Winter brings annoyingly cold weather, bad driving, and vague memories of summer. But it is also the only time we get the opportunity to ride some snowy mountains, something some suggest is best done in Australia.
Skiing in Australia is more than just bouncing on snow. You enjoy extraordinary views, flavorful local cuisines, and exciting après ski – everything you need for a memorable ski vacation. But with so many ski resorts spread all over Australia, how do I find the best, you may ask?
Well, Australia skiing resorts have something for everyone; it all boils down to what you are looking for and hoping to achieve. You can make a start, however, with the following suggestions.
10 Best Ski Resorts in Australia
Located about 5 hours’ drive from Sydney and 6 hours’ drive from Melbourne, Perisher ranks among the most popular Australia skiing resorts. The place flocks with snow hobbyists in peak season, not only because it is the largest but also because it is jam-packed with facilities and activities to keep everyone entertained.
With the once distinct ski resorts of Blue Cow, Perisher Valley, Guthega, and Smiggin Holes all put together to create this magnificent ski area, there is over 3,000 acres of terrain to explore, with 47 lifts to transport you up the slopes.
Freestylers and snowboarders will love the parks, rider cross courses, and half pipes available for all ability levels. Beginners can take on the Piper Park where they can test their skills on the smooth rails and rollers.
If you are looking for something more adrenaline rushing, check out Blue Cow Park. It has expert kickers of up to 35 feet! There is something for cross-country skiers too; they can enjoy 100km of well-groomed tracks through picturesque gum tree forests where wombats sniffle in the snow.
When the sun goes down, head to Front Valley slope. Here, you will enjoy delightful night skiing up to 9:00 pm and a beautiful fireworks display every Tuesday and Saturday. If you are lucky, you may even catch some events and festivals like the Perisher Pond Skim, BrewSki Festival, and Peak Music Festival.
2. Falls Creek
One of the loveliest areas for skiing in Australia is only 2 hours from Albury airport and 4 ½ hours from Melbourne. Falls Creek may be not be as huge as Perisher but it beats all other resorts in regards to the number of tracks it presents to snow fanatics. There are 90 runs overall, suitable for skiers of all experience levels, all serviced by 14 lifts.
When not skiing, the snowmobile backcountry tours will cruise you through the scenic snow-packed forests. The village is a different story though. All snow activities, dining, and accommodation are literally ski-in, ski-out, so bring your après ski boots.
There are 40 miles of well-groomed trail for cross-country skiing. If you are a first timer, you will even get free 45 minutes to an hour of cross-country ski equipment to try it out. Expert Nordic skiers looking for a more challenging experience can try the 9-mile Healthy Spur trail or sign up for the Kangaroo Hoppet cross-country competition, held every August.
Wind down with a massage at SpaQ and then head out to the Elk for toothsome cuisines beside a roaring fire. You may want to try the ski-in, ski-out hot dogs at QT Hotel or the amazing European style après at Astra Lodge.
Thredbo is a favorite of many intermediate skiers, with almost 2/3 of the runs being blue. It is nestled below the mighty Mt. Kosciuszko, 2 ½ hours’ drive from Canberra and 6 hours’ drive from Sydney or Melbourne. Thredbo boasts a total of 50 ski trails, with the 3-mile Village Trail, being the longest in the country. It also hosts Australia’s highest restaurant, Eagle’s Nest.
Though intermediate trails are the centerpiece here, there is a black trail at Funnel Web and backcountry skiing at Dead Horse Gap, where experienced skiers can have some fun. The mushy Friday Flat green runs may be a little disappointing for first timers but there is a beginner area at the mountain peak with much better snow.
On Saturday night, go for the Flare Run, and ski from the peak of the mountain to the village base or relax with a glass of mulled wine at Schuss Bar. For live music and partying, head to Mumm Alpine Bar, the only après venue in Thredbo.
4. Mount Hotham
If you are looking for a challenge, then Mount Hotham will give you one. Lying 4 ½ hours from Melbourne and 8 from Sydney, Mount Hotham is one of the best Australia skiing resorts for expert snow hounds.
Of all spots for skiing in Australia, this one has the highest number of black trails. It’s no wonder the resort is home to the country’s steepest double black diamond trail, Mary’s Slide. Sure, this is nothing compared to what North America or Europe has but it certainly is enough to get your heart racing. Lifts will whisk you as high as 6050 feet, from where you will have a reasonable 1295 feet of vertical drop to slide down.
Unlike most Australia skiing resorts, this one doesn’t have its village at the base of the mountain. The ski village is nested on the mountainside and is usually covered in snow during winter.
Staying up here will give your eyes beautiful views to feast on including the clouds and white slopes below. Pegas Alpine Club, for instance, will give you remarkable views over the mountain. You may also want to check out the abundant bars, restaurants, and spa houses available here and grab a drink or get an onsen spa break after a long day on the slopes.
5. Mount Buller
Aussies love Mount Buller due to its spectacular scenery, quality ski trails, and world-class resort facilities. It also the closest to Melbourne, only 3 ½ hours away. The resort has two distinct mountainsides – the northern slopes with plentiful of blue trails and southern slopes packed with black runs. The green runs are located at the Bourke Street; one of the busiest areas in Mount Buller.
