Best ski resorts in Australia 2019

Do the snow like a pro with our guide on where to go skiing in Australia.

Man and woman skiing and snowboarding

During the Australian winter, powderhounds from near and far make a beeline for NSW and Victoria to catch some of the nation's best snow.

Between the two states, there's healthy handful of resorts to choose from. If you're stuck on where to head this year, our guide compares eight of the best to get you over the line.

Then it's just a matter of dusting off your boots, packing the car and hitting the road.

Looks for a last-minute deal to the snow? Click here for the best offers available now.

Quickly compare Australia's best ski resorts:

Feature Ski-in/ski-out? Distance Lift pass price (3 days, adult) Is there a resort village?
Thredbo Yes 5.5 hour drive from Sydney $235 Yes
Perisher Yes 5.5 hour drive from Sydney $280 Yes (most stay in Jindabyne)
Charlotte Pass Yes 6 hour drive from Sydney $321 Yes (most stay in Jindabyne)
Selwyn No 5.5 hour drive from Sydney $255 No (stay in Adaminaby)
Mt Buller Yes 3 hour drive from Melbourne $178 Yes
Mt Hotham Yes 4.5 hour drive from Melbourne $259 Yes
Falls Creek Yes 5 hour drive from Melbourne $258 Yes
Mt Baw Baw Yes 3 hour drive from Melbourne $165 Yes

Which is the best ski resort in Australia?

We give you the information so you can decide which is right for you.

Thredbo2.Crop

1. Thredbo, NSW: Best for off-piste skiing

Despite being home to the longest ski run in Australia, Thredbo's main claim to fame is its off-piste action.

If you're more concerned around warm fires and schnapps than snow conditions, then this is the ski resort for you. With 11 ski-in ski-out restaurants on the mountain and plenty of shops, cafes and bars in the village, Thredbo has you covered.

  • Location: Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales (5-6 hour drive from Sydney)
  • Runs and terrain: 53 runs (16% beginner, 67% intermediate, 17% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 480 acres
  • Vertical drop: 672 metres

Pros:

  • Popular resort with numerous facilities and a party vibe
  • Easily accessible from Sydney
  • Highest lifted point increases your chance of good weather

Cons:

  • Terrain is not too friendly for beginner-level skiers and snowboarders
  • Limited number of runs, compared with Perisher, so more advanced skiers/snowboarders could get bored quickly

Learn more about Thredbo


Perisher.Crop

2. Perisher, NSW: Best for long trips and intermediate-level skiers

Made up of four different resorts (Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega) there is more than enough terrain to keep everyone busy at Australia's largest ski resort.

Perisher doesn’t have the same village atmosphere as its neighbour Thredbo, but rather caters more for families with its self-sufficient lodges that contain their own restaurants and bars.

  • Location: Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales (5-6 hour drive from Sydney)
  • Runs and terrain: 133 runs (22% beginner, 60% intermediate, 18% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 1,245 acres
  • Vertical: 355 metres

Pros:

  • Easily accessible from Sydney
  • Biggest ski resort in Australia with 133 runs to explore
  • Close to Jindabyne for cheap stays
  • Skitube railway makes it easy to get to the slopes without the worry of driving and snow chains
  • Separate tobogganing area for kids

Cons:

  • Terrain is not too friendly for beginner-level skiers and snowboarders
  • No real ski villages
  • Lots of T-bars
  • Can get extremely slushy quickly in peak / low-snow periods

Learn more about Perisher (Jindabyne)


CharlottesPass.Crop

3. Charlotte Pass, NSW: Best for beginners

This isolated resort is only accessible via ski cat from Perisher and has more reliable snow conditions than other resorts due to its altitude (it's the highest resort in Australia).

It is also entirely ski-in ski-out, allowing you to avoid the awkward routine of lugging your equipment to and from the mountain each day.

  • Location: Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales (5-6 hour drive from Sydney)
  • Runs and terrain: 24 runs (33% beginner, 29% intermediate, 38% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 50 acres
  • Vertical: 209 metres

Pros:

  • Easily accessible from Sydney
  • More even number of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs
  • Much quieter than resorts like Thredbo and Perisher
  • Close to Jindabyne where there's cheap accommodation and a town

Cons:

  • Very few runs - more avid skiers/snowboarders will get bored quickly

Learn more about Charlotte Pass (Jindabyne)


Selwyn ski slopes. Image: Selwyn

4. Selwyn, NSW: Best for quiet slopes

One of the smaller resorts on the NSW side of Kosciusko National Park, Sewlyn is hailed as a premier learn-to-ski area. For this reason it's particularly popular with families and due to its size, offers a budget-friendly snow trip with adult lift passes from $74 a day (based on shoulder-season 2019 prices).

