Snow always makes me happy. Whenever I am sad, I think of snow 🙂 . As part of my yearly routine in Australia, I always go to the snow at least once a year. First year, I visited Mount Buller in Victoria and from the past few years, it has been Mount Perisher in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales (NSW).
For fun big things to see on the way, read 11 big things to see in NSW.
PIN for later reference
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About Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains is the highest mountain range in Australia. It contains Australia’s tallest mountain Mount Kosciuszko, which stands at a height of 2228 metres. They are part of Australian Alps and Great Diving Range.
The Snowy Mountains is a collection of four villages:
- Perisher Valley.
- Smiggin Holes.
- Blue Cow.
The Snowy Mountains are the best place to see snow during winter. And the best time to visit is between the months of June and August. Be prepared for temperatures as low as -5 degrees centigrade during the winter season.
Jindabyne, Thredbo and Perisher villages
Jindabyne is a village near the Snowy Mountains and it overlooks the Lake Jindabyne. Jindabyne is generally the accommodation base for Thredbo and Perisher villages. It is cheaper to stay at Jindabyne as compared to Thredbo during the skiing season.
Jindabyne does not usually get snow.
The distance between Jindabyne and Sydney Central Business District (CBD) is about 460 kilometres. By car, the drive takes around 5 hours 30 minutes.
- The road has toll roads.
Thredbo and Perisher are alpine villages and have ski resorts. They are both in the Kosciuszko National Park. Thredbo has more accommodation options when compared to Perisher.
Thredbo is just 36 kilometres from Jindabyne. It is mandatory for 2 wheel drives to carry chains during the ski season (between the months of June and October).
- All the vehicles have to purchase Kosciuszko National Park pass. They can be purchased at the entrance of the park.
Perisher is another alpine ski resort in the Perisher Valley. The Perisher Valley is the most famous among the two villages. It has plenty of cafes and a supermarket. Perisher ski resort is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Perisher Valley is around 33 kilometres from Jindabyne.
About Mount Perisher
Mount Perisher is located in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia. Perisher Valley is a valley below the Mount Perisher.
There are free shuttles within the villages of Thredbo and Perisher. One can take their skiing/ snowboarding gears and travel between the places easily.
- Note: There is no easy way to get from Thredbo to Perisher and back. The best option is to drive.
Skiing and Snow boarding
Perisher is better for skiing as it has more number of ski runs and better skiable terrain. But Thredbo is much better for beginners who wish to learn skiing and snow boarding.
- One requires lift passes for skiing and snow boarding and can be purchased online.
I took multiple skiing lessons as part of my day travels and weekend travel packages. In spite of taking these lessons, I am still a beginner as I found it extremely hard to balance.
Day trips (bus tours) to the snow
I have taken many one day bus tours to the Snowy Mountains. In case of the trips to the mountains, usually they are to Perisher leaving from Haymarket in Sydney. All tour agencies follow the below itinerary:
- The trip starts on a Friday night at around 11:45 PM.
- On the way, there is a stop over to hire skiing gear.
- Reach Perisher
Some of the tour agencies I have traveled with are:
Weekend packages with skiing lessons
I have been on weekend packages two times. The first time was with Oz Snow Adventures and the second time was with Ski Kaos.
Oz Snow Adventures
My first trip was with Oz Snow Adventures. The agency was pretty good as we had got a big bus and the entire trip was organised very well. The trip costed us AUD 500 per person. We stayed in Jindabyne for 2 nights and our commute was between Jindabyne and Perisher.
Ski Kaos – No for sure!
Ski Kaos is a Sydney based tour agency. My friends and I did not have a great time with them. The bus that picked us up from Central train station was very small for the number of people they had and the amount of money they had collected from each one of us. We were asked to sit in the small bus with our small backpacks, ski boots, ski jackets and pants. It was difficult to even sit. We had to keep all the stuff on top of our laps.
When we reached the resort, our skiing equipment had fallen somewhere and we didn’t get them till next day. We had to go to the location they said and had to pick them up. On Sunday morning, they asked us to get our luggage and the skies and we were not picked up at our resort. The driver was rude and did not help us load the luggage into the trailer. He was panicking throughout and did not know how to give us instructions properly. He also drove in the snow without putting on the chains and had blocked the traffic for 15 minutes. Even during our booking process, there was absolutely no guidance in whatsoever except for few messages. The messages were not same as that of the itinerary which caused confusion.
As part of this trip, we stayed at River Inn in Thredbo and for this entire trip for 2 days with skiing lessons, it cost us AUD 850 per person. We had paid extra for the gear hire.
Visiting the villages during summer
- Thredbo – Even though the ski resorts are closed during summer season, there are still plenty of things to do in Thredbo during summer. One of the top things is to hike to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko.
- Jindabyne – The Lake Jindabyne is an extremely beautiful place to visit during the summer season.
- The Kosciuszko national park is also home to many small huts that have cultural and heritage significance. One of the popular things to do during the summer is to hike between the huts.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
Absolutely yes! I have been to the Snowy Mountains many times and most of the times it has been solo. I have never had any issues whatsoever. I definitely recommend the Snowy Mountains as a solo traveler’s destination.
I loved visiting the Snowy Mountains during the winters and seeing the mountains covered in snow. I would say for sure that being in the snow and playing with the snow is surely a very happy feeling.