Australia has a surprisingly large winter sports industry. Although the season is short compared to resorts in the Northern Hemisphere, Australians take full advantage of what they have, and they extend their winter sports season with snow machines. Interestingly, the Australian alps receive more snow than Switzerland.
In New South Wales and Victoria the ski season traditionally begins on the Queen's birthday long weekend (the second Monday in June is a public holiday). The beginning of the ski season is more often marked by a celebratory drink than a early morning run down fresh powder. The most reliable snowfalls are in July and August. If you had to pick one week of the year, the second week in August would have to be the choice with the best chance of good alpine skiing. In good seasons there will be some lifts open in June, September and sometimes early October.
New South Wales edit
The largest and highest alpine skiing resorts, usually having the most reliable snowfalls, are found in the mountainous southeast of New South Wales.
Snowy Mountains including:
- Thredbo is an alpine village and a ski resort. It's an extensive resort with the highest and longest runs.
- Charlotte Pass is snowbound in winter. Access by over snow from Perisher, a smaller resort, with fewer crowds and few day trippers.
- Perisher, including Perisher Valley and Guthega, is Australia's largest ski resort and has 50 lifts. It is easy to access with the ski-tube running from below the snow line.
- Selwyn Snowfields, in the northern part of Kosciuszko National Park, is good for beginner skiing in a scenic setting.
Tasmania is further south and has more extensive snows during the winter, which make for some winter hiking and cross-country skiing opportunities, but alpine skiing is more limited, with a shorter season and ski smaller ski resorts that are harder to access.
Victoria has extensive ski fields along the ranges.