Winter in the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales is heavenly for skiers and boarders. Apart from the stunning scenery of the Australian Alps (some of the world’s oldest snow-covered alpine landscapes), travellers can enjoy hitting the fresh powder on the slopes each day, taking in the crisp air, hanging out with a bunch of friends on an awesome ski trip and, of course, warming up with a taste of schnapps!
From Sydney, you can drive to the Snowy Mountains in roughly 5.5 hours, while from Melbourne you can get to the Victorian Alps in around 2-4.5 hours by car, depending which particular destination you’re headed to.
When driving to any of the snow fields in Australia, remember that while the mountain roads will generally be cleared of snow regularly, you are advised to fit chains to your vehicle’s tyres for better grip (at the very minimum you are required to carry them with you). It’s also always a good idea to travel in daylight hours as distances can be difficult to judge in the snow at night. You definitely don’t want to be stranded anywhere in the mountains when the temperatures drop down.
Where to stay
Once you get to the Snowy Mountains, the quaint village of Jindabyne in NSW is a popular destination. Apart from being a good jumping off spot to get to Thredbo and Perisher mountains, Jindabyne is also the perfect place to pick up equipment hire and supplies, and to book in a campsite for your stay. Two options in and around Jindabyne for sites:
Discovery Holiday Parks, on Kosciuszko Road overlooks the scenic Lake Jindabyne and has facilities including a BBQ, drying room, movie room, laundry, kiosk, heated spa/sauna, and wireless internet access. Rates start from $55 per night for vans.
Kosciuszko Mountain Retreat, located on Kosciuszko Road inside Kosciuszko National Park, has facilities including camp fires, a kiosk, a laundry, picnic area, public telephone and a large guest’s kitchen and lounge. Rates start from $30 per night for two people. Ensure you reserve your stay ahead of time at either spot as sites can quickly get booked out.
Where to let your hair down
When it comes time to party, Thredbo (roughly half an hour from Jindabyne) is an ideal destination and runs a variety of fun events throughout the winter season.
The Smirnoff Snow Dome, for example, runs from 8 June to 13 September this year and offers up the perfect combo of music, drinks and entertainment. The Snow Dome is an outdoor bar and DJ booth located at the base of Thredbo mountain. The pop-up bar features cool light shows, performances by some of Australia’s top musical talent, DJs rocking on and, of course, plenty of drinks to indulge in.
If you’d like to challenge yourself on your board, check out the Thredbo Night Jams. A new addition to the events calendar this year, the Night Jams run from 16 August to 13 September and provide snowboarders with the chance to enter a Rails competition under lights. Entrants can test their skills, battle for prizes and listen to the DJ mix up some tunes.
Picking A Camper
Make hiring a vehicle such as a Mighty campervan provides an ideal way to experience winter destinations like the Snowy Mountains and Mighty’s
Deuce camper is the way to go.
The vans are a wonderful home away from home and can come chock-full of creature comforts like bathroom facilities, microwave, fridge, gas stove, other cooking facilities, and warm beds. As mentioned above, you do still want to have snow chains with you, especially if you are driving a 2WD vehicle, and you should check weather reports for any potential hazards before you begin driving.
Start planning your Mighty road trip now.
Book a Mighty Camper now!
The Mighty Crew.