Although you’ll find the skiing and snowboarding better in the Americas, Europe, Japan and New Zealand, there are still some outstanding snow fields found Down Under, so if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush in the Australian winter and have the time and means to make it to the southern states (NSW and Victoria) where snow is to be found, this article is for you.
Skiing and snowboarding in Australia
The Australian skiing and snowboarding season is a rather short one in comparison to other parts of the world, lasting just a few months between June and mid-September, however, if you’re looking at working the season as many do, you’ll need to start looking for positions in April, which is when advertised job vacancies tend to start appearing.
As you’re probably already aware, skiing and snowboarding is rather limited in Australia in comparison to other parts of the world, however, what Australia’s nine resorts lack in slopes they more than make up for in partying atmosphere – prepare to have a wicked experience that will leave you hanging for more.
The resorts Australia has to offer are located in two of the southern states, New South Wales and Victoria; though there are plans underway to develop two resorts in Tasmania, however, at the present point in time these are still just plans.
Popular resorts in Oz
The most popular skiing and snowboarding resorts in Australia are located in both NSW and Victoria, so depending on where you have time to visit you won’t be missing out by opting to head to one state over the other, though the weather is a factor that you should try to take into account a little closer to the time that you’re planning to arrive.
New South Wales
The two most popular resorts in NSW are Perisher, formerly known as Perisher Blue, and Thredbo. Perisher is the larger of the two and offers a more widely varied terrain, and it’s actually a combination of four resorts; Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega, though the ticketing system in place enables snow enthusiasts to access all four resorts on the one ticket.
Thredbo is considered the trendier of the two, though it’s nowhere near as large or as varied as Perisher and when the snow recedes to the top of the resort the skiing and snowboarding can become quite limited, which is something you’ll need to check if you’re arriving near the end of the season.
The most popular skiing and snowboarding destinations in Victoria are Falls Creek, widely considered to be the most beautiful resort in Victoria, Dinner Plain and Mt Hotham, and Mt Buller, the closest resort to Melbourne which makes it a popular destination on the weekend as it’s just three hour’s drive away from the bustling Australian metropolis.
If you’re after steep pistes in Victoria then Mt Hotham is likely to be your best bet, and as with all the resorts in Australia, if you’re making your way to the slopes by car you’ll need to have snow chains – failure to do so can result in a $200 fine.
If you’re interested in becoming a ski instructor – a great way to spend a gap year before, during or after university – you’ll find there are ski instructor courses offered at most ski resorts, though as these have a tendency to fill up quickly and the Australian winter is so short, the sooner you make arrangements the better.
Accommodation and transport
You’ll find yourself well catered for regarding accommodation and transport at all Australia ski fields, though some are more affordable than others. However, as there are always accommodation promotions available the difference between staying at one resort over another can be mitigated to a great extent by sourcing a great deal, perhaps something like a holiday package that includes everything.
Wherever you opt to ski or snowboard in Australia you won’t be disappointed with the accommodation and transportation options available to you, though don’t forget to plan your snow adventure well in advance because the Australian winter is somewhat shorter than elsewhere in the world – which doesn’t mean that you won’t have the time of your life in the Australian snow!