NEW SOUTH WALES
Thredbo is a six hour drive from Sydney and 30 minutes from Jindabyne on The Alpine Way.
The biggest news in Thredbo this year is the expansion of the popular learner's area Friday Flat, by a third. It now offers another ski run called Giddy Up, an undercover magic carpet called the Wonder Carpet and another first-timer area. There's also a raft of deals to make skiing more accessible: if you've never skied, try Thredbo’s new Learn to Ride weeks, which include lessons and rentals ($494 for adults and $276 for kids, June 17 - 21 and September 16 - 20). Kids ski free on four selected weekends this year, too. There are new passes that allow skiing for five out of seven days and more, instead of requiring you ski five days straight. MyThredbo pass holders are also entitled to new savings, and as if that’s not enough, buying a five-day + multi-day pass now includes access to the Thredbo Leisure Centre.
Perisher is a six hour drive from Sydney and best to reach via the Ski Tube a few minutes along The Alpine Way.
If your kids are itching to learn cool tricks and master ‘getting air’, sign them up for the new Kids’ Progression Sessions. It takes intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders aged seven to 12 to exciting places on the mountain and teaches them all the moves they see in ski movies. There’s also now a mini halfpipe near the mid station of the Front Valley quad chairlift so beginners can learn the fundamentals before heading to the Front Valley pipe. A new addition to Perisher’s kids’ adventure zones is the ‘snowflake factory’, an area posted with signs explaining how snow, both natural and man-made, is created. Other adventure areas have been upgraded, including the ski-cology info in the Club House, and more animal cut-outs in the Magic Forest near Happy Valley T-bar.
Charlotte Pass is the closest resort to Mt Kosciusko is reached by taking the Ski Tube (mountain train) on the Alpine Way to Perisher and an 8km snowcat trip to Charlotte Pass.
This pretty little resort has always been a favourite for families: it’s so small and user-friendly that mum and dad can virtually watch the kids play from their lodge’s window. This year, Charlotte Pass has added a half-day $60 option to the $110 all-day Kosi Kids’ Club, a program for three to eight year olds that offers indoor games, activities, hot lunch and two ski lessons. There are snowshoe tours with lunch too, and the family can also take hour-long tours inside a groomer, learning what it takes to groom the runs.
Selwyn Snowfields take the turnoff just after Cooma to Adaminaby from where it's 40 minutes to the slopes.
A gentle ski field geared to beginners, Selwyn offers a special family package that works like this: if an adult buys a mid-week lift ticket, or lift and hire package, they receive the same package for one child for free. So if mum and dad buy mid-week deals they receive the same for the offspring. Also, ski lessons in June are free when you buy a valid lift pass. No kidding!