Thredbo | The Ultimate Travel Guide

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Home to Australia's longest ski runs, Thredbo is a picturesque alpine valley that's shrouded in powder during the winter months and covered with hiking trails to explore the rest of the year. The village and snow resort can be found in the heart of Kosciuszko National Park at between 1,365m and 1,930m above sea level, where the white stuff falls between June and October. Its cosy village is full of hillside chalets, homely restaurants and a more than a pub or two to keep busy in while not on the slopes.

Getting there and getting around

Where is Thredbo?

Thredbo Resort is in the Snowy Mountains, about 2.5 hours' drive southwest from Canberra (about 215km) and 5.5 hours' drive (just under 500km) southwest of Sydney. There is a village with hotels, restaurants, bars and basic shops at the base of the mountain.
Sitting 36.5km from the village, Jindabyne is the the nearest town to the ski resort. Here you'll find large supermarkets and more affordable accommodation than at the resort.

How do I get to Thredbo?

Driving is the easiest way to get to Thredbo, with overnight parking available in designated areas or on-site at your accommodation.Traffic around the area is usually slow as it is situated on a steep hill and roads can be icy. Remember to bring (or hire) snow chains if travelling during the winter months.
If you're not keen on driving, Murray's Coaches offers a Snow Express service on Fridays and Saturdays from July to September from both Sydney and Canberra. We often see deals from Groupon offering discounted bus tickets combined with the national park fee available.
If you're coming from further afield than Sydney, Rex Regional Express offers direct flights to Cooma (via Sydney) - about 100km from the resort. You can also fly into Canberra and connect from there by bus or hire car.

How do I get around once I'm there?

If you're staying within Thredbo village, getting around on foot is the easiest as the village is small. There is also a free shuttle that operates from 7:30am to 9pm daily. During July and August, a special service runs until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

All the main destinations, primarily the ski lifts, restaurants and accommodation, are accessible on foot or using the shuttle service.

Types of transport: The free Thredbo Village shuttle operates along three routes. Snowy Mountains Shuttles and Snowlink Shuttle provide transfers between Thredbo and Jindabyne, which is another ski resort in the Snowy Mountains region.

Paying for transport: While the Thredbo Village shuttle is provided free of charge, shuttles between Thredbo and Jindabyne start at $51.45 each way.

Getting to and from the airport: There is no public transport to or from Cooma or Canberra airports, but there are shuttle services. You can book these in Thredbo Village, at the airport or online prior to arrival.

Thredbo ski resort

Get on the front foot of your snow trip by sussing out the runs, lift pass options and prices and equipment hire and schools in Thredbo Vilage.

What you need to know about the resort

  • Number of chair lifts: 14
  • Number of runs: 53
  • Number of magic carpets: 3

Everything you need to know to hit the slopes at Thredbo

  • Ski season dates: June - October. (Opening on 22 June 2020)
  • Snow report: Check the daily Snow Report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
  • Trail breakdown: 16% of the trails are for beginners, 67% are for intermediates and 17% are for advanced skiers
  • Number of terrain parks: 5
  • Longest run: 5km
  • Skiable terrain: 480 hectares

Thredbo mountain map:

Thredbo Trail Map Image: Thredbo Gallery Lift pass prices

If you're planning ahead for the snow season, you can buy your passes online on Wednesday, 10 June. Due to the revised operating model of Thredbo, there will be no season passes for 2020.

Thredbo's lift passes 2020 pricing are as follows, this year there will be no discounts for multi-day passes.

Day passes5-12 years13-17 years18-21 years22-64 years65-69 years70+ years
Full-day lift passFrom $85From $95From $149From $159From $85From $40

Ski schools available in Thredbo

Thredbo offers a wide range of ski schools for all skill levels that will have you looking like a pro on the slopes with the help of professional and qualified instructors.

