Every winter here in Australia, we cross our fingers and hope for snow to hit the Snowy Mountains so we can claim to have a Ski Season. This year we've had just enough and so we joined one of the weekend tours that head down from Sydney every weekend.
On the way there the bus stopped at a liquor shop for us to buy some booze, encouraging everyone to abandon their sober self-awareness, with the only instruction being not to puke on the bus of course. They even note how many Irish travellers they have on the bus by the numer of rubbish bags they have to doll out and collect.
It takes more than 6 hours to get to Jindabyne - a popular holiday destination in winter due to its close proximity to Thredbo and Perisher ski resorts. Unfortunately on the way to Jindabyne there was only Macca's, Macca's or Macca's for you to get dinner from. If you want to avoid the queues and have something better than Macca's, we suggest you BYO food and beat the queues. We failed to get anything in the end because the queue was literally 50m long!
If you want to find some Australian fauna we saw a few kangaroos on the way to the mountain. Normally they do run away if they see your car coming, but drive carefully just incase they get petrified by the beam of your lights. Note that the roads can also sometimes get slippery due to thin ice could that forms over night. Safety first! If you’re travelling down in a car or a campervan, it’s always better to have snow chains prepared for your tires just in case.
Two days in the snow may sound a bit too short for some, that’s including 12 hours travelling time. So really, you only have 1.5 days to enjoy. I found many Australian families would take days off work and take their children for a winter vacation during the school holidays. Parents would sign their children up for a ski or snowboard lesson and spend at least a week in a resort, if not more! I was very impressed watching the children aged from 3-5 years skiing or snowboarding down the hill at 60km/hr, and as a semi beginner, twice as fast as my 20km/hr. I lost count of how many times I fell on my face!
Over all, the Snowy Mountains is a great option for a get away in winter. It is absolutely stunning on top of the mountain. However, bear in mind that there is only way up on the lifts, not down. If it’s scary for you to ski down, it is better to build up your confidence at lower hills before you head up high.
If you’re not a tour kind of person, you could always rent a campervan and stay at one of the free parks along the way - listed here! Or else you can always book a resort near the snow slopes but that starts to cost some serious $$.