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Thredbo Therapy by Andrew Ettingshausen

Our family is growing larger. We used to be two adults and four kids. I thought that was big!. But with two older daughters we have grown to four adults, two teenagers and two boyfriends. Where do you holiday with this many? There will need to be some action and adventure and of course plenty of food options. We hadn’t been skiing in years, some of us were a little rusty, some were beginners and some kamikaze style! Thredbo seemed the perfect choice. Cars fully loaded P plates in place, we headed for the slopes! “Drive carefully” I yelled.

Five hours later we pulled up at The Peak, Apartments, in Thredbo Village. It was dark and chilly, we piled into apartment 9 and a gorgeous fire awaited us! We flopped on the huge leather lounges and sipped local Wildbrumby schnapps, watching the snow ploughs lights dance across the slopes. The view is spectacular and the use of glass makes the whole apartment light and spacious. The doors open onto a huge deck perfect for soaking up the winter sun after a hard day skiing. The two-bedroom loft apartment is really three bedrooms with two extra beds in the loft area, plenty of room for our big group. A state of the art kitchen has everything you need to prepare hearty meals if you’re too tired to go out. Stone, steel and timber finishes, marble bathrooms, all give this apartment a luxury feel. We are instantly relaxed and looking forward to our few days skiing…if we can drag ourselves away from this amazing apartment!

I love Spring skiing. The blizzards and snowfalls are over and the sun and blue skies makes it all that more enjoyable. The only downside…melting snow! Thredbo is one of Australias highest Alpine towns, its elevation is perfect for large falls of natural snow. There is also a state of the art snow making system in place, so there is plenty of white stuff even in September. Thredbo is found in the Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales. The village is nestled alongside the Thredbo River with the Mountain staring down from above, it has a very European feel. In the winter months it can be covered in snow. The village has a great mix of bars, restaurants and cafes to suit any budget. We tried the pub and al fresco Pizzeria, both great for families and groups. There is a great buzz in the village of a night. It was fun to rug up and wander the streets to your favorite watering hole or eating place and tell stories of your adventures (or close shaves) that day on the slopes!

Thredbo has a brilliant shuttle system that picks you up at a stop near your accommodation and drops you down to the Valley Terminal or Friday Flats. Park your car at your doorstep (a luxury in snow resorts!) and never touch it again. We piled onto the shuttle wearing everything we owned, you never know if you’re going to be hot or cold! Headed to Friday Flats to hire some gear. The rental shop has anything you could possibly need. In no time we were decked out. A great tip is to hire a locker then all your extra belongings can be stored till you need them. We also had ski lockers so we didn’t have to drag our skis, snowboards back and forward each day. Fantastic, especially if you have littlies who are too tired to help! Friday Flats is where you will find everything, lifts, lessons, rentals, snow school, kids club, Thredboland and even childcare. Thredbo is the perfect family ski resort, all ages and levels are catered for.

Friday Flats was pumping! Music played, the sun shone, lessons began, kids no higher than my waist whizzed passed! It has been designed for beginners, we taught our kids to ski here when they were small. It’s a gentle slope perfect to start on, they felt safe and in control, the whole area is full of people in the same boat. Everyone falling over having fun! Lift tickets in pockets we were ready to hit the slopes!

We jumped straight on the quad chair and headed up the mountain to Merrits. The views over the valley are spectacular, the sun warmed our bodies and we couldn’t wait to get started. The first couple of runs were a bit shaky but we were soon racing each other to the bottom, trying out different runs, testing our skills on the jumps (not so good) and laughing at each other’s spills! Having a couple of boys along was certainly different; they found every jump, hill, small pathway and blackrun to take us on. Thanks boys! My knees sure aren’t what they used to be! It brought back memories of when I was a teenager and my girlfriend (now wife Monique) was stuck skiing with me, in fact she taught me to ski when I was 18. She patiently spent every ski trip slowly going down the mountain with me. Never taking off even after I fell time and time again. I owe my love of skiing to her.

There are so many trails to explore and you can make your way across the mountain stopping at cafes to refuel or take a long lunch soaking up the atmosphere, the view and the sun! No ski trip would be complete without building a snowman or making a snow angel. We stopped right up the top of the mountain to build ours, and we had the whole place to ourselves, amazing! The best part of the day was taking the long run home back to Friday Flats…it went on forever. Legs were burning and adrenalin flowing. A great run to end the day! Just another tip, if you’re not up to it, as it is quite difficult, take the quad chair back to the bottom. As we discovered after dragging our youngest daughter down on day one! We were lucky to get her back there the next day, she was not happy!!

Our younger girls wanted to have a swim at the indoor heated pool at Thredbo Leisure Centre. We headed over at the end of the day and dived in for a swim. Big kids and little kids all enjoyed the slide and pool inflatable. The warm water on our tired muscles was a soothing reward at the end of a full day.

This was followed by a goal shooting comp on the indoor basketball court! After all, I live with 5 women, nearly a netball team. No surprises which team won, the girls of course. We jumped on the shuttle just in time to catch the fireworks over Friday Flats and got a lift right to our doorstep. Exhausted and happy we curled up in front of the fire! That was just day one! Hopefully my body still worked in the morning so we could do it all again!

After three fantastic days of skiing, feeling totally relaxed and weary we headed home. We won’t leave it so long between visits. Thredbo is great for families, catering for all level of skiers with tons of options for kids and parents. As we pulled out I called ‘Drive carefully!’ But I forgot to add ‘and slowly. Watch out for hidden police cars in bushes with speed cameras!’ Woops!

Getting there: Thredbo is approximately 500km (or six hours’ drive) from Sydney and nearly 600km (or seven hours’ drive) from Melbourne

www.thredbo.com.au



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