Travel Time: Drive – 2½ hrs from Canberra, 6 hrs from Sydney, 7 hrs from Melbourne. Rex Airlines flight – 2 hrs from Sydney. For all other destinations, fly to Canberra then drive – 1 hr from Melbourne, 2 hrs from Adelaide, 4½ hrs from Perth.
Weather: Mountain weather can be somewhat unpredictable and change quickly at any time of the year. During winter, temperatures can fall suddenly to well below zero, and during summer snow can still fall on the peaks and even the lower slopes. Summer temperatures reach as high as the mid-thirties around the Snowy Mountain towns, but at night can on occasion reach below zero. Whichever season, be sure to carry waterproof clothing and layers, and to always check the weather forecast right before setting out for the day.
Currency: AUD (Australian dollar)
Major destinations: Perisher, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Selwyn Snowfields, Kosciuszko National Park & Mount Kosciuszko
Holiday types: Snow & ski, nature, active adventure for all ages
Despite our reputation for sun and surf, Australia is also a terrific winter destination. Did you know that all the snowy parts of Australia are bigger in surface area than in Switzerland?
For all manner of ski and snow related fun, families need look no further than the Snowy Mountains. All located in the charming Kosciuszko National Park are four of Australia’s best ski resorts – Perisher, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snowfields. The biggest alpine resort in the Southern Hemisphere, Perisher has everything from adrenaline-pumping black runs to first-timer’s green slope lessons, which begin at three years. Thredbo is one of Australia’s best for families, with terrific ‘kids ski free’ packages throughout the snow season. Both resorts are home to a plethora of après-ski entertainment – from snow play parks and indoor leisure centres, to vibrant alpine villages and ‘Christmas in July’. Nearby Charlotte Pass, only accessible in winter by over-snow transport from Perisher, has the best snow coverage of the region, with tours, flare runs and all-day ski programs for kids. The northern Selwyn Snowfields are a great introductory ski spot for families, with tubing, tobogganing, snow awareness programs from 18 months and kids learn to ski programs from three years. During the warmer months Mount Kosciuszko National Park is just as busy, attracting hikers keen to tackle Australia’s highest peak. The kids will love mountain biking, tobogganing and obstacle courses.