Let’s face it: while New South Wales has some spectacular ski resorts and snow fields, taking a trip to the snow isn’t the cheapest of holidays. Mostly, that’s because we have a much shorter snow season than our European cousins. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be rolling in dough to hit the slopes; many alpine destinations offer sweet deals during the winter months.
First, one thing to note: if there’s one thing you shouldn’t skimp on, it’s proper equipment. You can hire all your gear at any of these spots (think skis, snow jackets, helmets – anything) but it’s also a good idea to bring proper thermals, waterproof gear, thick socks and sunscreen.
How to do the snow on the cheap
The Snowy Mountains village of Thredbo sits around 500kms south of Sydney, which will take you about five and a half hours to get there. The ski resort is home to the country’s longest ski and snowboard runs – the longest is the Village Trail which clocks in at five kms. Booking early is key; you can score discounts when you purchase at least a week in advance. Throughout June and September (the shoulder months) kids can ski free when you purchase an adult pass. Plus, first timers can get a lift and lesson pass for only $99. Be sure to check out the Thredbo special deals page before your trip. Threadbo also offers accommodation packages if you’re keen to stay on the mountain – there’s midweek specials (from $140 a night) and ‘stay and ski’ packages (from $160 a night).
Perisher is huge – there’s no denying it. It’s the largest snow resort operating in the Southern Hemisphere and combines Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, the Station and the Skitube Alpine Railway. As a result, there’s a huge number of lifts and some pretty reliable snow every season. If you book your Perisher stay early, you can score up to 30 per cent off lift tickets, lessons and ski hire. Plus, if you book a lift, lesson and hire bundle you can score a ski or snowboard lesson for free. Check out Perisher’s deal page to find something suitable.
Charlotte Pass is Australia’s highest ski resort and sits right in the middle of the Snowy Mountains. At 1765m above sea level, the mountain receives some of the most consistent snowfall across the snow season (from June to October) which means less man-made snow and more of the real fluffy stuff. To save some money when visiting Charlotte Pass, the resort offers resort packages which include lift tickets, group lessons, ski hire and return transport from Perisher Valley. There are three-day weekend packages (arrive Friday, depart Sunday) and midweek packages (arrive Sunday, depart Friday) which are often cheaper.
Hiding in the Brindabella mountain range (located smack bang on the border of NSW and ACT) is the longest alpine slide in the Southern Hemisphere – Corin Forest Alpine Resort. During the colder months, snow machines make this a guaranteed slope for budding skiers and snowboarders – or just those who want to frolic in the snow. For safety reasons, the ski area is limited to 150 people, so it’s a nice alternative to the more popular resorts. There are discounts for first timers, but there’s also a specials page to keep your eye on throughout the season. The best deal? Toboggan hire is only $5 for two and a half hours.
Selwyn Snow Resort is located in the northernmost part of the Snowy Mountains and it’s one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in New South Wales. There are ten lifts and runs for all kinds of skiers or snowboarders, whether you’ve never seen snow before or you’re Olympic-level good. Check out Selwyn’s specials page before you hit the slopes to find some good mountain savings.
Now put all that saved money into another holiday
Sometimes you just need to GTFO of Sydney – and you don’t need to travel far to make a couple of nights away feel like a holiday. Whether you’re in need of a beach break, a hike in the mountains, or an escape to the country, we’ve got ten short getaways from Sydney (all still within NSW) to inspire you