Where to go skiing in Australia in 2021

Not sure where to go skiing in Australia? Here's your guide along with the nine best ski resorts you can visit. 

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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.

Quickly compare Australia's best ski resorts:

DestinationSki-in and ski-out?Where is it? Lift pass price
(1 day, adult)
Lift pass price
(2 days, adult)
Lift pass price

(3 days, adult)

Is there a resort village?
Thredbo, NSWYes5.5-hour drive from Sydney$169$338$507Yes
Perisher, NSWYes5.5-hour drive from Sydney$139$202$300Yes (most stay in Jindabyne)
Charlotte Pass, NSWYes6-hour drive from Sydney$119$236$350Yes (most stay in Jindabyne)
Mt Buller, VICYes3-hour drive from MelbourneTBC$298$402Yes
Mt Hotham, VICYes4.5-hour drive from Melbourne$102$195$280Yes
Falls Creek, VICYes5-hour drive from Melbourne$102$195$280Yes
Mt Baw Baw, VICYes3-hour drive from Melbourne$55$110$165Yes
Ben Lomond, TasmaniaYes1-hour drive from LauncestonTBCTBCTBCYes (or you can stay in Launceston)
Selwyn, NSWNo5.5-hour drive from SydneyClosed for the 2021 seasonN/AN/ANo (stay in Adaminaby)

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


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


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: 17 (25% beginner, 64% intermediate, 11% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 35 hectares
  • 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 Book hotels in Mt Baw Baw


ben lomond

Ben Lomond, Tasmania

Best for access

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)
  • Skiable terrain: 40 hectares
  • Vertical: 85 metres

Pros:

  • Good for intermediates
  • Easily accessible from Launceston
  • Highest ski resort in Tasmania
  • Car park and shuttle bus at base of the mountain

Cons:

  • No chair lifts – surface lifts only
  • Small number of runs

Book hotels in Ben Lomond


Selwyn ski slopes. Image: Selwyn

Selwyn, NSW

Best for quiet slopes

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)
  • Runs and terrain: 11 runs (18% beginner, 55% intermediate, 27% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 86 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

Book hotels in Selwyn

Best places to go skiing

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.


See the latest snow deals in Australia

Deal

Up to 20% off + $99 deposits on Australia adventures

Verified 4 days ago Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on trips from 6 November 2021 – 15 April 2022. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Rottnest Island, Cairns, Darwin, Sydney, Byron Bay, Uluru, Canberra, Jindabyne, Great Ocean Road and more.
Deal

Up to 10% off Thredbo hotels

Available on select stay dates until 2022. Includes free breakfast and cancellation on select hotels. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 10% off Jindabyne hotels

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates and includes breakfast and free cancellation on select hotels.
Deal

Up to 25% off Mt Buller holidays

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates in 2021 when you book your flights and hotels together. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 60% off Australia getaways

Available on select stay dates with Express Deals. Destinations include Sydney, Adelaide, Byron Bay, Thredbo Village, Sunshine Coast, Jindabyne, Perth, the Gold Coast and more.
Deal

Falls Creek stays from $130/night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay in at Mount Beauty, Victoria. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Thredbo getaways from $120 per night

Available on select travel dates. Sample stay is at Corryong Hotel Motel.

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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