Hey Everyone,

Gayle here, fresh from the Snowy Mountains after an awesome trip with the guys at Mojo Snow (the guys that bring all you surfing legends Mojo Surf) to Perisher! You heard from Jordan last week about how some of our team got on with their weekend in the snow at Thredbo a few weeks ago … well the rest of the Ultimate Travel crew didn’t want to miss out on all the fun and it was our turn the weekend after!

For the week before we went, the office was getting very excited about the huge amounts of snow that had been sent Perisher way (there’s a great website that has lots of snow cams for you to see how much has fallen – download the app if you can)! Most of the group that went to Perisher this year had been before, but there were a couple, myself included, who had never been skiing or snowboarding, so the build up over the week really added to the excitement and anticipation!

Our trip started with a long journey from Sydney to Jindabyne. It takes about 6 hours to get there, if you’re lucky with traffic, so make sure you’ve sorted out all your coach journey essentials (which we covered in a previous blog). Bear in mind that when they say it is 3 hours before we stop, they mean it! This includes toilet breaks! So don’t overdo the liquids – it can be a very tense last 40 minutes to the next stopping point – and yes, I am talking from personal experience!

Ultimate Travel on the way to the snow

Ultimate Travel on the way to the snow

We got to where we were staying at about 1am and even though we knew it was an early start for breakfast and the coach to the mountains, that didn’t stop us from messing about in the room. Luckily, we were far too excited in the morning to realise how tired we were! After a great buffet style breakfast, we find ourselves on the bus again and making our way to the mountain. It took a while to get there because the snow was so heavy and we had to stop to put the chains on the tyres, but the drive up to the mountains is so lovely!

Finally, we’re on the mountain, and as soon as you pull up, you’re off to get your gear and get started. I was booked on to a lesson with a couple others from our bus so we said goodbye to the rest of the group and shuffled off excitedly (and a little nervously) to the meeting point.

Ready for my first snowboarding lesson

Ready for our lessonBajju's first snowboarding lesson

Our lesson was awesome! The instructor we had, Brody (great name dude!), managed to make falling over, cracking your head, tumbling down the mountain and such like, a hell of a lot of fun! He was really patient when people just didn’t ‘get’ a particular part of the lesson. I discovered that I actually can’t get up on my board if I’m facing down the mountain and he spent a lot of time helping me with that. I also struggled with them bloody T-bar lifts … no worries, Brody to the rescue!

Once our lesson was finished, it was lunch time, we went from where we were in Smiggin Holes to meet the rest of the group in Front Valley, where there’s a food court style meeting area. Once refuelled, we headed out with our group for the afternoon …

That’s when it got serious!

We snowboarded until we literally could not snowboard anymore! And I found that things I struggled with in the lesson, suddenly all came together. I still couldn’t get up when facing down the mountain but I impressed myself with how quickly I progressed while going down the mountain backwards!

Be prepared to fall over though – a lot! I took more than my fair share of less than fun tumbles! And make sure you can laugh at yourself because it is inevitable that you will stack it every time you try and get off a chair lift (if you’re new to it anyway!) There was always some young child waiting to have a good giggle at my expense at the top of the mountain as I squealed my way off the chair lift after they had just made it look so effortless. Luckily, although I did come away with a few bruises, my ego took the brunt of them! There were no serious injuries for our group at all! (If you, or anyone you’re with does get hurt while on the mountain, remember these simple tips for first aid.)

At the end of the day, we headed back to our accommodation, which was basic but cosy at the same time. Dinner was included and we got to choose and cook our own steak before heading to the buffet to pile lots of yummy veg and salad options on to our plates. Then off we went to the pub. There was only one bar but it was a really nice one with great music and a couple of pool tables! Add to that all your new friends and you have a great recipe for a really fun evening. The Ultimate Travel crew represented in true Ultimate style… but I can’t tell you about that! (What happens on the mountain and all that jazz …)

The Ultimate Crew having some well deserved beers

Some well deserved beers!

The second day was very much an ‘eat, sleep, repeat’ affair except for the amount of time we had on the snow. We understandably had to cut the day a bit shorter so that we could make our way back to Sydney. There were a couple of sore heads and many, many, many sore muscles! (Mainly mine!) Today, a few of us made our way to Blue Cow which is the highest run of them all. The temperature at the top was -4 degrees with a wind chill factor of -7 … a far cry from the weather that you’ll find on your way down the East Coast!! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go down Blue Cow because strong wind meant that all the chairlifts were shut and I didn’t want to get stuck down the mountain with nothing but the dreaded T-bar to get back up with … it would have been a long walk! But the other three who I went across with were all more experienced than me so they gave it a go …

I have to say, by the end of the second day, my whole body was screaming at me, I was tired and so so cold but I was already thinking about how soon I would be able to go back! We had so much fun with the Mojo crew and the rest of the group, from the moment we got on the bus to the moment we arrived back in Sydney. The guys from Mojo were energetic, entertaining and lovely the whole time!

