You’ll find Perisher in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains, part of the Australian Alps. Perisher is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere and is a combination of four ski villages in the Kosciuszko National Park – Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Guthega, and Blue Cow. This broad-ranging resort takes in no less than seven spectacular Snowy Mountain peaks centered on Mount Perisher, which stands a formidable 2054 metres above sea level. There are 47 ski lifts and the skiable area measures over 12km, providing something for everyone.
Perisher is a great starting point to tailor your snow holiday around, whether you’re taking the kids for the first time, are travelling with a group of beginners, or are looking to get your edges stuck into some serious powder. Of course, there’s also snowplay, snowtubing, pampering spas, gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels and just good old-fashioned family fun. You’ll find what you’re after at Perisher!
Getting to Perisher
Perisher is a two-and-a-half hour drive by car from Canberra; five-and-a-half hours from Sydney; or about seven hours from Melbourne. Located in the Kosciuszko National Park, entry to Perisher does require payment of park entry fees (AU$29 per vehicle per day during winter, as at 2018) and the compulsory carrying of snow chains in winter for cars without 4WD. For more info on entry to the National Park, check out the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
If you are driving to Perisher, three of the ski villages have free parking. Both Perisher Valley and Smiggin Holes have free day use parking, while Guthega has day and overnight spaces.
If you’re choosing to stay off-snow, Jindabyne is about thirty minutes away. From Jindabyne you can catch the Skitube alpine railway – Australia’s only underground rack railway. The Skitube starts at Bullocks Flat which is 20 kilometres from Jindabyne. Bullocks Flat is below the snow line, which makes it safer than driving on snow covered roads. Best of all, Bullocks Flat has free day and overnight parking. A Skitube ticket includes access to the National Park and there are also options to combine your Skitube ticket with lift passes, lessons and equipment hire.
There are also various shuttle or private charter options to get to Perisher.
Getting around Perisher
To get around Perisher, you can travel by the Skitube alpine railway. Skitube travels from Bullocks Flat to Perisher Valley and Blue Cow Mountain. The distance is 8.5 kilometres, with 6.3 kilometres being underground, making it one of the longest underground train tunnels in Australia. It takes 10 minutes from Bullocks Flat to Perisher and seven minutes to Blue Cow.
Once you’re in Perisher, travel between Perisher Valley and Blue Cow is free with any valid mountain pass. Skitube runs 24 hours a day; seven days a week and at 20 minute intervals during peak times from June long weekend to October long weekend.
Best skiing at Perisher
The official ski season at Perisher is from the second weekend in June to the first weekend of October. The best snow however is in July and August.
There are 47 ski lifts to get you to the best skiing and snowboarding tracks: an eight-seater chair lift known as the Village Eight Express; two high-speed quad detachable chair lifts; five fixed-grip quad chair lifts; four double chair lifts; two triple chair lifts; 21 T-Bars; three J-bars; seven ski carpets; and 2 rope tows. The highest chair lift point is on the Mount Perisher Double Chair and reaches 2,034 metres.
The run difficulties are a good mix of beginner (22%), intermediate (60%) and advanced (18%). There are five progressive terrain parks for skiers and boarders of all levels, and two half-pipes for aerial tricks. You can ski and board under lights at Front Valley from 6.00pm – 9.00pm on Tuesday’s and Saturday’s on the Village Eight Express. For kids, Smiggin Holes offers night skiing on Zoe’s Carpet from 6.00pm – 8.00pm on Wednesday’s.
Staying at Perisher
You can stay on- or off-snow at Perisher. On-snow, the largest range of properties are in Perisher Valley, Guthega and Smiggin Holes. Off-snow, head to Jindabyne. With options to stay from budget to high end, and accommodation types to suit any traveller, you’ll be able to create your dream holiday!
Playing at Perisher – for the kids
Perisher is an ideal family holiday location, with beginner trails at each of the four ski villages. Smiggin Holes has excellent terrain for beginner skiers and families, with a bowl where everyone returns to the same place when finishing their runs.
For kids who are old enough to ski or snowboard, three hour lessons (for ages 6 – 14 years) and full day programs (for ages 5 – 15 years) are on offer. The full day program also includes lunch so you can drop them off and they can go on an adventure!
For kids who aren’t yet old enough to ski, childcare and discovery programs are available – giving you free time to enjoy the slopes.
And if they’re looking for something else to do, there’s also tobogganing, tube riding, snowball fights, snowman building, and exploring the magic forest! Perisher is fun for all ages and abilities.
Playing at Perisher – for the adults
With a skiable area of more than 12sq kms, you could spend days at Perisher trying a different trail each time. There are five terrain parks, including one that is under lights; two rider x courses; a half pipe; a mini half pipe; and more than 100km of marked cross-country trails. If you’re a skier or boarder, you won’t get bored at Perisher!
When you’ve had enough of the snow, Perisher Village has coffee shops and cafes, restaurants, and retail outlets. With cuisine options including Italian, modern global, Mexican, a steakhouse, hearty pub food, cosy cafes, and fresh baked pastries, you’re sure to find catering to suit any desire. And don’t forget, at the end of the day, to check out the cocktail bars and pubs to wind down and relax.
Off-snow, Jindabyne is heavily tourist-orientated with hundreds of options and entertainment overlooking the amazing Lake Jindabyne. Naturally, there are also all the bars, music and nightlife you can handle plus plenty of retail therapy when you’ve had enough of the mountains.