Whatever the season there’s always an excuse to plan a trip, be it a weekender or full on holiday. Here we’ve compiled a comprehensive outline of cool places to stay when it’s cold outside and the snow’s finally falling, highlighting Australia's major downhill ski and snowboard destinations and popular cross country and backcountry areas. Our abundant ski and snowboard slopes are ready and waiting for you to explore, as is the cross country terrain - so don't delay in booking your winter accommodation.
Always ask for ski packages because the majority of hotels and resorts, motels, chalets and cabins will offer a deal in association with major snowfields in their area.
Sitting at our desks, we’re all daydreaming about snow sports so a ski & snowboard retreat, offering awesome reprieve from day to day this and that - is just what the doctor ordered. If you’re not already a die-hard powder junky, then do your research and feel inspired by all the adventurous possibilities that Mother Nature adorned in white has to offer - the bunny hill awaits so beginners, too, can always get into the ski craze.
Our ski and snowboard season officially starts on the second weekend of June; so let the games begin… by booking your accommodation.
You’ll find downhill ski and snowboard resorts in Tasmania’s Launceston northeast, in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, and within the Victorian High Country.
Mountains of Winter Ski Resorts
Tasmania: Ben Lomond
Your best bet for downhill skiing and snowboarding in Tasmania is Ben Lomond because it’s about an hour southeast of Launceston where places to stay are plentiful and après ski culture is abundant – luxury guesthouses, Edwardian accommodation, and motel lodges are amongst the possibilities. If you want to stay on the mountain, there is a main village offering all the amenities you’ll need.
Thredbo Alpine Village.
New South Wales Snowy Mountains: Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass & Selwyn
Thredbo and Perisher are promoted widely so most Australians are familiar with these popular downhill ski and snowboard mountains. A myriad of accommodation options are available to you and your family in the town of Jindabyne, only 30 minutes’ drive from these two powdery destinations. Compared to staying on the mountain, it’s less expensive to book in town and this time of year there are early bird bargains and June long weekend specials to look out for.
Lesser known Charlotte Pass is a winter gem; Australia’s only totally snowbound alpine village, it is in a convenient location just a bunny hob away from Mt Kosciuszko. Staying on the mountain certainly makes for a magical holiday and some packages promise a generous hot breakfast, lunch and a three course gourmet dinner.
Protected from the elements, Selwyn Snowfields are fantastic for beginners - so keep Mt Selwyn in mind. A handful of small towns sit at the base of the mountain where you and your family can comfortably situate yourselves in the evenings; these include Cooma, Adaminaby, Berridale, Tumbarumba and Adelong.
Victorian High Country: Falls Creek, Mt Buller, Hotham & Dinner Plain
People love downhilling at Falls Creek, famous for ski-in, ski-out accommodation amidst the picturesque village full of restaurants, bars and clubs. If Victorian High Country is your destination then do not overlook Mt Buller, a couple hours’ drive from Melbourne, perfect for a weekend quick trip whether you’re a city sophisticate or a YHA budget traveller.
If you’re after the hot action of Mt Hotham, you’ll find an accommodation trail mix of ski lodges and modern apartments to choose from. Ten minutes from Hotham you’ll also discover Dinner Plain snowfields, with characteristic fairytale stone and timber architecture among the snow gums and winter sports terrain.
Victoria Gippsland Lakes – Mt Baw Baw
The closest resort to Melbourne, 2.5 hours from the international airport, Mt Baw Baw offers spectacular scenery and their numerous ski clubs contribute to that cosy resort feel and friendly atmosphere. If you opt not to commute from Melbourne, Gippsland Lakes offers plenty of accommodation, including dwellings in nearby Traralgon and Warragul.
Ski Chalet Stays and the Cross Country Scene
Discover Australia’s vast alternatives for snow lovers who can’t get enough of the great outdoors though are less adrenaline inclined. You’ll find cross country ski and backcountry snowfields at many of the downhill destinations, though there are specific terrains designed solely for XC recreation.
Cradle Mountain Lodge, Tasmania.
Tasmania – Hobart Area
Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain region and Mount Field National Park, west of Hobart, are prime examples of XC mountains.
New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory – via Snowy Mountains or Canberra
On the main land you’ll find the Australian Alps national parks offering cross country ski options that are dually managed by NSW National Parks and ACT Parks & Wildlife, since much of the terrain lies on the state border.
Kosciusko National Park NSW main range, Jagungal Wilderness and Kiandra area offer XC terrain that is accessible through Snowy Mountain passageways or via Canberra, though the latter is a longer trek. Neighboring Namadgi National Park ACT includes the Mount Ginini and Mount Franklin destinations, located just southwest of Canberra.
Victoria – Yarra Valley and Gippsland access and Victoria High Country Options
Victoria is the XC state, offering a number of mountains with cross country terrain to explore. You’ll find Lake Mountain is the closest ski resort to Melbourne and ample accommodation options are also available in nearby Yarra Valley; their snow experience includes an extensive world-class XC trail network. While in the Yarra, check out Mt Donna Buang to show the kids snow for the first time – it’s a nice, casual snow play area.
Travelling through the Gippsland area you’ll have access to Mt St Gwinear situated in the Baw Baw National Park and offering idyllic XC terrain and snow play activity areas.
Three hours from Melbourne, and 30 minutes’ drive from Mt Buller, you’ll discover Mt Stirling where 68km of well-maintained trails await you amidst Alpine Ash and Snow Gum woodlands. Also worthy of exploration is Mt Buffalo, famous among backcountry ski touring groups because it offers limitless possibilities; for those who prefer a groomed network of XC terrain there are marked trails in their Cresta Valley and ski lessons available.
Close your eyes to the picturesque vision of you with head held high, eyes cast to the sky where snowflakes are cascading down into the silver and white snowfield surroundings. When booking winter accommodation, it’s best to keep in mind that everyone's after those sweeping mountainous views but they're yours for the taking… so plan in advance and book now to avoid disappointment.
Remember to book your winter accommodation early and look for June long weekend specials in Tasmania’s Launceston northeast, the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, and Victorian High Country.