Ski Australia

There are around 20 Australian ski resorts, a little under half of these are commercial ski centres, the remainder are club fields run by enthusiasts and generally volunteers.

Most of Australia's ski areas are located in New South Wales and Victoria, home to the country's highest peaks, as well as most of its population. There are two small ski centres on the southern island of Tasmania too however.

There has been heavy investment in resort development in recent years at the largest resorts, particularly Perisher, which measures itself as the largest ski area in the southern hemisphere (in terms of groomed terrain and number of lifts) but also at resorts including Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Mount Buller.

So when you ski Australia you’ll find all the latest equipment on the slopes. Although uniquely Australian, the ski resorts typically follow the North American model of self-contained complexes with modern lift systems, all amenities on site and the opportunity for condominium ownership, most of them owned by a single company.

Snow cover can be an issue at Australian ski areas but, as in other countries where cold weather is not guaranteed through the winter, lots of coping strategies have been developed to ensure there is some snow even in the ‘bad times’ including snow farming, cloud seeding and traditional snow making. One resort has won awards for recycling ‘waste water’ in to snow after purification. And in fact Australian resorts typically have relatively good snowfall records from May to September.

Australian ski centres have hit media headlines in the country in recent years for a reason the centres are not so keen to promote – lift ticket prices have topped the world tables, sometimes overtaking the usual highest resorts in North America, as the most expensive anywhere. This is partly due to the high operating costs for resorts in Australia but more caused by the inexorable rise in value of the Australian dollar against other currencies (at least at the time of writing!)

Although Australia is one of the world’s newest major nations, skiing in Australia is as old as the sport itself anywhere in the world, thanks to immigrants bringing skiing to Australia with them in the nineteenth century.

Indeed Australia recently celebrated 150 years iof skiing – longer than most other countries – thanks to The Kiandra Snowshoe Club in Australia which lays joint claim to the title "world's oldest ski club" with a Norwegian contender.

The title may be a little academic, as the Kiandra Snowshoe Club's founder members were probably Norwegian immigrants anyway, as it is they who are credited with bringing skiing to Australia in 1861 during the gold rush. Since then Australians, along with New Zealanders, have re-exported their skiing talents world-wide, it's a rare ski school in the world's top resorts hat doesn't employ at least one antipodean ski teacher.

In more recent times the world's first indoor snowdome (arguably), Mount TheBarton, opened in Australia in 1987 although it closed after 20 years and subsequent attempts to bring indoor snow back to Australia are yet to prove successful. However several of the world's pioneering 'indoor snow' manufacturing businesses are also Australian.

Most resorts offer a good mix of accommodation from basic to high calibre. There's skiing here when 98% of the world's resorts are shut down through "lack of snow" in the northern hemisphere’s summer months but it can be a long trek to most of the resorts with few ski centres near major population centres. However increasingly good flight links from Melbourne and Sydney have shortened the trip.
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Australia: latest snow conditions round-up


AUSTRALIA REPORT Australia has had an incredible start to its 2021 season at almost all of its resorts, with a sensational snowfall just days before lifts were due to start spinning on Saturday. This is on top of a few weeks of cold temps for base building with snowmaking systems. Tuesday and Wednesday last week, just after we had completed our last report, turned out to be the snowiest days of the past seven in Australia with heavy snowfall causing lots of logistical issues including road closures.

The one ski area that had opened early, Perisher (20/80cm / 8/32"), reported several of the roads leading to it blocked for a time on Wednesday. It now has 13km (8 miles) of runs open, only a fraction of its skiable area but the largest amount in Australia so far. Thredbo (5/10cm / 2/4"), meanwhile, announced on Wednesday, after its first 40cm (16 inches) of snowfall was reported, that it would be opening on Saturday. Gunbarrel, Cruiser, Merritts Gondola and Easy Does It will all open for skiing and boarding from opening day serving Walkabout, Ballroom and Squatters Run in the Cruiser Area as well as High Noon, Dream Run and Friday Flat, with the Easy Rider Terrain Park also making its season debut. Hotham (25/37cm / 10/15") had their Road Runner, Summit Quad and Summit Trainer lifts spinning from Saturday and say they plan to open up more terrain as soon as they can. Falls Creek (17/23cm / 7/9") had Halley's Comet, Towers and Drovers Dream lifts plus Mouse Trap Carpet operating from their opening day plus the Eagle Express and Gully chairs were open for access to the Village bowl and Cloud 9 with Main Street, Drover's Dream and Wombats Ramble among the open terrain. By the end of Wednesday, Perisher and nearby Charlotte Pass topped the snowfall tables with 60cm (2 feet) accumulated and a lull in the storm. But the snow news wasn't all good, and not all snow. Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort said it had over 275mm of precipitation (beating the previous record of 145mm) but the snow was wet and caused damage and flooding to areas of the resort. As a result, the centre was unable to offer snowsports for its opening weekend. Mt Buller (0/10cm / 0/4") also didn't really benefit much from the storm but credited its May and June snowmaking efforts with a successful season-opening on Saturday, having created a 45cm (18") base. But camera images showed green hillsides around the snow ribbon. In terms of the pandemic, the lockdown in Victoria and Melbourne following cases of the Delta variant being found there have now ended. But there's currently a ban on residents of Melbourne travelling more than 25km from the city, ruling out ski trips for now.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Australia. Fresh snow is forecast at 0 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.

