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Best australian ski resorts

6 Best Australian Ski Resorts to Visit This Snow Season

Winter will be here soon, but that doesn’t mean you need to be cooped up inside with a blanket, awaiting summer’s return – some of the most exciting holidays can be had in the wintertime! Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth, you will find your perfect winter holiday on this list of the best Australian ski fields and resorts.

Best Ski Resorts at a Glance

Highlights from our list include the following options:

Now you’ve read our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

RELATED: These are the best places to see snow near Sydney.

Thredbo | Image: Supplied

1. Thredbo

Accommodation: from AU$160 per night
Lift tickets: from AU$175

  • Pros: Thredbo is great for the whole family and caters to all skill levels. It is also a very popular choice, which means it’s accessible and has lots of accommodation options.
  • Cons: Given its popularity and location near Melbourne and Sydney, it can get pretty busy.

Perhaps the first place many of us think of when we think of skiing, Thredbo is a popular choice for those in both New South Wales and Victoria. Located in the Snowy Mountains, If you want to come here the best way is to make a week-long trip out of it as it takes about six hours to get here from Sydney and almost seven from Melbourne. But who doesn’t love a ski trip? A week away from work, you, endless slopes – what could be better? Thredbo offers ski-in/ski-out accommodation, like large chalets and smaller studios. There is also a small town with plenty of other accommodation options including hotels, hostels and lodges.

The other great thing about Thredbo is that you can come here with a group of mates with varying skill levels or your young family, as there is something for everyone – Thredbo offers slopes for beginners, intermediates and experts. And once all the skiing is done for the day, you can wind down with a drink and a delicious meal. Some of our favourite Après-ski options include Eagles Nest, T Bar Restaurant and The Local Pub.

Looking for an epic way to spend the school holidays with kids in tow? One of the best things about Thredbo, despite its always-reliable snow and powder, is how well it caters to families. Thredbo boasts an alpine coaster, an alpine gondola, snowsport schools, a dedicated beginner area and a massive line-up of family-friendly events. Remember to research conditions during the dates you’re looking to go, but usually, the best months to head to Thredbo are July and August, when the slopes experience more snowfall.

  • Average snowfall: 80 inches
  • Longest run: 5.9 km
  • Number of lifts: 14
  • Difficulty: 16% beginner, 67% intermediate, 17% advanced
Perisher | Image: Visit NSW

2. Perisher

Accommodation: from AU$131 per night
Lift tickets: from AU$172

  • Pros: A great spot to come for beginner and intermediate skill levels. It is close to Jindabyne, so there is a vibrant bar and restaurant scene to keep you entertained during your holiday.
  • Cons: There is not a big ski village here, so you have to venture in and out from Jindabyne. There is also not much available for advanced skill levels.

One of the best Australian ski resorts and by far the biggest, Perisher is just under six hours from Sydney and just over seven hours from Melbourne, and if you’re asking us, it is always worth the trip (just don’t forget to bring snow chains, conditions can get pretty icy!) Home to the largest terrain in Australasia, Perisher is known to have some of the best terrain parks in the country. Because of this, it can host all skill levels, so you don’t have to worry about feeling out of your depths if you’re a beginner here. This also means you can bring the kids along – they can try their hand at the beginner terrain, or let loose at the Tobogganing and snow play area.

When it comes to accommodation, you’ve got a few options. If you prefer to stay on the mountain, we recommend staying at the Marritz Hotel or The Man From Snowy River Hotel. Although most skiers usually stay in Jindabyne, a quaint mountain town just 30 minutes from Perisher. If you like going out, eating and drinking, this is the option for you – there are countless pubs and laid-back eateries and drinking holes. We love the Banjo Paterson Inn and are always feeling good after a few beers at Jindabyne Brewing. You will get the best powder here during August – so plan your trip wisely

  • Average snowfall: 78 inches
  • Longest run: 1.7 km
  • Number of lifts: 48
  • Difficulty: 42% beginner, 45% intermediate, 12% advanced
Mt hotham ski resort
Mt. Hotham | Image: Supplied

3. Mt. Hotham

Accommodation: from AU$400 per night
Lift passes: from AU$169

  • Pros: Great for intermediate to advanced skill levels, with lots of cross-country trails to keep you entertained!
  • Cons: The accommodation options are typically expensive and there are not as many options for families or beginners compared to other ski resorts.

