We all know skiing and boarding can be expensive, right? If you don’t have your big 4WD, a private chalet and the latest gear it can be a bit daunting. But with a bit of careful planning and maybe just a touch of being a shameless cheapskate, you can get on the white stuff without blowing your budget. High in the Kosciuszko National Park, in the heart of the Snowy Mountains, Thredbo is the place to get alpine this season. It’s got the goods – Thredbo is the oldest ski resort in Australia, operating for over 50 years and the long runs are great for everyone, from beginners right through to black diamond showoffs.
Getting There You can fly to Sydney and bus it down or carpooling with your mates to save a little, or take your own car on the Spirit of Tasmania and meander up through the high country. There’s a range of accommodation at every budget level – check into YHA Thredbo for the cheapest bed on offer with a range of dorms and private rooms. Or try Bernti’s for that mountain lodge feel and The Denman for a touch of luxury. There are also loads of private properties like chalets and apartments to rent.
Tickets please! The biggest expense on the mountains is definitely your ski pass, and there are some tricky ways you can save on those. Skiing in the shoulder season is a gamble with how much snow coverage there’ll be, but if there’s an early or late season dump, you’re set. There are four key date ranges within the season, so choose the one that represents the best value for you. Thredbo encourage you to ‘Buy Early & Save’ – if you buy your lift ticket, lessons or gear rental at least seven days in advance you can save up to 20%. Will you be in the village for a few days? If you ride more you can save more, so consider buying a multi day pass, rather than a new pass each day. And the savings extend to kids under 18 too. Thredbo have discounted kids pricing for everyone under 18, as well as the Kids Ski Free promotion. There are some conditions around this so it’s worth checking the fine print at www.thredbo.com.au.
Cheap Eats and Mountain Treats There are loads of food options on the mountain to tempt you. Start your day with a hearty bacon and egg roll and coffee at the bottom of Friday Flat or a pastry from The Bakery in the village. After the ski day is over, your reward should always be a restorative beverage – The Alpine Hotel or River Inn outdoor terrace are alway a fun choice. Alfresco Pizza is always a winner with good pizza at normal prices, including the all important BYO, and the lively Thredbo Pub serves up counter meals before you kick on at Schuss Bar and Keller Bar.
Thredbo’s Hidden Secrets The Golf Course Bowl is through the trees and off the beaten track. Be rewarded with top snow, but go with someone in the know.
Anton’s and Sponars hits the mark for intermediate skiers with generally good snow in most conditions without the crowds.
For beautiful views, head up Australia’s highest lift and try Karel’s run and down into the Basin.
Friday Flat may be for beginners, but you can extend your snow day and ride for longer every Thursday and Saturday night in July and August when Friday Flat stays open until 7.30pm. It’s totally free from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.
Book at www.thredbo.com.au