ProgramWho can participate?What is involved?
ThredbolandKids aged 3-6Teaching children the basics of how to ski in a fun and safe environment in a small group
Burton RigletsKids aged 4-6Children will learn the basics of snowboarding in a safe and fun environment while building their skills in small groups
FreeridersKids aged 7-12Improving skiing and snowboarding skills, confidence and technique. Kids will be encouraged to progress as skiers/boarders and navigate their way around the mountain
Teen ShreddersKids aged 13-17Hit the slopes in the new full-day program that has been introduced in 2019 for teens to progress their ski/snowboarding skills in a fun and safe environment with other teens of a similar skill level
First Timer LessonsNew skiers and snowboardersLearning the basics of skiing/boarding. Qualified instructors will encourage participants to improve their skills at a relaxed pace in the designated beginners area
Group LessonsAll skill levelsSmall group lessons where skiers/boarders will build their confidence and technique while practising and advancing their skills
Private LessonsAll skill levelsIdeal for skiers/boarders who want to work on their style, skills and confidence with a professional instructor without distractions. You can also form groups of up to three people who are of a similar skill level for private lessons

Equipment hire

You have the option to hire equipment and clothing online before you arrive. Otherwise, there are two rental locations at Thredbo, conveniently located at the bottom of the mountain.

Importance of travel insurance

It is a great idea to take out ski travel insurance as a precaution on your ski/snowboarding trip. If you have an accident while skiing or snowboarding, your belongings are stolen or you become ill on the trip, ski insurance may cover you.

What's there to do in Thredbo?

What can I do if I'm not skiing?

While the slopes may be the main draw of the resort, there's plenty of other snow-based activities and things to do at Thredbo for those not keen to ski or snowboard.

Tobogganing, snowshoeing and horseback riding are all popular activities. You can also purchase a lift ticket as a non-skier to go up to the chalets where there's more snow - the perfect spot to sip a hot chocolate and take in the surrounds.

What's there to do in Thredbo during the summer?

The resort is open year round and hiking and mountain biking tracks available nearby.

Is Thredbo's Merritts Gondola worth it?

The latest big addition to the Thredbo experience is the Merritts Gondola. It launched just in time for the COVID hit 2020 season, but Finder travel writer Chris Stead was still able to give it a go. Here are his thoughts:

One of my goals when travelling to Thredbo in 2020 was for my three young children, not yet snowboarding or skiing, to experience snow. Not to just see it, but to roll around in it. To throw it at each other. To watch the steam rise from a hot chocolate as flakes of snow fall onto its surface. We arrived at Thredbo with no lift passes; so, turned to the new Gondola.

You can book in a day and buy a Scenic Pass, granting you access to the Gondola, but none of the other lifts.

Shiny and new, comfortable, and walled on all sides by glass, the eight-seat Merritts Gondola is an oasis from the cold wind outside. It's not necessarily for day trippers; indeed, you can ride it with your standard lift pass. As a result, skiers and snowboarders – and mountain bikers in summer – use it as a handy route from the village centre across the face to the far right of the fields.

Merritts Gondola

As a connecting route between the left and right edges of Thredbo's fields it's fantastic. And for families, a mid-station that grants you access to the Friday Flat region – where lessons are held - is very handy indeed.

For my family, it got us above the tree line and into the deep snow. The view below traverses several runs, lifts and forested areas, with a Where's Wally-like criss-crossing of humans split by natural wonders and wildlife. The lift ultimately taking you from 1370m to 1665m.

It's not a very long ride at around six minutes, however, and at the top there isn't a heck of a lot to do in winter. There is a restaurant, some tables and chairs and some little gullies, trees and flats where the kids can play. But it is above the tree line, with thick banks of snow to build snowmen. We scored a magic, windless moment with big flakes falling from the sky – quite magical.

While the experience itself was a lot of fun, I did feel like it was overpriced in its inaugural year. At least, when you need to buy for a whole family. It's such a short trip and there's not much in the way of activities at the top to help justify the cost. Hopefully, we'll see better family-focused pricing and a more fleshed out experience in the Cruiser area as the Merritts Gondola finds its feet in coming years.

Images: Thredbo

Latest Thredbo travel deals


Up to 15% off + $99 deposits on Australia adventures


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