Up for an alpine adventure? The family-friendly Snowy Mountain resorts of NSW are an easy two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Canberra and offer skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing trails as well as childcare and lessons for all levels of expertise.
The ski season runs from June to early October so plan your trip, book your accommodation and hire your gear early. Options for getting to the snow from Canberra include staying with Abode Hotels and taking a day trip with Murrays Coaches, or driving and staying at a motel or caravan park in Jindabyne or in one of the lodges in the ski resorts.
To make sure everyone is confident on the snow, organise a professional lesson or two at your chosen resort and consider enrolling the kids in a catered day or half-day program. Now, you’re free to hit the slopes!
Skiing can be exhausting so when the kids are with you, remember to take regular refuelling breaks over a mug of hot chocolate. Maybe even mix things up a little with some tobogganing or a swim in the pool at Thredbo.
To challenge them, you might like to let your older, more capable children ski separately and meet up with them later to do a run together. Finish off your day by warming your toes by the fireside of one of the family-friendly restaurants dotted around the resorts, some of which provide unforgettable views of Mount Kosciuszko.
Where to ski
Perisher Blue offers a wide variety of skiing runs, night skiing, firework displays and a snow tube park. Its Discovery Kids learn-to-ski program caters to children aged 3 to 4 years and its Perisher Kids to children aged 5 to 14. Older children can also take a crash-course with a 3-hour group lesson.
Selwyn Snowfields has exceptionally low prices and introduces children to the snow as early as 18 months through its Mini Mites, Mighty Mites and Mega Mites programs.
Thredbo provides dedicated beginners’ slopes and a range of outdoor snow activities for all ages. The resort’s alpine village also has a 50-metre heated pool with waterslide and Australia’s longest runs and offers catered full and half-day ‘Thredboland’ programs that entertain and teach skiing to children aged 4 to 6.
Charlotte Pass is one of NSW’s smaller ski resorts and offers a beginners’ area with snow tube park as well as daytime and evening children’s activities. Its all-day kids’ ski program caters to 3-12 year olds and includes beginner to intermediate lessons, a hot lunch and indoor activities.
Top 6 Snow Trip Tips
- Save money by looking out for ‘kids-ski-free’ resort deals in June and September and borrowing ski gear from friends and family.
- Hire your ski gear in Canberra, Cooma or Jindabyne rather than in the resorts – it’s cheaper and by booking in advance you’ll make sure you get the sizes you need.
- Choose to ski at a resort that has a kids’ ski school or day program as well as a variety of restaurants within easy reach of the snowfield.
- Check the road conditions at Live Traffic NSW. If you’re driving a two-wheel-drive vehicle between the June and October long weekends, it is compulsory to carry properly- fitted snow chains. Hire these in Canberra or Jindabyne.
- Rest and revive and save money by shopping for food in Cooma and packing daily lunch boxes.
- Stay warm and safe and never travel alone. More about alpine safety can be found on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
Where To Eat
Snowgums at Perisher has a fireplace to relax by after a day on the slopes and offers spectacular views of the snowfields. In Jindabyne, Bacco Italian serves traditional and gourmet pizza and pasta the kids will love and the always busy Sundance Bakehouse is pure pie heaven – pick one up for breakfast. The Bowlo Bistro provides good-value family dining at the end of the day with a salad and vegetable buffet. Located at the top of Snowgums Chairlift just off the top of the Crackenback Supertrail in Thredbo, Black Sallees serves a hearty winter bistro-style menu fast, so you can eat then be back on the slopes before you know it. Also perched high above Thredbo Village, at the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift, is Eagles Nest, Australia’s highest restaurant, serving warm winter fare with a side of live music on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Planning the road trip? Abode Hotels is the perfect place to stay. With flexible room types, self-contained rooms, fully equipped with kitchenettes and washer and dryers will make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Book our Ski Stopover Package, which includes:
- Accommodation in a spacious studio apartment with a discounted room rate
- Two Abode thermal mugs, accompanied by hot chocolate sachets
- Bottled water
- Unlimted Free Wi-Fi
- Free Parking*
*Terms and conditions: Travel dates from 01/06/18 – 09/09/18, subject to availability. Special offers only available during the promotional period. Tickets and inclusions not refundable for cash. Free parking is not available at Abode Woden, and is subject to availability.