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Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for Australia

All resorts

Ski resorts of Australia, alphabetically

Resort
snow depth
top and bottom

on-piste

off-piste

Last Snow

Next 9 Days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue

(1448m — 1573m)

snow report today

Ben Lomond webcam
14 cm
today
1
1
light snow cloud clear part cloud part cloud
Mid station 1510 m
1450m 1400m 1500m 1250m 1200m

(489m — 1099m)

snow report 4 days ago

2 cm
4 days ago
clear cloud rain showers light rain light rain
Mid station 794 m
2900m 2550m 1950m 1350m 1350m

(1760m — 1954m)

snow report yesterday

4 cm
yesterday
4
9
light snow snow showers clear clear clear
Mid station 1857 m
1150m 1500m 1450m 1950m 2350m

(1506m — 1521m)

snow report 2 days ago

3 cm
2 days ago
2
4
light snow light snow clear clear clear
Mid station 1514 m
1600m 1500m 1300m 2250m 2400m

(1600m — 1780m)

snow report today

Falls Creek webcam
23
17
Packed powder or groomed snow 4 cm
yesterday
1
7
light snow snow showers clear clear clear
Mid station 1690 m
1650m 1500m 1400m 2200m 2400m

(1430m — 1520m)

snow report 2 days ago

1 cm
2 days ago
light rain part cloud clear clear part cloud
Mid station 1475 m
1750m 1500m 1800m 2150m 2300m

(1450m — 1560m)

snow report 6 days ago

4 cm
6 days ago
2
2
light snow snow showers clear clear part cloud
Mid station 1505 m
1700m 1500m 1400m 2250m 2300m

(1512m — 1676m)

snow report yesterday

5 cm
yesterday
9
cloud clear clear clear clear
Mid station 1594 m
1800m 1750m 1850m 2100m 2300m

(1390m — 1790m)

snow report yesterday

Mount Buller webcam
47
Artificial 4 cm
2 days ago
1
8
light snow clear clear clear clear
Mid station 1590 m
1700m 1700m 1800m 2200m 2350m

(1219m — 1250m)

snow report 10 days ago

5 cm
10 days ago
light rain part cloud clear clear part cloud
Mid station 1234 m
1700m 1600m 1950m 2100m 2250m

(1454m — 1850m)

snow report today

Mount Hotham webcam
37
27
Packed powder or groomed snow 3 cm
2 days ago
2
8
light snow snow showers clear clear clear
Mid station 1652 m
1650m 1500m 1350m 2250m 2400m

(1230m — 1300m)

snow report 9 days ago

Mount Mawson webcam
3 cm
9 days ago
light rain part cloud clear part cloud cloud
Mid station 1265 m
1700m 1450m 1700m 1200m 1250m

(427m — 457m)

mod rain rain showers clear clear part cloud
Mid station 442 m
1700m 1500m 1400m 2250m 2300m

(1719m — 1749m)

snow report 2 days ago

4 cm
2 days ago
1
9
light snow clear clear clear clear
Mid station 1734 m
1750m 1750m 1700m 2200m 2350m

(1700m — 2034m)

snow report 2 days ago

Perisher webcam
80
20
Packed powder or groomed snow 4 cm
yesterday
3
7
light snow light snow clear clear clear
Mid station 1867 m
1150m 1450m 1400m 1700m 2350m

(1400m — 1520m)

snow report yesterday

3 cm
yesterday
1
1
light snow part cloud clear clear clear
Mid station 1460 m
1150m 1500m 1450m 1650m 2300m

(1365m — 2037m)

snow report yesterday

60
25

Fresh

Fresh
3 cm
yesterday
4
6
light snow light snow clear clear clear
Mid station 1701 m
1150m 1450m 1400m 2050m 2350m