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During the Australian winter, powderhounds from near and far make a beeline for New South Wales and Victoria to catch some of the nation's best snow.
Between the two states, there's a healthy handful of resorts to choose from. If you're stuck on where to head this year, our guide compares nine of the best (including one from Tasmania) to get you over the line.
Then, it's just a matter of dusting off your boots, packing the car and hitting the road.
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)
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)
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)
Nestled in north-eastern Tasmania the Ben Lomond Ski Resort is the highest and largest in Tasmania making it the premier destination for skiers and snowboarders wanting to hit the powder on the Apple Isle. Stay on the mountain at Rover's Retreat or in Launceston.
There's a car park and shuttle service from the base to the top. Snow chains are required for the final 7 km journey up the steep and winding road known as "Jacob's Ladder".
Location: Ben Lomond National Park, Tasmania (1-hour drive from Launceston)
Runs and terrain: 6 runs, 2 closed in 2021 (37% beginner, 53% intermediate, 10% advanced)
One of the smaller resorts on the New South Wales side of Kosciuszko National Park, Sewlyn is hailed as a premier learn-to-ski area. Unfortunately, the resort is closed for the 2021 season due to damage from the bushfires in early 2020.
The resort is planning on rebuilding better than ever with, new amenities, upgraded chairlifts and new snow carpets. The improved resort will also have a winter wonderland area that will feature a skating rink and other attractions aimed at children and families.
Location: Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales (5.5 hour drive from Sydney)
With 133 to choose from, Perisher offers the highest number of ski runs in Australia.
With eight green runs, Charlotte Pass is ideal for beginners. The smaller size of the resort means fewer guests on the slopes giving beginners more space to manoeuvre.
Not only does Perisher boast the largest number of ski runs in the country but 60% of them are for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. This gives those at this level plenty of powder to try out without getting bored.
Uncrowded, with steep verticals and over 40% advanced runs, experts will have the best time at Mt Hotham.
At 1,245 hectares, Perisher has the largest amount of skiable terrain in Australia.
At $55 a day for a lift pass, Mt Baw Baw has the cheapest lift pass prices, nearly half the cost of any other resort.
Because of its small size and a high number of beginner runs, Selwyn is an ideal place for learner skiers.
With one of the largest ski villages in the country, Mt Buller is a great place for friends to come together at the apres ski.
While there's plenty of 'on the run' fun to be had at Thredbo, advanced skiers can enjoy plenty of off-piste action.
For ski-in/ski-out you can't get much better than the resort at the top of Mt Hotham.
From fast trails to off-piste terrain, Falls Creek is the self-proclaimed home of cross-country skiing.
A reasonable 3-hour drive from Melbourne and a good mix of runs for all levels makes Mt Baw Baw great for short trips to the snow.
Just one hour's drive from Launceston you'll find Ben Lomond is the fastest resort to get to.
Selywn is a smaller resort with no resort that is popular for learner skiers. This means less busy slopes for intermediate and advanced skiers.
How much does it cost to go skiing in Australia?
The cost of a ski trip in Australia can vary wildly depending on where you want to ski and whether you go at the low or high peaks of the snow season. Apart from transport, accommodation and gear costs, you'll also have to factor in the cost of ski passes.
Less popular and smaller resorts can sell one-day passes for less than $100. Bigger more popular resorts can sell passes anywhere between $100-$200.
You can compare lift pass prices for the best Australian ski resorts in the above table. While some resorts offer discounted rates if you buy a multi-day pass it isn't always a guarantee, so you should check prices carefully.
Like any holiday, always plan ahead and check out ski deals and packages to make sure you get the most for your money.
Thredbo, NSW - $169
Perisher, NSW - $139
Charlotte Pass, NSW - $119
Selwyn, NSW - Closed for the 2021 season
Mt. Buller, VIC - TBC
Mt. Hotham, VIC - $102
Falls Creek, VIC - $102
Mt Baw Baw, VIC - $55
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.
What should you wear when going to a snow resort?
Whether you're planning to go skiing or snowboarding you should aim to layer up to keep yourself dry and warm. You don't need to buy expensive or branded clothing so long as the clothes you take will do the job.
Thermal tops and bottoms are a good first layer before adding thick socks, warm pants, a warm top and winter jacket. Don't forget gloves to keep your hands warm and the all important helmet and goggles.
It's also a good idea to wear sun protection, winter sports may be a cold activity but UV rays can be more powerful at higher altitudes and also reflect off the snow.
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.
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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
In the event of a serious accident on the ski fields, snow travel insurance cover can ensure that you are covered for emergency evacuation to the hospital and even for helicopter rescue if this is required.
In the event that you forced to cancel your trip due to extreme weather such as blizzards and snowstorms, your snow travel insurance cover will enable you to recoup prepaid costs and expenses.
Ski equipment is and always has been expensive, especially within Australia. Winter sports travel insurance will ensure that in the event of loss or damage to you ski or snowboard equipment, you will be able to make a claim to cover the costs. This cover can apply for your own equipment and hire equipment, with some policies providing an additional benefit to cover the costs of hiring new equipment. In the event that your transport carrier has misdirected or delayed your equipment for a period longer than 24 hours, the insurer will cover the costs of you hiring new equipment.
Some people spend a long time looking forward to their trip, travelling to their destination, getting the equipment they need and then finding that once they get there the weather is too bad to hit the slopes. Many snow travel insurance plans will cover you for transport and accommodation expenses if you are forced to travel to a new resort.
Depending on which cover you take out, you may also be covered for unused ski passes, equipment hire and lessons in the event that you are unwell or as a result of loss or theft.
Many providers will allow you to take out additional cover for single-trip heli-skiing trips for an additional premium loading. This cover can be purchased after starting your trip, provided it is taken out at least 24 hours prior to beginning your heli-ski trip. It is worth noting that most insurers will not provide cover for any event that has occurred while travelling in a helicopter or disembarking a helicopter. It is worth noting that the inclusion of this option on your policy will generally require an additional excess to be paid in the event of a claim.
Some providers will cover the cost of transport to a new resort and the provision of additional ski passes in the event that you are forced to move to a new resort due to lift systems being closed on account of;
Courtney Edwards is an associate travel publisher at Finder. She has a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Journalism and sub-majoring in English from Western Sydney University and a Certificate II in Tourism. She discovered her love for travel while completing a semester abroad in England and travelling around Europe. Outside of work, you’ll find Courtney visiting new brunch spots and planning her next adventure.
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