Planning your trip to the snow

Planning your trip to the snow

A trip to the Snowy Mountains in winter is an unforgettable experience, from the spectacular snow swept vistas to the skiing, snowboarding and après ski entertainment.

 

Which resort is right for you?

There are four ski resorts in Kosciuszko National Park: Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snow Resort. Thredbo and Perisher are the largest, with plenty of on-snow accommodation, thriving après ski options, as well as wide terrain parks and ski schools.

  • Perisher contains four linked resorts, including Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Guthega and Blue Cow, offering plenty of runs accessed by 47 lifts.  Perisher has hotels and a range of lodges dotted around Perisher and Smiggin Holes.
  • Thredbo is a vibrant alpine gem featuring Australia’s longest runs and highest lifted point, an alpine gondola and the Thredbo Leisure Centre for fun off the slopes.
  • Charlotte Pass is Australia’s oldest ski resort, with a charming, intimate feel, making it a great choice for families starting out. It’s also the highest resort in the mountains and is completely snowed in during the season.
  • Selwyn Snow Resort is set for a grand reopening for the 2022 snow season after closing in 2020 due to severe bushfire damage. The reopening includes the new Selwyn Centre and a relocated and expanded Toboggan Park, offering the best tobogganing in 
Thredbo in Kosciuszko National Park, Snowy Mountains

Thredbo, Kosciuszko National Park

Snowy Mountains town options

The nearby Snowy Mountains towns of Jindabyne or Berridale also offer a wide choice of accommodation, from lodges to inns, homes to holiday parks, as well as plenty of dining options. You also get to enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Jindabyne. If you choose to stay in one of these picturesque villages, you can access the resorts by driving to the Skitube.

Family enjoying a scenic hike around Lake Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains

Lake Jindabyne, Jindabyne

Getting there

There are a number of ways to get to the Snowy Mountains. You can fly into the Snowy Mountains Airport  near Cooma or choose to fly into Canberra, around 2 hours 30 mins away. You can hire a car or arrange transfers from both these airports. There are also frequent bus services to the region.

If you are going to drive, all 2WD vehicles in Kosciuszko National Park must carry snow chains between the months of June and October. All vehicles must pay to enter the park. It is a good idea to purchase a digital annual pass, which allows entry to all the national parks in NSW, from the NPWS website before you arrive. Annual passes are not available for purchase at the park entry gates.

Car on Kosciuszko road at Spencers Creek in Kosciuszko National Park

Kosciuszko road, Spencers Creek - Credit: Murray Vanderveer/DPE

You can drive right into the centre of Thredbo and Perisher, though parking at Perisher is limited. If you’re staying at Perisher or Charlotte Pass, you can also park your car at Bullocks Flat outside Jindabyne and catch the Skitube, which runs through Perisher Valley and Blue Cow. For Charlotte Pass, take the snowcat from the Skitube terminal at Perisher Valley.

 

Prepare for the slopes

It’s important you’re wearing the right gear for the snow, so make a checklist before you leave. For beginners, the best option is to hire your skis, boots, snowboards, and outer clothing. You can do this in Cooma or Jindabyne, or at the resort. You don’t need to commit to buying expensive gear and it’s easy to change or adjust things if they’re not right.

If you have your own skis or snowboard, have them waxed and double check your gear in advance. You’ll need to buy your own goggles, socks, and gloves, and don’t forget a helmet – it’s compulsory for kids and recommended for all. Don’t forget to pack sunglasses, sunscreen, snow boots for walking around off the slopes, a beanie or hat, and plenty of layers.

People walking to the lifts at Thredbo in Kosciuszko National Park, Snowy Mountains

Thredbo, Kosciuszko National Park 

Other top tips:

  • Take snacks to stick in your ski jacket.
  • Remember to drink plenty of water.
  • See if you can store skis/boards in a locker rather than your room.
Mini mites skiing in Perisher, Kosciuszko National Park

Children skiing, Perisher

Take a lesson

Having a lesson is highly recommended for all levels, especially for absolute beginners and children. It is also beneficial to have a lesson if you haven’t been on the slopes for a while.

Resorts offer group or private lessons, which should be booked in advance, and check to see they offer childcare should you need it. It’s also wise to book other activities before you go, such as snowshoe tours, cross country lessons, backcountry lessons and so on.