With Thredbo’s cobblestone streets reminiscent of an Austrian ski resort, Falls Creek’s chalets set right on the snow, and numerous mountain trails to explore at Perisher, it can be a little overwhelming when deciding which snow resort will be best for you. To help you make the right decision this winter, here’s our Aussie snow guide for two.
Falls Creek, Victoria
For a ski-in/ski-out experience look no further than Falls Creek, situated in the Victorian Alps. If you want a luxury snow experience, head straight for St Falls Creek, situated at the base of the main runs. The QT is the most talked-about property at the resort, featuring 42 stylish apartments (many with balcony hot tubs), a day spa, restaurant and lounge bar. Falls Creek is a great resort for skiers and snowboarders who favour long, mellow runs, with 60 per cent of terrain catering to intermediates and 17 per cent to beginners. Couples with children will also appreciate the Snow Tube Park in the Village Bowl, as well as tobogganing options.
Also try: Ditching your skis and exploring the Alps on the back of a snowmobile. Tours take in Mt McKay and Howman’s Gap, and are a great way to explore backcountry.
Perisher, New South Wales
If your ideal kind of ski holiday involves exploring new runs each day, you’ll feel right at home at Perisher in New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains – where you can duck between snow gums while crisscrossing four main mountain areas. Not only is it the largest resort in the Southern Hemisphere (1,245ha), offering several terrain parks and Australia’s only half pipe, it’s also a place where skiers have plenty of jumps and rails. Easy access to the swathe of terrain makes up for limited on-slope accommodation and basic dining options. There are 47 lifts (including t-bars and rope tows), whisking skiers to mostly intermediate runs. During your stay, check out the Freedom Chair at Guthega.
Also try: Staying in a small lodge at Front Valley, which is only a short walk from Village 8 Express Chair. Kooloora Lodge is one of the more affordable on-snow options, offering a stylish and intimate experience.
Thredbo, New South Wales
When it comes to mountainside romance, you can’t go past a ski holiday at Thredbo in New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains. The European immigrant-influenced village at this quaint resort has an alpine charm that’s easy to fall in love with. After a day schussing down the resort’s signature (intermediate) run, the Supertrail (3.7km), you can rest your weary muscles in a number of bars at “happy hour”. Our pick is Thredbo Alpine Hotel’s Lounge Bar, where you can slump fireside in a cosy chair with a schnapps in hand, watching the last rays of sun light up the slopes. Once darkness descends, head up the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift for dinner with a view at Australia’s highest restaurant (1,937m), Eagles Nest.
Also try: Dining at one of Thredbo’s oldest lodges, Candlelight Lodge, where couples can share traditional cheese fondue.
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Mt Buller, Victoria
City slickers will relish the accessibility of Mt Buller, just a three-hour drive from the bright lights of Melbourne. Mt Buller is great for couples seeking a quick weekend escape or on a first-time snow holiday. The resort’s small size (300ha of skiable terrain) makes it easy for beginners to navigate. You don’t have to click into a pair of skis to have a memorable winter holiday there either; there are plenty of other activities, including sled-dog tours and snowshoeing.
Also try: A scenic helicopter flight over Mt Buller, Mt Stirling and Victoria’s High Country. You can even go all the way to Craig’s Hut, made famous when it was featured in the 1982 movie, The Man from Snowy River.
Mt Hotham, Victoria
If you’d rather swap terrain parks and chairlifts for steep slopes, Mt Hotham in the Victorian Alps is for you. Couples who enjoy a ski vacation with a challenge will love Hotham’s natural mountain gullies, ridgelines and tree runs. Weather permitting, you can grab a ride in a snowcat and be dropped off at the resort’s boundary, and then launch down remote, backcountry terrain.
Kat Skiing Adventures are free and suit hardy snow hounds in search of powder. Later, boast about your prowess over dinner at Yama Kitchen and Bar in the Hotham Central Building – dishes include hay-roasted, Gippsland rib-eye steak and smoked Harrietville salmon. For accommodation, the stunning mountain chalets nearby at Dinner Plain is a romantic option, but if you prefer staying slopeside, check out the comfortable, Absollut Apartments.
Also try: A treatment at the Japanese-style Onsen Retreat & Spa in Dinner Plain. Once relaxed, take a Brown Brothers Sparkling Sunset Tour, which enables you to soak up the view of nearby peaks while sipping wine and indulging in gourmet treats.
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