Victorians and those from interstate alike flock to Mount Hotham year after year for steep, deep runs and tough terrain. Five hours from Melbourne, it’s well worth the drive for all the intermediate and advanced skiers out there. Plus, there is also a separate beginners’ area, but Mt. Hotham definitely attracts more avid skiers than newbies. Try your luck at the 2.5km downhill ski run or explore the 35km of cross-country trails.

From cosy lodges to luxury chalets, Hotham has plenty of ski villages with convenient access to slopes. With so many to choose from, it’s the perfect place for those who are all about skiing and love being on the slopes by first light. We especially love staying at the Pegasus Alpine Ski Club., and just down the road from Pegasus’ is Jack Frost Restaurant + Bar, a cosy restaurant and cocktail bar perfect for some relaxing après-ski, or you can bar-hop at the nearby Dinner Plain.

Given it’s a dedicated ski town, there are heaps to do besides hitting the slopes. As well as offering lessons, nighttime skiing and snowboarding, you can take a husky sled dog tour or try your hand at snowshoeing. If you have the kids in tow, watch them zoom around on a snowmobile (no licence required!) Like most ski resorts, the freshest powder will be found at Mt Hotham between July and August, but given the quality of the snow here, we suggest coming earlier or later in the season for just as much fun and less crowds.

  • Average snowfall: 66 inches
  • Longest run: 2.5 km
  • Number of lifts: 14
  • Difficulty: 20% beginner, 40% intermediate, 20% advanced
Mt buller
Mt. Buller | Image: Supplied

4. Mt. Buller

Accommodation: from AU$270 per night
Lift passes: from AU$121

  • Pros: Convenient location, being so close to Melbourne. The Mt Buller village is lively and known for its ski lodge culture.
  • Cons: Given its proximity to a main city, it can get pretty crowded. Mt Buller is also known for having inconsistent snow conditions.

Just three and a half hours drive from Melbourne, Mt Buller is one of the best Australian ski resorts around, perfect for Melbournians needing a weekend away in the fresh air. In fact, it’s kind of like a mini Melbourne, with its burgeoning cosmopolitan restaurant and bar scene. Due to its close proximity to the Victorian capital, it does get pretty busy, but with such a great ski lodge culture, it’s hard to pass up. After a long day of skiing, there’s so much to do in the village while away the cold nights – Harry Burns and Black Cockatoo never disappoint. So if you love the après ski scene (potentially more) than the actual skiing, this is the place for you.

The conditions and terrain are great for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels (when the snow is on, it’s especially great for the more advanced), and it attracts lots of hard-core skiers. A growing community of adventure-seekers lives in the region to be close to the mountain. The only caveat here is that in classic Victorian style, the snow conditions can be very inconsistent; however, it does have pretty good artificial snow.

Accommodation is aplenty here, another reason why it attracts the crowds. Stay at The Mount Buller Alpine Village or ski clubs, or choose from apartments and hotels. Most accommodation options are located slopeside or very close to the ski slopes.

Take the kids to snow play or tobogganing, and to relax afterwards, you can enjoy a treat at a day spa or even head to the cinema. Mt Buller really does have it all.

  • Average snowfall: 48 inches
  • Longest run: 2.5 km
  • Number of lifts: 21
  • Difficulty: 25% beginner, 45% intermediate, and 30% advanced
Falls creek alpine resort
Falls Creek Alpine Resort | Image: Supplied

5. Falls Creek Alpine Resort

Accommodation: from AU$600 per night
Lift passes: from AU$169

  • Pros: It has a nice, relaxed atmosphere, is family-friendly, and offers plenty of activities to entertain the kids on and off the slopes.
  • Cons: Not a great choice for advanced skiers and can be difficult to access accommodation.

Four and a half hours from Melbourne and just 45 minutes from Mount Beauty, Falls Creek Alpine Resort is one of the best Australian ski resorts for kids and families with great amenities. The pedestrian-only village is ski-in ski-out (including dining and accommodation) and is known for its safety, gentle slopes, dedicated child runs, ski school programs, and kid’s events and activities. This means it’s also great for beginners (there’s nothing wrong with being on the same skill level as a kid!)

Most of the Falls Creek accommodation is conveniently ski-in ski-out, and for food, we can’t go past Elk or Astra Lodge. The conditions here are pretty consistent during the snow season. We recommend taking a backcountry tour for fresh powder, like the Hakuba Backcountry Tour at Falls Creek.

