Photo Credit: Thredbo
With the start of the ski season kicking off this month, we have put together a family friendly guide of where to take the kids this winter if you are looking for fun in the snow.
New South Wales
Probably one of my favourite ski destinations for a number of reasons including on site parking, good accommodation and a range of family friendly ski runs.
Distance from Sydney: Approximately 6 hours drive from Sydney or 2.5 hours from Canberra.
Accommodation options: One of the best things about this ski field is that most accommodation allows for on site parking which is perfect for families. Thredbo offers self contained accommodation, the Thredbo Alpine Hotel and Lodges.
Accommodation packages: Thredbo have a Kids Ski Free package with a 3 and 5 night option. From $398 to $411 per family per night. Kids Ski Free packages for 9-23 June and 27 August to 2 October 2017 only.
Getting there: You will need to purchase a National Parks and Wildlife Service pass each day you are in the Kosciuszko National Park which is approx $29 a day. A lot of Thredbo accommodation has parking options on site. Thredbo is about 30 minutes from Jindabyne.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: There are a number of packages on offer that will suit your needs depending on what you require. You can pick up an adult ski pass for $125 per day and a child is $71 per day. If you book ahead this price is reduced online. For those needing ski hire or ski lessons these can be added on which could cost you $200 per day for an adult and $123 per day for a child. NB: Packages become cheaper the more days you book.
For those not skiing and would just like to mountains from the chairlift, you can pick up a pass from $37 for adults and $19 for kids.
SKI Lessons and Childcare: Childcare is offered to children 6 months-6 years who aren’t ready to ski yet and is open daily between 8pm and 5pm.
There are plenty of ski and snowboarding classes for the whole family including;
The Little Rippers Ski Program (3-6 years) is an 11 week season long program ideal for all young skiers aged 3 to 6 who will be in Thredbo during winter 2017. This group receive extra attention from the specialised indoor and outdoor instructors who teach, nurture and guide them in a fun and happy environment. The MAX 4 and MAX 6 group sizes will see kids quickly progress over the 11 week program.
Thredboland’s Ski Program for 3 years olds offers a full day program for kids with a max lesson size of only 4 kids per instructor. This provides plenty of one on one attention so they can learn at a faster rate.
Thredboland (5- 6 years) offers half day lessons teaching the basics of skiing and how to have fun exploring the mountain. This provides plenty of one on one attention so they can learn at a faster rate. The day not only consists of ski lessons but also includes meals and incorporates fun themes and activities for the kids to enjoy both indoors and on the snow.
Freeriders (7-14 years) is an amazing program for kids of all levels aged 7 to 14 and is designed to teach them how to ski in a fun, safe and progressive environment with our team of expert instructors
Private lessons are also offered.
Don’t want to ski?
Head to the Thredbo Snow Play Park! The area is open daily for tubing, tobogganing, snow play and snowman building. The new Snow Play Park is located in the base station area of the village, on the tennis courts so visitors can now slide on a toboggan, ride a snow tube, build a snowman, make a snow angel and just generally play in the snow.
Family Fun: Thursday is the best night of the week with our Family Fun Night, loaded with entertainment, a sparkly kids-only flare run, groovy tunes and mum&dad après.
What’s on for kids and families? :
LEGO® Friends Snow Festival: Saturday 1st July to Saturday 15th July
Thredbo has teamed up with LEGO this winter to host the LEGO® Friends Snow Festival during the July school holidays. To celebrate the new LEGO Friends Snow Resort Range, kids and families can take part in loads of LEGO Friends activity. From life size LEGO Snow Models to an exciting LEGO Friends Play Zone, it’s a must see during the festival.
My Friend Mark in Thredboland: 6th July
Join My Friend Mark in Thredboland as the kids are taken on an adventure with all the Thredboland animals, Alf and of course Mark. This is a great way for the kids to wind down after a busy day on the hill and then join their instructor for the Kids Flare Run.
