We’ve mentioned the start of ski season in New Zealand
- but did you know you can ski in Australia? That’s right, the big southerly country is not just beaches and outback; there are mountains there, and some of them do in fact get a decent amount of snow during the colder months which stretch from June to October. New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania all have ski resorts of various sizes.
Most visitors to Australia are there for the sunshine, and one might wonder why you would choose to ski there when other countries have much more well-developed snowsports traditions and facilities. However, the advantage of an Australian ski trip is that you can combine it with a tropical getaway- spend a few days on the slopes in NSW and then take a road trip up to Queensland for some sun and sand. In addition, Australian surfer culture translates well into snowsports, making an Aussie ski trip a laid-back and fun experience.
For domestic snow bunnies, the ski resorts aren’t a surprise - but they do make it easy to get in a bit of time on the mountain without messing around with passports. If you don’t live within driving distance, just take advantage of cheaper wintertime domestic flights and car rentals to plan a ski trip in the southern Aussie states.
The ski season is already underway, with the big resorts open and pumping. Skiresort.info
has up-to-date reports on conditions and opening dates. Here’s where you can go for a snowsports adventure Down Under:
New South Wales
Thredbo, the ski resort with the largest vertical drop, and Perisher, the biggest overall, are both open for the 2015 season, with a limited number of runs available until some more snow falls. Both host many fun events over the season, from ski and snowboard competitions to concerts, live music and children’s activities. These two popular ski resorts can be found in the Kosciusko National Park near Jindabyne, about six hours’ drive from Sydney
The smaller Selwyn Snowfields, located a little further north, also has around a quarter of its runs currently open to punters. Charlotte Pass, the neighbour to Perisher and Thredbo, opens on Friday.
All four of Victoria’s downhill ski resorts are now open. Mount Hotham and Falls Creek are both located in the Victorian Alps, adjacent to the Alpine National Park. Falls Creek is the state’s largest resort and known for reliable snow cover, while Hotham attracts experts to its double black diamond runs.
Mount Buller is a little closer to Melbourne, and very popular for holidaymakers with runs ending right on the edge of the charming village. Mount Baw Baw is less than three hours drive from the city and a small but well-serviced resort. It also offer a ski-in, ski-out village.
Melbourne is the largest city
in Victoria and has everything car rental related you need to begin your skiing adventure in the region.
The island state's two ski resorts, Ben Lomond and Mt Mawson, are located in Ben Lomond National Park and Mt Field National Park respectively. These usually open in July, so should become available in the next few weeks. Ben Lomond is located around an hours’ drive from Launceston, and Mt Mawson one and a half hours out of Hobart.
Australian Capital Territory
The Capital Territory
has opportunities for cross-country skiing, which is practiced at Mount Ginini, Mount Franklin and Mount Gingera. The season is very short, so there are no facilities for downhill skiing with lifts, although snow play is available at Corin Forest when there is cover.
Make a road trip of it
Having your own transport makes it much easier to get to Australia’s ski resorts which are all located well outside of the major cities. Airport Rentals can find you the right car rental in Australia
at the right price, and from there the opportunities are endless - hit the slopes and then hit the beach, or the other way around. It’s up to you.
New Zealand has some great skiing options on offer including Mt Ruapehu - you're best off grabbing an Auckland Airport car hire
to get down there or grab a Christchurch Airport car hire
and head to the South Islands ski fields.