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Image credit: Selwyn Snowfields


Skiing

Hit the slopes for a fabulous family holiday

Johanna Griggs and Sorrel Wilby told us that a family skiing holiday is the best holiday they've had. With the combination of excellent facilities, fresh mountain air and all that exercise, it's perfect for parents and children of all ages.

Here is Holidays with Kids' rundown on Australian ski resorts, to help you choose the one that's right for you.

NEW SOUTH WALES


Selwyn Snowfields
Fun in the snow is what it's all about at Selwyn Snowfields, whether you want to watch your kids play in the snow, watch them have their first lesson or take to the slopes yourself.

There are runs for all skiers and snowboarders from beginners to advanced, with 12 lifts keeping skiers moving. You can also try tobogganing, snowtubing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

There is a good range of ski school programs, with Snow World Mini Mites conducting half and full day programs for kids from 18 months to three years, Mighty Mites for ages two to six, and Snow Stars for ages six to fourteen. Kids under six ski free!

There is no accommodation on-site at Selwyn Snowfields, but call the Selwyn Snowfields Booking Centre (1800 641 064) and choose from a variety of motels, lodges, self-contained houses and farmstays in the area, ranging from the three-star Talbingo Mountain Retreat to the four-and-a-half-star Yaraandoo Lodge at Adaminaby.

You can hire everything you need including ski clothes, skis and snowboards at the Ski and Clothing Hire Centre, next to the main car park at Selwyn Snowfields.  This is an ideal spot for a value-packed holiday.

Selwyn Snowfields
tel:
02 6454 9488
website: www.selwynsnow.com.au
e-mail: snowinfo@selwynsnow.com.au

Thredbo Skiing Thredbo with kids is so easy, especially if you stay somewhere like The River Inn in Woodridge, which is about 20 metres' walk from Thredboland, the kids' ski school for three to six year olds, and Friday Flat, the purpose-built beginners' ski area.

The Workshop is the ski school for kids aged seven to 14, or there are snowboard lessons. For youngsters or non-skiers, the Thredbo Child Care Centre is located across the road at the Thredbo Leisure Centre, which also houses two indoor heated swimming pools.

Friday Flat makes it easy to learn for kids and parents, and once you've mastered the first stages, you can jump on the Gunbarrel Express chairlift and really explore the mountain.

Thredbo has trails for everyone, with the country's longest runs - Karel's T-Bar to Friday Flat is 5.9 kilometres long. Intermediates love Meritts while advanced skiers have plenty of black runs to tackle.

If your kids are older and are capable skiers, consider staying in Thredbo Village, where you'll find the biggest choice of accommodation, as well as dining and shopping, and more intermediate and advanced runs.

Thredbo also has an excellent range of activities in summer, with plenty to keep kids occupied.

Thredbo
Click here to find out more about Thredbo, or here to find out about accommodation
tel:
 02 6459 4100
website: www.thredbo.com.au
e-mail: info@thredbo.com.au


Perisher
Perisher is the largest ski resort in Australia, and attracts more visitors than any other ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere.

With four ski areas - Perisher, Smiggin Holes, Guthega and Blue Cow - there is so much terrain to explore. Perisher has more lifts (53) than any other resort and also has the first eight-seat high-speed chairlift in the Southern Hemisphere.

There are two ski programs for kids at Perisher - the Junior Ski Kids for three to six year olds, and the Explorers Kids Club for kids from six to fourteen. For babies and toddlers from six weeks to three years, there is an excellent Creche/Day Care Centre.

There is plenty of accommodation for families at Perisher allowing you to take a tired child back to your apartment for a nap, without having to travel anywhere. You can also stay on snow at Smiggins, or, if you don't mind the 30-minute journey to and fro, stay in Jindabyne, which has over one hundred fully self-contained properties ranging from studio apartments to large homes with up to six bedrooms.

Perisher
tel:1300 655 811
website: www.perisher.com.au



Charlotte Pass
Charlotte Pass Village is the highest ski resort in Australia. Even getting there is an adventure, with the only access by Snow Cat (oversnow vehicle) from Perisher Valley.

Because Charlotte Pass is small - it holds a maximum of 607 guests - it's much more intimate and there are fewer crowds. There are only four lifts, including one triple chairlift, one T-Bar and two pomas, as well as a portable rope tow.

Accommodation is in the historic Kosciusko Chalet, which has an excellent licensed restaurant, a free childminding service, special children's menu, several cosy lounges, two bars and a resident masseuse! There are also 12 club lodges, but no matter where you stay, you can ski right from the front door to the ski lifts.

A few days in the ski school will see everyone up and skiing on the gentle beginners' slopes, moving up the intermediate runs and there are advanced runs for those who already know what they're doing!

You can hire skis and snowboards, but if you need ski clothes, make sure you pick some up in Jindabyne or Perisher before you head up.
The Chalet will be open during the Christmas school holidays, with bushwalking an excellent family activity.

Charlotte Pass/Kosciusko Chalet
tel:02 6457 5245
website:www.charlottepass.com.au
e-mail: chalet@charlotte.snowy.net.au

VICTORIA

Mt Buller

Just three hours from Melbourne, Mt Buller is the most accessible major snow resort in Australia - just perfect for families.

Mt Buller village is charming with an excellent range of over 7,000 on-mountain beds in a host of ski-in, ski-out lodges, hotels and clubs.

There's plenty for kids to do. The Tram Stop Snowplay Park is the place to go for snowtubing and snowman building and there are two designated toboggan areas.

The Channel Seven Children's Snowsports School has a range of programs for kids of all ages and abilities. Even children aged two can experience skiing, with one-hour one-on-one private lessons. Kids three to five enjoy the full-day Bunyips program, while four and five year olds love the Jumbucks and six to 14 year olds blast off with Buller Kids.

As Mt Buller is open year round, it's also an excellent place for a summer holiday. Go for a hike down one of the many walking trails, try rock climbing, recreational and mountain bike riding, or four wheel driving. As the sun fades, grab your jackets and picnic hamper and head to the Summit to enjoy the sunset from the top of Mt Buller.

Mt Buller
tel:
1800 039 049
website: www.mtbuller.com.au

Falls Creek

Falls Creek has one of the best children's ski centres in Australia - the Snowsport School catering for kids three to 14.

Located on the mountain next to Cloud Nine restaurant, it's tailor-made to ensure kids have a great time with a purpose-built beginner area outside, and modern facilities to keep them entertained inside.

Kids three to six join the Milo Snowclub 4 Kids, while older kids, six to 14, go for the Milo Junior Workshops, with their professional instructors helping them improve at a rate of knots.
All the kids benefit from the Milo Wonder Carpets at Falls Creek. The carpets transport the kids up the slopes with ease, so they spend more time actually learning to ski.

Falls Creek Village is very European in style, and is the only true ski-in, ski-out resort in Australia. It has over 4,500 beds, with plenty of excellent accommodation options for families, as well as dining and shopping. There are 14 lifts with over 92 ski runs catering for all levels. Beginners love Wombat Ramble, the longest beginner run in Australia, while advanced skiers can tackle Wishing Well or the Summit Run.

Falls Creek
tel:
1800 45 35 25
website: www.fallscreek.com.au

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