, hotels, bed and baths and inns available nearby.
Skiing in Thredbo
Nestled near Mt. Kosciuszko which is the highest peak in Australia, Thredbo is also counted among the best resorts in Australia. Situated inside the Kosciuszko National Park, the area is busy all year round.
The resort is suitable for skiers of all abilities. Thredbo’s main ski season runs from June to October.
Thredbo also gains acclaim for having five of the longest runs in Australia. These runs are suited for skiers of all expertise. Despite being low in altitude, Thredbo also houses a ski point coming up to 2036 meters. This allows it to be counted among one of the highest points in Australia.
Thredbo is also famous for its 672m vertical drop, longer than that of Perishers. Thredbo’s terrain offers a wide range of experiences for skiers and snowboarders alike. The terrain includes jumps and rails for those looking for an extra adrenaline rush.
For those looking for a longer trail, the Crackenback Supertail is 3.5 kilometres long with turns swift enough to give you a need for speed! Friday Flat is the perfect place for beginners to find their legs on the slopes. The Cruiser is a great choice for intermediate skiers. The 672m vertical drop is a must-do for the experienced skiers.
The ski resort has 14 lifts, including 4×4 high-speed quads, 2×2 Double Chairs, and 8xT-Bars. These help to handle most of the weekend rush of skiers. Those who underestimate the skiing experience of Thredbo will be suitably impressed when they visit Thredbo, one of the best ski parks in Australia.
The terrain parks in Thredbo are some of the best in the country. Most skiers would agree that the quality of the terrain parks is as good as the ones in Europe. The Thredbo terrain parks have been created to cater to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities and skills. The parks have an abundance of tubes, rails, bonks, boxes and other jobs. For freestyle skiing fans, these parks can definitely skyrocket their skills.
Thredbo provides the best of both worlds for visitors all year round. During the winters, snow lovers, skiers and snow boarders flock to Thredbo to ski. During the summers, the area provides various trails which attract keen hikers, trekkers and nature enthusiasts to Mount Kosciuszko.
Thredbo has an active nightlife and a spectacular après scene. The Lounge Bar, Schuss Bar and The Après Bar are some of the places worth a visit. Accommodation in Thredbo is also easy to come by.
Skiing in Charlotte Pass
Charlotte Pass is located in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. The pass is located in the Kosciuszko National Park where the Kosciuszko Road crosses Kangaroo Ridge. Charlotte Pass is the closest village to Mount Kosciuszko.
During the winter season, Charlotte Pass turns into a winter wonderland with picturesque views of the mountain slopes and the frozen Lake Jindabyne nearby. Charlotte Pass is considered as the highest resort in Australia, reaching a total elevation of 1837m.
The consistent snow it receives makes it a perfect spot for skiing and it attracts skiers from all across the globe. This does, however mean that because it is completely snowbound, the Charlotte Pass is only accessible by Oversnow Transport.
Skiing opportunities here are perfect for everyone with slopes available for beginners, intermediate skiers and experts as well. Beginner skiers will enjoy the Easy Starter. Intermediate skiers will enjoy carving up the Kosi Coaster. Experienced skiers will find adventure on the Sidewinder Guthrie’s Chutes.
Accommodation reasonably priced chalets are easy to find, either at the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel, or in the Jindabyne area.
Skiing in Mount Hotham
Easily accessible from Melbourne or Sydney by flight, Mount Hotham is renowned for possessing high quality snow.
Mount Hotham covers 320km of terrain, 40km of difficult terrain, 40km of intermediate terrain and 10km of easy and very easy terrain, respectively.
The diverse terrain is an added plus as you can indulge in cross-country skiing with ease here. Stunt skiers have also embraced Mount Hotham as a favorite skiing ground. The open stashes, hits and bowls available here provide the excellent skiing opportunities for them.
Unlike the family-friendly resorts of Falls Creek and Mount Buller, the terrain in Mount Hotham appears steeper and more challenging. With some of the best powder and off-pistes in Australia, Mount Hotham is the perfect ski holiday spot for the daredevils.
There is, however, some space for beginners to get a feel for the snow. The Summit chairlift provides access to the Summit Run where skiers can try the mellow slopes that are about 500 meters long. The Orchard chairlift provides access tthe Big Slope, the Bushwacker, Watershed, Twirlgig 1 and 2 and Rambo Revenge.
