As winter comes, there are those that retreat away or follow the sun into warmer destinations. Then there are those who embrace winter and all its glory. Australia has some gorgeous ski fields although the terrain and mountain ranges are lower than other countries. Still, Aussies love winter sports and boast some of the best winter sports athletes.
Skiers, snowboarders and adventurers alike come out of hiding to explore these snow encrusted forest fields which offer an abundant amount of attractions and activities waiting to be explored.
Here is an insider’s guide to Australian ski fields:
Thredbo, New South Wales
Most of the Ski areas lie around the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. Thredbo, still a favourite for many with its verticals and variety, is a six-hour drive from Sydney.
Along with the slopes, there are tobogganing, terrain parks, tubing, cross-country trails, night skiing and even nightlife for the whole family to enjoy. You can start the day off with one of the four terrain parks and thrilling runs. There is also a beginner-friendly terrain known as Friday Flat for those that want to warm up and tweak their skills. Thredbo also boasts one of the longest runs in Australia at 3.7 kilometres.
There are free shuttles that take guests around the Thredbo Village, which has accommodation from hostels to luxury lodges. You can finish off the day with the surrounding shops, restaurants, day spas and a leisure centre with a swimming pool. You will surely be entertained here, the atmosphere is lively, with plenty of Thredbo events throughout the season.
Perisher, New South Wales
Although widely popular, it may just be too popular. In peak season, Perisher can get quite busy even though it is one of the largest terrain Ski fields in Australia and even the Southern hemisphere. On the other side of the Snowy Mountains, it is across from Thredbo, and also a six-hour drive from Sydney.
Perisher has four ski resorts, Perisher, Blue Cow, Guthega, and Smiggin Holes. This Ski field caters towards any skier of any experience levels. There are seven peaks in total with five terrain parks with 47 lifts that will take you to your desired course. The runs here have amazing sights and panoramic views.
Although it has fewer activities off the snow than of its neighbour Thredbo, it is a great ski field for families that want to relax and enjoy the snow, being a perfect getaway for the winter school holidays.
Falls Creek, Victoria
Popular with Melbournites, Falls Creek is a family-friendly ski field that is great for runs, walks, and cross country skiing. There are four terrain parks, with the longest run being three kilometres. Falls Creek is a six-hour drive from Melbourne and is a great spot for any skier. There is plenty to ski and snowboard for all.
The highlight of this ski field is not only the snow courses but the superb dining and accommodation options. Retreat and relax after an exhilarating day. There are lots of lodges that can accommodate any type of visitor. You can also head to a spa for some pampering, relieving those muscles and prepping for the day ahead.
Mount Buller, Victoria
Another top choice for Melbournites, Mount Buller is only a three hours drive from Melbourne. With 22 lifts and 741 acres of skiable terrain over three terrain parks, it makes a perfect weekend getaway. The longest run here is close to three kilometres. The high-tech lifts make moving around the mountain easy.
There is a free shuttle, day spas, shops and toboggan parks. Mount Buller can get quite busy on weekends, so for those that do not mind the crowds, this conveniently located resort would be perfect. Guests will be spoiled for choice with many great activities Mt. Buller has to offer.
Mount Hotham, Victoria
A four-hour drive from Melbourne, Mount Hotham has some of the steepest runs, with most of the runs being black runs for the experienced skier. There are three terrain parks with backcountry available. Cross-country skiers can explore more than 35 kilometres of trails. Those looking for a challenge, this is the resort for you. The majestic sights of the mountain ranges will easily give you a rush.
Mount Hotham’s village sits in the upper reaches of the mountain, offering splendid views. There are free shuttles as accommodation, restaurants are scattered. There are even awesome dog sled rides, snowmobiling, day spas and tobogganing also available. This ski field is definitely worth checking out on your next snow trip.
Ben Lomond, Tasmania
Right at Launceston’s doorstep, Ben Lomond is only an hour and a half drive from the Tasmanian city. This ski field is a remarkable spot for intermediate and beginner skiers, with decent cross country ski available. Although with only seven lifts, lines are short, so avoid the crowds of Thredbo and Mount Buller. There are play areas and toboggan runs for kids.
This ski field suits those that are not after the adrenaline rush but subtle snow experience. The runs are not long but tricky. The hire here is affordable and has incredible backdrops. It is the only resort is the only ski field accessible by car in Tasmania. However, accommodation options are limited.
Snow season starts for the Australian ski fields in early June and ends around late September, so you need to start planning now before accommodation options drop and prices soar. The choice of field is up to you, if you are having a blast then regardless of where you go, it is worth it! Just remember to get snow chains for the car and dress for warmth and enjoy the great road trip that lies ahead.
Not ready for the snow yet? Check out Corin Forest just 45 minutes out of Canberra – a great taste test for little ones.