Thredbo

Ski Resort in Australia

Introduction

Thredbo is a village and ski resort in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, and a part of the Snowy Monaro Regional Council. It is about 500 kilometres south of Sydney, accessible by the Alpine Way via Cooma, Berridale, and Jindabyne. The village is built in the valley of the Thredbo River, also known as the Crackenback River, at the foot of the Ramshead Range.

Thredbo is is probably the closest thing Australia has to an alpine village. It lies just on the snowline, and has a variety of accommodation, ski lodges, restaurants, and even a heated swimming pool. Accommodation is just a short walk or shuttle bus ride to the ski lifts in the winter, and the town is still alive during the summer months, with bushwalks, mountain biking, and even some snowplay well into summer. By comparison Perisher Valley is a large ski resort, with more lifts and more skiing area during winter. However it is not a summer destination, and all you will see there is a large carpark. There is some accommodation there also, but little alpine village atmosphere.

Winter sees the resort blanketed in snow providing skiers and snowboarders with Australia’s longest runs and most exciting skiable terrain affording Thredbo its reputation as Australia’s premier ski resort.

With fourteen lifts servicing 480 hectares of skiable area and Australia’s largest purpose-built beginners’ area at Friday Flat, Thredbo caters to skiers and snowboarders of all levels of ability, from beginner to expert.

Thredbo enjoys approximately two metres of natural snowfall annually. A vast network of automated snow making is employed to complement natural snow fall enabling a winter season of 16 to 18 weeks annually.

Thredbo’s Kosciuszko Express high speed quad chair lift operates year-round providing access for hiking across the main range to Mount Kosciuszko and to the trailheads of Thredbo’s downhill mountain biking network.

Outside of the snow season, Thredbo Alpine Village has a broad offering of leisure facilities including the leisure centre with 50m swimming pool, squash, gymnasium, 9 hole golf course, tennis courts, bobsled and expanding mountain biking trail network including downhill and cross country trails and a pump track on the Village Green.

An annual calendar of music and cultural festivals complement the year-round operation attracting just under a million visitors per year.

The town has around 4,150 beds, but a permanent population of only about 471 people. When the mountain is fully covered by snow, Thredbo has the longest ski runs in Australia, and this attracts around 700,000 winter visitors annually. In summer, Thredbo is a hiking and summer sport destination, including rock climbing and abseiling, fishing and cross-country cycling, and hosts a blues music festival, boasting approximately 300,000 summer visitors.


Thredbo info card

LocationAustralian Alps, New South Wales
Nearest cityCanberra
CoordinatesCoordinates: 36°30′17″S 148°18′20″E
Top elevation2,037m
Base elevation1,365m
Skiable area480 ha.
Runs>50
Longest run5km (Village Trail from Karel's T-bar down to Friday Flats)
Lift system13 lifts
Snowfall2.04m
WebsiteOfficial Site


Ski resort

Thredbo is an Australian ski resort set within Kosciuszko National Park in NSW and was modelled on a European skiing town reflecting the heritage of workers on the Snowy Mountains Scheme such as Tony Sponar, who is credited with having established the location as a ski field.  Contrasting with the primarily lodge-based Perisher Thredbo is a town with lodges, shopping and nightlife. Thredbo has 14 lifts (3 hi-speed quads, 1 quad, 5 t-bars, 3 double chairs, and 2 snowrunners). It has the steepest overall terrain of any ski resort in mainland Australia, and also the highest lifted point (2037m AHD). From this highest access point at Karel's T-Bar, the lease-holder Kosciuszko Thredbo and private adventure companies have access for backcountry ski tours to Mt. Kosciuszko. Thredbo Village sits at the base of the Crackenback Valley, and due to its low altitude (1365m) the ski resort does not always retain snow on the lower half of the mountain as a result of higher temperatures, although temperature inversions at night and below zero temperatures enable snow making. Because of this, Thredbo has invested almost $6 million in the largest snowmaking system in the Southern Hemisphere, covering some 65 hectares of trail and using a three-stage automated process. The system is operated mainly at night to top up the lower half of the mountain and any other high traffic areas. The automated areas include the Supertrail, Friday Flat, High Noon, The Cruiser area's Walkabout and Ballroom, Sundowner, Lovers Leap bypass, World Cup, and Lower True Blue.

