Snow season prices up 17%: But there are plenty of ways to ski and save
Brr. Brr. It's cold in here. There must be some snow forming in the atmosphere.
Winter is here. And the Aussie snow resorts know it. Perisher in particular received a massive 30cm snow dump at the end of May spurring it to turn on its snow lifts and open a week early on 4 June.
But while you might be excited to dust off your skis, your wallet might not be.
According to KAYAK the average cost of resort accommodation in Australia has risen by 17% compared to pre-pandemic levels. This is based on prices across all New South Wales and Victorian snowfields from 1 June to 30 September.
As for Perisher Valley? Its price tag isn't far off at $666 per night, up 23% compared to 2019.
Prices might be up but we've got some handy tips to keep those dollars in your pocket.
Hit the slopes early
Early and shoulder season dates are often cheaper and offer smaller crowds. Typically you'd expect the snow to be low and slushy but with this sudden Antarctic chill hitting the resorts, there's a good chance you'll be carving up mountains of powder.
Looking on Hotels Finder opening weekend dates start from $119 per night at Stillwell Hotel in Charlotte Pass, only a 10-minute drive from Perisher Resort.
Avoid going from the beginning to mid-July
This is when the New South Wales and Victorian school holidays are and while July is arguably the month with the best snow, it's also the most crowded and most expensive.
Stay in Thredbo instead of Perisher
Thredbo's accommodation prices haven't increased as dramatically as Perisher's. KAYAK states that nightly rates are $584 per night, which is only 10% up on pre-pandemic prices.
Thredbo does have more in-resort accommodation compared to Perisher, which could be a contributing factor.
Visit Mount Buller instead of Falls Creek or Mount Hotham
Of the major Victorian snowfields, Mount Buller is coming up the cheapest this year, averaging $492 per night.
A quick search on Hotels Finder, for a weekend stay from 18-19 June brings up rooms at Merrijig Motor Inn for $175 per night. This is a 30-minute drive from the ski resort.
If you want to stay right on the slopes, Terama Ski Lodge costs $458 for the same weekend.
Make it a day trip
You can do away with accommodation costs altogether by heading to the slopes for a day trip.
You don't even have to drive yourself either. There are shuttles available from major cities that get you in overnight or in early morning so you can spend the whole day on the piste without that "tired driver" feeling.
With petrol prices soaring it might even work out better for your wallet.
Right now Groupon has these packages for sale:
- 1-day Perisher snow tour for $130: This includes transfers from Sydney and entry into the national park but not equipment hire, clothing hire or lift passes.
- 1-day Thredbo snow tour for $120: This includes transfers from Sydney and entry into the national park but not equipment hire, clothing hire or lift passes.
- 1-day Canberra snow tour for $90: This includes transfers from Canberra to Perisher or Thredbo and national park entry but not equipment or clothing hire or lift passes.
Groupon also sells cheap snow gear. Right now it has ski goggles from $12 and snow pants from $25.
Pre-buy your ski lift tickets or buy an annual pass
Purchasing pre-season tickets can save you heaps. But if you haven't snagged your passes yet you can still save some loose change buying them even a few days before you arrive. Here's what's happening online now:
- Perisher: $15 off June passes, $16 off July and August passes
- Thredbo: Save up to 20% when you buy 14-days in advance
- Mount Hotham: Save up to $14 on 1-day passes purchased in advance
- Mount Buller: Save up to $16 on 1-day passes bought in advance
Planning to board or ski throughout the season? Why not stretch your dollars with an Epic or Ikon Pass? These let you ski and ride at a variety of resorts in Australia and worldwide for a select number of days.
Get travel insurance
Snow equipment and clothing isn't cheap and replacing it can be an unfortunate hit to your hip pocket.
Ski travel insurance can cover you for this as well as unused lift passes and trip cancellations. It's an extra cost but it could save you hundreds.
Catch all the latest snow deals for the 2022 season.