  • Location: Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales (5.5 hour drive from Sydney)
  • Runs and terrain: 15 runs (40% beginner, 48% intermediate, 12% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 45 acres
  • Vertical: 122 metres

Pros:

  • Uncrowded due to its size and the high number of beginner runs
  • Quiet, family-friendly atmosphere with facilities such as BBQ shelters
  • Free carparking

Cons:

  • No ski village, driving to and from the field is required
  • Not many challenging runs for advanced snow sporters

MtBuller2.Crop

5. Mt Buller, VIC: Best for weekend getaways and aprés ski

The convenient three-hour drive makes Mt. Buller a particular favourite for Melbournites, and so the resort gets very busy on weekends.

For those of you don't mind crowds, this resort can be well worth the effort. Not only is it conveniently located, but the high-tech lift facilities make moving around the mountain extremely easy.

  • Location: Alpine National Park, Victoria (3-hour drive from Melbourne)
  • Runs and terrain: 41 runs (20% beginner, 45% intermediate, 35% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 300 acres
  • Vertical: 400 metres

Pros:

  • One of the largest ski villages in Australia, making it great for apres sking
  • Short commute from Melbourne
  • Well groomed runs

Cons:

  • Very popular, can get crowded
  • Few beginner runs

Learn more about Mt Buller


MtHotham.Crop

6. Mt Hotham, VIC: Best for advanced skiers/boarders and ski/in-ski/out accommodation

If you’re looking for a more thigh-challenging ski holiday, then Mt Hotham could be the place for you. It's a purpose-built ski resort renowned for its steep verticals and challenging terrain.

The village is unique as it's located on top of the mountain, instead of at the bottom like traditional resorts. This not only means that you ski down for the first lifts of the day, but you're also staying up in the clouds.

  • Location: Australian Alps National Park, Victoria (4.5-hour drive from Melbourne)
  • Runs and terrain: 66 runs (20% beginner, 40% intermediate, 40% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 320 acres
  • Vertical: 395 metres

Pros:

  • Top snow due to its high vertical
  • Uncrowded due to its distance out from Melbourne

Cons:

  • Prone to poor snowfall
  • Kids' ski area is placed inconveniently away from the resort
  • Further drive from Melbourne than Mt Buller

Learn more about Mt Hotham


FallsCreek.Crop

7. Falls Creek, VIC: Best for cross-country skiing

Falls Creek takes first prize for having the prettiest alpine village. This resort has a small village that's full of restaurants, cafes and bars. Like Charlotte Pass, Falls Creek is a good one for beginners.

Unlike other mountains, here beginners are not relegated to the lower slopes. More than 80% of the mountain is dedicated to beginner and intermediate skiers so there is plenty to ski for all.

  • Location: Alpine National Park, Victoria (5-hour drive from Melbourne)
  • Runs and terrain: 92 runs (27% beginner, 60% intermediate, 23% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 450 acres
  • Vertical: 380 metres

Pros:

  • Uncrowded due to its distance from Melbourne
  • Ski-in/ski-out is available from all village accommodation

Cons:

  • Prone to poor snowfall
  • Limited beginner and advanced runs
  • Geared toward skiiers, not so much snowboarders

Learn more about Falls Creek


8. Mt Baw Baw, VIC: Best for short snow breaks

The closest ski area to Melbourne at just 150km away, Mount Baw Baw sits in a vast national park and is surrounded by alpine walking trails and gum trees.

The resort offers a small, intimate village and access to snow play areas, toboggan hills and 10km of groomed cross-country ski trails.

