Looking for a winter holiday right now, when most other countries are in the height of summer can prove difficult. Coming from a tropical country where summer is consistent throughout the year, the craving for a winter holiday comes all the time. So where is one to holiday in, when they don’t want to wait till the end of the year? Our answer: Australia.
Allow to turn your attention towards the Snowy Mountains — locals call it the “Snowies” — in New South Wales, Australia. The Snowy Mountains is home to Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko. This also makes it part of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.
Thredbo, the alpine village in the Snowies will be your home while you ski your days and drink the night away. Likened to the Aspen of New South Wales, Thredbo has all the snow facilities you need, Australia’s longest ski runs, and then some more.
The best thing about going to the countryside is the food. The city area may be great for fancy fine dining. But in the countryside, a good, hearty meal is where it’s at. Drive 20-minutes out of Thredbo Village to Crackenback Farm Restaurant & Guesthouse, where you will find a gorgeous restaurant inside the farm serving a delicious meal using the freshest produce. Our personal opinion: the roasted pork belly and the duck was an excellent choice of mains.
Higher up in altitude, the Eagle’s Nest restaurant provides a beautiful view with an excellent selection of food and drinks. It is Australia’s Highest Restaurant, accessible as soon as you get off the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift. We recommend getting experimental with the myriad of pasta and sauces you can mix and match with. Also, as part of the experience at the Snowies, getting a cup of hot chocolate while at Eagle’s Nest is of utmost importance. Fancy it with an edge? Try the hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.
Depending on how close you want to be to the action, there are several choice places to stay when in Thredbo. If you want to be in the thick of Thredbo Ski Village, book a place to stay in the Thredbo Alpine Hotel. It’s in the heart of the village and just a few metres away from the base of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift. It is also within walking distance from almost anything within the village, so you’ll never run out of things to eat, drink, and do. There’s also a spa, sauna, and outdoor heated pool if you’re daring enough to venture an icy dip.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to be further away from the crowd and surrounded by tranquil nature, the Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa is your definite pick. Located in Thredbo Valley, the 150-acre resort houses apartments, chalets, two dining establishments, a day spa, and many outdoor activities. Expect friendly wildlife to cross your path now and then — we got to see a whole family of deer. Although it’s a 15-minute drive from Thredbo Ski Village, during winter the resort will operate a complimentary shuttle bus service to Perisher’s Ski Tube via a private driveway. You’re far enough from the crowd, but not too far away from the action.
When in Thredbo during the winter season, the first order of activities definitely involve the snow. Take the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift up to the mountains and go skiing or snowboarding. Any seasons other than winter, biking enthusiasts have been known to take their bicycles on the chairlifts and go mountain biking on the peak or dirt biking downwards using the same ski trails.
If you fancy something a little more strenuous, we recommend getting in touch with K7 Adventures to guide you around the Snowies for hikes, snowshoe trips, rock climbing, and more. It’s worth investing in a guide especially if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain or do not have much experience with outdoor activities. The weather in the Snowies can get unpredictable, and a guide can properly advise you whilst on the trip.
When to go
The peak season at the Snowies is during the winter months of June to August. If you’re there for the snow, those are good times to head to Thredbo. Things may get quiet during the other seasons, but Mount Kosciuszko is still worth visiting. In the summer, the weather gets dry and the mountain becomes a nice hiking destination with cool air on the top. Springtime usually gets pretty wet — not the ideal weather if you’re looking to indulge in outdoor activities.
(Feature & main image credit: Tourism Snowy Mountains)