Probably the first thing that comes to mind on the mention of Australia is untamed nature, beautiful beaches, the Sun, and kangaroos. Can’t blame you if you didn’t even think about skiing in the Oz
But, turns out that there is much more to see and do in Australia besides visiting kangaroo villages and enjoying its seaside or visiting the vibrant cities of Canberra, Sydney or Adelaide.
In this article, we will give you a quick list of the most prominent skiing centers from all across Australia. Might just give you a nudge to at least consider your winter vacation in this faraway land.
Best Places to Go Skiing in Australia
Basically, all ski centers in Australia are located in either New South Wales or Victoria county, with only a few of them located in Tasmania, which is known worldwide for its wild nature and untouched jungle habitat.
A true gem of New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains is definitely a Thredbo resort, undoubtedly the most vibrant one, whose icy slopes are suited for skiers of all calibers and skills.
No matter if you consider yourself an advanced skier or you’re just a mere beginner, Thredbo can provide a right ski path to challenge your skills. It even has a ‘first time only’ ski slope, for someone who is making his/her first steps in the snowshoes.
And if you’re not in it just for the fun on the snow, Thredbo has a very vibrant and active nightlife, which makes it suitable for younger visitors, craving for some partying after dark.
Perisher is more of a family go-to destination if we compare it to what Thredbo has to offer. However, Perisher is the largest ski resort not only in Australia but in the whole Southern hemisphere.
Spanning across 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, it’s almost impossible for any skier not to find joy in hitting the slopes of this resort.
And after a long day on the track, Perisher offers beautiful family atmosphere and a chance for you to experience some local cuisine inside one of the many restaurants out there.
Finally, if you’re up for a big city trip, Perisher has a perfect location, with both Melbourne and Sydney in a close vicinity and reachable within a few hours drive.
Located inside the Alpine National Park in Victoria, Falls Creek has definitely the most beautiful scenery and mountain village.
While it might not be the right choice for more advanced skiers with almost 80% of entire ski terrain on Falls Creek dedicated to a beginner or intermediate skiers, Falls Creek is definitely a sight to behold.
Beautiful mountain chalets and the warm and cozy atmosphere they create is unmatchable. This resort is perfect for a romantic getaway or even a military family travel getaway.
Mount Hotham Alpine Resort
While definitely not as picturesque and small in size as Falls Creek, Mt. Hotham is another gem on Australia’s Victoria. It certainly doesn't lack in skiable terrain with over 320 hectares of terrain under snow.
Mount Hotham is colloquially dubbed as a ‘powder capital of Australia’ mostly for its abundance in dry snow throughout the whole year. This is a perfect place where skills of both beginner, intermediate or advanced skiers should be put to test.
Its close proximity to the Melbourne metropolitan area is what makes Mount Buller a very crowded alpine resort, especially during the weekends or national holidays. That’s when the entire population of Melbourne, which is only 3 hours away, flock to the ski resort to have some fun on the snow.
It is also known as the home to many of Australian professional skiers and Olympians and it’s most likely that you’ll bump into a pro if you decide to visit this resort. Furthermore, if you’re into competitive skiing even on an amateur level, this is where the numerous competitions take place.
Mount Buller has decent area covered under ski trails and has the largest ski lift network in the continent, because many of its trails are hardly accessible otherwise.
On the other note, it’s also known for its famous residents such as Hans Grimus, worldwide for his accordion and his snuff.
Charlotte Pass Snow Resort
Moving back to New South Wales, we are now looking at a resort which is nominally on the highest level above the sea in the whole of Australia. Geographically, Charlotte Pass is perfectly located and is touching the highest tippings of Snowy Mountains, overlooking lake Jindabyne and basically bordering Kosciuszko National Park.
Having such a remote location, this snow resort goes with a 'no cars, no crowds' slogan in the marketing campaign. Being so high up, it’s abundant with heavy snowfalls throughout the entire year and people who value carving the real natural snow usually decide to visit this resort.
Charlotte Pass doesn’t feature much fancy hotel accommodation. Besides, a nice romantic mountain chalets is what should work for you if you’re about to visit this beautiful piece of nature.
Last but not the least, it’s really beginner-friendly with shorter ski slopes, but at the same time it provides more challenging and steeper slopes for more advanced skiers.
Dinner Plain Alpine Resort
Located just 10 km from famous mount Hotham, Dinner Plain alpine resort is a great stepping stone for all the beginner skiers and boarders.
And with its family-friendly prices for ski passes and lift passes, Dinner Plain makes it a wonderful choice for all family-oriented people who want to enjoy the scenery, have some fun on the snow and not worry much about their kids tackling slopes that they couldn’t handle.
And not only that! Having promoted as a perfect destination for families with young children, Dinner Plain resort is regularly organizing a dog sledding competitions. Excellent entertainment for your children, especially if they are not yet big enough to fill in the ski shoes.
Notable Mentions in Tasmania
Separated from Australia’s mainland, the island of Tasmania (or an ‘apple island’ like it’s most commonly referred to by the natives) also has lots of ski fun to offer. Largest peak of an island is Mount Ossa, tipping the 1,600 meters height mark.
Although Tasmania is first and foremost known for it’s beautiful nature and untamed wildlife (almost 50% of Tasmanian land is under protection and the whole state is promoted as natural state), and island’s climate is relatively mild which comes as a surprise due to close proximity to Antarctica, Tassie ski centers are still getting a fair amount of snow during the season and can provide a good deal of snow fun for everyone visiting their resorts.
There are many reasons why Tasmanian ski resorts are not on the top of the list of any avid skiers visiting the Australia for winter holidays. Ben Lomond and Cradle Mountain are arguably two largest and most prominent ski centers on the island.
Although not as flashy and crowded as ski centers in New South Wales or in Victoria, Tassie ski resorts are a perfect match for those who want to enjoy unobtrusive snowboarding and cross-country skiing all while enjoying fairytale scenery of lake St Clair covered with a soft blanket of snow.
Cradle Mountain offers very steep and challenging ski routes for those who know how to handle the skis. One has to be truly fit in order to ski on Cradle Mountain though. Due to its lack of basic infrastructure needed for a ski resort, people need to walk all the way up to the Cradle Plateau, which is the very beginning of the most entertaining slope on the mountain.
On the contrary, Ben Lomond doesn’t have to offer such wild rides and trails, but it is much closer to the urban areas (city of Launceston is 1.5 km far), thus it presents a better choice for those who want to take a break from skiing and to visit the city.
It’s also a better solution in the terms of hospitality with many restaurants and cafes serving traditional Australian cuisine scattered through the region.
Why Should I Come to Australia for Winter Holidays?
Although it doesn't reach the popularity of Switzerland, France or USA when it comes to favorite destination for winter holidays, due to its very strange climate and consistent snow falls during the entire year, Australia is becoming more and more popular among the European tourists lately.
On top of that, level and quality of service is constantly rising during the last decade. For example, Thredbo resort in New South Wales has to offer pretty similar service and entertainment as world’s top-notch ski centers in European or South American continent.
Number of UK tourists coming to Australia has been on the rise lately, mostly due to lowered prices of airfares from the UK to Australia mainland. One common reason is also the difference in seasons and the weather between Europe and Aussie land. When it’s traditionally summer in Europe and lots of European ski centers are off-season, season in Australia is at its peak.
Lots of people who are true adrenaline seekers and addicts for the fun on the snow seek their shelter across the ocean, even when it’s summer time.