Although Australia is best known for its beautiful summers, you’ll actually find some pretty decent snowboarding in certain areas.
But only if you know the right resorts!
So, what are the best ski resorts in Australia for snowboarders?
The best places to snowboard in Australia are:
- Thredbo, New South Wales
- Perisher, New South Wales
- Falls Creek, Victoria
- Mt. Hotham, Victoria
- Mt. Buller, Victoria
- Ben Lomond Mountains, Tasmania
This article covers the unique features of each resort. Read on to get ideas for your next snowboarding venture…
1. Thredbo, New South Wales
Thredbo is one of the best places to snowboard in Australia, regardless of your expertise level.
It has 14 lifts spread across some pretty varied terrain (for Australia anyway). It also has the highest lifted point and the steepest overall terrain in mainland Australia.
As a bonus, you can enjoy some beautiful nature as you ride. At the top of Thredbo, is a great view of the surrounding mountains. It is also a short walking distance from the legendary Mount Kosciuszko.
Thredbo has 50 trails suitable for all snowboarders (speak to the local guides find the best trails for you). The super trail is the longest in Australia, with 5.7 km (3.5 miles) of snow from top to bottom.
Thredbo is also an excellent place for family getaways, with different parks designated for different skill levels.
Here are some great features of snowboarding in Thredbo:
- Terrain parks
- Flare runs
- Fireworks display
- On and off-piste challenges
- Stash powder bowls
- Natural challenges to challenge pros
The resort also has a leisure park with a squash court, gym, a heated pool, and a water slide.
How To Get To Thredbo:
You can get to Thredbo from Canberra or Sydney. It is a 2.4-hour drive from Canberra and takes 5.5 hours from Sydney. You can either rent a car and drive to the slopes or take a shuttle from the airports.
2. Perisher, New South Wales
Perisher is one of the biggest snowboarding resorts in Australia. It spans a massive 1,245 hectares (3,076 acres).
Some of the key features you’ll find here are:
- 42 lifts
- Tasty tree runs
- Slopes for all ages and abilities
- Seven snow parks
- Boardercross runs (most years)
Perisher resort is located in the Kosciusko National Park. There is consequently some beautiful scenery and wildlife in the area!
The resort is actually spread across four (fairly small) mountains. The downside is that most of the runs are pretty short at around 300 m (984 feet) long.
Perisher also hosts some cool events such as Meet The Pros – an interactive Q&A session with some infamous snowboarding pros.
How To Get To Perisher:
You can drive to the resort in six hours from Melbourne. It is a seven-hour drive from Sydney.
3. Falls Creek, Victoria
Falls Creek is one of the smaller snowboarding resorts in Australia, covering only 450 hectares (1,111 acres). However, it’s still one of the best places to snowboard in Australia.
I say this mainly due to the awesome atmosphere they had when I was there. The resort has plenty of accommodation, with places to hang out in the evenings.
As with many Australian ski resorts, the snow cover is unreliable. However, Falls Creek has plenty of snow cannons which utilize water from the nearby Rocky Valley Lake.
The resort offers you 14 lifts and night lighting. This allowed me to snowboard at night when the trails are less crowded.
How To Get To Falls Creek:
The resort is a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne and 20 minutes away from Mt. Beauty. You can take a flight to Melbourne airport and then ride the bus to the resort. You can also rent a car and drive yourself to Falls Creek.
4. Mt. Hotham, Victoria
Mt. Hotham is the highest snow resort in Australia, making it more reliable for snowfall (than the rest of Australia anyway). The snow levels are usually good enough for a slightly longer season than other resorts.
Mt Hotham is one of the best places to snowboard in Australia for for more advanced riders. It has some fast, tricky, and exciting runs compared to the more tame terrain in other resorts. Don’t worry though, several of the slopes are also easily negotiable for a beginner.
It has 13 lifts and the longest run is 2.5 km (1.55 miles) long. It also has a hiking trail you can enjoy if you want to take a break from snowboarding (unlikely).