  • Average snowfall: 61 inches
  • Longest run: 3 km
  • Number of lifts: 16
  • Difficulty: 17% beginner, 60% intermediate, and 23% advanced
Charlotte pass snow resort
Charlotte Pass Snow Resort | Image: Supplied

6. Charlotte Pass Snow Resort

Accommodation: from AU$320 per night
Lift passes: from AU$149

  • Pros: Space! You will rarely find crowds here. It is also affordable compared to other ski resorts and is known for its favourable snow conditions.
  • Cons: Smaller ski resort with limited options in terms of runs. It can also be quite challenging getting here.

The oldest and highest ski resort in Australia, Charlotte Pass Snow Resort is nestled within the pristine mountains of Mt Kosciuszko, six hours from Sydney and just over seven hours from Melbourne. This resort entices the most dedicated of skiers as it guarantees the ultimate skiing experience – Charlotte Pass is car-free and snowbound during winter, with the highest base elevation of the Australian ski resorts at 1,765 metres. It’s not easy to get here, the only access to the base during winter being via over-snow transport. So if you prefer ease, this ski resort might not suit you. But we think it’s absolutely worth it.

The relaxed terrain is perfect for beginners and intermediate-level skiers, and with small crowds and (usually) non-existent lift queues, it’s a relatively safe place to learn if you need space. Given the effort it takes to get there, you will be happy to hear that most of the accommodation options are conveniently ski-in ski-out. The Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel is our favourite ski-in ski-out spot to stay, while The Stillwell Hotel and Lucy Lodge are also popular options. And while there aren’t too many dining options given its location, a few standouts make up for the limited options. Try Arches Restaurant for something fancy or head to The Cellar Bar for beers.

It’s also worthwhile noting that Charlotte Pass Ski Resort is very popular with families, simply because the kids can run wild without getting lost or bumped into. However, due to limited structured activities, other than skiing, you can expect plenty of old-school snowball fights to keep the kids entertained.

  • Average snowfall: 74 inches
  • Longest run: 2 km
  • Number of lifts: 5
  • Difficulty: 30% beginner, 50% intermediate, and 20% advanced

Alternatives to These Ski Resorts in Australia

  • Selwyn Snowfields (lift tickets from AU$79): Selwyn Snowfields is a small, picturesque Australian ski resort with some of the most consistent snow coverage in the NSW Snowy Mountains. Whether you decide to slip on the skis or simply play in the snow, there are activities to suit all skill levels. With its array of natural attractions like the majestic snow gums and the amazing Yarrangobilly Caves, Mount Selwyn is sure to impress nature lovers. There’s even a thermal pool near the limestone caves where you can warm up in the naturally heated spring waters. During the warmer months, you can enjoy horse riding, bushwalking and mountain biking.
  • Mount Baw Baw (lift tickets from AU$79): Just two and a half hours from the Melbourne CBD, Mt Baw Baw is a small ski resort offering skiing, snowboarding, toboggan and snow play. It’s great for beginners, with ski terrain quite mellow. One of the best Australian ski resorts for kids – the toboggan park has dedicated snowmaking and a magic carpet. While there is no ski-in-ski-out accommodation, there are a few places to stay that are toboggan-in-toboggan-out.
  • Ben Lomond (lift tickets from AU$89): Located in Ben Lomond National Park Tasmania, just over an hour from the Launceston CBD, Ben Lomond is one of Tasmania’s most loved ski resorts. Snowboarders, beginners and intermediate skiers tend to flock to this resort, with locals dubbing it the ‘Whistler’ of Tasmania.
  • Mount Mawson (lift tickets from AU$45): Another Tasmanian ski resort, Mt Mawson Ski Resort, is located within the Mount Field National Park, just over an hour’s drive from Hobart. Unlike other ski resorts, Mt Mawson Ski is run by volunteers from the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association (STSA). The slopes are known for their consistent snowfall and are best for skiing from mid-July to mid-September.
  • Dinner Plain (lift tickets from AU$89): Located in the beautiful Victorian Alps and just a 10km drive from Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain is a family-friendly Australian ski resort that boasts the most affordable lift in Australia. It’s the ideal place for beginners and kids to go on their first snow holiday; you can take a skiing lesson or try out your moves on the gentle Cobungra Platter Ski Slope. You can also have a go at a bunch of fun activities like snow tubing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, and laser skirmish in the snow. The kids will love building snowmen and playing at Café Snow.
  • Corin Forest (lift tickets from AU$55): Surrounded by towering trees in a secluded mountain valley, Corin Forest is worth the visit even if you’re not skiing. Canberra’s only ski resort offers beginner skiing and snowboarding, dedicated lessons, a snow play area for tobogganing, and a rustic lodge for all your après ski needs.

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