How to do Oktoberfest like a local
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Whether you’re a full-on powder hound or it’s the apres-ski scene in the bar you’re craving, Australia has plenty of choice for snow bunnies of all experience levels. Here’s what to expect when you hit the slopes in Australia.
Thredbo has it all going on. As well as skiing and snowboarding insanity for all experience levels, there are long trails, ski-in, ski-out accommodation, a pumping apres-ski scene and Australia’s longest run in Australia – the thigh-burning, 6km-long Thredbo Supertrail. Yikes!
There are loads of other cool on-mountain larks including Sunrise Sessions which offer the chance to watch the sun come up from the highest ski lift in Australia, breakfast at the country’s highest restaurant and the first dibs on carving up Australia’s longest run. Don’t miss Bavarian-inspired dinners, the iconic Thredbo Flare Run and fireworks show and great views from Australia’s only alpine gondola. Plus, backcountry adventures, snow shoeing, bungee trampolines and a leisure centre. Basically, you won’t get bored whatever the weather.
If you love big ski fields – Perisher has a whopping 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres) of groomed snow waiting for you and is made up of the runs and facilities of Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, The Station and the Skitube alpine railway. It’s the largest snow resort operation in the Southern Hemisphere, has the highest terrain, and the most lifts. The runs suit all experience levels and in its brilliant terrain park attracts training Olympians. You can join them to bang out jumps on rollers, tabletops, rails and boxes. The popular JumpCam will record your mid-air madness so you can share it with your followers ASAP.
Great for alpine lovers, the village is at the top of the mountain instead of at the base, so you’ll be sleeping in the clouds surrounded by views. Experienced skiers will love the steep ski runs, but there’s also a dedicated beginners’ area with its own chairlift and ski school. When you want a rest from burning thighs, you can go on husky sled tour, warm up in an onsen baths, spend the night in Australia’s only igloo or snowshoe to a fondue-making class. Nice!
Great for all experience levels, Mount Buller has great options for beginners and advanced skiers – there are moguls. Ouch! There are great ski star spotting opportunities as many of Australia’s winter Olympians train here. Selfie, anyone? As well as skiing and boarding, you can dog sled, snow play (which includes tobogganing and snow shoeing), cross-country ski, telemark, snow gain (high-altitude orienteering) or join a gnome tour of the mountain village. When it all gets too much there’s a spa. Oh yes.
Great for families, Falls Creek has a busy ski school and child-friendly trails through the forest. Adorbs. The pedestrian-only village has ski-in, ski-out everything – dining, accommodation and snow activities including sledding and back country tours. There’s also night skiing, a terrain park for tricks, and specialist programs and clinics to help you advance your slope skills.
Random Fun fact: Skiing began in Australia at Mount Buffalo, Victoria in the 1890s, the Mount Buffalo Chalet in Victoria was constructed in 1910 and Australia’s first ski tow was constructed near Mount Buffalo in 1936.
Let’s face it, skiing is a right laugh, but zooming down an icy hill with two planks strapped to your feet is always going to be riskier than lying by the pool with a cocktail in. Here’s a snapshot of what we cover with our snow sports cover option:
Find out more here, and always read the PDS for full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions.