For those of you who spent autumn anticipating news about Australia’s 2020 ski season, it was a good day when ski resorts in NSW and Victoria announced they would open from late June.
The pandemic restrictions had intrepid skiers and snowboarders sitting on the edge of their seats, and although government regulations mean things won’t look the same as in previous years, the Australian slopes are still worth a visit this season.
With COVID-19 safety measures in place, expect reduced capacity, regular hand sanitising, social distancing measures and ski lift quad chairs limited to two people. But don’t fret; the fun will still be at maximum capacity. You’re probably familiar with the saying, "A bad day at the slopes beats a good day at work."
It has been a rough ride for many business leaders over the past several months, so why not take a well-deserved winter break and enjoy yourself? Indulge in some of the finest ski resorts in Australia without skimping on luxury at these winter wonderlands.
Operation of the ski resorts could change in accordance to COVID-19 government restrictions.
Voted the number one ski resort in Australia by the World Ski Awards for the past three years, Thredbo is the perfect choice if you want an all-round ski holiday. A five-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney, the village is set below Mount Kosciuszko.
Of its terrain, 67% is for intermediates but there are plenty of trails for beginner skiers and snowboarders alike, as well as powder bowls and off-piste for those who want a challenge.
Options for places to eat are plentiful with more than 30 locations in Thredbo to relax and dine, including 11 ski-in ski-out restaurants, which will be open in accordance to government advice.
Where to stay
The gorgeous five-star, four-bedroom "home away from home" has phenomenal panoramic views with direct access to the slopes and Thredbo village. Named Australia’s Best Ski Chalet for the past four years, Sequoia Penthouse is the ultimate luxury accommodation.
The property sleeps up to eight guests, has five private balconies, ski storage and drying room, bathrooms with underfloor heating and a stunning wood-burning fireplace to make your winter stay the epitome of comfort.
Another award-winning chalet, Rockpool Lodge is an intimate and secluded luxury accommodation overlooking the Thredbo river and only a 10-minute walk from the village. The alpine-style, three-floor, two-bedroom layout is complete with a gourmet chef’s kitchen and a drying room – great for a small group or family. Choose to thaw and relax after a full day on the slopes in front of the large stone fireplace or in the private sauna.
Falls Creek, Victoria
Home to some of the best alpine accommodation, Falls Creek is the largest of ski resorts in Victoria and just a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Melbourne. The downhill terrain is diverse, making it the perfect spot for families and groups with varying ski abilities.
The options feel endless with 90 runs, numerous terrain parks, cross-country skiing and snow tubing, tobogganing and snowmobiles for those looking for a different winter activity.
Where to stay
QT Falls Creek
Ultra luxurious and hip, QT Falls Creek sits cosily at the base of the main ski runs. Each lodge – one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments – is complete with designer fittings, Scandi-style furnishings and a private outdoor hot tub.
The spectacular views don’t disappoint either. Beyond the rooms, the hotel offers guests an in-house Bazaar with seasonal fare, a 1950s bar, FIXX Cafe for a caffeine hit and onsite spa for post-ski pampering.
Astra Falls Creek
As Australia’s Best Ski Boutique for four consecutive years, Astra Falls Creek is ‘modern, refined luxury’ ski-in, ski-out accommodation. Its recent rejuvenation gives a fresh, Euro-chic experience in the heart of the Victorian Alps.
The heated indoor magnesium pool, spa, sauna, library and four restaurants are just a few of the stylish lodge’s exceptional amenities that make up the ultimate luxury winter getaway.
Last but not least, the most expansive ski destination in the Southern Hemisphere is a must-add to your skiing bucket list. Though the nightlife and apres-ski options may be limited compared to neighbouring Thredbo, its size is incomparable.
Avid skiers and snowboarders will appreciate the four-in-one resort with 1,245 hectares of skiable terrain, while its array of other activity options make it great for families.
Thanks to its altitude and positioning, you can expect higher quality snow than Perisher’s Australian counterparts. And for ultimate ski enthusiasts, the Epic Australia Pass will give you unlimited, unrestricted access to Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham, as well as top resorts in Japan and the US, for the 2020-21 season.
Where to stay
The Stables in the heart of Perisher Valley offers a range of luxury accommodations, from one-bedrooms to lodge chalets – many of which include a gas stone fireplace, spa and underfloor heating. Enjoy happy hour and dinner at the onsite Stallions Restaurant and Bar, or indulge in a seasonal room service menu and extensive wine list in the comfort of your cosy timber and granite chalet.
Barrakee Ski Lodge
True ski-in, ski-out accommodation, the Barrakee Ski Lodge is located at the North Perisher T-Bar. Committed to being your "home away from home", choose from comfortable two- to six-person rooms, each with a 360-degree view of the mountain. In-house, multi-award winning chef Peter O’Connor will spoil you with a three-course, fine dining experience each night, and facilities like the sauna, games room and well-stocked bar will keep you occupied – and fully relaxed – during your stay.
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