Down Under might not be your first choice of ski destination, but the Snowy Mountains of Australia provide some great skiing on their day. You won’t be getting huge vertical or bottomless powder, but you will get well-groomed pistes, stunning views and a laid-back, Australian welcome – making this an attractive destination for a summer ski.

New South Wales has the country’s largest resort (Perisher) and the ski area with the biggest vertical drop (Thredbo) and a great base for exploring in the form of the town of Jindabyne. The other resorts are located closer to Melbourne and across the Victoria border. These resorts are smaller, but the likes of Falls Creek, Mount Buller and Mount Hotham are home to good terrain parks, cruisey skiing through gum trees and relatively snowsure pistes.

Recent years have been kind in terms of natural snowfall, but in fallow years then you’ll be limited to slopes covered by snow machines. Lots has been invested in recent years on new guns, including on all-weather Snowfactory units, but the only truly reliable runs are those topped up by artificial snow.

Off the slopes, cross country skiing is a popular pastime, especially at Falls Creek which is home to a very good network of groomed trails in the forest. The après ski scene is lively as you would expect, especially at weekends but food and drink are expensive, so be prepared to fork out a little more than average.

Pros

Great terrain for learners and intermediates

Beautiful scenery and unique experience skiing past snowgums

Lots of sunshine, with good spring skiing and riding

Fun resorts, with good après and weekend party scene

Cons

Snow reliability is definitely an issue, especially early season

Limited vertical drop and lots of short runs

A long drive from either Melbourne or Sydney

Season is fairly short, focussing on June-September

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