Thredbo has over 50 ski runs and employs a standard 3-colour grade system; green for beginners, blue intermediate and black diamond advanced. The resort has received some criticism for varying the standards of these grades in different areas of the mountain. The longest continual run is from the top of Karel's T-Bar to Friday Flat and is 5.9 km long; however, this is composed of several trails. The longest single run is the Crackenback Supertrail, which is the longest run in Australia. The most difficult run in Thredbo is said to be Funnel Web, an essentially ungroomed ski trail notorious for its steep middle section and bumps and moguls.

During the Vietnam War, Australia was one of the destinations soldiers could pick for a week-long R & R. At the Sydney airport the USO had different activities that could be chosen if the soldier wished. One option was skiing at Thredbo at a reduced rate. The package included round trip transportation (part by air, part bus), and for each night of lodging, breakfast and dinner, equipment, a group lesson, and a lift ticket. Also included were gloves, ski pants, and a warm jacket; soldiers in Vietnam didn't have any of that so needed it all to be furnished. At the end of the season mats were placed on the lower slopes enabling one to ski to the bottom.

The village offers a free shuttle bus service during winter that link the Valley Terminal, Friday Flat, and the majority of the ski lodges.


Thredbo Snow

Like all the other Australian ski resorts, Thredbo is not renowned for its snow quality or quantity. The average snowfall per season is approximately 2 metres, whilst the quality of the snow can vary from heavy powder to slurpee-like or patchy.

Many of the slopes on the eastern side of the resort have the advantage of a mostly south-facing orientation, and Thredbo Resort has another claim to fame with the highest lifted terrain in Australia via a T-bar at 2,037 metres (Perisher has the highest chair lift at 2,034m!). Nonetheless the snow quality isn’t so good further down the hill and sometimes it doesn’t hold up until midday on High Noon!

Thredbo skiing can be a lot of fun, but it comes as no great surprise that a lot of Aussies go skiing in Japan during their summer to get a powder fix.


Thredbo Accommodation

There are lots of options for Thredbo accommodation including hotels, catered lodges, apartments and chalets. Much of the accommodation in Thredbo caters to upscale budgets, although there is some economical lodging including a hostel. There are three main zones for accommodation.

Staying in Thredbo Village provides easy access to the heartbeat of the town, and the slopes are a short walk (or shuttle ride) away.

Woodridge near Friday Flat is a good spot to stay for beginners and those who need childcare. The River Inn is popular because it is uniquely ski in ski out to the Friday Flat area.

The Crackenback Ridge area near the Thredbo golf course has some privately owned ski in ski out chalets.


Thredbo Facilities

Unlike Perisher, which mostly consists of a series of ski lodges, Thredbo Village is charming and has various amenities and shops. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, including après ski pubs and dignified wine and cocktail bars. On the slopes there are also various eateries including the lovely Eagles Nest, the highest restaurant in Australia.

Thredbo has other well developed ski resort facilities including a good ski school offering lessons for ages 3 and up, and the resort also offers child care for babies aged 6 weeks plus.

Transportation - Get In


By plane

  • The nearest airport with scheduled services is the Snowy Mountains Airport. From there you can hire a car or get a coach to Thredbo.

By car

  • Thredbo is about 2.5 hours drive from Canberra, and 1 hour from Cooma, and around 6 hours drive from Sydney. The drive from Melbourne is also around 6 hours via the Alpine Way. A nice drive during summer, but can be subject to snow and ice during winter. Check road conditions.

National park entry fees apply to vehicles and are payable at entrance stations on roads into the park and other locations. There is also a fee for bus passengers. The fee for a car in winter is $27 per 24 hours. In summer it is $16 per vehicle per day. Drive-through (non-stop) passes for the Alpine Way are free.

Chains must be carried during winter, and you must know how to fit them. If chains are required, signs will be placed in the appropriate chain fitting bays, however quite often chains are not required.


By bus

Winter timetabled trips:

  • Greyhound daily from Sydney and Sydney airport, Canberra and Canberra airport, and Jindabyne.
  • Murrays daily from Canberra via Jindabyne, Saturdays from Sydney
  • Snow Express Fridays and Sundays from Canberra and Canberra airport

There are several tour companies that offer bus travel as part of a package, including Ski Kaos and Oz Snow Adventures.

Many skiiers and boarders stay in Jindabyne and travel to Thredbo as a day trip. Services timed for day trips include:

The NSW Trainlink coach services now service Jindabyne all year round. During summer, the final part of the trip to Thredbo is still problematic by public transport. A taxi is a possible, but expensive, option.

