A guide to the best Aussie ski resorts and how to get there

·Features and Health Editor
·7-min read

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Winter is here and with it the opportunity to hit the slopes – that's if you're a skier, snowboarder, or avid snow-angel maker of course.

And while a trip to the European Alps or Canadian Rockies remains off the cards for now, it's important to note that there are some pretty epic ski resorts right here in Australia ready to be discovered.

Sunrise over Perisher valley ski resort town in Snowy Mountains of Australia
Winter is here! Who's hitting the snow? Photo: Getty

"You don’t have to miss out on a ski season, as we have some epic ski resorts right on our doorstep and with good bargains on flights to some of the best resorts coupled with travel booking flexibility, this could be a great year for exploring the slopes at home," says Roxanne de Rouen, Skyscanner’s Destination expert.

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For any Aussies thinking about booking a ski trip or exploring a new destination closer to home, Skyscanner has helped compile a list of the best resorts, why to choose them, as well as the best deals and times to travel. 

Perisher, NSW

Best choice for: freestylers, snowboarders and night owls.

It’s hard to see past Perisher if you are after a true blue skiing holiday in Australia. The Perisher Ski Resort is the largest in the country, and indeed the entire southern hemisphere. Set in the Snowy Mountains, the resort has four ski villages, Perisher Valley, Smiggen Holes, Mt. Blue Cow, and Guthega.

Perisher tends to top most best-of lists when it comes to ski resorts in Australia. This is because of the choice of slopes and excellent trick courses, such as rider cross courses and half pipes, great for seasoned and budding snowboarders alike.

The resort also stays open late (until 9:00pm) if you want to make the most of your day pass, and hosts events for those beginners that want to ease into the skiing.  

Perisher Valley.
The Perisher Ski Resort is the largest in the country. Photo: Getty

 Best known for:

  • Reliable snowfall in peak season 

  • Over 3000 acres of ski terrain 

  • Variety of runs to suit different ability levels 

  • Good access to slopes via lifts and trails 

  • Excellent facilities for freestyle skiers and snowboarders 

  • Entertainment options for non skiers.  

How do I get there? 

The easiest way to reach Perisher is to fly to Canberra, which is the closest city to the resort.

Thredbo, NSW

Best choice for: mixed ability skiers 

Boasting the longest ski run in the whole of Australasia—a staggering 5.9km—this ski resort isn’t short on charms. There are runs and trails for every level of ability, which makes it a great shout for a family or group of friends with mixed experience.

Expert skiers can hit the Funnel Web black trail or try out some of the back-country runs. Whilst intermediate skiers will have the time of their lives – most of the runs in the resort are blue. Learners can get to grips with the sport at the Friday Flat, and non-skiers will enjoy dining at the Eagle’s Nest, the highest restaurant in Australia!

Skiers enjoy thredbo
Thredbo has the longest ski run in the country. Photo: Getty

 Pros of skiing in Thredbo: 

  • Lots of intermediate ski runs, but more than enough trails to keep experts happy 

  • Great après-ski scene – with over 30 bar and dining options 

  • Good non-skiing facilities too, from spas, to pools, to climbing walls 

  • Longest ski run in Australia  

  • Snowmaking system in place in case of poor snowfall

How do I get there? 

Thredbo is equidistant from Melbourne and Sydney, and there are direct flights to the Snowy Mountains Airport. You can also fly to Canberra and hop aboard a 2.5 hour shuttle straight from the airport.

The following resorts are in Victoria - please make note of current travel restrictions prior to booking.

Mount Buller, VIC

Best choice for: variety of runs and après ski activities

A staple ski resort, and an easy distance from Melbourne city centre (around 3 hours), this mountain retreat is great for a winter weekend away. Nestled in the Alpine National Park in Victoria, you can rely on stunning scenery here.

There are also good facilities and a great range of runs. Intermediate skiers can hit the Northern Slopes for blue runs, and expert skiers will enjoy the black diamond trails on the Southern Slopes. On the Bourke Street ski run beginners can test the snow in safety.

Mount Buller, Australia
Mount Buller is great for après ski activities. Photo: Getty

Pros of skiing in Mount Buller:

  • Good range of runs for all types of skiers

  • The lowest adult day pass rate of all the resorts (approx. $90AUD)

  • 22 lifts for over 700 acres of terrain, making the runs very accessible

  • More than 30 bars and restaurants, as well as spas for a little après ski time.

  • Family-friendly thanks to its beginner ski area and toboggan parks

How do I get there?

There are cheap flights to Melbourne, currently on Skyscanner and you can find an affordable car hire deal to make your way to Mount Buller. 

Falls Creek, VIC

Best choice for: cross-country skiing and intermediate skiers

If you love the scenery of Mount Buller, but aren’t that keen on crowds, then Falls Creek might suit you to a tee. This resort is also known for being a great spot for intermediate skiers. A ski holiday to Falls Creek will mean you won’t have to dodge expert skiers or trip over beginners. There are some 92 runs you can enjoy at Falls Creek, and in winter, the snow is pretty reliable, especially at Mount McKay.

However, the best reason to come to Falls Creek is if you’re hankering for cross-country trails. If you’ve never heard of cross-country skiing, or are simply keen to try, first time visitors to Falls Creek can rent the specialist gear for one hour, free of charge.

cross country skier in the snow
Falls Creek is great for cross country skiers. Photo: Getty

Pros of skiing in Falls Creek:

  • Best spot for cross-country skiing, plus a free trial hour for first timers.

  • Less crowded than other resorts,

  • Ski in/ski out hotels available

  • Reliable snow in peak season

  • Best resort for intermediate skiers

How do I get there?

The closest airport to Falls Creek is Albury Airport. You can also fly to Melbourne and drive the 4.5 hours.

Mount Hotham, VIC

Best choice for: expert skiers

We could hardly leave ‘the powder capital of Australia’ off our list, a moniker earned thanks to it having the highest annual snowfall in the state of Victoria.

For expert skiers, this is THE ski resort in Australia, offering steep valley runs and challenging terrain that will get that adrenalin going. Test your mettle against these difficult trails, such as Mary’s Slide, the legendary double black diamond run.

Tag-alongs, beginners and intermediate skiers won’t feel left out at Mount Hotham, as there are training runs, and a variety of trails still available. Plus, there are great facilities here, and a decent number of bars and restaurants.

Mount Hotham snowboarders
Mount Hotham is a mountain in the Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Range. Photo: Getty

Pros of skiing in Mount Hotham:

  • Great black diamond runs for expert skiers

  • Good options for intermediate and beginner skiers

  • Ski in/ski out hotels available

  • Over 600ac of ski terrain

  • Plenty of après-ski options, such as spas, restaurants and bars.

How do I get there?

There is a small aerodrome that operates flights into Hotham, but often the best way to get there is by flying to Melbourne and driving. It takes 4.5 hours from Melbourne and the scenery makes the trip worth it.

Best Winter Flight deals:

Destination

Average price for June/July

Current deals

Savings %

Canberra

$264

Melbourne > Canberra from $139

47%

Melbourne

$159

Sydney > Melbourne from $55

65%

Albury

$295

Sydney > Albury from $246

17%

Sydney

$148

Melbourne > Sydney from $32

78%

* Prices correct on 20.05.21, subject to change

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