Battle of Australia’s Best Ski Resorts: Which Mountain is Right for You?

Feature image credit: Mount Buller. Image by Andrew Railton, courtesy of Visit Victoria.
Gemma Music, Staff Writer

When it comes to snow-fuelled adventure, Australia’s mountains deliver – but which one is right for you?

Every winter, hordes of visitors head to the slopes dotted along Australia’s East Coast to get their thrill fix. From the picturesque and beginner-friendly terrain at Victoria’s Falls Creek to the big drops of Thredbo in New South Wales, there’s something for every age, ability and adrenaline level.

We’ve analysed, appraised and evaluated Australia’s famed ski resorts to find the best frosty fun for your alpine needs.

Best for: A unique experience

Mount Hotham, Victoria

It’s not every day you can weave your way through an upside-down resort, and with 80% of the terrain dedicated to intermediate and advanced trails, Mount Hotham is perfect for ultra-challenging, heart-racing adventures with a unique twist.

Mount Hotham. Image by Robert Blackburn, courtesy of Visit Victoria.

Mount Hotham. Image by Robert Blackburn, courtesy of Visit Victoria.

The highest resort in Victoria has plenty going for it – spectacular vistas, bucketloads of fresh powder and exceptional trails for skiers and boarders, from beginners to pros.

In addition to thrilling runs, the resort boasts a unique upside-down design (with the village at the top, rather than the bottom), which guarantees exceptional alpine views from your hotel or lodge accommodation.

Cold hard facts:

  • Skiable terrain: 320 hectares
  • Number of runs: 72
  • Number of lifts: 14
  • Beginner terrain: 20%
  • Intermediate terrain: 40%
  • Advanced terrain: 40%

Location: Mount Hotham is about 380km, or over four hours’ drive, northeast of Melbourne. From Sydney, it’s approx. 700km, or eight hours’ drive.

Best for: Families

Falls Creek, Victoria

With a whopping amount of its terrain dedicated to beginners and intermediate skiers and boarders, Falls Creek is perfect for families or those who are just getting familiar with the snow.

Falls Creek. Image by Matt Hull, courtesy of Visit Victoria.

Falls Creek. Image by Matt Hull, courtesy of Visit Victoria.

Arguably the prettiest ski field in Australia, what Falls Creek lacks in challenging terrain it makes up for in vast amounts of picturesque skiable areas. Perfect for beginners or intermediates looking to progress their skills and improve with every run, the thriving ski school here is excellent for families. If you’re after something a bit different, you can spend your time on one of the many cross-country trails or even go fat biking through the snowcapped terrain.

Another excellent reason to visit Falls Creek is the abundance of accommodation on the mountain, with plenty of ski-in/ski-out options.

Cold hard facts:

  • Skiable terrain: 450 hectares
  • Number of runs: 90
  • Number of lifts: 14
  • Beginner terrain: 16%
  • Intermediate terrain: 71%
  • Advanced terrain: 13%

Location: Falls Creek is less than two hours’ drive from Albury Wodonga or 4.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne. From Sydney, it is an easy day’s drive (approx. 7.5 hours).

Best for: Groups

Mount Buller, Victoria

Large groups love Mount Buller. With a huge variety of experiences both on and off the mountain, incredible terrain for beginners and pros, and one of the most picturesque villages in the country – perfect for après ski – Mount Buller caters to a range of abilities and interests and keeps everyone happy.

Feature image credit: Mount Buller. Image by Andrew Railton, courtesy of Visit Victoria.

Mount Buller. Image by Andrew Railton, courtesy of Visit Victoria.

An immensely popular resort just three hours out of Melbourne, Mount Buller is an excellent choice for mountain enthusiasts of all ages. One side of the mountain is dedicated to beginners and intermediates, while the other is reserved for the experts, with plenty of black runs to get your heart pumping.

As for the après ski scene, it’s nothing short of exceptional, with over 30 bars and restaurants that collectively create a vibrant, not-to-be-missed atmosphere. When you need a place to rest after a day of leg-burning activity, there are over 7,000 beds on the mountain – so there’s no shortage of accommodation catering to groups, families or couples seeking a relaxing escape.

Cold hard facts:

  • Skiable terrain: 300 hectares
  • Number of runs: 85
  • Number of lifts: 20
  • Beginner terrain: 25%
  • Intermediate terrain: 45%
  • Advanced terrain: 30%

Location: Mount Buller is a three-hour drive from Melbourne, with coach services available.

Best for: Adrenaline junkies

Thredbo, New South Wales

With big drops and some of the longest ski runs in the country, Thredbo is the undisputed home of extremes.

Home to the longest ski runs in the country and the steepest drops, Thredbo is perfect for skiers and snowboarders looking to push it to the next level. Whether it’s taking on the longest run in the country (five kilometres down the Village Trail) or tackling an off-piste challenge, Thredbo is sure get your heart pumping. The less experienced or non-skiers can shop up a storm at the many retail shops or boutiques, catch the fireworks show every Saturday night and enjoy dining at one of the many mountainside restaurants. On the mountain, you will find a range of lodges, hotels and chalets to rest your weary body, with the option to walk or hop on the shuttle bus to the base of the mountain.