Kids Flare Run and Fireworks- Calling all kids! Every Thursday night enjoy skiing and snowboarding under the night sky on Friday Flight with your very own twinkling LED flare. Thredbo Snow Sport instructors will take all kids up on the Easy Does It chairlift as parents watch in awe at the bottom of the run, as their little rippers make their way down the gentle and friendly slope.
Torah Bright Mini Shred Sunday 9th July- Calling all mini-shredders! The Torah Bright Mini Shred at Thredbo is happening again this season and is going to be bigger and better than ever before. Olympic gold medallist, Torah Bright and her friends, who happen to be some of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders, are putting on a fun and friendly filled day to help you all progress your skills and confidence in the terrain park.
Kids Snow Festival Saturday 23rd to Saturday 30th September-There’s something for everyone these school holidays, with a mountain of terrain to explore, a huge line up of free activities and plenty of après for Mum and Dad. The Kids Snow Festival is bound to please kids of all ages with movie and pizza nights, a special kids flare run, night skiing and plenty more.
A great family friendly ski destination including some great packages and events throughout winter. Perisher links four resort areas, Perisher, Blue Cow, Smiggins and Guthega across 3,000 acres of skiable terrain.
Distance from Sydney: Approximately 6 hours drive from Sydney
Accommodation options: On mountain accommodation options include lodges, chalets and hotels at Perisher Valley and Smiggins Holes. If you don’t want to stay on the mountain and looking for more affordable options, check out the accommodation in Jindabyne and surrounds.
Getting there: You will need to purchase a National Parks and Wildlife Service pass each day you are in the Kosciuszko National Park which is approx $29 a day. Parking on the mountain is day parking only and is free. If you are staying on the mountain you will need to keep your car at Bullocks Flat and either drive daily to the mountain or catch the ski tube. Perisher is about 30 minutes from Jindabyne.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: Lift, Lessons and Hire Bundles are available for both adults and kids across Perisher, Smiggins and Blue Cow.
Ski Lessons and Childcare: Child minding is offered in the morning or afternoon and is aimed at ages 6 months to 24 months.
Discovery Kids Bundle – Kids aged 3 to 4 years Give your child the chance to turn into a Little Shredder! Our Discovery Kids Bundle is tailored to kids aged three to four years old and combines our full day program with ski or snowboard equipment hire and a free unrestricted lift ticket. All kids receive lunch and refreshments throughout the day as they learn to ski or board in a fun environment!
Perisher Kids Bundle – Kids aged 5 to 14 years- For kids aged 5 to 14, here’s the Perisher Kids Bundle! We’ve bundled the full day program with an unrestricted lift ticket and ski or snowboard equipment hire. All kids receive lunch and refreshments throughout the day as they explore our four resort areas!
Family Fun: Tube Town–Grab the family, get ready for some laughs at Perisher’s Tube Town! It’s an exciting, low cost snow experience located right next to the Perisher Valley car park, within walking distance to cafes, restaurants, restrooms and tobogganing… you never have to leave Front Valley.
Snow Experience Bundles- You don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder to enjoy Perisher’s winter wonderland. No trip to the snow is complete without building a snow man or throwing a few snowballs! Perisher offers a great range of alternatives to skiing and snowboarding. You can select one or grab a value packed Snow Experience package that will keep you and the family entertained all day long!
What’s on for kids and families? Night Skiing and Boarding- Night skiing and boarding under lights at Perisher is an experience like no-other. The snow is colder, the groomed runs are groomier and the atmosphere is electric. The high-speed V-8 chair ensures the queues are at an absolute minimum, so there are plenty of runs to get-in. Ski and Board from 6:00pm – 9:00pm, with fireworks at 7:20pm.
At Smiggin Holes, The carpet runs under lights in a safe environment for the kids (in full view of the Smiggins Hotel) every Saturday and Wednesday.
