As the temperature drops, that’s when things really start to heat up at Australia’s alpine resorts. And the best way to make the most of the wintery conditions? Skiing, of course!
For a country that is best known for its endless coastlines, pristine beaches or remote outback areas, it’s easy to forget how impressive Australia’s snowy regions are.
Sure, they might not compare to the famous Swiss Alps or Whistler, but come June, we guarantee there’s no better place to be than out on the slopes of Buller, Perisher and co.
While the crisp, clean mountain air certainly can’t be beat, and there’s definitely something about the hot chocolates that make them taste infinitely better on the alps, for any true snow bunny the real lure of the mountains is the skiing.
For beginners, there’s no better place to learn to ski then on the Australian ski slopes. The majority of downhill runs are quite short (Australian mountains aren’t considered tall, thanks to millions of years of erosion), and the facilities and instructors are considered world-class.
Seasoned experts are taken care of too, with black runs - featuring chutes and only the steepest of slopes - a feature of all the mountains. So if it’s an adrenaline rush you’re after, you won’t have to try hard to get the heart pumping!
So forget about the glamour and prestige of overseas ski resorts, you can find charming ski villages, an extensive range of genuinely challenging runs and top-notch snowmaking systems (for when nautre needs a little top-up!) right here in our very own backyard.
WHEN TO SKI
For the majority of resorts, Australia’s ski season officially kicks off on the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, which falls on the second Monday in June.
Early starts to winter are not unusual in alpine regions though, and unseasonably heavy snow can start falling from early April onwards, right through to December.
Ski season usually ends the first weekend in October, but visitors in late September often find conditions slushy - not ideal for any late season skiing!
WHERE TO SKI
Australia’s premier snowfields are located in Victoria and New South Wales, clustered along the Great Dividing Range.
Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Mount Buller reign supreme in Victoria as the most popular ski destinations, and for good reason. All offer excellent ski runs that cater to a range of skill levels, which means the whole family can enjoy some fun on the slopes in a safe environment.
Mt Hotham and Falls Creek also have a plethora of cross country ski trails to explore, which criss-cross through and across the mountainside, making for some pretty spectacular sites.
It does tend to get busy at Hotham, Buller and Falls, but if you can look past a few lines for buses and ski lifts it shouldn’t be too bad - and a bustling ski resort only adds to the atmosphere!
Victoria’s Mt Baw Baw, Dinner Plain, Mount Buffalo, Lake Mountain, Mount Stirling are also all ski-friendly destinations, and all mountains are located roughly 3-5 hours from Melbourne.
New South Wales
For those in New South Wales, head to either Perisher Blue or Thredbo.
Perisher is best known as having Australia’s largest ski terrain, creating the ultimate wintery paradise for avid skiers. It is also comprised of 4 main resorts - which you can ski between - further adding to the grandeur of Perisher as a premier ski destination.
Picturesque Thredbo is best suited for those that enjoy top to bottom skiing, while the village is a major drawcard, and filled with great restaurants and bars.
Charlotte’s Pass and Selwyn are also great, family-friendly options for a ski trip, and the cheaper lift costs make a visit slightly less hard on the hip-pocket.
Some people might not realise, but you can also go skiing in Tasmania!
Ben Lomond National Park, Mt Mawson and Mt Field National Park all receive substantial snowfall during winter and alongside skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and cross-country skiing are all achievable.
Plus, with a lesser-known destination comes less crowds, fresher powder and more relaxed vibes. Sounds good to us!
New South Wales