One of 15 resorts in Australia, Thredbo has long been a firm favourite among the ski set, known for its charming village feel, nightlife and intermediate-skewed slopes.
What sets this NSW ski resort apart from others? And is this little alpine village worth your hard-earned annual leave? Here are five things to know before booking a winter trip to go skiing at Thredbo.
If you’re after apres, Thredbo is your best bet
While none of Australia’s alpine resorts can quite compare with the apres-ski scene in Europe, Thredbo is perhaps the country’s best contender. It’s home to a number of bars, some of which double as clubs, and caters to a wide array of punters.
Fancy a relaxed drink in the company of an open fireplace, while relaxing on a cosy sofa? Visit Lounge Bar, in the Thredbo Alpine Hotel. After a slightly more convivial feel? Make a beeline for local stalwart, The Apres Bar, in the Denman Hotel. Looking to take things up a notch or five? Try the Keller Bar, which is known as the village’s only true ‘club’ and hosts full moon parties, among other events. There’s also Schuss Bar, known for its mountain views, live sports screenings and DJ sets, not to mention a pretty packed calendar of seasonal events, such as the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, pop-up bars, and free seasonal outdoor concert series, held in the Village Green.
Don’t miss: The best places to eat & drink in Thredbo
It’s a mecca for intermediate skiers and snowboarders
Nearly 70 per cent of the pistes at Thredbo can be classed as intermediate, which makes it a great spot for those who’ve already dabbled in skiing (or snowboarding) and are looking to dial up their proficiency. It has the longest ski run in Australia (the Thredbo Supertrail, which rings in at nearly six kilometres long) and the longest vertical drop of all the Aussie ski resorts (672 metres), if that’s your thing. Beyond its 53 ski runs, Thredbo also has a whopping five terrain parks, complete with jumps and rails, plus it’s the only place in Australia that boasts a NASTAR course, allowing you to get competitive with friends and family as you race down the giant slalom course for the best time – it’s free to use too.
Don’t miss: Top 10 things to do in Thredbo
Small in scale, but big on amenities
If the amount of skiable terrain available is a deciding factor for your next holiday on the slopes, then Perisher trumps Thredbo: it’s not only the largest ski area in Australia, but the largest in the entire Southern Hemisphere, spanning seven peaks and providing 1,245 skiable hectares, with 47 lifts available to reach them all.
But when it comes to atmosphere and amenities, Perisher doesn’t hold a candle to Thredbo: the former doesn’t have a central ski village of its own, and has surprisingly fewer accommodation options. Thredbo, however, boasts a small but thriving village at the base of the mountain and some 60 different hotels, lodges, chalets and apartments, as well as plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes to choose from, plus a handful of stores to pick up any last-minute ski garb you’re missing. The range of ski-in/ski-out properties available, is, however, more limited than at other ski resorts across NSW and Vic.
Don’t miss: A guide to the best Thredbo accommodation
It’s included on the Ikon Pass
Keen skiers looking to get more bang for their buck (and ski all over the globe) should look into the Ikon Pass, which covers both Thredbo and Mount Buller in Australia. Internationally, the multi-resort multi-day pass includes more than 40 other ski resorts across Europe and North America, plus Niseko, Chile’s Valle Nevado and New Zealand’s Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mount Hutt.
Yes, you can bring the kids
With four different dedicated ski schools catering to those aged anywhere from three up to 17, it’s fair to say that Thredbo is a family-friendly resort. And if you feel like your little one needs some extra attention, you can also book them into a private one-hour lesson, available for two- to four-year-olds.
Lift passes are also heavily discounted for children, and rates increase incrementally up until visitors reach 21 years of age. Patient mums and dads can, of course, take to the slopes with the kids in tow: Friday Flat is perfect for beginners, though critics may caution that the snow at the base of the mountain has a tendency to verge towards slushy.
There are plenty of kid-focused activities on offer at Thredbo too: every Thursday, as dusk falls, the resort holds a kids’ flare run followed by fireworks, and the village has plenty of off-piste activities for little ones.