  • Location: Baw Baw Plateau and National Park, Victoria (3-hour drive from Melbourne)
  • Runs and terrain: 21 (33% beginner, 48% intermediate, 19% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 35 acres
  • Vertical: 104 metres

Pros:

  • Easily accessible from Melbourne
  • Good number of runs and terrain suitable for all levels
  • Has 10km of groomed cross-country ski trails
  • Walking and biking trails for those who don't want to ski/snowboard

Cons:

  • Small skiable terrain
  • Low vertical makes it heavily susceptible to run closures during poor weather

Learn more about Mt Baw Baw

Biggest ski resorts in Australia

Resort Number of runs Skiable terrain
Thredbo (NSW) 53 (16% beginner, 67% intermediate, 17% advanced) 480 hectares
Perisher (NSW) 133 (22% beginner, 60% intermediate, 18% advanced) 1,245 hectares
Charlotte Pass (NSW) 24 (33% beginner, 33% intermediate, 33% advanced) 50 hectares
Selwyn (NSW) 10 (40% beginner, 48% intermediate, 12% advanced) 45 hectares
Mt. Buller (VIC) 41 (25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced) 300 hectares
Mt. Hotham (VIC) 66 (20% beginner, 40% intermediate, 40% advanced) 320 hectares
Falls Creek (VIC) 92 (17% beginner, 60% intermediate, 23% advanced) 450 hectares
Mt Baw Baw (VIC) 21 (33% beginner, 48% intermediate, 19% advanced) 35 hectares

Where can you go skiing in Australia?

Most of Australia's ski resorts are in the south-east corner of the country in the Snowy Mountains.


When is the best time to ski in Australia?

The snow season runs from June to September in Australia, with specific dates depending on the snowfall per resort. The best time to arrive for snow and price is mid-June to mid-July or August both of which are shoulder seasons. Unless you have kids, it's best to avoid the winter school holidays as popular resorts get heavily overcrowded.

To give you an idea of approximate season dates, in 2019 Perisher is planning to open 7 June, Thredbo 8 June and Mount Buller is estimated to open 8 June.


See the latest snow deals in Australia

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Extra 10% off Mt Buller ski package

Save on a Mount Buller snow package including resort entry, lift tickets, ski lesson and return transportation from Melbourne.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon

Mt Buller: Full day tour from $135 + 20% off hire equipment

Valid for travel until October 2019. Includes return transport from Melbourne CBD, entry to the mountain and 20% off hire equipment. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Flight Centre - Domestic Flight Centre - Domestic

Australia flights for ski holidays from $155 each way

Valid for travel on select dates. Sample fare is Sydney-Canberra with Virgin Australia. Other nearby ski resorts include Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Jindabyne, Snowy Mountains, Perisher and Selwyn Snowfields.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Jindabyne: Ski equipment hire from $49

Valid for use on select dates between June - October 2019. Includes additional gifts, hire equipment at Summit Snowsports and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Stay in Jindabyne near Charlotte Pass from $79 per night

Book accommodation near Charlotte Pass from just $79 per night with Expedia.com.au.

Last verified


Winter travel insurance guide

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned professional, snow trips always come with an increased risk of injury. But injury is not the only unexpected financial cost you can experience. Bad weather and ski lift closures can leave you with unused ski passes, and costly equipment can easily get lost or damaged. The risks involved in ski holidays are unique, so it makes sense to acquire snow specific travel insurance. This guide will outline the benefits of winter travel insurance and what to look out for when comparing policy options.

Key winter specific insurance features

Compare winter travel insurance policies from Australian providers

Brands Product Product Details Apply
InsureandGo Winter Sports Cover

Available as an add-on

Overseas emergency medical assistance

14 winter sports activities covered

$600 cover for prepaid ski hire, ski passes and ski equipment

$1250 cover for damage to winter sports equipment

Get quote
1Cover Ski Travel Insurance

Emergency evacuation from ski fields

Cover for prepaid ski hire ski pass and ski equipment

Bad weather and avalanche closure

Cover for ski equipment hire

Get quote
Skiinsurance.com.au Professional Ski Insurance

Provides cover for professional skiers taking part in competition

Unlimited overseas emergency medical assistance

$5,000 luggage and personal effects

$5,000 rental vehicle excess

Get quote
Columbus Direct Winter Sports Cover

$500 piste closure

$750 delay due to weather conditions

$500-750 cover for ski equipment (hired or owned)

$500 for pre-paid ski pass, equipment and tuition fees

Get quote
AMEX Travel Insurance Snow Cover

Available as an add-on

$1,500 own winter sport equipment winter sport

$1,500 equipment hire unused winter sports costs

$1,000 piste closure

$750 weather and avalanche closure

Get quote
CoverMore Travel Insurance Winter Sports Cover

Available as an add-on

24/7 emergency medical and travel assistance

Emergency evacuation from ski fields

Cover for prepaid ski hire ski pass and ski equipment

Get quote
Fast Cover Snow Sports Plus

Overseas emergency medical assistance

Own or hired snow sport equipment

Piste closure

Get quote

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Latest travel offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site