Cold hard facts:

  • Skiable terrain: 480 hectares
  • Number of runs: 50
  • Number of lifts: 14
  • Beginner terrain: 16%
  • Intermediate terrain: 67%
  • Advanced terrain: 17%

Location: Thredbo is located within Kosciuszko National Park in the NSW Snowy Mountains. It’s roughly six hours’ drive from Sydney and Melbourne, or just over two hours’ drive from Canberra.

Best for: Variety

Perisher, New South Wales

If you get bored easily, head to Perisher – the biggest resort in the Southern Hemisphere – where there is no shortage of ways to spend your time across its four distinctive resorts.

Proudly claiming the title as the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere, Perisher is guaranteed to satisfy shredders of all abilities across its four separate resorts – Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega. You’ll want to get across all of them during your time here, as each offers a different experience from the next. You could be checking out Australia’s only half-pipe at Perisher Valley one day, then skiing a great range of green and blue runs at Blue Cow, dining in the many restaurants at Smiggin Holes or taking in panoramic views at Guthega the next.

The best place to stay nearby is Jindabyne, as the alpine accommodation at Perisher is not as extensive as other resorts and there is no central ski village. Regular shuttles run between Jindabyne and Perisher daily.

Cold hard facts:

  • Skiable terrain: 1,245 hectares
  • Number of runs: 113
  • Number of lifts: 47
  • Beginner terrain: 22%
  • Intermediate terrain: 60%
  • Advanced terrain: 18%

Location: Melbourne to Perisher is approx. a six-hour drive. From Sydney, it takes approx. five or six hours, depending on the conditions.

Best for: Escaping the crowds

Ben Lomond, Tasmania

Boasting fewer crowds and scenery that is described as nothing short of epic, Ben Lomond is perfect for snow-lowers looking for a more intimate, laidback experience.

Ben Lomond. Image by Matthew Donovan, courtesy of Tourism Tasmania.

Ben Lomond. Image by Matthew Donovan, courtesy of Tourism Tasmania.

As Australia’s southernmost state, and therefore one of the coldest, there’s no shortage of fresh snow in Tasmania. Unlike resorts in the northern states, Tasmania’s premier ski destination is a smaller, more laidback spot that boasts spectacular alpine scenery and a magnificent drive past jagged rocky formations to the top.

A small number of accommodation options are available at the top of the mountain, otherwise, Launceston and surrounds will be your best bet to lock in an abode to relax in after a day of mountainside adventures.

Cold hard facts:

  • Skiable terrain: 40 hectares
  • Number of runs: 8
  • Number of lifts: 6
  • Beginner terrain: 40%
  • Intermediate terrain: 50%
  • Advanced terrain: 10%
  • Location: Ben Lomond is approx.1.5 hours’ drive from Launceston or three hours’ drive north of Hobart.

Best for: A quick day trip

Mount Mawson, Tasmania

If you’re looking for skiing or boarding without the frills of a larger resort, Mount Mawson is where you need to be.

A lesser-known spot compared to Australia’s bigger resorts, this hidden gem is a secret local are willing to share. Interestingly, Mount Mawson is a small club field run solely by volunteers from the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association on a roster basis. The only downside for avid skiers and boarders is that the resort is only open on weekends – so if you need a midweek hit of snow and fresh mountain air, you’ll have to head elsewhere.

There is no on-snow accommodation on Mount Mawson, so most visitors stay in Hobart and take a day trip to the slopes.

Cold hard facts:

  • Skiable terrain: 14 hectares
  • Number of runs: 5
  • Number of lifts: 4
  • Beginner terrain: 25%
  • Intermediate terrain: 50%
  • Advanced terrain: 25%

Location: Located 1.5 hours’ drive outside of Hobart, Mount Mawson is great for a day trip.

Feature image credit: Mount Buller. Image by Andrew Railton, courtesy of Visit Victoria.
Share

Deals of the week

  • Gold Coast, Queensland

    5 to 14 Nights

  • Surfers Paradise Ocean-View Apartment Escape with SkyPoint Observation Deck Passes

    Rhapsody Resort

  • S$ 791/room

    Valued up to S$ 1,380

  • Offer ends in 24 days

  • Tasmania, Australia

    2 to 10 Nights

  • Tasmania East Coast Ocean-View Escape Less than Two Hours from Launceston

    Scamander Beach Resort

  • S$ 195/room

    Valued up to S$ 392

  • Offer ends in 24 days

  • Tours by Luxury Escapes – Western Australia

  • The Kimberley: 5-Day Luxury Small-Group Tour of Purnululu National Park & the Bungle Bungle Range with Gourmet Dining

  • S$ 2,573/room

    Valued up to S$ 2,965

  • Offer ends in 25 days

Why book with Luxury Escapes

icon-3

Handpicked Partners

We negotiate the best price so you don’t have to

icon-2

More VIP Inclusions

A Luxury Escape is lot more than just a bed in a room

icon-1

Flexible Bookings

Choose your dates now or decide when to travel later

For Sales & Support

call 1300 88 99 00

Follow Us on

Download Our Free Mobile App

app-store
android
payment-way

12 Month interest Free with Monthly Payments