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Friends skiing at Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains.
Photograph: Brett Hemmings/Destination NSW

How to do the snow on the cheap in New South Wales

Dreaming of white slopes this winter but don’t have the money for a luxe snow trip? We've got you

Rebecca Russo
Written by
Rebecca Russo
&
Maya Skidmore
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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 something 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 at a minimum. 

Want more winter getaway action? Check out our list of the best trips you can take to warm up your life this chilly season. 

How to do the snow on the cheap

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. For single daytrippers, on Tuesdays, they've got a '2 Buck Tuesday' deal this year, where if one person pays $129 for a Daytripper ticket,  the second person just has to pay $2. In the same crazy vein, if you head to Charlotte for a day trip on a Thursday, you can score a $69 day ticket pass, including a full mountain lift pass, return oversnow transport and lunch at China King. To get in for these mental deals, you just have to travel in and out on the same day – but, for a $2 ski experience that feels kind of worth it.

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. Check out Perisher’s deal page to find something suitable.

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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 5km. Booking early is key; you can score discounts when you purchase at least a week in advance. Kids can ski for $85 a day during value, while 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. Thredbo also offers accommodation packages if you’re keen to stay on the mountain.

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.

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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.

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