Start talking about ski towns and snowboard destinations and “the usual suspects” would include the Swiss Alps, the French Alps and Aspen in the United States. But… Australia? You might find this hard to believe, but this continent also has areas that allow snowboarding, particularly in the southern states of New South Wales and Victoria.
The ski resorts operate year-round, thanks to the highly advanced snow-making machines, however the best time to visit the Australian’s slopes is in winter time ie from June to August. Let me make this clear for you. Seasons in the Northern Hemisphere are the opposite of the Southern Hemisphere. When it’s summer in the United States, it’s winter in Australia. So winter in Australia is during June, July and August, with July being the coldest month. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy your winter sports all year round by travelling Down Under.
I love to combine travel to sunny and littoral places with snowboard, and Australia is just the place for this. So, gear up your backpack and let’s explore together the most famous ski resorts in Oz.
Welcome to Jindabyne
If you have your heart set on taking a snowboard trip in Australia, the best place to get started would be the alpine town of Jindabyne in New South Wales. Its location makes a number of ski resorts easily accessible and it would take you half an hour to drive to the famous Kosciuszko National Park. The most notable resorts, which rank high up in the list of best ski resorts in the country are Thredbo and Perisher. Of course, these resorts also offer accommodations, but many still decide to obtain their lodging in town since they would also be able to enjoy the other activities in Lake Jindabyne, such as wakeboarding, fishing and water skiing. For now, though, let us focus on the two ski resorts that people flock to whenever they are in Jindabyne.
Considered to be the best year round ski resort in Australia, the European-style Thredbo ski resort is set at the foot of Mt. Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in the country. With a skiable area of 450 hectares, it boasts over 14 chairlifts and 50 runs, with the longest run in Australia , “The Supertrail”, at 5.9 kms. Even in summertime, snowboarders could still enjoy a full snowboarding experience in Thredbo, thanks to its highly advanced snow-making machines that gives the resort the most extensive snow making coverage in the entire southern hemisphere.
Twilight skiing is also quite an attraction in this resort, aside from its flare run and fireworks display every Saturday night. Its trails are also perfect for mountain biking and hiking. Get your outdoor clothes and equipment in order to be well prepared, and explore the various and very beautiful trails of Mt. Kosciuszko. The beauty of Australian backcountry will fascinate you.
Of course, if you’ve had enough of the outdoors, you can spend some time at the Thredbo Leisure Center, where you can enjoy other activities such as swimming, playing a game of squash or a round of mini golf, and maybe even climb the bouldering wall. Whether you are coming from Melbourne or Sydney, Thredbo can be easily reached after a 6-hour drive.
Perisher Ski Resort
The other resort that is easily accessible from the town of Jindabyne is the Perisher Ski Resort. Many people still know it by its own name: Perisher Blue. The largest ski resort in the entire southern hemisphere, Perisher has a ski field of 1,245 hectares, covering the four mountain peaks of Mt. Perisher, Blue Cow, Guthega and Smiggin Holes. It has a total of 47 lifts, and it is also where you can find Australia’s highest chairlift, reaching a height of 2,034 meters. From the beginners to the most extreme snowboarders, they will never lack for anything to do in this resort.
Nightlife and entertainment is also available, thanks to the many bars and restaurants within the resort, as well as the famed Snowy Mountains Festival of Music.
Make The Most Out Of Your Snowboard Trip In Australia
It is interesting to note how all the fun on a snowboarding trip to Australia is not within the ski resort alone. You can go hiking or mountain biking in the mountain trails and enjoy a full day in the forest under the bright sun. Or you can try rock climbing on the many climbing areas. A number of climbing destinations and a plethora of crags are waiting for you to explore them. If you are full with all these outdoor activities, take a walk to the adjoining towns for a coffee or a drink. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to taste a kangaroo burger. One thing is certain, whatever you choose Australia will definitely thrill you.
About the Author Nick is a mad snowboarder and skier that loves to travel all over the globe. In his blog he writes about snowboard gear and stores such as my review on rock creek store in order to help people choose the proper equipment that fit their needs.
Photo Credits – Flickr cc: #1 Mt. Hood Territory, #2 orangetaki, #3 goosmurf