It’s a powder day in the Southern Hemisphere, but did you even know it snows there? In fact, it boasts the biggest ski resorts in the South. Most of the ski fields lie in New South Wales and Victoria, with the most famous probably being Thredbo and Perisher. The season runs from mid June to early October (if you’re lucky!).
They are both situated in the Kosciusko national park in the, not so big, shadow of Mt Kosciusko, Australia’s biggest mountain at 2,228m.
These resorts attract many professional freestyle athletes boasting huge terrain parks, a 22ft half pipe and a world class Mogul course, used for international competitions.
Although they don’t quite get the powder we get in Europe, the resorts are still fairly big. Perisher is 12 square kilometres, split into 4 areas, using 47 lifts, with the summit elevation of 2,054m at Mount Perisher. Due to the sometimes poor snowfall, there are 240 snow guns that are used to artificially support the resort.
View from Mt Perisher
Doing a winter season down under is a very different experience to doing one in the French Alps. It’s a year since I was there for a winter season, so I’d thought I’d take a look back on it.
I was based in Blue Cow, Perisher, we lived off the mountain, in a town called Jindabyne. It was a 25 minute drive to the ‘Ski Tube’, which is a train that takes you up the mountain. Leaving the house by about half 6/7 every morning to get to your first lesson on time, in our car that had no heating to defrost the windscreen and if you sat in the passenger seat you had to get in through the window, due to some dodgy locking system… We kept all our gear up on the hill in a locker room that we shared with the Liftys, which was chaotic but fun! After a days instructing, we’d pop by the cafe to get any leftover pies – you can’t beat a chunky beef pie after a full day on the hill. We were usually home by 5.30pm. Straight to the gym, quick post drink in the Brumby (time it right to get the free food platter) and home, ready to do it all again the next day. We had sun, snow, hail, loads of rain and insane 180mph winds which was always a fun challenge, holding onto the T-Bar as the wind swings you into the fence. But to be honest I loved every single day!
The Aussies were an amazing bunch to work with, and as laid back as the rumours suggest. We met a huge variety of people whilst instructing, and if it wasn’t for the Visa issues, and a few injuries, I’d do it all again.
Mt Kosciuszko from Guthega
You can find out more about both resorts here: