G’day Travelers! I thought it was time to put together a guide for first timers traveling to the New South Wales snow resorts. I’ll cater this guide to both experienced skiers and snowboarders, who might be making their first trip to the snow fields in NSW, but also complete beginners who might be heading the snow for the first time ever.
How Many Snow Resorts are there in New South Wales?
There are four snow resorts in New South Wales. Perisher, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snow Fields. Perisher and Thredbo are the largest of the resorts with the most lifts and terrain on offer.
For more information about the Snow Resorts, head to their websites below.
- Perisher – http://www.perisher.com.au/
- Thredbo – http://www.thredbo.com.au/
- Charlotte Pass – http://www.charlottepass.com.au/
- Selwyn Snow Fields – http://www.selwynsnow.com.au/
Where are the New South Wales Snow Resorts?
The resorts are located in the NSW Snowy Mountains region, near the NSW/Victorian Boarder. Three of the resorts (Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass) are located within the Kosciuszko National Park about a 6 hour drive from Sydney, 3 hours from Canberra and 7 hours from Melbourne . While Selwyn Snow Fields is further North, about 2 hours drive from Jindabyne, located between Tumut and Cooma. However the driving time from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne is about the same.
Where To Stay?
There are a few options of where to stay in the Snowy Mountains region. Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass all offer on snow accommodation, although I find these to be too expensive and a rather restrictive option. I prefer to stay in Jindabyne, there are quiet a few different types accommodation available, more variety in terms of dining etc at night. It also gives you the option of spending your time at two or three different snow resorts. Here’s a selection of the accommodation in and around Jindabyne.
Another alternative is Cooma, which is an hours drive north, back towards Canberra. It’s does offer a few more options and cheaper accommodation, but it does add fair bit of extra driving to your snow trip, about an extra hour each way.
Getting To and From the Snow?
Having a car to get around is key for a trip to the snow fields. If you have a 4WD/AWD car (or a 2WD car with snow chains) you’ll have a few more options, being able to drive right up to Perisher and Thredbo to park at those resorts. Keep in mind that you’ll need to buy a National Parks Pass to enter the Kosciuszko National Park, which is where the resorts are located. For more information about the parks pass visit – http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees.
If you do not fulfill the requirement of having a 4WD/AWD car (or a 2WD car with snow chains), then the SkiTube is your best option. The SkiTube is an underground cog train service that connect’s Perisher with Bullocks Flatt (half way between Jindabyne and Thredbo) on the Alpine Way.
To get to Charlotte Pass, you’ll need to use the over-snow transport option they provide as part of your lift pass. These offer pick ups and drop offs at Perisher’s main village, but these need to be arranged when you buy your lift pass, which has to be done at least a day in advance.
What To Do In The Evenings?
There are plenty of restaurants and bars to chill out in after a day on the mountains. All the resorts are well equipped with bars and restaurant options. However, if you take my recommendation of staying in Jindabyne, you’ll have even more options to choose from and be able to save yourself some money. A couple of my personal recommendations in Jindabyne are Mario’s Mineshaft, Banjo Patterson Inn and the Lake Jindabyne Hotel.
Where To Get Snow Gear
If you’re heading to the snow for the first time there are several options for picking up snow gear. Both Perisher and Thredbo have snow gear shops and rentals on site. However if you’d like some more variety and cheaper rental prices, there are several shops in Jindabyne and Cooma. My recommendations are ESS Boardstore, Rhythm Snow Sports, and Larry Adler for the best service and biggest range of gear.
Where To Get Snow Lessons
Both Perisher and Thredbo offer lessons to cater for different levels of skiing and snowboarding experience. You can book in lessons as part of your lift pass purchase. To find out more about the lessons on offer visit Perisher’s website – http://www.perisher.com.au/lessons-hire/adult-lessons.html or Thredbo’s website – http://www.thredbo.com.au/lessons-programs/snow-school/
1. If it’s your very first time to the snow definitely go and get lessons before attempting a lift. The top of the mountain is not the place to work out how to ski or snowboard.
2. A couple of things to keep in mind if you are choosing between skiing and snowboarding. You can learn the basics of skiing in a day, however if you really enjoy it and want to get proficient you’ll need to relearn the proper way to ski in the future. However Snowboarding takes a bit longer learn, about 3 days on average. But once you’ve got it, there is nothing else to learn, the rest is all practice.
3. If you’re driving to the snow and are required to carry snow chains. Fit your chains when you park your car in the morning at the resort. The last thing you want to do in the afternoon after a day on the mountain, is try to fit snow chains in a snow storm. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
4. It you’re planning your first snow trip, try to give yourself a rest day after every 3 days on the mountain. Particularly if you’re learning. Go see some of the other attractions around the Snowy Mountains give your body a chance to recover.
Traveling to the Snowy Mountains for the first time? You may also like to have a look at my tips for traveling to the Snowy Mountains. Alternatively looking to see what else the Snowy Mountains region has to offer? Have a look at my top 5 things to do there.
Have you been to the NSW snow fields before? Feel something else should have been on the list? Let me know comment below so I can check them out for next time.
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