There are 750 acres of skiable terrain, serviced by 22 modern lifts, with its express 6-person chairlift taking skiers and snowboarders up the slopes in less than 5 minutes. Surprisingly, even with all these lifts, the number of ski runs in Buller is much less than in Falls Creek, which has only 14 lifts. But it is still enough to keep your feet burning all day.
Many Australia’s Winter Olympians live here, as the resort regularly hosts competitive events. You may witness the ABOM Moguls, for example, and other world’s best events while you are here. This is a great area for kids too; they will love dog sledding, ice skating, tobogganing, and other activities enjoyed at the kid’s park.
Dress up for dinner at the exquisite Signature Restaurant or order a pizza from Breathtaker Hotel just next door. Then go dance with the locals at the famous Kooroora Hotel. When you can’t take any more après, retire for the night at Mt Buller Chalet or Breathtaker Hotel & Spa; you will particularly love the foot spas at Breathtaker.
6. Charlotte Pass
A quiet and intimate resort, Charlotte pass, is located at an elevation of 5791 feet, 8 km from Perisher. This small and isolated ski area is the oldest and highest in Australia and is only accessible via over-snow transport from Perisher. It also records the lowest temperatures in the country.
There are 50 acres of skiable terrain, with only 5 lifts, hence the area doesn’t attract as much crowds and hype as Perisher and Thredbo. It is, however, excellent for skiers of all ability levels.
Expert skiers will love the backcountry especially due to the impressive views of Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak in Australia. Freestyle skiers can get their thing going at the terrain park and the play park will keep the little ones busy.
It will take approximately 7 ½ hours to drive to Charlotte Pass from Melbourne and about 6 hours from Sydney. Accommodation is available at Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel on ski-in, ski-out access.
7. Dinner Plain
About 12 km from Mount Hotham hides Dinner Plain, an amazing ski area for first timers and people looking for family-friendly skiing in Australia. Sitting at an elevation of between 4970 feet and 5036 feet, there is about 1 km of slopes for skiing and snowboarding, serviced by 1 lift. Kids can ski on the 574 feet downhill slope or hang out at the snow park.
One advantage of coming here is that the resort is located outside the national park, so you won’t be required to pay overnight parking fees. But if you are driving to Hotham every day, the daily resort entry fees are still payable.
The village at Dinner Plain is home to several fabulous hotels and restaurants. There are also plenty of accommodation options for families and groups including self-contained apartments, chalets, guest homes, and holiday houses.
8. Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort
Only 3 hours’ drive from Melbourne settles Mount Baw Baw, one of the most popular Australia skiing resorts for beginners. It provides 10 km of skiable slopes, with 6 lifts to whisk the guests uphill. The snow sports area lies between the elevations of 4757 feet and 5128 feet, offering 35 acres of downhill trails, 2 terrain parks for freestyle skiers, and 6 km of cross-country runs.
Mount Baw Baw is a perfect destination for families, with 3 snow play areas and gentle slopes for kids. On the days you are not hitting the slopes, enjoy dog sled tours through the gorgeous gum tree forest or take your kids tobogganing.
The ski village has everything you need to ride the slopes including equipment rental and a school to brush up your skills. There are also great lounging options if you wish to stay a little longer.
9. Ben Lomond Ski Field Area
If you love to ski on less crowded slopes, then Ben Lomond ski field would be a great place to start. Located in Tasmania, (not to be confused with Ben Lomond in New Zealand) about 3 hours’ drive from Hobart, this resort offers remarkable terrain for beginners and intermediates.
Ben Lomond sits 4760 feet high, providing a sheltered snow park and a tobogganing run for kids. It also boasts a remarkable cross-country terrain. Getting here is an escapade in itself, as the road that serves the area presents adventurous turns and twists.
The scenery is magnificent at the mountainside, but just don’t expect elegant facilities like in Victoria’s and New South Wales’ resorts; the spot is pretty laid back and keeps its stuff quite simple. There is a local ski shop where you can buy/rent your gear as well as a rustic lodge and an alpine hotel for accommodation.
For a budget-friendly ski vacation, head to Selwyn. Situated only 2 hours’ drive from Canberra, Selwyn is one of the smaller ski areas in New South Wales and is hailed for its quiet, family-friendly atmosphere and a large number of green runs.
Freestyle skiing, tubing, dogsledding, tobogganing, skiing and snowboarding lessons are popular activities here. The high number of gentle slopes and kids ski school also make the area perfect for families who would like their kids to have memorable first time snow experiences. For cross-country skiers, there are 45km of Nordic trails to explore.
A ski shop, equipment rentals, and restaurants are all onsite. Accommodation is also available but half an hour drive from the ski area in Anglers Reach, Old Adaminaby, and Adaminaby.
Heading to New Zealand? Check out where to go skiing and snowboarding in Queenstown.
When To Ski Season In Australia?
The ski season in Australia runs from June to late September or early October, with specific dates being highly dependent on the snowfall per ski area. The best time to come here both for price and for snow would be between mid-June and mid-July or August. Unless you are traveling with kids, avoid booking your trip during winter school holidays, as most ski areas get heavily overcrowded.
Author: My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start The Globo Surf website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!