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Where to go skiing in Australia in 2020

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

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Man and woman skiing and snowboarding

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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.

Restrictions due to Melbourne's July coronavirus outbreak

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreaks, anyone living in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will not be allowed to enter ski areas. Some ski lifts and resorts have closed across Victoria and will consider reopening when restrictions are set to ease after 19 August 2020.

Mount Hotham and Falls Creek will not be opening for the rest of the 2020 season.

If further announcements are made, we'll update this page with more information.

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

Quickly compare Australia's best ski resorts:

FeatureSki-in/ski-out?DistanceLift pass price (3 days, adult) - 2020 pricesIs there a resort village?
ThredboYes5.5 hour drive from SydneyTBCYes
PerisherYes5.5 hour drive from Sydney$433Yes (most stay in Jindabyne)
Charlotte PassYes6 hour drive from Sydney$321Yes (most stay in Jindabyne)
Mt BullerYes3 hour drive from Melbourne$204Yes
Mt HothamYes4.5 hour drive from Melbourne$386Yes
Falls CreekYes5 hour drive from MelbourneTBCYes
Mt Baw BawYes3 hour drive from MelbourneTBCYes
SelwynNo5.5 hour drive from SydneyClosed for the 2020 seasonNo (stay in Adaminaby)

Thredbo2.Crop

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 hectares
  • 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 Book hotels in Thredbo


Perisher.Crop

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 hectares
  • 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) Book hotels in Perisher


CharlottesPass.Crop

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 hectares
  • 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) Book hotels in Charlotte Pass


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

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: 80+ runs (20% beginner, 45% intermediate, 35% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 300 hectares
  • 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 Book hotels in Mt Buller


MtHotham.Crop

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 hectares
  • 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 Book hotels in Mt Hotham


FallsCreek.Crop

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 Book hotels in Falls Creek


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: 25 (33% beginner, 48% intermediate, 19% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 35 hectares
  • Vertical: 104 metres

Selwyn ski slopes. Image: Selwyn

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. Unfortunately the resort is closed for the 2020 season due to damage from the bushfires earlier in the year. We'll update this space if that changes, or when we get information about when it's able to open again.

  • Location: Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales (5.5 hour drive from Sydney)
  • Runs and terrain: 11 runs (18% beginner, 55% intermediate, 27% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 86 acres
  • Vertical: 122 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 Book hotels in Mt Baw Baw

Biggest ski resorts in Australia

ResortNumber of runsSkiable 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, 29% intermediate, 38% advanced)50 hectares
Selwyn (NSW)11 (18% beginner, 55% intermediate, 27% advanced)45 hectares
Mt. Buller (VIC)80 (20% beginner, 45% intermediate, 35% 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)25 (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.


See the latest snow deals in Australia

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 34% off NSW escape for 2 with flights

Available for travel from 21 November 2020 - 10 June 2021. Includes return airfare, stay at Thredbo Alpine Hotel, breakfast, $25 dining credit, welcome cocktail and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 16% off winter escapes

Available on select dates in 2020. Destinations include Jindabyne, Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, Falls Creek, Mount Buller and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Stayz Stayz

Falls Creek stays from $132/night

Available on select stay dates from July 2020 onward. Sample rate is for Glen Wills Retreat.

Last verified

Wotif Wotif

Falls Creek stays from $129/night

Available on select stay dates. Sample rate is for Murmeli Falls Creek.

Last verified

Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Brisbane stays from $116/night + Extra 10% off with code

Available on stays until June 2021. Sample stay is at Oaks Brisbane on Charlotte Suites. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends


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


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