Transportation - Get Around

Free shuttle buses run around the village on about 15 minute intervals in winter. There are three routes:

  • Route 1 (Red): minibuses that run along Crackenback Drive, Diggings Terrace (without stops), and Bobuck Lane, then Friday Drive to and from Valley Terminal and Friday Flat only
  • Route 2 (Green): minibuses that run along Diggings Terrace and Banjo Drive, return along the same route, then Friday Drive to and from Valley Terminal and Friday Flat only
  • Route 3 (Orange): large buses that run between Valley Terminal and Friday Flat with intermediate stops at accommodation on Friday Drive

The Green and Red routes are designed for visitors staying in accommodation higher in the village. Maps for all three routes can be found at https://www.thredbo.com.au/the-village/road-transport/

It is unusual to drive around the village: there is very little street parking, and so parking can be difficult even during the busier periods in summer and is impossible in winter. Most visitors leave their cars at their accommodation or in the resort car parks.

The distances are walkable, but the village is on a steep hill, most streets do not have dedicated footpaths, and roads may be icy. However, traffic moves very slowly and it is quite common for people to walk to and from the village and their accommodation.

Ski Area

Thredbo Resort proudly has the longest vertical drop of the Aussie ski resorts and at 672 metres, the vertical is almost double that of Perisher (and about a quarter of Chamonix France and Zermatt Switzerland!!). The vertical is a blessing for those that adore long thigh burning runs. The Crackenback Supertrail (now just called Supertrail) is 3.5km long and great for lots of speedy turns, and if you get the Crackenback waxed you can go even faster!

The vertical can also be somewhat of a curse for the snow quality considering the base elevation is only 1,365 metres. Thankfully Thredbo’s other claim to fame is having the most snowmaking facilities in the southern hemisphere. Snowmaking covers 15% of the terrain, and top to bottom skiing and snowboarding is generally possible.

The 480 hectares of Thredbo skiing terrain provides a reasonably good mix of slopes for all ability levels, although it has a bias to intermediate riders with lots of groomed cruisers and some steep-ish blues. The trail stats are beginner 16%, intermediate 67%, and advanced/expert 17%. Friday Flat is aptly named and includes a dedicated beginners’ area where novices can plough into each other undisturbed!

Thredbo Ski Resort has a variety of black runs, many of them rather short, as well as some good off-piste riding in Golf Course Bowl. The trail map doesn’t differentiate between single and double black diamond terrain, possibly because none of the black runs are worthy of being awarded another diamond.

And even though the resort claims to have the steepest overall ski terrain in Australia (which isn’t saying much), the expert terrain isn’t a patch on that found at Mt Hotham. However like it’s Victorian counterpart, Thredbo does excel in the backcountry stakes.

Thredbo Ski Resort has 14 lifts, which includes 3 express quads that cope with most of the weekend stampedes, as well as a few double chairs, and a handful of T-bars up high which are handy for windy days.


Terrain parks

Thredbo has several terrain parks;

  • Wombat World- a terrain park for younger children, which has a few bumps, funboxes and arches. Located on Friday Flat.
  • Merrits Park- a terrain park for beginners to intermediates, which contains a few jumps and boxes. Located at the base of the Cruiser chairlift. A t-bar runs from the bottom to the top of this park.
  • Cruiser Park - This park has a series of rails, boxes, big jumps and a picnic table. It's always changing to challenge the rider. Located at the base of "The cruiser" chair.
  • Antons Park- a terrain park for experienced freestyle skiers and boarders with large jumps, rails and a wall ride. Located on Antons.
  • Ridercross- Changes location from year to year.

Gunbarrel Express chairlift

The Gunbarrel Express is a detachable quad chairlift in Thredbo. It runs from the Friday Flat beginners area to a point on The Traverse trail roughly halfway between the Central Spur and the Merritts Spur. The lift was constructed in 1988 as part of a thirty million (Australian) dollar investment into the mountain by its new owners, Amalgamated Holdings Limited. It is unique in Thredbo in that it crosses over other lifts, namely the Easy Does It fixed-grip quad and the Merritts fixed-grip double. This chairlift provides good access to a variety of runs and is convenient to the Woodridge and Friday Flat lodges as well as major carparks.

Two runs, The Glades and Pegasus, run underneath the higher part of the Gunbarrel Express, with the former running into the latter. The lower half is significantly steeper with many concealed obstacles including a creek (and often suffers from only partial cover), and is out-of-bounds.

