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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.
|Feature||Ski-in/ski-out?||Distance||Lift pass price (3 days, adult) - 2019 prices||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||$183||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|
We give you the information so you can decide which is right for you.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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, 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|
Most of Australia's ski resorts are in the south-east corner of the country in the Snowy Mountains.
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.
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.
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