Tourism

“It’s looking like a strong start”: Aussie Ski resorts gearing up for big season

In typical Aussie form, the weather has dropped below 15 degrees and people are acting like it’s the dawn of a new ice age.

But for some Aussies, this drastic drop in temperature means its time to hit the local ski fields after a massive snowfall was forecast in high traffic areas over the coming weeks.

The icy weather across southern and eastern Australia has already yielded good snowfall along Kosciuszko, Mount Buller and kunanyi/Mount Wellington.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicted the snow level, the elevation above which snow will fall, to sit around 600-700 metres across Victoria, Tasmania and southeast NSW, and over 800m in the NSW Central Tablelands.

Perisher Valley and Thredbo are expecting around 50cm of snow, which is larger than usual for this time of year.

The Aussie ski season typically goes from June to September.

The Guardian reported that the owner and forecaster at Snowcatch, Pete Taylor, said La Niña did not prevent snow from falling in the eastern states.

“We’re still in La Niña, so there’s a lot of moisture around the southern hemisphere,” Taylor said.

“Normally that would mean we’ll get more rainfall [than snow]. But there’s been a shift in the high-pressure system moving to the south, which has allowed cold air to come up and hit the mountains.”

The expected snowfall for the coming three weeks was “usual” for this time of year and could mean some slopes open early, according to Taylor.

“It’s looking like a strong start,” he said.

In anticipation of the new ski season, the online travel agent KAYAK released data that showed Thredbo and Mount Buller are the most searched domestic ski destinations for travel this winter, followed by Perisher Valley.

Rhylla Morgan, the spokesperson from Mount Buller said that this is not a surprise to her and her team.

“We are a very popular destination,” Buller said.

“We’re particularly popular for Victorians and many from Melbourne consider us their Mountain.

“For a lot of people, if you talk about snow, Mount Buller is one of the things that you know is on their lips.”

The report said that accommodation at domestic ski destinations is on a steep upward trajectory compared to pre-pandemic levels. The average nightly prices for 1 June – 31 September 2022 are as follows:

  • Mount Buller is $492 per average nightly stay; up about 9 per cent from 2019 levels.
  • Thredbo is $584 per average nightly stay; up about 10 per cent from 2019 levels.
  • Perisher Valley is $666 per average nightly stay; up about 23 per cent from 2019 levels.
  • Falls Creek is $706 per average nightly stay; up about 46 per cent from 2019 levels.
  • Mount Hotham is $823 per average nightly stay; up about 32 per cent from 2019 levels.

The average cost of car hire in Australia is sitting at around $102 per day this winter (up 98 per cent on 2019 levels).

“Price is always a key consideration when planning trips to the snow, and many people debate whether skiing domestically or internationally is better value,” KAYAK brand director Nicola Carmichael said.

“Our data shows that there are great deals to be had in New Zealand this season. Travellers just need to be aware and consider things like passport expiration and renewal wait times when planning overseas travel!”



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