Distance from Sydney: Approximately 6 hours drive from Sydney. Charlotte Pass is 8km beyond Perisher Valley.
Accommodation options: In addition to the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel, Charlotte Pass Ski Resort has 11 lodges that offer a variety of accommodation as well as a wide range of facilities.
Getting there: Charlotte Pass Ski Resort is situated in the Snowy Mountains with views of Mt Kosciuszko and the main range. Just 8kms beyond Perisher Valley, Charlotte Pass Ski Resort is completely snowbound in winter with access only by oversnow transport.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: There are plenty of bundles to choose from but if you want to pop over for a day or two check out the Day Tripper Package which includes a full mountain lift pass, return oversnow transport and hot lunch at the Kosi bar and bistro. Don’t forget Kids 4yrs and under ski FREE!
Ski Lessons and Childcare: Charlotte Pass Ski Resort offers Group Lessons for all levels of skier and snowboarder. You will be in groups with people of similar age and ability. Private lessons are also offered.
Family Fun:There is plenty planned for the kids in the Kidz Korner. Frosty’s Chill Out Zone, Kids Flare Run, Kids Race, FREE Snow Cone Monday, FREE Fairy Floss Friday, and FREE Tubin’ Tuesday.
What’s on for kids and families? The Charlotte Pass Winter Festival (13th-18th August) is your opportunity to soak up the magic of Charlotte Pass Snow Resort. Events and activities include Flare Run, Outdoor Ice Bar, Free Tubin’ Tuesday, Standard Race, finishing with a spectacular Fireworks display over the village. There will be a daily barbeque out the front of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel, with live music and entertainment for the kids.
Distance from Sydney: Approximately 5.5 hours drive from Sydney.
Accommodation Options: As there is no accommodation on the mountain, most people stay in the nearby townships of Adaminaby or Talbingo a short 30 to 40 minutes drive from the slopes.
Getting there: You will be required to pay an entry fee for the National Park which is $29 per vehicle per day. It is a 30 to 40 minutes drive to the slopes from the townships of Adaminaby or Talbingo. Selwyn one of the closest ski resort options for NSW’s major cities and a comfortable drive from almost anywhere else in the state. The convenience of the car park is one of the big advantages for for families as they are a day tripper ski resort.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: Mt Selwyn is one of the most affordable ski destinations with a great selection of great snow packages on offer for the whole family outside of key peak times.
Ski Lessons and Childcare: Selwyn Snow World is the Snow Sports School Centre for children from 18 months to 6 years. Kids have a ball with lots of fun and educational activities to do including skiing in their own private and dedicated children’s learning area serviced by Gentle Annie – the moving carpet lift. The they move onto the big slopes. Group and private lessons are available for adults and children.
Family Fun: Tobogganing– Tobogganing is a fun and simple way to enjoy the snow. Located right next to the Tube Park, resort facilities and the Selwyn Car Park, it is the perfect place to set up and slide for the day. Tobogganers must use the designated toboggan area. Access passes are $15 for the whole day or $10 for a PM Session (starting 12.30pm).
With every pass a FREE toboggan is supplied upon entry into the park.
Snow Tubing– The Snowflake Tube Park is a lot of fun and one of the must do snow activities at Selwyn. The park is setup right next to the Toboggan Slope and very close to facilities and the Selwyn Car Park. Tubers get to show the tobogganers how to slide down the hill in style and most of the time at double the speed!
Distance from Melbourne: It is about a 4.5 hour drive from Melbourne
Accommodation Options: Falls Creek have some great accommodation options for families including self contained apartments, lodges and hotels.
Getting there: Falls Creek is located on top of the Bogong High Plains in North East Victoria. By road, Falls Creek is the closest alpine resort to Brisbane, a day’s drive from Adelaide, about 8 hours from Sydney and 4 1/2 hours from Melbourne. The road to Falls Creek is safe and cleared of snow daily, snow chains are rarely fitted.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: Snow Pass is your ticket to everything SNOW at Falls Creek. It’s a fully automated, reloadable access card for all your lift ticket, lesson and equipment hire purchases!
