By Freya Ensbey.
Australia is a land of contrasting landscapes, being the
custodian of four of the world’s largest deserts, an island completely
surrounded by oceans and coastline and a temperamental environment which can
reach soaring temperatures of 50.7° in some places and sub zeros of -8.0°.
Just as well known for its golden beaches, vast open spaces
and warm sunny days, Australia is also home to many world class snowy
playgrounds. This ski season, why not explore our own backyard before making
the expensive trek overseas, with this guide to our country’s best snow-cations.
Thredbo Resort | Photo: Thredbo Resort's Facebook | NSW
Perched atop Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains region
of South-Eastern Australia is Thredbo Ski Resort, this year celebrating their
60th year in operation. Founder Tony Sponar visited the area in 1955
and had the vision to transform the mountain into a ski hill. Coming from Anton
Resort in Austria as a ski instructor, Sponar saw the potential for Thredbo to
become the Australian equivalent with good vertical terrain and buzzing ski
village atmosphere, erecting the first chair lifts and lodges the very next
year and opening to the public.
Fast forward and Thredbo has become Australia’s number one
ski destination and resort, gaining a world-class name for itself and winning
several awards including the SIA Best Australian Ski Resort for 2016 and Out
and About’s 2016 Best Ski Resort for Families. Accommodation in Thredbo offers
stunning mountain views, convenience and comfort, from lodges and hotels to on-snow
chalets, luxurious apartments and self-contained units.
For a family friendly stay, The Thredbo Alpine Hotel is
located in the heart of Thredbo Village, just metres from the base of the
Kosciuszko Express Chairlift. This is a historic property with an alluring
sense of alpine culture, including restaurants, bars, a spa, sauna, outdoor
pool (heated from July through to September) and guest laundry. With something
for everyone and only a stone’s throw from all of the action, the Thredbo
Alpine Hotel is the perfect place for your next family mountain escape. Holidaying
as a family will also save money with lift passes, with every 3 or 5 day adult
pass purchased, a child under 18 gets a 3 or 5 day lift pass for free! This
deal is valid from the dates of June 9th – June 29th and from September 3rd to
the end of the season.
Perisher Resort | Photo: Perisher Resort's Facebook | NSW
Also located on Mount Kosciuszko, Perisher ski resort is not
only Australia’s largest ski resort, but the largest snow operation in the
southern hemisphere, combining the resources and facilities of Perisher Valley,
Smiggin Holes, Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, The Station and the Skitube alpine
railway, equipping it with the highest terrain, the greatest number of lifts
and some of the most reliable snowfall in Australia.
Perisher offers a number of accommodation options for any size
of family, group of friends, couples or those traveling alone, offering lodges,
hotels and self-contained apartments. Use the easily accessible website to
simply put in your preferred travel dates and browse your accommodation
While staying on the mountain, make the most of Perisher
Village and its welcoming family atmosphere located in the Perisher Centre on
Front Valley. Find coffee shops and cafés to keep you warm with endless cups of
hot chocolate, along with retail outlets for any last-minute Winter shopping
needs. With a great après ski environment, relax in one of the many restaurants
with a glass of warming red, while those who find it hard to stop, can grab a quick
bite to eat on the snow at one of the convenient kiosks located at each of the
four mountain bases, all set with breathtaking picturesque views of the
snow-capped mountains beyond.
Mt Buller | Photo: Mt Buller's Facebook | VIC
Located in the Shire of Mansfield in the Alpine region of
Victoria, Mt Buller is a scenic 200 km drive east from Melbourne. Offering over
300 hectares of skiable terrain and 22 chairlifts, the mountain offers
activities for beginners and children right through to the black runs designed
for the avid adrenaline seeking advanced skiers. The resort also features three
Terrain Parks designed for all skill levels, for those who want to try a few
new tricks, while the little ones can enjoy the two toboggan parks, complete
with their own snowmaking machines to keep them entertained for hours.
After a day on the slopes, make sure you take a
well-deserved break and visit the Breathtaker on High Alpine Spa Retreat,
offering Australia’s highest day spa and a range of activities from a cinema,
to retail therapy and rock climbing. Finish your busy day at one of the many
renowned restaurants in the village and refuel with a sumptuous meal before
making most of the bustling bars and night life.
For a truly memorable experience, book into the Mt Buller
Apartments and choose from a selection of self-contained apartments form 1-5
bedrooms. Perhaps treat yourself to a stay at the ski in ski out Luxury
Penthouse Suite styled with boutique furnishings, stacked stone timber
fireplaces, timber clad ceilings and antelope horn chandeliers, offering a true
ski chalet environment to retreat to each day after a day on the slopes.
For those snow bunnies who come alive in the cooler months,
why not celebrate what our country has to offer in dining options during the
snow season and click through to Warm
to Winter to browse our dining suggestions across the country.