Top Snow Holiday Locations

The top ski location in Australia are found in New South Wales and Victoria along the Great Dividing Range. Australia's highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, can be climbed from Thredbo (6.5 km) or from Charlotte's Pass (9 km) with only a modest amount of fitness required.

Thredbo, New South Wales

Thredbo - Skiing on Friday FlatThredbo is 500km from Sydney built above the Thredbo River Valley. The village and ski resort has only a small population of a little over 300 people but explodes in winter when a snow covered mountain brings in over 700,000 visitors. Home to the 'supertrails' Thredbo's longest run is 5.9km - the longest in Australia. With 480 hectares of skiable terrain the resort area is also the steepest in Australia covering 672 metres vertically. It features a main village square where most of the snow based activities take place.

The summit elevation is 2037 metres and the resort sits at a quite low 1365m. This means it takes you longer to get down the mountain than other alpine resorts... which means more time on the snow. A downside to this is that when the snow coverage is thin, the snow runs out before you reach the bottom of the slope. It is handy to note that Thredbo has a quarter of its snow fields enhanced by automatic snow guns. Night skiing is also huge attraction.

In Brief: Thredbo is known for its posh accommodation types and its almost club-like atmosphere.

Slope breakdown: Thredbo has 16% beginner, 67% intermediate and 17% advanced ski runs.

Perisher Blue

Chalets at Perisher BluePerisher has a huge 1245 hectares of snow covered slopes, but the resort area only rises 355m vertically making it quite flat. Australia's largest alpine resort also has some adventurous trails like the kamikaze run along Yarrandoo on Blue Cow. The summit at Perisher rises to an impressive 2054m. An impressive 50 lifts service the resort.

Perisher is located quite high up the mountain at 1720m and presents a true ski-in, ski-out type of snow holiday. There are 4 resort areas, Perisher, Guthega, Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow which can be difficult to navigate around when its dark. Perisher Blue is well known for its rolling hills, Tube Town snow tube park, 4 terrain parks and FIS-accredited superpipe. Night skiing is also available.

In Brief: Perisher Blue is a more chilled out community with a family feel and more attractions for visitors of all ages.

Slope breakdown: Perisher Blue has 22% beginner, 60% intermediate and 18% advanced ski runs.

Charlotte Pass

Charlotte Pass VillageThe Charlotte Pass alpine resort area is the oldest and highest in Australia. It contains 5 lifts and over 50 hectares of skiable slopes. It is a small resort with only 607 overnight visitors. Lift queues are rare and the snow slopes are uncrowded. With its high altitude Charlotte's Pass is an ideal ski-in, ski-out resort. It recently added its first terrain park in 2008. Most accommodation is located in the club lodges.

The first building at the Pass was Kosciuszko Chalet. It remains as the largest building in the village and acts as the heart of the village in winter.

The resort is also used by cross-country skiers who frequent the nearby high peaks.

In Brief: Charlotte Pass is a small alpine resort with more snow across the season than any other resort. Good for families and will seldom challenge the more advanced skiers.

Selwyn Snowfields

Selwyn SnowfieldsThe small Selwyn Snowfields are at the northern part of the Snowy Mountains and is close to the town of Cabramurra, the highest town in Australia. Selwyn is 1614m at its highest and 1492m at the base of the resort. At these low altitudes there is less snow at the start and end of the ski season. Water from 3 Mile Dam is used in snow making procedures at Selwyn. Up to 80% of the resort is covered by snow-making machines.

The Selwyn Snowfields cater mainly for families and first timers. There are 2 advanced runs at the back of the resort which more than challenge the experienced skiers. 12 lifts and 45km of cross-country trails cross the 45 hectare site.

In Brief: The Selwyn Snowfields are great for families and beginner skiers. Advertised as the cheapest snow resort in NSW.

Mt Hotham, Victoria

Mt HothamMt Hotham is located in Victoria, just 357km from Melbourne. With 245 hectares of skiable terrain, Hotham is the second highest alpine resort in Australia and has 13 lifts. With snow fall of 300cm annually it has the highest snowfall of any alpine resort in Victoria. There are 35 km of cross-country trails and the longest run is 2.5 km (Spargo's). One of the country's most difficult runs is found at Mt Hotham, called Mary's Slide. The resort is located 1450m above sea level. Mount Hotham has around 60 different accommodation providers with chalets, apartments and lodges.

The Great Alpine Road is like many European roads with steep gradients and many hairpins and run ins with black ice. This road crosses the summit of Mount Hotham at a point of 1861m. Hotham has its own airport with direct flights from Qantaslink in the ski season.

Slope breakdown: Mt Hotham has 20% beginner, 40% intermediate and 40% advanced ski runs.

In Brief: Excellent snow falls, high elevation and good vertical height of the resort means non stop action for the snow enthusiast. Having its own airport, you can greatly improve travel times and reduce stress.

Falls Creek

Falls Creek at NightJust 350km from Melbourne, Falls Creek is the biggest alpine resort in Victoria. This 450 hectare alpine wonderland is 1780 metres at its highest point, its base is around 1400m and the village at 1600m. With 4 metres of snow annually Falls Creek is more inclined to the beginner and intermediate skiers. The snow resort has 14 lifts and four and a half thousand beds to offer visitors. A wide range of restaurants, bars and nightclubs cater to holiday goers. The longest run is 3 kilometres long and Falls Creek has one of Australia's longest beginner runs at 2.2 kilometres.

Most accommodation is ski-in, ski-out and snowmaking covers most of the beginners terrain. Falls Creek now hosts a film festival every year. Mount Beauty is the nearest town, roughly 30km away.

Slope breakdown: Falls Creek has 17% beginner, 60% intermediate and 23% advanced ski runs.

In Brief: Falls Creek is great for families and intermediate skiers. Great snow and skiing only a few hours drive out from Melbourne. Becoming more cultural with artists and film makers frequenting the area.

Mount Buller

Mount Buller VillageSituated close to Melbourne, only 208km away, Mount Buller is a favourite of daytrippers escaping the city and heading to the snow. 24 lifts service 263 hectares of skiable terrain and move an impressive 40,000 skiers per hour. The highest point of the alpine resort is 1780m dropping to 1375m at Chalet Creek. A campus university bought out by the Resort Management Board is now known as the Mount Buller Community Centre with facilities like a cinema, gym and sports hall.

Each year Mount Buller hosts the Victorian Snowsports Championships with over 3000 competitors. The town of Jamieson is located 62km away.

Slope breakdown: Mount Buller has 25% beginner, 45% intermediate and 30% advanced ski runs.

In Brief: Being so close to Melbourne, Mount Buller cops a fair bit of traffic, but its big enough to handle it. Something for everyone with loads of facilities and activities.