Your Snow Pass card is just $5 and is available from the Falls Creek & Hotham eStores, where it can be loaded and reloaded with all your snow needs.
Lift Only On The Day is $128 for adults and $74 for children. Book online 1-13 days before your arrival and save 5% on lift only passes.When you book online 14+ days in advance you save 15% off lift only passes. Packages are available at discounted rates when you bundle lessons and rentals.
Ski Lessons : Ski and Snowboarding lessons are available for kids 3-17 years. The Snowclub program is a great starting point for your child’s first skiing experience or a platform to progress their skills and love of skiing. Snowclub caters for children from 3 years of age with professional caring staff and a fun filled atmosphere.
The Junior Workshop is the best place for kids 6-12 years to learn or progress their skiing and snowboarding. The program offers a full day of adventure on skis or snowboard and includes professional tuition, lunch and lift pass.
The Teen Academy is purpose built to cater for those in-between years, kids aged 13 – 17, too old for the kid programs but not quite ready for the adult programs. Run by our expert instructors, the program works to keep teenagers engaged and enjoying skiing and snowboarding with kids their own age.
Child Care: Falls Creek Childcare is open year round to children aged 12 weeks to 5 years old and is run by qualified and experienced educators. The centre is conveniently located in Slalom Plaza at the base of the Falls Express chairlift.
Family Fun: Get a truly unique experience this winter with kids snowmobiles in the Village Bowl. Built for kids aged 5 and over, these Polaris 120 snowmobiles are no toys – they are the real deal! If skiing isn’t your thing, try the tobogganing or tubing on the mountain.
What’s on for kids and families? Pete the Snow Dragon– Twice a week Falls Creek’s very own Pete the Snow Dragon takes to the stage to entertain the kids. During the snow season Pete makes a guest appearance at the Twilight Tuesday Party in the Village Bowl, plus he loves to be part of the fun at the FREE Falls Creek Night Show Spectaculars in the Village Bowl on Thursday evenings throughout July and August.
Gather a group of friends and enjoy a game of Snocce for free! Bocce is a great way to spend an afternoon having fun with your friends or family and we have a number of groomed courts available in the Village Bowl.
Distance from Melbourne: It is about a 4.25 hours-5.5 hours drive from Melbourne
Accommodation Options: At Hotham there is on and off mountain accommodation suitable for singles, couples, groups and families. Choose from Self Contained Apartments Chalets, Lodges, and Motels.
Getting there: All vehicles travelling The Great Alpine Road must carry Diamond Pattern Chains at all times during the declared snow season and must be fitted where directed. Remember all vehicles stopping in a Victorian Alpine Resort must have a valid authorised Resort Entry Permit.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: Under Fives Ski Free but need to be accompanied by a paying adult. Online day lift passes start at $123 for adults and $69 for children. Discounts apply for longer duration.
Ski Lessons and Childcare: Big D is the kids hub of Hotham, its is home to the Kids Ski & Ride School, Hotham Sports Kids Hire & Daycare. New in 2017 Hotham Sports Kids is open to fit your kids out with the right skis, boots and board, stoking hire equipment for children up to 14 years. Hotham’s Kids Ski and Ride School is staffed by a range of qualified instructors that are dedicated to ensuring your kids have a great time. Lessons are available for children 3-14 years.
Hotham Daycare is licensed to cater for up to 26 children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years and is approved by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. It is renowned for its specialised and professional care; providing qualified and experienced staff that strive to meet the children’s individual needs.
Snow Play & Tobogganing Areas- The snow play area is situated at the beautiful and sheltered location of Possum Flat, adjacent to Wire Plain. A moderate toboggan slope overlooking Possum Flat is suited to kids of all ages. There is also plenty of space to let your imagination go wild and build a snowman, snow castle, or any sort of snow creature!
