Embrace winter. Great for families, a snow holiday teaches the little ones new skills whilst having fun and gets them out into the great outdoors. Australians are blessed with a number of accessible ski fields, within easy travelling distance. If you’ve never been to the slopes before now is the time to try it!
Thredbo has terrain to suit all standards of skiers and boarders. Ranging from gentle first timer runs on a purpose built beginners area, to long wide Supertrails, intermediate blue runs and some of the most advanced black diamond terrain in the country.
It’s your first time on the snow and excitement is at fever pitch. First stop – Friday Flat, Thredbo’s specially designed area for beginners. The slope is gentle, the lifts are easy to use and the lift attendants are specially trained in nurturing new skiers and boarders. The Thredbo Snow Sports School also meets here, so you can easily join in on a first timer lesson. At least one, if not more, lessons are highly recommended for beginners to find their snow legs.
Around 67% of Thredbo’s slopes are devoted to intermediates skiers and boarders. Intermediates love Thredbo and the majority of people who hit the slopes are at this level. Once you have the feel for sliding, turning and stopping, it’s time to head to the Cruiser area, Thredbo’s blue and green run haven. There are plenty of long, wide and tree-lined trails and they are accessed by a super quick and easy to use chairlift. It is a great feeling when the runs you timidly tried at the start are being cruised with confidence. Next step… the rest of the mountain.
All Mountain Riders
Experienced riders rate Thredbo’s terrain as the best in the country. Thredbo has everything an advanced rider is looking for – long runs with a great fall line, natural hits, wind lips, powder bowls, smooth on-piste (groomed trails) and hectares of off piste trails to explore.
Freestyling and Riding
Thredbo’s terrain parks are all about progression so everyone can have a go. There’s a park for kids, beginners, intermediates and advanced riders plus a ridercross course to test your skills.
Whether you are on two boards or one there’s features galore for you to spin, jib,slide or glide on. The full time terrain park crew keep the parks fresh by constantly creating new combinations with the boxes, rails, jumps and other original features.
So whether you are a rookie rider or a well rounded pro you will find your feet in Thredbo’s mix of terrain parks.
It’s FREE. Twilight riding happens every Thursday and Saturday evening through July and August from 4.30pm to 8.30pm on the gentle Friday Flat.
New Zealand’s high country ski area Mt Hutt has true Kiwi attitude and hospitality to match.
Dedicated beginner and novice areas and an international race arena span the facilities for the huge variety of skill levels that enjoy this most varied of ski areas.
At 2086m, Mt Hutt has one of the largest vertical drops in the South Island and the greatest variety of terrain ranging from long, super-wide groomed runs to double black diamond chutes. And the views from the summit are breathtaking. On a clear day you can see all the way across the patch-worked Canterbury Plains out to the Pacific Ocean in one direction and into the heart of the Southern Alps in the other.
Home to one of the longest seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, Mt Hutt has a well developed trail network suited to all snow lovers, from the total beginner through to the world’s top racers and riders. It is also famous for its steep off-piste chutes and extensive powder bowls, highly regarded by expert skiers and riders.
Renowned for its big snow, advanced skiers and riders test their skills in the main bowl or head for the steeper challenges of South Face or the Rakaia Chutes. Novices can cruise on wide open trails and beginners can enjoy their own dedicated area with an enclosed Magic Carpet, tucked away from the main traffic.
Facilities and service are world-class with modern chairlifts, two terrain parks allowing total progression with a beginner/novice mini park and stretching to a 10,000sqm advanced level park. The base building is warm and comfortable with an expansive sun deck and the Kiwi atmosphere is evident everywhere, particularly in the parking lot where regular visitors set up their portable BBQs for an informal lunch.
A busy events calendar keeps all ages entertained throughout the season and further spectator action and inspiration can be found at Mt Hutt’s race arena, known as the Redbull ‘Capital of Speed’, where many of the world’s greatest skiers come to train.
Mt Hutt is very family-friendly and children aged between two and 15 love the variety of programmes ranging from the Skiwiland Early Learning Centre to advanced ski and snowboard lessons including a great selection of school holiday programmes. Children aged six and under enjoy free day lift passes every day of the season. And the natural bowl of the main ski area makes it easy to keep track of family members from the sunny deck.
