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AUSTRALIAN SNOW GUIDE

14th August 2014

Image source: Perisher

There’s a chill in the air and that can only mean one thing - it’s snow season. In Australia we are lucky enough to enjoy beautiful beaches in summer and impressive snow fields in winter. If you don’t know where to start, this guide will show you where to start, finish and everything in between.

New South Wales

NSW is home to some of the most famous ski slopes in Australia. Experienced skiers and snowboarders can take on the bigger runs while the little ones can have fun on the gentler slopes and tobogganing areas.

If you are looking for a central place to stay, Jindabyne is located close to many NSW ski resorts and is popular with family and friend groups. There are also some other options listed for each location below.

 

Charlotte Pass

Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Distance: 5 h 56 min drive from Sydney (502 km)

Places to stay: Kosciusko Chalet Hotel

Website: http://www.charlottepass.com.au/

Image sourced from: Charlotte Pass Snow Resort

 

Perisher

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 5 h 46 min from Sydney (493 km)

Places to stay: Perisher Valley Hotelon the snowJindabyne

Website: http://www.perisher.com.au/

Image sourced from: Perisher

 

Selwyn Snowfields

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 5 h 42 min drive from Sydney (496 km)

Places to stay: Off the mountain

Website: http://www.selwynsnow.com.au/

Image source: Selwyn Snowfields

 

Thredbo

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 5 h 51 min drive from Sydney (496 km)

Places to stay: Ski In Ski OutWoodridgeCrackenbackThe Village.

Website: http://www.thredbo.com.au

Image source: Thredbo Resort.


 

Victoria

Gear up for some family tobogganing, skiing and snowboarding in Victoria this winter. With so many snowy locations it’s easy to plan a day trip or week long holiday...or 2 weeks if you are keen.

There is plenty for the kids to do; including ski-school, tubing, toboganning and snowboarding. If you're a hiking family you'll also want to put on some snow shoes and head out to explore the marked Alpine trails.

 

Falls Creek

Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Distance: 5 h 5 min drive from Melbourne (391 km)

Places to stay: On the mountainoff the mountain.

Website: http://www.fallscreek.com.au/

Image source: Falls Creek Resort

 

Mount Hotham

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 4h 38 min drive from Melbourne (381 km)

Places to stay: Zirky's Apartmentson and off the mountain

Website: http://www.mthotham.com.au/

Image source: Mark Tsukasov

 

Mount Buller

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 3 h 35 min drive from Melbourne (234 km)

Places to stay: Hotel Pension Grimussnow guaranteed

Website: http://www.mtbuller.com.au/Winter/

Image source: Andrew Railton

 

Lake Mountain

Level: Beginner

Distance: 2h 4 min drive from Melbourne (119 km)

Places to stay: Marysville (closest town)

Website: http://lakemountainresort.com.au/

Image source: Lake Mountain Alpine Resort

 

Mount Baw Baw

SONY DSC

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 2h 40min drive from Melbourne (175 km)

Places to stay: On the mountainoff the mountain

Website: http://mountbawbaw.com.au/

Image source: Thor

 


Tasmania

Although it doesn’t boast as many tame ski fields, Tasmania is home to some great ski areas for families and mates. If you are road tripping with your family the best place to stop for some snow fun is Ben Lomond ski resort.

Ben Lomond has all the facilities you need with equipment hire, a Shuttle Bus, Ski School and a Cafe where you can warm up and grab a bite to eat.

The facilities at Mt Mawson are more basic but the kids can still enjoy beginner’s slopes and plenty of snow. You can keep up with the latest news from the slopes on the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association blog.

 

Ben Lomond National Park

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 3 h 40 min drive from Hobart (238 km)

Places to stay: Ben Lomond Alpine HotelCreek InnLaunceston

Website: http://www.skibenlomond.com.au/

Image source: Swandives

 

Mount Mawson, Mount Field National Park

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Distance: 1 h 4 min drive from Hobard (72.6 km)

Places to stay: Hobart

Website: http://mtmawson.info/

Image source: Southern Tasmanian Ski Association


 

Driving Tips

Image source: Mariano Mantel

 

Before you leave

  • Check your tyres, battery, engine, lights, breaks, steering, windscreen wipers and cooling system.
  • Pack a first aid kit, jumper leads, spade, tow rope and torch.

 

Snow chains

  • Snow chains are compulsory for all 2 wheel drive vehicles in NSW and all vehicles in Victoria.
  • Choose the right snow chains: part of your tyre chain must be touching the road at all times to get the traction you need and prevent your tires from slipping.
  • Practice fitting your chains before you drive
  • Fasten chains to your car’s driving tyres when directed by the relevant authorities. You will usually see a bay on route where people are fitting their chains.
  • Pack chains in an easy to reach place.
  • You can find places to hire snow chains in Victoria and NSW at Snowchains.com.au and you can hire snow chains from a variety of places in Tasmania such as Skigia.

 

On the road

  • Be cautious
  • Take a break every 2 hours
  • Look out for dark patches on the road - this could be ice
  • Don’t tailgate
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife on the roads
  • Change your speed to suit weather conditions
  • Don’t use your handbrake in the snow - use your gears instead.
  • If you are parking for an extended period, lift your wipers so they don’t freeze to the glass.
  • Remove ice from your windows and mirrors using the heater and fan in your car before driving.
  • If you’re not confident driving in alpine areas you might like to grab your gear and jump on a bus instead.

If you need more information about staying safe during your trip to the snow visit http://www.snowsafe.org.au/.

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