SnowStuffPark SnowPlay Park–Situated at the snow play and toboggan area, adjacent to Wire Plain and right outside the Wire Plain Bus Stop, is SnowStuffPark where you’ll be able to hire a range of exciting and fun snow play products.
Distance from Melbourne: Mt Buller is approximately 3 hours north-east of Melbourne.
Accommodation Options: In June and September, up to 2 kids (under the age of 15) can stay free of charge when accompanied by two sharing adults. Mt Buller has plenty of accommodation options for all tastes and budgets – from simple, hostel-style accommodation and self-catering apartments to ski club lodges and luxurious alpine retreats.
Getting there: Only 248kms north east of Melbourne (about 3 hours), Mt Buller is the most accessible snow resort in Australia and the closest resort to any international airport (Melbourne, Tullamarine). Remember all vehicles stopping in a Victorian Alpine Resort must have a valid authorised Resort Entry Permit.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: Make sure you buy a B-TAG for your trip to Mt Buller. The B-TAG is a card that allows you to access the lifts of Mt Buller, it is reusable and can be loaded with lift passes, lessons and more. Online day lift passes for families (2 adults and 2 children) are priced at start at $352. Discounts apply for longer duration.
Ski Lessons and Childcare: Private and group lessons are available depending on your ability. Learning is fun at Mt Buller Ski & Snowboard School and Yoplait Petit Miam Buller Kids Centre– with programs for kids aged 3 to 18 years from beginners to experts. At the Ski & Snowboard School your child’s enjoyment is at the heart of everything we do, and your child’s safety is our number one priority.
The Yoplait Petit Miam Buller Kids’ Centre Creche caters for children aged three months to three years.
Family Fun: There is so much to do at Mt Buller, both on and off the snow, that you’ll be spoilt for choice. On the snow, choose from skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and snowshoeing, whilst off the snow you can visit the day spa, catch a movie at the cinema, hit the indoor rock climbing wall, head out on the Gnome Roam and much more.
Mt Baw Baw
Distance from Melbourne: Your Mt Baw Baw adventure is merely a 2.5 hour drive from Melbourne, 1 hour from the heart of Gippsland, and 3 hours from the Mornington Peninsula.
Accommodation Options: Mt Baw Baw has a range of on mountain accommodation to suit families including Frosti’s Lodge and Snowgum Apartment. Check out the accommodation deals in 2017.
Getting there: Mt Baw Baw is accessible by Car, Train or Bus however train traveller must arrange return transport from Moe train station to the resort.
SKI, Lift and Rental packages: Lift passes can only be purchased on mountain and are priced from $53 for adults and $38 for a child (weekdays).
Ski Lessons and Childcare: There’s something for every level and liking – whether you are a skier, a rider, child, teen or an adult, Mt. Baw Baw have highly qualified instructors from all over the globe who will ensure you have a safe and fun learning experience to suit your skills, ability and goals. Mt. Baw Baw offers group lessons- that cater to various ways of learning and improving your skills or take a private lesson- for those who prefer the one on one approach.
What’s on for kids and families? Tobogganing– Experience the accessible Toboggan Parks at Mt Baw Baw. You’ll have hours of affordable and fun entertainment! Plus…its FREE! Just hire a toboggan on mountain or bring your own.
HOWLING HUSKY SLED DOG TOURS– Come and enjoy the backcountry trails of Mt.Baw Baw by dog sled. Have your team of eight sled dogs whisk you away under the snow gums to parts of the resort you never knew existed. This activity is great for all ages and abilities and is sure to be something you will remember for the rest of your life.
What’s on for kids and families? Mt Baw Baw will once again host the Christmas in July for 2017 with a number of activities and events planned throughout the week of 3 – 9 July.
The village will be transofrmed into a Winter Wonderland with lots of family activities planned throughout the two weeks with Santa also making an appearance!