Statistics:

  • Base elevation: 1365m
  • Base location: Friday Flat
  • Terminal elevation: 1791m
  • Terminal location: The Traverse, approx. halfway between Cruiser terminal and Antons base.
  • Length: 1679m
  • Vertical Rise: 426m
  • Average gradient: 1 in 3.9

Ski lifts & pass


Lifts

NameLift TypeLength(m)Vertical Rise(m)Base Elevation(m)Terminal Elevation(m)
Kosciuszko ExpressExpress Quad186056013651925
Gunbarrel ExpressExpress Quad167942613651791
The CruiserExpress Quad99921416601874
SnowgumsDouble Chair173547213651837
MerrittsDouble Chair135030013651665
Ramshead (Decommissioned)Double Chair177048013651845
BasinT-Bar65014518201965
KarelsT-Bar4848319542037
AntonsT-Bar80023017321962
SponarsT-Bar94226017201980
Easy RiderT-Bar27565UnknownUnknown


Winter pass

  • Winter lift access from 9 June 2018 to 1 October 2018

2018 WINTER PASSCURRENTPAYMENT PLANSEASON PASS PROTECTIONFINAL PAYMENT DUE 30 APR 2018
Adult$ 869$49 Deposit$ 50$ 820
Tertiary$ 719$49 Deposit$ 30$ 670
Child$ 569$49 Deposit$ 30$ 520
Over 65$ 569$49 Deposit$ 30$ 520
Over 70$ 159N/A$ 30N/A
4 & Under$ 39N/AN/AN/A


Thredbo 365 Pass

THREDBO 365 PASSCURRENT PRICESEASON PASS PROTECTION
Adult$ 969$ 50
Tertiary$ 819$ 30
Child$ 669$ 30
Over 65$ 669$ 30
Over 70$ 189$ 30
4 & Under$ 39N/A

Activities & Things to do


Winter

The entire resort is open to both skiers and snowboarders. In 2014, lift passes are available for periods of 1–4 consecutive days, or 5 days in 7, 6 days in 8, or 7 days in 9. Retail prices for 1 day lift passes in 2014 are: $110 adult and $64 under 17 all day, $99 adult and $57 under 17 from 11:30am onwards (available as 1 day passes only) or $69 adult and $40 under 17 from 2:30pm onwards (available as 1 day passes only). Discounts are available for booking more than 7 days in advance and for multi-day tickets. Season passes are $1499 adults, $899 4–17 year olds, $154 over 70 year olds and $54 4 years and under.

There are two points at the bottom of the mountain where chairlifts depart. Valley Terminal is the departure point for lifts to most of the intermediate and advanced terrain. Friday Flat is the beginner area but is also a departure point for intermediate and advanced runs in the north east of the resort. Rental gear and lift passes are available at both Valley Terminal and Friday Flat.

Major skiing and snowboarding areas of the resort are:

  • Friday Flat: the introductory area. Friday Flat includes a magic carpet area (Syd's Snowrunner) for first day learners, and a 4-person chairlift to a larger beginners area as beginners progress. It is also the meeting point for all group lessons at any level, and the departure point of the Gunbarrel chairlift.
  • Merritts Mountain / Cruiser: a top of the resort area above Friday Flat. It features shorter (1–2km) harder beginner and easier intermediate runs together with a few advanced runs. It is accessed from Friday Flat on the 4-person detachable Gunbarrel chairlift or Valley Terminal on the slow 2-person Merritts chairlift. Merritts is where beginners progress in lessons following Friday Flat. Since descending from Merritts back to Friday Flat is only possible on more difficult intermediate and advanced runs such as High Noon, Dream Run and The Schuss. Thus, downloading (riding down) both the Gunbarrel and Merritts chairlifts is allowed.
  • Central Spur: intermediate and advanced runs on the top half of the resort in between the Cruiser area and Crackenback, served by two T-bars: Antons and Sponars. This area can be accessed by reaching either the Cruiser or Crackenback areas from the bottom and then traversing.
  • Crackenback: the longest resort runs, accessed by the 4-person detachable Kosciuszko chairlift and 2 person Snowgums chairlift from Valley Terminal, including the longest runs Super Trail (3.7km, rated intermediate) and Village Trail (5km, rated beginner).
  • The Basin: a wide area above Crackenback and above the treeline. While rated for beginners and easier than the Crusier area beginners runs, it is only accessible by the Kosciuszko chairlift which does not allow downloading, and thus only used by advanced beginners and up, able to descend Crackenback via the Village Trail or other more difficult runs. It is served by a T-bar.
  • Karels: an area accessed by another T-bar above The Basin. The top of Karels is the highest altitude lifted point in Australia. There are several short intermediate runs back to The Basin, and Karels and The Basin together are also the starting point for Thredbo's most advanced runs including Funnel Web and Cannonball, which descend to the side of the Crackenback runs.

