7 July 2011

Good holiday destination: Thredbo or Perisher?

| Hazel
Join the conversation

Hi! I am a newcomer in Canberra. We would really like to go see the snow this month.

What would be the best place to go? I heard about Thredbo and Perisher. We are not looking to ski but just to have some fun family time, playing in the snow.

Is the trip advisable by car with normal tyres or would we be better off taking the coach?

Would be grateful to get some recommendations on some good affordable accomodation. Thanks!

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Oh yeah, definitely stop at Brumbies!

And definitely go to Thredbo, there’s a whole village there that really feels like you’re properly at the snow, plenty of stuff to do for people that aren’t skiing. Car access most of the year but you will need to carry chains. Driving in the snow really isn’t that hard anyway.

Dont go to Perisher if you’re not skiiing, the whole place is set up for skiiing families, and not a great deal else.

luther_bendross8:13 am 08 Jul 11

Clown Killer said :

Shameless plug: If you’re up that way, dont go past the Wild Brumby Distillery on the Alpine Way. Excellent locally produced schnapps, eaux de vie and vodka. The cafe is good too if you like Austrian fare.

+1 for Wild Brumby. I get their Devil’s Tongue Liqueur every time. It goes perfectly with um…. who cares, it’s awesome!

Clown Killer4:42 pm 07 Jul 11

Selwyn is the cheapest of the options (other than just going up into the hills for some snow-play). If the weather closes in you’ll need chains (I second the advice about avoiding the sour twat at BP in Adaminaby).

As far as Perisher and Thredbo go, if you’re not intending to ski then Thredbo is the choice. The village is nice and compact and it gives you a range of options in terms of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. You can also go up the Kosciuszko Express chairlift without ski’s and there’s a passable (albeit not budget priced) cafe at the top – on a clear day the views are pretty good. Also, you’re unlikely to have to fit chains on the road up to Thredbo (unless it’s really well and truly dumping snow) as the Alpine Way is lower and more sheltered than Kosciuszko Road.

Shameless plug: If you’re up that way, dont go past the Wild Brumby Distillery on the Alpine Way. Excellent locally produced schnapps, eaux de vie and vodka. The cafe is good too if you like Austrian fare.

If you’re not skiing, I’d stay near Jindabayne, hire some snow boots and a tobogan and then drive to wherever there is enough snow (and a good slope) for snow play. Personally – and I don’t ski – I hated the snowfields, especially with kids. Very crowded and uninviting. And apart from the ski lifts, all there is is a canteen with overpriced crap food.

We stayed at Bimblebumbie a few years ago. Fabulous place, somewhere in between Thredbo and Perisher (google it). Not cheap, but doable if you’re with a group and it’s charming and comfortable. The owners are followed around by a friendly pack of dogs and they’ll make you cups of tea for free and dinner (not for free) if you book.

Have a look at Wotif or similar for accommodation too. There’s heaps of nice and not so nice holiday houses for rent in that area too.

That’s a shame, it used to be the toboggan lift, and from memory, it might even have been free. But they didn’t have tubing then.

I’m pretty sure there’s no toboggan lift, you’ve got to walk back up. You might be thinking about the tube lift…

Go Selwyn, you won’t get fleeced, it’s laid-back and user-friendly for snow play. They have a toboggan lift too, very unusual, most resorts hate toboggans. If the weather’s good, take the scenic route through Namadgi, see something different. And maybe hire your chains from somewhere local and you can practise putting them on (you probably won’t need them though).

luther_bendross11:36 am 07 Jul 11

As everyone else is really saying, they’re all different.

Selwyn is good if you’ve got kids, hate crowds and are just looking for a cruisy day in the snow. Plus you can usually pull up short of the turnoff and plow down the hills on a toboggan and you won’t be alone.

Thredbo is very villagey, second in Australia (IMO) to Dinner Plain near Hotham. Got some nice technical runs and good for apres action.

Perishers is the best for pure volumes of skiable snow. Smiggins + Blue Cow + Guthega + Perisher = Perisher Blue. Gets crowded in Front Valley, but if plan your day you can avoid it until 4:30pm when you need to get home again. It’s my favourite because there’s just so many options.

My advice though, based solely on the last sentence in your second paragraph is Selwyn.

I’d say Selwyn, or Thredbo as it’s more of a village and you have more option if you tire of the snow or the weather closes in. Perisher is more of a dedicated ski resort and not so much to do if you’re not on the slope.

As for getting there, coach is fine and takes the driving stress out of the day, but you’ve got to be up hellishly early. Otherwise hire chains, and PUT THEM ON BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HIRE CARPARK to make sure they fit correctly and are not broken. Heaps of people take 2wds, but if the snow is significant you’ll be turned back if you don’t have chains. Even sensible 4wds carry chains.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to drive up at a little more civilised time but don’t won’t to negotiate snow, do as andym suggests, park at the Skitube which is generally clear and catch the train to Perisher. You get the best of both worlds then: you drive at your own time, but don’t have to deal with crowded carparks and long queues at park entry. But you only have that option if you want to go to Perisher.

That’s if you want to do a daytrip. If you want to spend a few days, stay in Jindabyne where accommodation is cheaper and there’s heaps more to do, and drive to whichever resort takes your fancy. They both take about 30-40 mins from Jindabyne.

Be aware that you will have to pay a park entry fee if you want to drive to the resorts.

If you don’t want to ski you could save money by taking the snowy Mountain Highway towards Mt Selwyn and drive until you hit snow. Last week before the big falls we’ve just had there was plenty before you have to pay to go into the national park.

Big tip, do not hire chains from the A hole at the Adaminaby BP.

Gungahlin Al10:29 am 07 Jul 11

This weekend should be brilliant for snowplay at Selwyn. It can be dodgy sometime, but they’ve had a metre of snow this week. WEith a 2WD you’ll need to hire chains at Adaminaby, but not likely you’ll need them. Take a good mat though in case you do have to fit them so you can crawl around without getting wet. 4WD no chains needed.

Uncontrolled areas for play just one step from the car park. Two weeks ago there was a big group of 20-odd just sitting around in chairs having a picnic.

Their gear hire is affordable too. Good snow gear is important – especially boots. If kids get wet feet and hands they’ll go blue and your day will be miserable.

Drive to Cooma. Turn right not far out the other side of town.

Thredbo township is down low, so often there’s little snow unless you pay for a lift up top.

Perisher is OK to play around the resort, but can be crowded – tobogganing can be dangerous then.

Well if you just want to play in snow you can just drive up Corin Road, off Tidbinbilla Rd at the moment. Thats the cheapest option.

Staying at Thredbo at this time of year will cost you big time, but for non skiers would offer the best facilities. If you wait until around September it will be cheaper, but you may miss the best snow or sometimes thats the best time – very variable.

Another options is to do day trip or stay in Jindabyne and get the train up to Perisher / blue cow.

And lastly you can go to Selwyn. Good day facilities, tobagganing etc and cheaper then Thredbo and Perisher, but no accommodation.

Going to Perisher or Thredbo you will need to carry chains at this time of year.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.