Skier in Smiggins Hole, Perisher
Dashing through the snow, on a husky-led open sleigh… what better way to enjoy your mid-year break?
Who's ready to escape the heat this June to August? Forget Instagram stories of friends holidaying on the beach. While the sun beats down on us in the middle of the year, it's snow time down south. That means plenty for skiing, sledding and snowball fights in Australia.
Zoom Down Powdery White Slopes
Always dreamt of playing in the snow? Good news, first-time skiers and snowboarders! Mount Buller offers three terrain parks for different skill levels so you can hit the slopes without worrying about rough tumbles. Winter sports enthusiasts can head to steeper slopes or try cross-country skiing for a great workout, spectacular views and a thrilling time. Ever heard of skiing under the stars? Every Wednesday and Saturday from mid-July to September, you can ski down a well-lit trail just as the sun dips, from 7–10pm, and feel like you’re soaring through the night sky.
Just a three-hour drive from Melbourne, Mount Buller has plenty of accommodation ranging from hotels to lodge-style residences. Take your pick based on the number of people travelling with you.
Alternatively, test out your snow legs at Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains, which offers four terrain parks, ranging from gentle slopes for beginners to drops and obstacles for seasoned skiers and adrenalin junkies. The alpine resort, a three-hour drive from Canberra or six-hour drive from Sydney, also lets you ski by night. Pop back to the resort and refuel before taking off into the twilight on Saturdays.
For a full-fledged wintery experience, Perisher Valley (commonly called Perisher) is the place to be. With temperatures dipping to as low as -5 degrees during peak ski-season (July to September), Australia’s largest alpine resort is perfect for those who want to zip down a ski run surrounded by thick sheets of snow. Also set in the Snowy Mountains, it’s about a three-hour drive from Canberra or six-hour drive from Sydney. The resort provides box and rail features for novices learning the basics of skiing and snowboarding. Among Perisher’s accommodation options are townhouses with views of the Snowy Mountains and chalets located footsteps away from a shopping centre.
Thrill seekers who prefer to get in on some heart-racing winter action should visit Mount Hotham, home to one of Australia’s highest alpine villages. Around a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne, this resort offers one of the highest ski slopes with majestic views of its surroundings. With more than 7,000 beds across Hotham and Dinner Plain, it offers a range of apartments, chalets, lodges and motels within the resort.
Loop Around Snowfields
Falls Creek, Victorias High Country
Looking to get whisked away into a winter wonderland? Hop on a husky-led dog sled around Mount Buller’s snowfields or speed down powdery slopes on a toboggan or rubber tube. All you need to do is sit and hold tight! Families visiting Hotham will not be disappointed either. Located near its snow play area is a toboggan slope that is suitable for kids of all ages. For more speed and spirit, join a pack of huskies on a Howling Husky Sled Dog Tour.
Don’t let your snowy adventure end there. Take off for Falls Creek, Victoria’s largest alpine resort, which is a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne. Family members can get competitive over a game of snow bocce (a ball game similar to lawn bowling), go on snowmobile tours or enjoy tobogganing down two slopes for free. Or spin, bounce and whizz your way downhill on a snow tube in Falls Creek’s Snow Tubing park.
Take to the skies on an exhilarating helicopter ride and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the white plains between Mount Hotham and Falls Creek. These two resorts are just six minutes apart via a scenic helicopter ride so you can enjoy the best of two snowfields in one day!
Do You Want to Build A Snowman?
Thredbo, Snowy Mountains
Love to play in snow? Then Hotham’s snow play area and the Thredbo Snow Play Park will be a dream come true. Covered in thick sheets of soft, white snow, it’s the ideal place to hold a snowman-building contest or form snow angels alongside family members and friends.
Hotham’s snow play area can be accessed free of charge and is in a sheltered location at Possum Flat. Meanwhile, the Thredbo Snow Play Park is located at the base station area of the Thredbo village. Remember to bundle up in waterproof jackets to keep warm when visiting these play parks!
If you have time to spare, take a helicopter flight out from Mount Hotham to Falls Creek where you can say hello to Falls Creek’s fun-loving snow mascot, Pete the Snow Dragon, which is known to pop up at snow clubs and parks around the resort during the winter season, too!
More Winter Ideas
Discover Australia In Winter
These months fall in the dry season in our tropical north. You can ski and snowboard down Victoria’s powdered slopes or snorkel and dive the balmy waters of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. Four wheel drive South Australia’s Simpson Desert or head to the Blue Mountains for Christmas festivities.
Challenge yourself in the mountainous Australian Alps in south-eastern Australia. Climb Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's tallest peak, in the Snowy Mountains. In Victoria's High Country, hit the snow slopes or visit gold-rush towns on the Great Alpine Way. Bushwalk and mountain bike in Namadgi National Park, near Canberra, or walk the alps end-to-end on the epic Australian Alps Walking Track.
Blue Mountains Yulefest
In the Blue Mountains you don't have to wait until December for Christmas cheer. Every year from June to August, thousands of people flock here for Yulefest - roaring fires, roast dinners, sing-alongs and the occasional snowfall. Enjoy a sumptuous Christmas feast at the grand old Katoomba guesthouse where Yulefest began. Sing carols around the piano in Leura, meet Santa in front of a roaring fire in Mount Victoria or have a romantic candlelit dinner in Blackheath.
Tasmania’s Winter Secrets
The air may be crisp, but in Tasmania, winter definitely doesn't put a freeze on activities. Celebrate the solstice in Hobart or ski in Ben Lomond National Park. Trek the snow-coated highlands of Cradle Mountain or snuggle fireside in a lodge in Wineglass Bay. Whatever you do, don't miss this special window on Tasmania's rugged natural beauty.
North Queensland's Winter Sun
Want to make your friends jealous this winter? Tell them you're going to North Queensland, and casually mention the balmy weather, palm trees and swimmable seas. Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef, set sail in the Whitsundays and trek back in time in the primeval Daintree Rainforest. Drive the Savannah Way to the remote Gulf Savannah. This tropical paradise is truly at its best from June to September, when the temperature averages 25 degrees Celsius and the turquoise waters are stinger free.