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!