Biggest Ski Resorts In Australia

Biggest Ski Resorts In Australia

Australia is known for its stunning natural beauty, and there's no better way to experience it than on the slopes.

The country has a variety of ski resorts that cater to every level of skier—from those who are just getting their first taste of winter sports to seasoned pros looking for a challenging mountain to conquer. In addition to this, Australia also has many snowboarding parks that are ideal for beginners and intermediates looking for an exciting way to spend time on the slopes.

Australia’s ski resorts are known for their variety and size. They range from small, family-owned resorts to large, internationally managed ski domains.

To help you find your perfect winter holiday destination in the land Down Under, we've put together a list of Australia's largest ski resorts by size.

Perisher - 3,076 Acres

Perisher is the largest ski resort in Australia and the entire Southern hemisphere. It covers about 3,076 acres of skiable terrain, situated on a 429-meter vertical (2034 to 1605 meters). It features some of the most beautiful sceneries in the country with its unique Eucalyptus tree-graced landscape.

Perisher consists of four interlinked snow resorts which include Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes, Guthega, and Perisher Valley. These constituent ski resorts were previously independent resorts. The resort features some of the best snow playgrounds in Australia with activities for all skier and snowboarder levels and abilities, as well as the entire family.

Perisher is located in New South Wales, in the Kosciuszko National Park. It is situated in Australia’s Snowy Mountains, about 5.5 hours from Sydney and 2.5 hours from Canberra.

The closest airport to the resort is Canberra International Airport with many connecting flights from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, as well as international destinations. You can take a connecting flight from Canberra to Snow Mountains but the most convenient and cheapest transfer method is by car or bus.

The resort can also be accessed by bus or car from Jindabyne, a lakeside town. To avoid the icy roads leading up to the resort, you can instead board the alpine ski tube railway from Lake Crackenback Resort.

Perisher’s large area makes it a go-to destination for both families and experienced snow lovers. Each of the constituent resorts offers its own brand of skiing and snowboarding. For example, Blue Cow’s terrain has great slopes for advanced and intermediate riders while Smiggin Holes is more popular with beginners.

After a fun day shredding powder, you can rest your weary legs in any of the fabulous on-mountain accommodations. For more variety, however, you can try out the accommodation options in Jindabyne Town.

For more information on perisher including more features and access, please view Brealpa’s Perisher Snow Resort Guide.

Thredbo - 1,186 Acres

Thredbo is a popular winter destination for many Australians. It has been continually voted as the best ski resort in Australia, clinching the World Ski Award for six years.

The ski resort features 1,186 acres of skiable terrain, situated on a 672-meter elevation, the highest vertical drop of all Australian ski resorts. In addition to its steep vertical, the resort is famed for its super trail, the 3.7-kilometer-long vertical run, which is the longest in Australia. The super trail is part of Thredbo’s “Big 5” which are the longest runs of all Australia’s ski resorts. Each of the trails is over three kilometers long and features varying levels of difficulty.

Like Perisher, Thredbo Ski Resort is located in Australia’s New South Wales and situated within the majestic Kosciuszko National Park, in Australia’s Snowy Mountains. The resort is to the south of Sydney, about a 6-hour drive away.

Canberra International Airport is the gateway airport to Thredbo. The airport is about a 2.5-hour drive to the southwest of the resort and features various flight options from local Australian cities as well as various international destinations. Thredbo is also about 546 kilometers northeast of Melbourne. 

Shuttle buses are the most popular means of airport transfer with free rides transporting visitors from the airport to Thredbo village. Most visitors take the access road that ingresses from the east as it is not at a very high elevation.

Thredbo Ski Resort includes an array of on-mountain accommodations, including the various dining and lodging options at Thredbo Village. For more variety including pocket-friendly options, you may opt to stay in the nearby town of Jindabyne.

Falls Creek - 1,112 Acres

This resort is the largest snow playground in Victoria. It has excellently groomed on- and off-piste terrains that suit all rider abilities and levels and plays host to the Australian cross-country team. Every other August, Falls Creek Ski Resort hosts the biggest snow event in Victoria, the annual Kangaroo Hoppet.

The ski field features 1,112 acres of skiable terrain, with 92 marked runs serviced by 14 lifts. The skiable acres lie on a 380-meter vertical (1,400 to 1,780 meters). The resort is famous for its dedicated beginners’ area, popular with families and novice skiers and snowboarders. The green slopes are hard to miss and they are located on the far side of the mountain, near the main Village.

The resort is located in northeastern Victoria and situated in the Victorian Alps’ Alpine National Park, about 487 kilometers northeast of Melbourne and 672 kilometers southwest of Sydney. Mt. Beauty is the closest town and it lies about 30 kilometers northwest of Falls Creek.

Albury Airport is the gateway airport to the resort with alternative ways of arriving by air being Melbourne, Sydney, and Canberra airports. There are several flight options from Albury and you can also connect to the airport from Melbourne, Sydney, and Canberra. Popular airlines that service the Falls Creek Ski Resort include REX, QantasLink, and Virgin.

The most popular airport transfer method is by road, using rental cars or shuttle buses. Daily shuttle rides ferry visitors to and from the resort. You can also hire a car which is an enjoyable way of getting to the resort, even though you’ll just end up parking the vehicle for days as you shred powder.

The resort has ample on-mountain accommodation facilities with many of these offering luxury transfer services for its guests. The European-style village has many ski life amenities with many of the lodgings being ski-in/ski-out. At about 1,600 meters above sea level, staying at the village offers scenic views of the Victorian Alps and surrounding landscape.

