You could be forgiven for thinking Australia is no more than a sunburnt country. One of the driest continents in the world. But that does not mean we don’t experience our fair share of snow - at least in some parts. From the summits of the Snowy Mountains to the Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Ranges, Australia’s snow story has some absolute hidden gems and some of the best snow spots in the entire world. Join us as we run you through five of the very best.
Thredbo is one of Australia’s premier snow destinations having been voted Australia’s best ski resort for five years running. A 6-hour drive from Melbourne and Sydney, or 2 and a half hours out of Canberra, Thredbo boasts 480 hectares of lush snow terrain, Australia’s longest ski runs and only alpine gondola.
Kickstart your technique over on Friday Flat, before levelling up and tackling something larger at the top of Merritts Gondola. Seasoned pros are invited to check out Cannonball, Supertrail and Little Beauty for larger slopes and something a little more challenging to get the blood pumping.
If snow sports aren’t your jam, then Australia’s only alpine gondola may be the go. Merritts Gondola transports passengers from Thredbo village to the base of the cruiser area showcasing stunning views of the snowy mountains, all in under 6 minutes.
Free shuttle buses will whisk you away to Thredbo’s lively village where you will discover an array of trendy shops, restaurants, day spas and leisure centres. Enjoy panoramic views of the rugged snowy mountain peaks while enjoying a wide selection of delicious European cuisine, beer steins and schnapps.
About a 6-hour drive from Sydney, Perisher is the largest snow resort in the Southern Hemisphere and one of Australia’s most popular ski destinations. Established in 1995 and relatively new, Perisher features a whopping 3,076 acres of snowy terrain with 47 chair lifts, a magnitude of ski runs, extensive cross-country skiing trails, a superpipe and Tube Town (a snow-tubing park). Situated in the heart of the picturesque Kosciuszko National Park, Perisher comprises four unique villages – Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, Smiggin Holes and Perisher Valley. Warm the fingers with a hot chocolate down at the Alpine Inn, or drift on over to the Man From Snowy River Hotel for a cheeky pint and an old-fashioned pub feed. The Overflow Bar is a perfect spot to unwind and watch the sunset while enjoying some live music, pool, sport on the big screen and the warmth of an open fireplace. For a place to stay, be sure to check out the Maritz Hotel, Eiger Chalet and The Stables, or for an alternative base and good value accommodation, head over to Jindabyne, about 30 kilometres out from Perisher.
Set in the northern end of Lake St Clair National Park, a 4-hour drive out from Hobart, Cradle Mountain is one of Tasmania’s most popular natural tourist attractions. Ancient rainforests, stunning glacial lakes, towering snow-covered mountain peaks and intense deep river gorges embody the diverse natural beauty of this Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage listed area.
The park offers visitors exceptional opportunities to journey through Tasmania’s alpine heartland with an array of world-class hiking tracks designed to captivate souls brave enough to weather the elements. Popular trails include the Dove Lake Circuit, Weindorfers Forest Walk, and the legendary Overland Track, with the former stretching 80 kilometres from Cradle Mountain through to Lake St Clair and advised for experienced hikers only. Hikers are likely to encounter an abundance of native wildlife on their journey, including platypus, echidna, wombats, and the infamous Tasmanian devils.
A popular choice for day trips and only a 3-hour drive from Melbourne, Mount Buller is one of the easiest ski resorts to access in all of Australia. Featuring 741 acres of skiable terrain, 22 chair lifts and over 80 runs for all skill levels alike, you can be sure there is something for everybody at this spectacular winter wonderland.
With stunning views of Mount Buller and the surrounding Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Ranges, Mount Buller offers more than just skiing and snowboarding for fervent snow-goers. Wet the whistle at the Kooroora Hotel with a quality feed and constant live music or enjoy some contemporary Australian favourites and some of the best food on the mountain at the Chamois Restaurant. If you’re looking to take things up a notch, drop in and try the cocktails at the Birdcage or kick the feet up and unwind with some Italian classics at Pat’s. With over 30 restaurants and bars, a cinema, museum, supermarket, medical centre, Australia’s highest day spa and more, Mount Buller has something to suit every budget.
No list is complete without an insight into the rugged southwest wilderness of Tasmania’s remote Hartz Mountains National Park. Shaped and sculptured by ancient glaciers, this Tasmanian masterpiece features breathtaking views of the seemingly endless mountain peaks along the Southern Tasmanian coastline.
Famous for its incredible glacial lakes, waterfalls, and cirques, The Hartz Mountains feature a magnitude of spectacular scenic walking trails offering a unique insight into the dramatic icy landscapes that shaped the area for millions of years. Lake Osborne, Waratah Lookout and Arve Falls are the most popular hiking destinations in the park, taking less than an hour to return and providing some amazing photo opportunities for hikers of all classes. For the more avid adventurer, Lake Esperance or Hartz Peak is worth a look and will reward hikers with some exquisite views of the entire national park.