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The 8 Best Ski Resorts in Australia

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.

Where is the best skiing in Australia?

Australia's three southeast states offer world class downhill action.

  • New South Wales (NSW) has a warmer climate. However, the resorts are generally at a higher altitude, 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, and thus your resort options are more limited. However, there are still opportunities if that’s where you wish to journey.

When is Australia's ski season?

Most resorts open their official ski season on the long weekend in June. Depending on snow cover, they close at the end of September or early October.

We've listed the 8 best ski resorts in Australia, along with helpful planning details.

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.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Thredbo

Getting there: It takes about 5½ hours to drive to Mt. Hotham from Sydney and about 6½ hours to get there from Melbourne.

Ski slope at Thredbo, one of the 8 best places to ski in Australia

2. Perisher, NSW

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,
  • Smiggin Holes, and
  • Perisher Valley.

Situated in the famous Snowy Mountains, the four parks partnered in 1995 to create Perisher. The resort has been a top powder destination ever since.

With such a vast area, it is best to do your research before you go so you can target the slopes appropriate for you. For instance, Smiggin Holes is ideal for beginners slopes and families with younger children. Blue Cow, on the other hand, is a better option for people of a more intermediate or advanced skill level.

Perisher also has night and cross country skiing on offer and plenty of ski events throughout the season.

Getting there: It takes about 6 hours to drive to Perisher from Sydney and about 7 hours to get there from Melbourne.

Perisher ski resort Australia

3. Charlotte Pass Ski Resort, NSW

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.

Getting there: It takes approximately 6 hours to drive to Charlotte Pass from Sydney and about 7½ hours to get there from Melbourne.

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).

Accommodation: Where to stay near Mt. Hotham

Getting there: It takes approximately 8 hours to drive to Mt. Hotham from Sydney and about 4½ hours to get there from Melbourne.

Mt Hotham Ski Resort Australia

5. 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. This is a great option for those making the trips with younger ones. They're also a fun easy way to entertain yourself when you feel like taking a break from the skis.

Accommodation: Where to stay at Mt. Buller

Getting there: It takes approximately 8 hours to drive to Mount Buller from Sydney and about 3½ hours to get there from Melbourne.

6. Falls Creek Ski Resort, Victoria

Fall Creek is the biggest ski resort in Victoria with 450 hectares and some of the best snow in all of Victoria. It also offers excellent cross country skiing and a lovely pedestrian village for apres-ski dining.

Falls Creek offers 14 ski lifts, over 90 ski runs, and a good mix of runs for every skill level. It can be considered more of an experienced skiers destination however, as over 60% of all the runs are classified intermediate or higher.

Official site: www.fallscreek.com.au

Accommodation: Where to stay in Falls Creek

Getting there: It takes approximately 7 hours to drive to Falls Creek from Sydney and about 4½ hours to get there from Melbourne.

7. Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort, Victoria

If a day ski trip is what you’re after and you live in Melbourne, Mt Baw Baw is the closest ski resort to the city. It offers over 35 hectares of downhill runs, two terrain parks for freestylers, and over 10 kilometers of cross-country trails.

Mount Baw Baw tends to be a very popular destination with families. The drive time from Melbourne is relatively quick, and there are plenty of great beginner slopes as well as three snow play areas. Plus, you can even experience dog sled tours for something a little different!

Mount Baw Baw has a very nice ski village with everything you need to get ready for the slopes. You can also find great accommodation options if you do want to stay for a bit longer.

Getting there: It takes approximately 10 hours to drive to Mt. Baw Baw from Sydney and about 2½ hours to get there from Melbourne.

Mount Baw Baw Australia

8. Ben Lomond Ski Field Area – Tasmania

Tasmania is not close to the top of many ski location lists, even for those in Australia. As its southernmost state, snow abounds, and the low population means that resorts will be smaller and more personal. If you prefer skiing on an uncrowded slope, then Tasmania is the perfect option for you.

Tasmania's best-known resort is in Ben Lomond National Park, on the state's second-highest peak. Just as with other resorts on the island, facilites are rather basic, but that can actually be a draw.

The rugged Tasmanian landscape offers epic scenery, particularly when covered in snow. So if you’re a nature nut, strap on your skis and explore this fabulous national park.

Accommodation: Where to stay at Ben Lomond

Getting there: It takes approximately 3 hours to drive to Ben Lomond from Hobart.

Where to find the cheapest ski deals in Australia

For first-time experiences and family skiing, smaller resorts such as Charlotte Pass and Mt. Baw Baw offer a more affordable experience.

Things are pricier during peak season, which runs from late June through to early September. As winter ends, Australia's ski resorts will be less crowded. There may not be as much snow, but the prices will be lower.

Read more

If you're visiting Australia, you can find more adventurous things to do in these articles:

Also, don't miss this list of Things You Should Know Before Visiting Australia.

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Snow and mountains with a text overlay that says Ski Australia

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Written by Alexander Dance

Alexander is a full-time freelance writer. He is passionate about traveling, eating great food and having different experiences.

You can read more of his writing at his personal website, alexanderjdance.com/.

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6 thoughts on “The 8 Best Ski Resorts in Australia

  1. We took our boys to the snows! They loved it – it was in New South Wales – just trying to remember if it was Thredo or if it was Perisher? Gosh it was awhile ago – will have to see if I can find pictures to work out which snow resort it was.
    I remember riding down the hill and falling onto my backside, getting soaking wet. It was so much fun -first time our younger two boys had seen snow, and they would love to go back again another time.

    1. Australia has so many more things to offer that people don’t even think to look for. We think about the dry, desert outback, sure, and yet it’s so easy to forget about the lush coastline and cooler mountain weather. It sure was nice hearing about how much fun you had skiing. I hope you have a chance to do it again someday.

  2. These places don’t look like that they are from Australia. Skiing is truly the offbeat travel experience of Australia. I might visit Melbourne in a couple of months, but I’m not sure how cold it would be then. Let’s see…

    1. Renuka, I hope you pack long sleeves! July averages are a high of 14° and a low of 7° and August is slightly warmer (16° low/ 8°high). This might be a wonderful opportunity to try skiing, though. Maybe you’ll find a hidden talent!

    1. Coming from an Aussie tour company, that’s high praise. 🙂 We’ve not been to Melbourne yet, but it’s on our shortlist. There’s a lot to see and do in Victoria that most people have yet to discover.

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