The Best Affordable AU Ski Holidays
By Emily Kennedy
To help you get the most snow for your dough, we've asked Richard Tribe of Ski.com.au for his top picks for affordable ski vacations in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, and we just had to include the scenic and ski-tastic Tasmania.
Selwyn – the most affordable in NSW
Nestled in the Kosciuszko National Park, Selwyns Snowfields has long been a favourite of kids who love the Snowtube & Toboggan Park; and adults who love the two terrain parks, and the prices. "Selwyn Snowfields always wins the most affordable ski destination for NSW," says Richard. "Selwyn has been targeting families on a budget and first time skiers for many years and offers the best value ski tickets in Australia." New for 2012 is Shorty's Adventure Park designed especially for young riders. Check out Adaminaby accommodation
for great affordable vacation rentals close to the action.
Thredbo – Not just a winter playground for celebrities...
Although perhaps best known as a celebrity sightings hot-spot, Thredbo, in NSW, has its own stars like its long wide runs, smooth groomed trails and a variety of terrain parks. It's also home to the highest lifted point, a cool village atmosphere, and great on-snow facilities for kids. Those who are prepared to trade modern suites for mountain lodges will find economic options for accommodation in Jindabyne
. Or check out Thredbo accommodation
Mt Baw Baw – For the "family-on-a-budget"
"In Victoria, Mount Baw Baw is the family-on-a-budget destination of choice," says Richard. Mt Baw Baw is just a 2.5-hour drive east of Melbourne and although not a huge resort, passes and accommodation are more affordable than some larger resorts. With 35 hectares of groomed runs, seven ski lifts, three snowplay areas, 10kms of groomed x-country ski trails and unlimited terrain around the snowgums, the snowboarder, downhill and cross-country skiier in your group will certainly be kept happy. You'll also easily find accommodation in Melbourne
. There's no better ski field so close to the city!
Perisher – One of the big boys
|Mt Baw Baw's got some great groomed runs and economical lift prices.
You know you're playing with one of the big boys when a ski destination can boast figures like 7 mountain peaks, 47 lifts, 5 terrain parks, 70% fine weather in winter and over 1,245ha of skiable terrain. Not suprisingly, they're the biggest alpine resort in the Southern hemisphere. If you can't afford to ski every day, or you want to take a day off to explore the village, Perisher's got a fantastic night skiing deal for just $28 for adults on Tuesdays (all season) and Saturdays (July and August). Got kids? They'll love the free fireworks display every Thursday night through to September 6. Need accommodation? "My pick for Perisher is Aurora Ski Lodge or Guthega Alpine Hotel," says Richard, and it's just a half-hour drive (33km) from Perisher to Jindabyne, where you'll find some great accommodation deals.
Mt Buller – Something for everyone & affordable accommodation
Mt Buller's lifts give you access to over 300 hectares of terrain, with something to appeal to all levels. Runs range from wide beginner’s slopes to challenging black runs like Chamois and the back of Summit. Mt Buller has three terrain parks designed for all skill levels, a half pipe and an ultra cross course, with a dedicated snow grooming team to keep them in top shape all season. In terms of accommodation, it's often the economical choice to stay off-mountain says Richard: "At the base of Mt Buller is a sleepy hollow of a place called Sawmill Settlement where some very affordable holiday homes (baches) can be found." And being an easy 3-hour drive from Melbourne, you can check out accommodation in town too!
| Mt Buller's 300 hectares of terrain ensure something for everyone.
Tasmania – ski the steepest and the cheapest
ski resort is very family-friendly with a cafe and ski hire available. It is only a 70 minute very scenic drive from Launceston, (if you are driving, remember there is no fuel available on the mountain). Day lift pass for an adult is $55. Find accommodation in Launceston
, in Mt Field National Park, is a small club field and while the facilities are basic, the price for skiing is minimal and it is never crowded. Mount Mawson is located about one and half hours from Hobart city. Cross-country skiing is excellent, with beautiful high-level routes around tarns to huts. There are spectacular views over the south-west Tasmanian wilderness and one of the steepest runs in the country there. Remember that snow conditions do vary a great deal so check before you go. Find accommodation in Hobart
Order your free Tasmania Travel Guide