Which Snowy Mountains Weekend is Right For You?

Perisher, NSW

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The craggy peaks of the NSW Snowy Mountains, Australia’s highest range, are an all-season destination but they come into their own during winter. As the air chills, the Snowies are transformed into a vast blanket of impressive and varied ski fields, with quaint towns primed for visitors, from skiers to wellness-seekers. Whether you prefer to explore on skis or relax in a steaming-hot natural spring, there’s an adventure waiting for everyone in the Snowy Mountains.

Switch on: Where to find adventure in Kosciuszko National Park

Mount Kosciusko National Park, NSW

Image: Kosciuszko National Park covered in snow, pictured at dusk.

If you’re tempted to go off-piste, seek the expertise of someone who knows the area. Backcountry tours are only as good as your guides and veteran tour provider Snowy Mountains Backcountry ensures a combination of safety and extensive knowledge, as well as glimpses of the picturesque Guthega district in Kosciuszko’s upper reaches. Less confident (or novice) skiers can see the mountain with a half-day snowshoe tour, climbing to an elevation of 500 metres.

Don’t forget that due to COVID-19 requirements, visitors planning to hit the slopes this season will need to book lift passes separately from their accommodation – and well in advance. Both Perisher and Thredbo snowfields offer a range of lift pass options, including single or multi-day, depending on the length of your trip. 

Skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only ways to experience the slopes; snowkiting, a kind of kiteboarding-skiing hybrid, is an exhilarating way to see the Snowies. Beginners are welcome. In fact, the staff at K7 Adventures promise that anybody can tackle it with their expert help. 

Switch on: Where to eat, stay and play in Thredbo village

Want to maximise your time on the mountain? Thredbo’s The Denman Hotel is in the heart of the village, an easy five-minute stroll from the chairlifts that carry you straight to the top of the slopes. This chic and cosy lodge has everything you’ll need including an onsite storage facility for your skis, boards and boots.

Wild Brumby Distillery

Image: Wild Brumby Distillery, in the foothills of Crackenback.

After a busy day schussing around the resort, take a trip to the award-winning Wild Brumby Distillery, nestled in the foothills of Crackenback. Across its range of gin, schnapps and vodka, there are drops for every palate, with flavours spanning baked apple, elderflower and raspberry-spiked. 

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Switch off: ​Relax at Lake Crackenback Resort and Yarrangobilly Caves 

For those who’ve come to the mountains for rest and relaxation, Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa capitalises on the slower pace of a snow vacation. Guests can unwind with a hot chocolate by an open fireplace, indulge in spa treatments like a hot stone massage, take a guided Segway tour or make the most of the area’s pristine waters with a spot of fly fishing come spring (reopens from October).

Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool, Snowy Mountains

Image: Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool covered in snow.

Take a daytrip to Kosciuszko National Park's Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool, just over two hours drive north of the Thredbo and Perisher ski fields. No matter what the time of year, the water temperature remains at 27°C, perfect for soothing sore muscles. 

Switch off: With gourmet food and wine from the Snowy Mountains 

Few delicacies entice like the truffle: the fragrant fungus adding a sublime umami flavour to anything it’s sprinkled on. Truffles are rare because they are fiendishly hard to grow but Macenmist Black Truffles and Wines gives visitors a chance to find their own truffles at this Bredbo farm. Truffle season runs from June to September and guests can join a hunt, following the noses of resident truffle dogs, with the opportunity to sample the delicious Perigord truffle in this paddock to plate experience. 

You don’t need to ski to enjoy the apres-ski scene. At Courabyra Wines, a vineyard nestled in the foothills of the Snowies, the specialty is sparkling, especially the award-winning Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier. Sip a flute while enjoying a fireside Ploughman’s Lunch at the welcoming cellar door in Tumbarumba.   

Tip: On your way to or from the mountains make a pitstop at the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre in Cooma. Here you can learn all about the hydro-electric scheme, its incredible history and plans for the Scheme’s expansion with Snowy 2.0, which is underway. Check out the new immersive theatre, interactive displays for the kids and a coffee shop for refreshments before you hit the road again. 

Top image: The Perisher snowfields in the NSW Snowy Mountains.

Switch off on holidays with up to 15,000 bonus Qantas Points when you sign up for electricity and gas with Red Energy on a Qantas Red plan. Plus, you'll earn up to 2 points per $1 when you pay your bills on time.* Find out more here.

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* For residential customers in eligible areas of NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and the ACT who sign up to an electricity and/or gas Qantas Red Saver plan with Red Energy at a new residential supply address and are a Qantas Frequent Flyer member (a joining fee may apply). Customers will receive 10,000 bonus Points for electricity and/or 5000 bonus Points for gas when Red Energy becomes responsible for the supply of the customer’s electricity and/or gas. Customers will receive 2 Qantas Points per $1 when they pay the full amount on each bill by the due date. Red Energy may withdraw or change this offer at any time. Full T&Cs available at redenergy.com.au/terms. Basic Plan Information documents and Energy Fact Sheets for Red Energy’s Qantas plans are available at redenergy.com.au/bpid.

SEE ALSO: These Are the World’s Best Ski Resorts

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