Selecting a Snowy Mountains resort
Choosing the right resort for you, your friends or your family is the key to making your snowcation a success. The Snowy Mountains has three resorts to tempt snow bunnies – Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass. Whether you are a never-ever skier, a rusty intermediate or a more advanced skier or snowboarder seeking to ski or ride all day long, there’s a resort for you. A fourth resort, Selwyn Snow Resort, is currently closed and being rebuilt, with exciting things ahead.
During the 2021 season resorts will have a cap on the number of lift tickets sold each day so it is advisable to book early.
This alpine gem launched Australia’s first alpine gondola, Merritts, in winter 2020. It’s one of 14 lifts at the resort servicing more than 50 runs. Karels T-bar takes you to the highest lifted point in Australia – once you’ve arrived at 2,037m, you can ‘ring the bell’ to celebrate. Thredbo is also home to Friday Flat, a brilliant area for beginners to learn; the longest ski run in Australia, the Supertrail; and a great selection of other things to do off snow, including the Olympic-sized heated pool and waterslide at the Thredbo Leisure Centre. In the village, you’ll find lots of places to stay, eat, drink and shop.
Perisher is the largest resort in Australia (in fact, it’s the largest in the Southern Hemisphere), offering 1,245 hectares of snowy playground in which to frolic. It consists of four linked resorts – Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Guthega and Blue Cow – with 47 lifts across the seven peaks. You can ski or snowboard from one to the other, or you can ride the Skitube between Perisher Valley and Blue Cow if you want to only ski one way. Each of the areas has a different personality, but also offers terrain for all levels. Perisher also has an impressive network of cross-country trails, as well as snowshoe tours.
The highest resort in Australia (1,760m), charming Charlotte Pass is completely snowbound in winter, and as such is only accessible by oversnow transport from Perisher. The benefit of this is that all the accommodation is ski-in, ski-out and you won’t find it crowded. Charlotte Pass offers an intimate experience and is perfect for beginners or for families who might want to avoid busier, bigger resorts.
Another reason to go is the gorgeous Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel, dating back to the 1930s. It is the historic heart of the resort and sitting by the fire with a hot chocolate at the end of the day is magical. The resort offers five lifts and 19 runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, and lessons are available. Charlotte Pass is also popular with cross country skiers due its great trail access.