I never thought I would have my first snow adventure in Australia – just goes to show, we really do have it all here!

Ultimate does Perisher

The Whole Group

Check out our snowboarding legends’ efforts in the videos below!

It’s pretty much the total opposite of everything you expect when you think of Australia but the snow has arrived and it’s time to get the skis on!

There are ski resorts in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory with several easily accessible from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

We at Ultimate Travel want to make sure that you get the best of every experience you undertake in Australia so what better way to find out if you should embark on an Australian skiing trip than to take one ourselves!!? Well, taking two!

We hardy Ultimate Travel lot only do these things in your best interest and can honestly say that a winter weekend away to the slopes is one of the best things you can do whilst you are in Oz!

A few ski companies travel between Sydney and the snowfields of New South Wales but by far our favourites are Oz Snow and Mojo. We travelled with both of these great companies and had the best weekends possible!

As we work to the bone during the week, we travelled down to the Snowy Mountains on Friday night but if you are more flexible with your travel plans, head down during the week and save yourself some money and enjoy the slopes when they are way less crowded.

We went with Oz Snow first so we’ll tell you all about that one to start!

We left Central Station at about 5pm on Friday night and made our way down to Jindabyne, where we’d be staying for the weekend. It is a looong coach trip, about 6 hours traffic and weather dependent, so make sure you are prepared.

The coach makes two stop offs, the first one ten minutes into the journey for a quick run to the bottle shop and the second about mid way through for a McDonald’s – only the essentials!

Once you arrive at the Snowy Valley Resort, you are quickly ushered into the ski hire area to collect your boots and gear before checking into your room for a nights sleep. The rooms are pretty nice, we stayed in a six bed share but there is also an option for a private, double room too. Most importantly, the rooms stay warm and have pretty good heating for when you need it most!

The next morning, breakfast is served from 6am until the bus leaves for the slopes at 8am. You can choose between a Perisher or Thredbo lift pass and this weekend, we chose Thredbo. Once we arrived at the slope, those that had lessons headed to meet their instructors whilst the more experienced headed to the slopes!

We were there early in season and only two lifts were open to the public. This has changed over the last couple of weeks as both Perisher and Thredbo have had a huge snowstorm with over a metre of snow covering both resorts.

Whether you have enjoyed winter sports before or whether this would be your first time, a weekend in the snow in so much fun. Starting with a lesson, which ranges from absolute beginner to those with more experience with a little less confidence, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of either snowboarding or skiing.

You will fall over (many, many times) but that only makes your success even better! Personally, I’d had an hour on a snowboard before heading to Thredbo. I had a great lesson with an incredibly patient instructor and then went for it with the more experienced members of the UltimateOz crew and never looked back. I wasn’t doing backflips or anything, but I had prolonged periods of balance which I was proud of!

The snow fun may be the reason you choose Thredbo but the River Inn is why you stay. Ah, the joys of aprés-ski! We head for lunch at the River Inn and some of us make it back onto the slopes after but others just cannot get enough of the atmosphere!

Once the stragglers return from their afternoon enjoyment, the fun begins! A band starts playing early in the afternoon and, it might be the booze talking, but they are really good. They play some solid hits and the drinks flow into the evening.

Sadly, our bus is leaving for our trip back to the resort. That merely puts the fun on hold as we get back, get some food and clean ourselves up before heading to the on-site club for happy hour!

A great night was had by all – or we’re pretty sure it was, we can’t really remember.

The next morning, we drag ourselves up for breakfast before heading back to the slopes. The Snowy Valley Resort has a pool and jacuzzi too, so if you need a little bit of a relax, they’ve got you covered.

The temperature dipped considerably overnight and the higher runs have frozen over which is a real shame but there is still fun to be had. The beginner slope is still open, which gives some much needed practice time! It is a stunning day though, blue skies without a cloud in them, perfect weather for an explore around Thredbo.

Some of our group head to Australia’s highest restaurant, The Eagles Nest, and the spectacular views on offer.  After a heap of photos and some Frozen inspired fun, we meet the rest of the group in the River Inn for a final beer.

It is back on the bus for the dart back to the Snowy Valley Resort, a quick change and a sausage sizzle and back on the bus as soon as possible for the long journey back to Sydney. The way back is a lot quieter than the way down as sore heads are rested before we arrive back at Central at about 10pm.

The snow, the trails and the runs might not be as spectacular as the Alps or Aspen but it is a seriously fun couple of days away. We took some absolute beginners and some seasoned pros and both loved the trip with no injuries to report – apart from some serious hangovers.

Australia may not be famed for its snow but for a traveller based in Sydney or Melbourne the winter fun of the ski slopes should be taken into serious consideration. The Oz Snow crew are amazing and if you are interested in booking a trip – get in touch with us and get ready for one of the best trips you’ll have in Australia!