Learning 

Group lessons and children's lessons are available as an add-on to lift ticket purchases, private lessons must be booked separately through the ski school office. For complete beginners, a slightly cheaper "First Timer" lift and lesson ticket is available that restricts your first day to the Friday Flat area.

2 hour group lessons for all abilities meet at Friday Flat at 9:30am, 11:30am, and 2pm. Private lessons meet at either Friday Flat or Valley Terminal. Skiing lessons for children aged 3–6 are available at Thredboland at Friday Flat, either a full day including lunch or afternoon program. Skiing and snowboarding lessons are available on the same schedule for older children aged 7–14 in the Freeriders program, meeting at Friday Flat.

Tobaganning 

This is only allowed on a very small area accessed through the tennis courts from Valley Terminal. Tobaggans are available for rent from Valley Terminal rental.


Year-round 

  • Thredbo Leisure Centre+61 2 6459 4138, e-mail: Varying hours, open every day year-round.Sports and leisure centre including a 50m lap pool, a waterslide, a gymnasium, a squash court and a sports hall.

Summer

  • Climb Mount Kosciuszko Australia's highest mountain. Take the year-round chairlift (adult $25 return, $19.50 one way; child $12.50 return, $11 one way) up to Crackenback. From there it is a gradual 6.5 km walk (13km return) with a gradual incline, mostly on metal walkways, to the 2,228m summit of Mt Kosciuszko. There are few continents where the highest peak is so accessible, and a person of moderate fitness can do the return walk easily in a day. Keen hikers can continue to Mt Townsend, the second highest peak, but there is no formed track and it is not such an easy climb so you need to be confident of your hiking and navigation skills. Mt Kosciuszko can also be climbed from Charlotte Pass, where you can park your car, and avoid the lift fees.
  • Bushwalking
  • Mountain bike riding
  • Bobsled. There is a metal half tube.
  • Climbing and abseiling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Horse riding
  • Tennis
  • Whitewater rafting

Restaurants & Nightlife

There are over 30 places to relax, sip and dine in Thredbo. With cosy bars, late and lively night spots, live music venues and dining options ranging from à la carte, càfe style, casual bistro, tapas, BBQ or grab and go, you’re sure to find your favourite.


Cascades Restaurant

Enjoy dining with a view at Cascades Restaurant. Cascades Restaurant is open daily for breakfast and Tuesday to Saturday for dinner and offers a beautiful selection of modern cuisine, sweeping views, an extensive wine list and friendly service.


The Local Pub

Open 365 days a year. Play pool and darts, grab a tasty pub meal, take advantage of the great daily specials and sip your favourite drink on Thredbo’s biggest balcony.


The Bakery in the Village Square

Relax with coffee with friends at The Bakery in the Village Square. Enjoy freshly baked bread, delicious pastry pies, healthy salad rolls and tasty treats.


Apres Bar

Style and soul come to Thredbo with the all new Après Bar at The Denman Hotel.


The Terrace

With breathtaking floor to ceiling mountain views as your backdrop, experience the award winning service and culinary delights of The Terrace Restaurant at The Denman Hotel.


Black Bear Inn

This German/Austrian style lodge has a cosy restaurant and bar with European character. With friendly and personal service, the restaurant offers rustic, hearty and appetising meals with traditional schnitzel a speciality. You can take your pick from over 80 different styles of Schnapps. And make sure you don’t miss the occasional theme night throughout the winter months. Bookings essential with a kids menu available.


Avalanche Café

Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, munch or espresso. Avalanche is located at the base of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift.


Eagles Nest

The highest restaurant and bar in Australia, Eagles Nest has some of the best views in the country. Take the Kosciuszko Chairlift to the top from Thredbo Village, and stop for a delicious mountain breakfast, lunch, Devonshire tea or coffee…


Central Road 2625

Central Road 2625 is based on a journey. From the moment you step into the nostalgic cafe you’ll reminisce on past travels with a fresh international vibe.

TOP

Pin It on Pinterest