Mt. Buller - 741 Acres

Mt. Buller is a popular day trip destination for visitors from Melbourne. This is because the resort is only a three-hour drive from the city, hence easy to access. In addition, the resort’s accommodation facilities are sufficient to cater to its patronage who love its après-ski scene. Mt. Buller is best known as the fabulous playground of the Range Rover driving ski set.

The resort features 741 acres of skiable terrain served by 21 lifts that include two 6-pack chairlifts. The resort has the most lifts of the Victorian ski resorts, with most of them being surface lifts. The terrain lies on a 415-meter vertical, with a range of elevation spanning from 1,375 to 1,790 meters. The skiable terrain has two distinct areas; the shady and the sunny side.

Mt. Buller Ski Resort attracts a broad range of skiers and snowboarders and has a great blend of terrain for all levels and abilities. It has a great ski lodge culture with a great mix of ski life amenities, attracting some die-hard snow lovers.

The strength of the resort’s terrain lies in its advanced slopes with black runs inundated with great snow. The advanced and expert terrain has pleasant features that include moguls, named runs that traverse through trees, and off-piste and backcountry areas that feature rocks and jumps.

The resort is located about 47 kilometers to the east of Mansfield Town and 235 kilometers northeast of Melbourne and 225 kilometers from Melbourne Airport. Its proximity to Melbourne Airport makes it the closest ski resort to an airport.

Driving from Melbourne is a pleasant 3-hour journey with favorable road conditions. To get to the resort’s car-free village, you park your car about 1.5 kilometers away and board a free shuttle. The village offers great accommodation options with many restaurants and bars as well as ski-in/ski-out lodges. The Breathtaker Hotel is a popular choice for visitors and is famed for its pizza and tasty delicacies and affordable accommodation.

Mount Hotham - 605 Acres

Mount Hotham or simply “Hotham” is also known as the “Powder Capital” of Australia as it receives more snow than the other resorts in Victoria. The resort is popular with advanced skiers and snowboarders due to its array of advanced trails. Hotham is also famous for its unique ski village which is situated on top of the resort. This provides visitors with a unique and scenic view of the surrounding landscape.

Mount Hotham Ski Resort has 605 acres of skiable terrain with a great mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. Snowboarders especially love the terrain park with a dedicated trick area where they can showcase their skills. It features 30 kilometers of slopes with a network of 13 lifts that haul guests upslope. 

The skiable area is situated on a 393-meter vertical, with an elevation that spans from 1,450 to 1,845 meters. Its longest run is 2.5 kilometers and is home to Mary’s Slide which has a mix of Australia’s most challenging runs.

Like most other ski resorts in Australia, Hotham’s vertical drop is not very significant and its terrain spreads out rather flat. The landscape features fewer peaks and has a rather flat top where its village is perched. However, steeper terrain can be found down the valley. The terrain also features a small area with tree skiing, although most of the terrain is situated on a treeless stretch.

Like Perisher and Thredbo, Hotham is located in Australia’s New South Wales and situated within the majestic Kosciuszko National Park, in Australia’s Snowy Mountains. It is about 4.5 hours from Melbourne and can be accessed through the Kingsford Smith International Airport which lies 20 kilometers away. Visitors can also access the resort through Albury Airport which has great transfer options.

Charlotte Pass Ski Resort - 123 Acres

Charlotte Pass is the oldest and highest snow resort in Australia, named after Charlotte Adams, the first European woman to scale the top of Mount Kosciuszko. The winter wonderland is tough to get to and only accessible through over-snow buggies from Perisher Valley. Because it's less crowded and there are fewer visitors, lift congestion and accidents are reduced.

The resort's alpine village is car-free and the road heading to the resort is often snowbound and can be tough to drive on. It has the highest elevation of Australian ski resorts as it has a base elevation of 1,765 meters. When the winter season is at its peak, Charlotte Pass is only accessible via over-snow transport.

Charlotte Pass ski resort has a modest skiable area of only 123 acres.  Its terrain is situated on a 200-meter vertical and has 25 trails served by a network of 5 lifts, which include a fixed-grip triple chair, two Pomas, a T-bar, and a magic carpet.

The resort is located near Mount Kosciuszko, within the Kosciuszko National Park. It is tucked within the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. It lies about 41 kilometers from Jindabyne and is about 9 kilometers from Perisher Valley, one of the constituent resorts of the Perisher snow domain.

The Charlotte Pass accommodation is clustered around two hotels and a few club lodges. The lodging and dining areas are situated at the base of the resort with a few of them offering ski-in/ski-out access. Some accommodation facilities have a minimum number of days stay while others require a weeklong stay.

Planning a Winter Vacation? Let Brealpa Help You Plan the Perfect Winter Getaway

So there we have it, Australia's ski resorts by size ranked for your viewing pleasure. Australia is one of the most popular winter holiday destinations in the Southern Hemisphere because of its excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions. Each of the ski resorts outlined above offers its own unique brand of winter sports due to the different prevailing snow and terrain conditions. This gives skiers and snowboarder plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a resort in Australia.

If you’re looking for more information on ski resorts in the world to help you plan your next winter getaway, Brealpa curates tons of useful information to help you discover:

  • The best ski resorts from around the world
  • Inspiration for snow activities to keep your whole family engaged
  • Resort seasons, opening, and closing times

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Written by Brealpa

December 3, 2022

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