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Image credit: Thredbo Village and ski resort

Thredbo with teens

Two mums and their sons head to the snow for some family bonding time, writes Hilary Doling.

It is a week away from the rest of the family, two mums and their sons heading for the snow for a little mother-son bonding time and a lot of skiing. We’ve stocked the freezers for those staying behind, left instructions (“don’t forget to feed the dog…”) and we’re off.

The journey down to Thredbo from Sydney goes surprisingly quickly. We start early and with two of us to share driving and conversation the kilometres fly by.

“Do you know you two have talked for six hours straight?” says my son from the back seat. The boys by contrast have talked a little, snacked a lot and then retreated behind their headphones, occasionally swapping screens as they update their statuses on Facebook: “Heading for Thredbo #sick.”

Our favourite stop on the way is the famous Bredbo pie shop, which all keen skiers seem to know, although we are also fans of the pancake house next door.

Village life
By late afternoon we are in Thredbo village heading along Friday Drive past the pretty village green with two hardy ducks swimming on the chilly water of the pond. We booked before deciding to travel together so we are in two separate apartments, although Thredbo has plenty of offerings for groups of friends or extended family. When they are not snowboarding the boys chill out in front of the TV, in their respective homes away from home. Just as well really because that’s the only “quality time” we get. The sun is out, the snow beckons, so all day they are off around the mountain.

Tired from days racing around the slopes the boys can only muster the energy to go out to eat on a couple of occasions despite the great choices in Thredbo Village. My son likes like T-Bar Restaurant and the Brazilian barbecue at Sante Churrasco and I am fond of the coffees at Central Road 2625. For the nights we don’t venture out, the local supermarket has everything we need for apartment cooking so we actually enjoy staying in.

Picking up our rented skis and boards the next morning goes smoothly. Mercifully Thredbo has an efficient system of ski school enrolment and gear collection which even teenage boys super-keen to get on the slopes (“come on Mum!”) can’t complain about.

Cool Tip
Avalanche Cafe at the base of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift is a great place for alfresco hot chocolates to warm up chilled children.

Image credit: Thredbo Village and ski resort

Thredboland forever
I have happy memories of Thredbo; when my son was small he found his ski legs here. A kamikaze by nature, he loved a particularly vigorous set of bumps on the beginners’ slope over which he used to gather speed until he ended with a splat, sprawled spread-eagled in the snow. Luckily he didn’t have time to hurt himself since the Thredbo instructors kept him happy with games and treasure hunts while he learnt to stay upright.

Thredboland still gets my vote for one of the best kids’ ski schools in Australia. It is innovative and fun with a great level of teaching. Children aged three to six years even have their very own kids-only area, where they meet, have lunch and chill out during the day. Special fun events are organised throughout the week such as a kids-only flare run down Friday Flat (fibre-optic flares, no flames – relax mum) and a Thredbo World Cup Race Day. Wombat World is a special terrain and teaching area and kids love taking the little Freddy Express train ride from Thredboland to Wombat World.

For older kids aged seven to 14 years, there is the Thredbo Freeriders program. The Jump ‘n’ Jam Friday in the terrain park is a big hit with the early teens. My son and his friend join a group lesson to improve their snowboarding.

One day I meet the ski guides at the top of the main chairlift and get shown the mountain; on another I splash out on a private ski lesson. At $160 an hour it isn’t cheap but even parents who have been coming to the snow for years will find they are skiing at the next level after a little one-on-one encouragement.

It turns out the trip has quite a lot of mum-to-mum bonding, too. We ski the mountain together and sip champagne around the outdoor fire at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel.

“Where ARE you?” come the text messages from our sons. Nice to have the tables turned occasionally.

Thredbo Report Card


www.thredbo.com.au


Getting there
From Sydney, most people drive (around 5.5 hours). You can fly Virgin Blue or Qantas to Canberra and get a shuttle to the snow which takes around 2.5 hours.


Stay
Thredbo has a range of accommodation and ski-and-stay packages which can be booked through the main Thredbo website.


Just for kids
Child care is available from six months. Thredboland runs from 9am to 4pm, drop-off from 8.30am, pick-up from 3.45pm. Kids from three years can learn to ski or snowboard thanks to the new Burton Riglet Park snowboard programme. This season the new Torah Bright beginners’ pack will be available, including a lift pass, lesson and the option for equipment.


Mountain lowdown

Stats: Beginner 16%, Intermediate 67%, Advanced 17%

Lifts: 14

Terrain parks: Four

Image credit: Thredbo Village and ski resort



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