For an advanced skiing experience, skiers can enjoy the challenging runs at the extreme zones of Gotcha Ridge, the Coles Bowl, Mary’s slide and the Chute. For experienced skiers who are looking for extremely challenging runs and if they are willing to take the risk, then they must head to the Lindsay run.
Since Mount Hotham is a popular skiing spot, it tends to attract a large number of local and international skiers each year. Mount Hotham’s ski season runs from June to September each year. Accommodation is easy to come by and for nightlife in Mount Hotham, check out The Acro-Ski Lodge or The Bird.
Skiing in Selwyn
Selwyn Snow Resort is a ski resort located in the most northern part of the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. The snowfield is located near the town of Adaminaby and is close to Cabramurra, which is the highest town in Australia.
Family owned and family friendly, Selwyn covers 45 hectare of land. Its slopes provide a challenge to a skier of any skill level.
Considered to be the perfect vacation spot for families on the Snowy Mountains, Selwyn not only offers amazing skiing runs, there are also various snow related activities. These include tobogganing, snow tubing and even skiing classes for anyone who wants to learn to ski in Selwyn.
With progressive terrains available, skiing in Selwyn allows one to gradually enhance their skiing skill sets. This is one reason why it is a popular spot for new learners and beginners.
The nearest accommodation is Wolgal Hut, inside the park near the historic town of Kiandra. Kiandra is where Norwegian gold prospectors started skiing in Australia in 1861. They used skis made from wooden fence palings!
Skiing in Mount Buller
Mount Buller, located 236km outside of Melbourne in Howqua Hills is spread out over 35 different hectares and has a ski run for everyone. The ski resort is perfect for families and for winter sport enthusiasts.
The slopes have runs that are suitable for skiers of all expertise and are are blessed with the perfect amount of powdery snow, . The slopes are, however, largely suited for beginners. 24km of the total 80km are for experienced skiers, 36km for intermediate skiers and 20km for beginner skiers.
Bourke Street is an iconic slope, best suited for beginners. Intermediate skiers can take a trip towards Blue Bullet and head to the Shakey Knees past the Arlberg Hotel. The most popular runs for experienced skiers are the Federation, the Wombat Bowls, the Wood Run, the Bull Run and the Men’s and Women’s run.
Mount Buller organizes fun activities every weekend until the season ends. These activities include night skiing sessions. Other snow activities such as dog sledding and tobogganing are also available.
It is important to remember that après ski in Australia is relatively different to aprés ski in European ski resorts. Aprés ski in Mount Buller does not have loud parties, but the resort still has a lot to offer once the lifts close down at night.
Here are some of the most popular après ski locations at Mt. Buller: The Kooroora at Mount Buller, Arlberg Bistro & Bar and The Drakes Lounge Bar. Accommodations here are plentiful although the resort can become a bit crowded during peak season, June to September each year.
Skiing in Falls Creek
With some of the most diverse skiing terrain, Falls Creek is another popular skiing resort in Australia. Falls Creek is situated on the Princes Highway at the Jervis Bay turn off.
The resort spreads across an area of 450 hectares. Falls Creek have 65km of the trails that are suited for cross country skiing. They have 90 runs for skiers.
Falls Creek also offers other runs and trails that are specially meant for snowboarding, tobogganing and sledding. Hiking is another activity offered by Falls Creek and group snow shoe hikes can be organized.
The trails here also count among some of Australia’s first trails for snow bikes and are extremely picturesque. Horse-riding is also offered by Falls Creek, which offers a nice alternative after a long day on the slopes.
Accommodations can range, depending upon your budget with five star hotels and travellers rest houses all available here.
While these are some of the best and snow sure resorts in Australia, it should be noted that snowfall in Australia is notoriously unreliable at times.
Snowfall can be a hit and miss which means that some resorts might be closed during parts of the snow season. For the best skiing opportunities, it is a good idea to take the weather reports into consideration before making any plans.
It is also important to note that the snow season in Australia generally runs from June to October. It would therefore be best to plan a trip between those months, to have the best chance of shredding some powder.