Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or simply enthusiastic to hone your skill at this winter sport, skiing is one of the most beneficial and enjoyable of winter pastimes. Now is the time to begin planning a holiday on the slopes, as the heat of summer wanes towards autumn. You may be thinking of the arduous hurdles of extended air travel, hassles and travails of finding affordable transport and accommodation in a foreign country.
Stop right there. Some of the best skiing the Southern Hemisphere has to offer is right in your backyard, relatively speaking—no passport or currency exchange required. Below is a brief guide to where you’ll want to be this winter, with skill preferences and best features noted to give you a good idea of where to book your holiday.
Kosciuszko National Park, NSW
There are a number of desirable ski destinations located within this beautiful, well-preserved national treasure. It’s located between Melbourne and Sidney, so your travel arrangements are a matter of having your car serviced and making your reservations or a quick hop on national airlines. We’ll give a general rundown of the major spots to consider.
With skiing opportunities for all skill levels, this destination is ideal. The two meters of snow pack and summit that tops 2000 meter, the 5.2 km run draw major crowds each season. You’ll definitely want to book well in advance and plan your holiday early, to ensure a spot on fresh trails. As well, while admission into the National Park is free, if you’re driving you’ll have to purchase a $27 permit for each day you plan to stay.
As the most popular resort in the Southern Hemisphere, this spot draws a lot of ski and snowboard enthusiasts every season. While Perisher is the largest peak in the village at more than 2000 meters, there are six others that also accommodate visitors. The resort boasts 3 km of runs and more than 100 km of cross country trails that are accessible to any level of skill, making it ideal for a family getaway. Because of its well-earned notoriety, flying directly into the local airport may be advisable—transport and ease of travel have been streamlined to handle the high level of seasonal guests.
Something of a delightful secret, this skiing and boarding paradise is near Mt. Perisher. The above-mentioned streamlined transport extends to this secluded region, and visitors can travel here for a fee. While It’s decidedly a spot that calls for a certain skill level and comes at a price, this is a spot not enthusiast should forgo. Receiving the most consistent natural snowfall, the backcountry “secret” trails available for seasoned explorers are not to be missed.
Another family-friendly destination, this generous area offers conditions suited to beginners, as well as being ideal for veteran cross-country enthusiasts. While it’s extremely affordable to play each day, there are no accommodations or transportation services beyond lifts, so a personal vehicle is a must.
Alpine National Park, VIC
Just a half-morning drive northeast of Melbourne, this incredibly popular and extremely extensive area receives a landslide of visitors each year. There’s something for everyone here, and it is possibly the region’s worst-kept but most beautiful secret. You can bring your own car for a fee or hop on one of the shuttles that travels from the city to the mountain on a regular schedule.
While this is absolutely a cross country Nirvana, and plays host to the National Cross Country Ski Team, you’ll want to be prepared. If you’re driving, a vehicle with snow tires or chains is essential and the only point of access to this snowy freestyling paradise is through a town called Mt. Beauty. While you can get here in under a day, driving from Melbourne or Sydney, you can also take the train that runs from Alsbury, NSW, for an unexpected treat.
Other Awesome Slopes to Explore
While we could wax poetic forever about the many ski and snowboarding opportunities in Australia, the time has come to send you out into the great wide Internet alone, to find your favourite destination for a winter escape. Other honourable mentions to whet your appetite for a holiday are: Mt. Buffalo, VIC; Cradle Mountain, TAS; Mt. Baw Baw, VIC and Mt. Hotham, VIC. If you’re looking to hit the slopes in Mount Hotham this year without the hassle of driving, head to Adagold ’s site, who have recently started a route to Mount Hotham . Don’t wait until later in the season to plan and reserve time on these slopes. The secret is out, and the trails won’t stay fresh forever.