Australia … It isn’t the first place people think about when it comes to skiing destinations, but locals know that our local ski resorts can more than hold their own once snow season rolls around.
Skiing in Australia…when and where?
Ski season typically runs from June through October in Victoria and New South Wales, and although the costs can be a little prohibitive when compared to global standards, the downhill action is still world class.
- New South Wales (NSW) has a warmer climate, however, the altitude of the resorts is generally higher so the season is not any shorter than their Southern neighbors.
- Victoria is the Australian state with the most ski resorts, having a key balance of a cooler climate and large population
- Tasmania, while being the coldest of the three destinations, is by far the least populous. This restricts resort options, but there are still opportunities if that’s where you wish to journey.
Below are the top 8 locations for skiing in Australia.
1. Thredbo, NSW
Thredbo Alpine Village is a great resort for families as they run a range of winter events and have a good variety of runs suited to beginners. This includes a huge purpose-built area of easy and gentle slopes that are perfect for first-timers to learn and practice the basics skills and techniques of their downhill game.
There is also plenty to satisfy the more advanced, as well as night skiing on Thursday and Saturday.
2. Mount Buller, Victoria
Mount Buller is a one of Victoria’s most popular skiing destinations. Situated three hours out of Melbourne, it is a resort of a considerable 300 hectares, from beginner slopes to exciting black runs.
For something a bit different, Buller also features two toboggan parks, which are a great option for those making the trips with younger ones or even just a fun easy way to entertain yourself when you feel like taking a break from the skis.
3. Perisher, New South Wales
With over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain Perisher is not only the biggest ski resort in Australia, it is the biggest in the Southern hemisphere. It is made up of four main parks that were all originally separate resorts in their own right: Blue Cow, Guthega, Smiggins and Perisher Valley. Situated in the famous Snowy Mountains the four parks formed to create Perisher in 1995 and has been a top powder destination ever since.
With such a vast area to ski, it is a good idea to do your research before you go so you can target the slopes appropriate for you. For instance Smiggins Holes is the ideal spot for beginners slopes and families with younger children and Blue Cow is a better option for peolple of a more intermediate or advanced skill level. There is also night and cross country skiing on offer and plenty of ski events throughout the whole season.
4. Mount Hotham, Victoria
Considered by many to be Australia’s ‘Powder Capital,’ Mount Hotham is a hot spot for real skiing enthusiasts, situated four and a half hours drive out of Melbourne. It has 320 hectares of ski terrain with a good range of difficulty of offer for all skill levels, including one of Australia’s most difficult runs: Mary’s Slide.
There are plenty of runs suited for beginners as well, and it is also the location of Australia’s only biathlon range (cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting)
5. Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park in Tasmania
Tasmania is not close to the top of many ski location lists, even for those in Australia, but that can actually be one of its main draw cards. If you prefer skiing on an uncrowded slope than hitting up Cradle Mountain is the perfect option for you.
The option’s here are largely cross-country, however this whole area of Tasmania is stunningly beautiful, particularly when covered in snow. So, if you’re a nature nut, there are worse ways to spend your time than strapping on your skis and exploring this stunning national park.
6. Falls Creek Ski Resort – Hume, Victoria
Fall Creek is the biggest ski resort in Victoria with 450 hectares and over 90 runs to ski. It is also well resourced with 14 ski lifts and a good mix of runs for every skill level. Falls creek can be considered more of an experienced skiers destination, however with over 60% of all the runs being classified intermediate or higher.
It is also located nearly a 5 hour drive from Melbourne meaning it isn’t really a day trip ski destination and it is wiser to hit up some Falls Creek accommodation and making a weekend trip of the endeavour.
7. Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort – Great Dividing Range, Victoria
If a day ski trip is what you’re after (and you live in Melbourne), Mt Baw Baw is what you’re after. It is only a two-and-a-half hours drive and has some great slopes for skiers and snowboarders alike.
Despite its relatively close proximity to the city, it still boasts over 35 hectares of downhill runs, and a welcoming ski village with everything you need to get ready for the slopes. There are also great accommodation options if you do want to stay for a bit longer.
Mount Baw Baw tends to be a very popular destination with families. As well as the reduced travel time, there is plenty of great beginner slopes and you can even experience dog sled tours for something a little different!
8. Charlotte Pass Ski Resort – Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
The distinction of being Australia’s highest resort means that Charlotte Pass gets some of the most consistent snow out of any other resort in the country. It is also the oldest ski resort in Australia and its immediate access to the country’s highest peak.
Some reports also say that Charlotte Pass may be the only viable option for natural snowfall in the coming years as the country begins to feel the impact of climate change.