Thredbo village can accommodate all of your needs. If relaxing by a warm fire with a gorgeous red wine or hot chocolate is what you desire after a day on the slopes then Thredbo is the place to be. With over 20 restaurants, you’ll never get tired of the dining options, plus bars and clubs to party to the small hours, if that takes your fancy.
Set at the base of the Southern Alps with a majestic mountain on its doorstep, Methven is pure Kiwi… with a twist.
Rural tradition meets adventure in Methven, which sits at the foot of the mighty Southern Alps. It is here that you can explore some of New Zealand’s best skiable terrain – Methven locals welcome skiers and snowboarders from around the world and love sharing their region and its natural gifts.
There’s a great range of bars and restaurants to choose from and Methven’s famous high country hospitality and relaxed lifestyle are an added bonus. Once you’ve discovered Methven, you’ll never want to leave.
Both Thredbo and Mt Hutt can get extremely cold, especially if you live in a town where winters are quite mild.
Temperatures range from lows of minus 5 to 7 degrees to highs of 3 or 4 degrees, however it can get down to minus double figures on some days and the wind chill factor can make it even colder.
If hitting the slopes, you will need the appropriate weatherproof gear like pants, jacket, and gloves. It is best to layer up, in other words, wear lots of layers instead of one big layer, so if it warms up during the day you can just take a layer off. A woollen or fleece head covering, long sleeve skivvy, thermals, sweatshirts, scarf and/or neck warmer are a must-pack.
Sydney CBD to Thredbo – Once on the M5 you are on the way, via the Hume and Monaro Highways though Canberra onto Cooma and Jindabyne. The Kosciuszko Alpine Way between Thredbo and Jindabyne is fully sealed and is clear of snow at most times during winter so it is easily accessed by two wheel drive vehicles.
Depending on conditions sometimes chains may be required for your tyres; these can be hired from most service stations in the region. Melbourne to Thredbo – the Kosciuszko Alpine Way is fully sealed.
Driving times from major cities
Sydney 5 – 6.5 hours 500km (approx)
Melbourne 5.5 – 7 hours 500km (approx)
Canberra 2.5 hours 180km (approx)
Aeropelican service the Sydney to Cooma route daily. You can also fly to Canberra from Sydney with Qantas and to Canberra from the Gold Coast and Brisbane with Virgin Blue. Ask your personal travel manager for the best option for you.
Methven is an scenic 90 minute drive from Christchurch city. Air New Zealand, Emirates, Qantas, Pacific Blue and Jetstar fly to Christchurch from Australia’s east coast several times a day with connections available to other Australian cities. Mt Hutt is so accessible that it is perfect for a long weekend on the slopes with flexible flight schedules enabling you to leave Australia in the morning and be on the mountain by late afternoon.
Ask your personal travel manager to tailor the best flights options for you.
Winter season: June – October*
Riding terrain: 480 hectares
Vertical drop: 672 metres
Base elevation: 1365 metres
Summit elevation: 2037 metres
Day ticket: $103 (discounted multi day & early season tickets avail)
Terrain: Beginner/novice: 16% /Intermediate: 67%/Advanced/expert: 17%
Longest run: 5.9kilometres (Karel’s T-bar to Friday Flat.)
Average Snowfall: 203cm
2009 top snow depth: 148cm
Snowmaking: 72 hectares
Winter season: June – October*
Elevation: 2086m, 683m vertical drop
Skiable Area: 365 hectares
Lifts: 1 six seater chair, 1 quad chair, 1 triple chair, 1 enclosed Magic Carpet
Terrain: 25% beginner / 50% intermediate / 25% advanced (excludes Rakaia Saddle chutes)
Season: Scheduled 12 June – 17 October 2010
Average Snowfall: 4m per annum (excl snowmaking)
Snowmaking: 42 hectares
Operating Hours: 9am to 4pm
Access: 26km/35 minutes from Methven
Shuttles: Daily services to/from Methven and Christchurch.
*depending on conditions the season can be longer or shorter
Find out more from your local, personal travel manager.