Another benefit of Mt. Hotham is that it doesn’t attract huge crowds like Thredbo and Perisher. It is a great place to hang out with your family, especially if you prefer quieter and less crowded areas.
The unique aspect of the Mt. Hotham resort is its upside-down layout. Most snowboarding resorts have their lodgings and restaurants at the bottom of the slopes. Mt. Hotham has its lodgings and restaurants at the top. Expect some awesome views!
Another advantage of this place is that if you’re working with a tight budget, Mt. Hotham is one of the cheaper snowboarding resorts in Australia.
How To Get To Mt Hotham:
Despite being less popular than the other resorts on this list, Mt. Hotham is pretty accessible to domestic and international snowboarding enthusiasts. Simply take a flight to Hotham Airport and then drive to the resort.
The airport has shuttles and buses but I’d probably just rent a car and drive yourself. It is only 20 minutes away down the Great Alpine road.
5. Mt. Buller, Victoria
Mt Buller is probably the most popular ski area in Victoria, partly because of how accessible it is from Melbourne. This can make it pretty crowded on the weekends!
If you’re an intermediate snowboarder looking to improve your skills, Mt. Buller is a good shout. The resort has a series of rails, jumps, and rollers, alongside some reasonably steep terrain. You can either ride the Blue runs of the Northern slopes or the black trails of the Southern slopes.
The backcountry zone is also easily accessible on the rare occasion that powder snowboarding is possible.
The viewpoints on the resort are set up to look down the Delatite Valley. You also get a great view over the Victorian Alps.
If you want to do more than snowboarding in Mt. Buller, theres a pretty vibrant atmosphere in the evenings and plenty to do.
How To Get To Mt. Buller:
The Mt. Buller resort is a 3-hour drive from Melbourne. You can also take a flight to Melbourne airport, then take the airport shuttle to the resort.
6. Ben Lomond Mountains, Tasmania
Tasmania is often overlooked in snowboarding, and other snow-sports.
However, the Ben Lomond mountains carries all of Tasmania’s snowsports “glory”.
This tiny resort offers some deceivingly great runs for anyone heading south in the winter. The slopes are not as challenging or steep as other Australian snowfields. This makes it a great place to start if you are a beginner.
The easy terrain doesn’t attract huge crowds because most snowboarders prefer challenging terrain. This means you’ll have plenty of space to push yourself and improve your snowboarding skills.
The resort also offers excellent alpine scenery and shows Tasmania’s natural beauty. It is an excellent getaway for Tasmanians and a great change of scenery for visitors.
How To Get To Ben Lomond:
You can fly in through Launceston Airport, then take the 1-hour 25-minute drive to the resort. The airport and resort have shuttle buses too.
However, if you prefer a scenic, slow drive rent a car and drive yourself there. It is one hour from Launceston and three hours from Hobart.
Is Snowboarding In Australia Worth It?
If the alternative is not snowboarding at all, then hell yeah!
Australia allows snowboarding in the Southern hemisphere during American/European summer. For winter-chasers such as myself, this allows year round snowboarding!
However, if you’re used to ski resorts in USA/Canada/Europe then adjust your expectations a little. Australian resorts are much smaller and less snow-sure.
Alternatives To Snowboarding In Australia
The most common decision for Australian’s is whether to stay in Australia or head to a snowboard resort in New Zealand.
They share roughly the same season dates. Plus, some Australians are as close to New Zealand as they are the Australian mountains (Australia is flipping massive).
New Zealand offers better steeps, backcountry riding and even heli-skiing. However there is almost zero on-mountain accommodation, unlike the Australian resorts above.
Australia also has much more terrain below the tree line, providing cover on those bad weather days. New Zealand on a windy day is brutal!
However, there’s one option that both the Kiwi’s and Aussie’s should consider…
Japan is close enough that it’s well worth making the pilgrimage to powder paradise. Unfortunately, more and more of you are realising this. Niseko is starting to feel as Australian as Thredbo! Perhaps I should stop recommending it so much…
I hope you enjoyed hearing about the best places to snowboard in Australia.
Do you agree with the list? Disagree?
I’d love to hear from some of my Australian readers!
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