1. Thredbo Alpine Village
For the eighth consecutive year, you selected Thredbo Alpine Village as the best of Australia’s ski resorts. Thredbo offers all the amenities of a modern ski resort -the resort’s six-kilometre run from top to bottom is the longest in Australia and is entirely serviced with snowmaking equipment, meaning there’ll be good snow throughout the season. While 67 per cent of the terrain is for intermediate skiers, beginners can enjoy trails like Friday Flats, which was specifically designed with new skiers and snowboarders in mind. All terrain skiers certainly won’t be bored, and can challenge themselves in the powder bowls and off-piste areas. The resort has the most vertical terrain in the country, at 672 metres, resulting in plenty of trails to explore. Hotels like the Thredbo Alpine Hotel and The Denman Hotel (both with rates starting at about $500 per night for a standard during peak season) offer luxury travellers amenities like in-house restaurants and spas. Thredbo is approximately five and a half hours driving from Sydney, although the drive can be shortened to just over an hour with the hour flight from Sydney to the Cooma – Snowy Mountains Airport.
2. Falls Creek Alpine Resort
Falls Creek Alpine Resort’s boutique hotels, on-mountain accommodation and snow making capacity make the resort a worthy inclusion in our Gold List. Snowmaking equipment ensures that ski-in, ski-out accessibility is available 70 days out of the season. In addition to skiing, the resort offers snow tubing, tobogganing and snowmobiles set up especially for kids. The QT Hotel Falls Creek was the winner of our award for Best Australian Ski Property, and provides travellers with luxurious rooms to return to after skiing some of the mountains 92 runs. Rates start from around $700 a night for a one-bedroom apartment, with a two night minimum stay in season. Falls Creek Alpine Resort is approximately five hours drive from Melbourne, but you can take a charter flight from Melbourne’s Lillydale, Essendon, and Moorabbin airports to Mount Hotham Airport – about an hours flight. From there, it is just over two hours driving to Falls Creek.
The Perisher Resort includes seven mountain peaks with four villages at which to stay, making it the most expansive ski resort in this category. The resort has 47 lifts, with 60 per cent of the terrain geared towards intermediate skiers. Night skiing is available and the resort takes advantage of snowmaking whenever possible to supplement the natural snowfall. Take advantage of the winter weather off the slopes with snow tubing, tobogganing, or Nordic skiing. Luxury travellers can find fine dining at The Man from Snowy River Hotel Dining Room or Snow Gums Restaurant, and pleasant accommodations at Perisher Valley Hotel, where rates start from $780 a night. Perisher Ski Resort is approximately a five and a half hour drive from Sydney, or just over an hour from Cooma – Snowy Mountains Airport.
4. Mount Buller
With 300 hectares of skiable terrain and 22 lifts (three of which are high-speed), Mount Buller is just over a three-hour drive from Melbourne. The mountain offers skiing and snowboarding like other resorts, but also has two toboggan parks that have their own designated snowmaking equipment. Guests can stay at ski-in ski-out hotels like the Hotel Pension Grimus or the Grand Mercure Chalet Mount Buller, which both made our Gold List for Best Australian Ski Property 2016. Rates at both start around $500 per night for a standard room.
5. Mount Hotham Alpine Ski Resort
Mount Hotham offers a good balance of intermediate and advanced trails, along with a smaller selection of beginner trails. This ensures that all types of skiers will be able to enjoy their time at Hotham. The luxurious Zirky’s (which also made the Gold List for Best Australian Ski Property) provides a comfortable respite from the cold of the slopes, with rates starting from $818 for two nights in a standard room. Mount Hotham is a five-hour drive from Melbourne, or a twenty-minute drive from Mount Hotham Airport.
6. Charlotte Pass Ski Resort
Though smaller than other resorts with only six lifts, Charlotte Pass Ski Resort balances luxury with family friendly options, like kid-specific programs at the mountain and at the resorts. Additionally, night skiing is available for avid skiers. The Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel, with its Chalet Restaurant and cosy cocktail bars, is a great choice of base for a luxury traveller to enjoy Charlotte Pass Resort without the bustle of larger resort towns. Rates start from $921 for two nights in a standard room, with a three-day adult lift ticket. Charlotte Pass is about a six-hour drive from Sydney, or an hour and a half drive from Cooma – Snowy Mountains Airport.
7. Dinner Plain Ski Resort
What this mountain lacks in trail count and difficult terrain, it makes up for by being a great choice for a family ski destination. Dinner Plain is only 10 kilometres from the larger Mount Hotham, and at an elevation of 1056 metres, this true ski town has everything from charming restaurants to a spa where skiers can refresh after long days on the slopes. The resort’s Snow Park offers more than just alpine skiing, with family friendly activities like snow tubing, dogsledding, and cross-country skiing. Accommodation options at Dinner Plain include the four-star Peppers Rundells Alpine Lodge where rates start from $450 per night for a queen room. Dinner Plain Ski Resort is just under a five-hour drive from Melbourne, or an eleven-minute drive from Mount Hotham Airport.
8. Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort
The 35 hectares of terrain at Mount Baw Baw are divided to accommodate all types of skiers. With 25 per cent beginner terrain and 64 per cent intermediate terrain, Baw Baw is a great destination for families with young skiers looking to learn on its slopes. The village is only 100 metres below the mountain peak, and offers fine dining options like the Village Central Restaurant. Halls Retreat apartment offers self-contained, private surroundings with rates starting from $335 per night. Mount Baw Baw is just a three-hour drive from Melbourne.