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Have your best ski Holiday in Australia

It's easy to forget that there are some incredible ski fields right here in Australia — and they’re comparable to some of the best in the world. 

Most of Australia’s ski fields are located in either the Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and home to Banjo’s famed Snowy Mountains) or the neighbouring Alpine National Park in Victoria.

Both offer an aesthetically majestic experience — and for many Australians, also a deeply cultural one. If you've seen a silver, red and yellow snow gum submerged in morning snow, you'll never forget it. 

The big questions are, where and when should you go? Find out below! 

 

5 Best Australian ski resorts to visit in 2020

Concentrated in New South Wales and Victoria, each of Australia's ski fields makes a unique contribution to the skiing landscape. Whether you’re taking young kids, you’re a solo traveller, or a grey nomad, or you’re looking for a couple’s getaway, here are five options to get you dreaming and planning. 

Thredbo Resort

Thredbo, NSW
Best for Families With Children

Thredbo puts a lot of effort into catering for families, both on and off the snow. There’s a seemingly endless list of activities for everyone, including the September Kids' Snow Festival, Thredboland, kids' disco golf and the Thredbo Leisure centre.

Discounts are an incentive too, with children's prices applying to everyone under-18 for lifts and lessons, and promotions like "kids ski free" in September.

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Thedbo also hosts the annual Torah Bright Mini Shred event, where the Australian Olympic snowboarder and her pro friends spend the day at the resort, coaching intermediate skiers and boarders under 18 in their own terrain park.

The resort's numerous awards testify to the high calibre of its offerings on all fronts.

 

Perisher Resort

Perisher, NSW
Best for seniors

Perisher includes Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega. This is Australia's largest ski resort, and there's enough here to keep everyone happy — especially seniors who might appreciate the resort's quieter feel.

There's still plenty to do here, particularly when it comes to enjoying nature. The snow quality is also good and the weather is reliable.

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Perisher has access to many kilometres of cross-country skiing trails. Bushwalking on skis (as the PXC, an organised volunteer group of cross country skiers, puts it) is a great way to experience the beauty of the national park under a blanket of snow, at close quarters.

Perisher is also included in a great value multi-destination ticket (the Epic Australia Pass), giving you access to Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham — as well as Whistler Blackcomb in Canada, Hakuba Valley and Rusutsu in Japan, and several US resorts, including Park City, Vail and Breckenridge. 

 

Mt Hotham Resort

Mt Hotham, Victoria
Best for solo travellers looking for a challenge

Mt Hotham offers some of the best powder terrain in the country, and is favoured by expert skiers, with runs like Heavenly Valley and One Tree Hill offering a challenge to seasoned skiers. 

Snowboarders can find a challenge at the terrain parks, and take advantage of the Boardercross Course, built to World Cup standards.

Conveniently, you can cut your ski and snowboard teeth on the Cobungra Platter ski and snowboard hill before exposing yourself to the mercy of Mt Hotham. 

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The resort also hosts Women's Ski Week, dedicated to improving skills for female skiers who can confidently ski on blue terrain or higher. The program includes instruction from top female coaches, as well as après events. There's also the Women's Snowboard Shred Session, and several other women-only activities for various levels of skill.

There are affordable accommodation options for solo travellers, like the Karnulurra Ski Lodge, offering single bookings and communal spaces where you can mingle with other guests. Or stay at Dinner Plain, 15 minutes down the road, for that alpine village feel, where there are some good lodging options, such as the cosy home-away-from-home Cloud 9 Alpine lodge.

Après ski is considered to be livelier here than at other Australian resorts, with a variety of bars, nightclubs and restaurants to cater to your inner party animal. 

 

Charlotte Pass Resort

Charlotte Pass Snow Resort, NSW
Best for couples looking to get away

Completely snowbound in winter, there's no way into or out of Charlotte Pass except by oversnow transport. So if you want to have some quality time with your significant other and you both love the snow, this is the resort for you.

Here you'll find some of the most consistent snowfalls in the country, and the best quality snow. Novice and expert snowriders will find themselves equally enthralled at Australia's highest resort (1760m above sea level).

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Charlotte Pass is also linked by cross country ski trails to Perisher and Smiggins, offering a different, slower exposure to the quiet natural attractions that are sometimes harder to appreciate when you're whizzing down on skis or snowboard.

All of the accommodation at Charlotte Pass  is ski-in-ski-out. You've got a variety of options, including the romantic tower room at the famous Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel with every convenience you can think of thrown in.

 

Selwyn Snow Resort

Selwyn Snow Resort, NSW
Best for families on a budget

Selwyn Resort doesn't try to be all things to all people. It happily bills itself as the "learn to ski" resort, geared towards "family friendly fun" and "providing affordable skiing". If you're looking for a high-end experience, wrong way, go back!

But it's absolutely the place to go if you want a classic family holiday, where you spend all your time together (for better or for worse), and the days already look like those sepia-tinted photos of your childhood.

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Be aware, you can't stay on-mountain — lodging is dotted around in nearby locations. Also, it's a good idea to take cash and/or your own packed lunch.

 

when Should I go skiing in Australia?

The Australian ski season starts during the Queen's Birthday long weekend. It usually goes through till the end of September, but some resorts extend the period when conditions are right. Here's a guide to what happens when:

  • July & August – coldest time of the year 

    You're likely to get more snow at this time. Snowfall is a bit unreliable at all but the highest elevations, but snowmaking takes care of that, particularly at the big resorts.

  • June & Early October – shoulder period

    This is a good time to go if you're looking for cheaper hotel prices, ski packages and good deals all round. It's touch and go whether you’ll have good coverage though. You'll have to play it by ear.

  • September – springtime

    While some ski fields close in mid or even early September, those still open will be more relaxed and cheaper. What’s not to love about skiing in a t-shirt?
     

skiing in Australia: What could go wrong?
 

Head injuries
Helmets haven’t been mandatory in Australia in the past, but more and more people are wearing them. You’re travelling at high speeds down a mountain, and it’s very easy to lose control. So we advise protecting your most valuable assets.

Avalanches

People don’t believe avalanches happen in Australia, but they do off-piste. They often happen because of heavy snow, but they can be deadly. To avoid being trapped in one, you might be able to take an avalanche course at the resort you’re staying at. 

 

Not Enough Snow

It’s called a sunburnt country...and that means snowfall can be fickle. Seasonal outlooks are difficult to predict, so if you’re booking shoulder season passes, you might be taking chances.

 

Tobogganing Injury
If tobogganing is something you enjoy, it might be banned at your chosen resort. A Victorian study in 2007 found that tobogganing was responsible for 5% of hospital and Emergency Department admissions.

ski insurance fAQs for Australia

  • Are Australian residents covered by Medicare or private health insurance?
  • Is tobogganing covered by ski insurance?
  • What happens if I hurt myself after some après ski drinks?
 

Get a ski Travel insurance quote in minutes! start here

 

 

helpful resources for Skiiers

Epic Australia pass

Ski and board in four countries, all year round. The Epic Australia Pass is the best value season pass for Australians and connects Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham with resorts in Japan, the US & Canada.

Need a domestic policy?

If you’re an Aussie going skiing in Australia, then we’ve got a tailored Domestic policy that’ll save you time and money.

1Cover's Medical Hub

Do you have pre-existing medical conditions? Or are you pregnant? Maybe you're concerned about the types of vaccinations you get while skiing. Find out everything you need to know here.