Where to eat, play and stay, plus what to do in NSW’s hottest skiing destination.
It’s Australia’s answer to the super-resorts of North America and Europe – and it’s over twice the size of our next biggest resort, Thredbo. An amalgamation of four ski villages and located in the Snowy Mountains, Perisher has 1245 hectares of skiable terrain and is even serviced by an underground alpine railway, the Skitube. A resort with seven peaks offers skiers endless options – you could probably ski for an entire weekend without doing the same run twice. Perisher is located around 480 kilometres south-west of Sydney and the closest airport is Canberra, with the car journey around two and a half hours.
Where to stay
While Perisher doesn’t have the village facilities of nearby Thredbo, it’s possible to stay on-snow in style.
At Kooloora Lodge, interiors have had the kind of facelift it's often difficult to find in Perisher, along with a great location (just 800 metres from the lifts) and breakfast included in the room rate. There's also a cosy communal fireplace to unwind after a day's fun on the slopes.
For a more traditional - yet no less contemporary - style cabin, Eiget Chalet is one of the sleekest accommodation options on the slopes, with refined interiors, a cosy fireplace, modern on-site restaurant that's perfect for apres, as well as a hot tub and sauna for the ultimate in evening relaxation.
A quick guide to the snowfields
Perisher operates 47 lifts across four villages and seven peaks and if you can’t find terrain to your liking among all of this, then it’s unlikely you’ll find anything to your taste anywhere in the Antipodes. This is the best resort in Australia for beginners – 22 per cent of its slopes are wide-open, gentle and perfect for first-timers, while a further 60 per cent is designated intermediate terrain. But there are thrills and spills here for daredevils, too, with challenging backcountry to test your mettle, Australia’s biggest half-pipe and more terrain parks than any other Australian resort (there’s five here, with one available under lights two nights a week).
Best bars for après
Most visitors to Perisher stay in Jindabyne, a 30-minute drive down the mountain. However, for those who choose to stay on the mountain, Perisher offers a village-lost-in-the-mountains atmosphere (all but those with on-mountain accommodation leave by dark). There’s no shortage of dining choices up here, with one of the best options being The Man From Snowy River (Kosciuszko Road). Start with cocktails by the open stone fireplace, then take your time over a three-course set menu overlooking Perisher’s Front Valley. Eiget Chalet White Spider Restaurant and Bar is a suprisingly sophisticated option for the mountain; truffle-infused pecorino has previously adorned juicy piles of beef carpaccio and slow roast pork is made more indulgent by a black pudding crumble.
This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.