3 top ski fields in Australia
With Qantas having to de-ice its planes in Melbourne over the weekend, and Sydneysiders shivering through a freezing weekend, Australia’s south eastern states are copping the full force of winter. So instead of complaining about the cold, we’re going to celebrate it by looking at three of Australia’s most popular ski fields, the Skitube Alpine Railway, and the commemoration planned for the 20th anniversary of the Thredbo landslide.
Located in the heart of the Australian Snowy Mountains, Perisher is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Featuring four different ski fields – Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Guthega and Blue Cow – and more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, Perisher caters to all abilities.
Also situated in the Snowy Mountains, Thredbo Alpine Village is home to Australia’s highest lift and longest runs, offering 480 hectares of snowy terrain to suit all skill levels in addition to terrain parks and dedicated beginners area. This winter Thredbo is celebrating its 60th season, so it’s sure to be a non-stop party!
With over 300 hectares of skiable terrain, Mount Buller in Victoria’s Alpine region is Australia’s most accessible all season alpine resort, located just three hours’ drive from Melbourne. Runs range from the wide beginner’s slopes of Bourke St and Burnt Hut Spur, to the challenge of black runs like Chamois.
Skitube Alpine Railway
Providing easy access between the Alpine Way at Bullocks Flat and the Perisher Blue ski resort sites of Perisher Valley and Blue Cow Mountain, Skitube Alpine Railway travels mostly underground during its 6.3km long route. Swiss designed, the Australian standard gauge electric rack railway train runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and at 20-minute intervals until the October long weekend.
20th anniversary of the Thredbo landslide
Just before midnight on the 30th of July, 1997, Thredbo’s Alpine Way embankment experienced a devastating landslip event, which swept Bimbadeen Lodge off its foundations, killing one, then continued downslope before destroying Carinya Lodge, where it trapped or killed 17 of the 18 people inside.
Stuart Diver, whose wife Sally perished in the landslide, was the sole survivor.
To commemorate 20 years since this devastating event shocked the tight-knit alpine community along with the rest of the nation, a silent flare run and ecumenical remembrance service will be held on Saturday 29th July.
“The landslide left more than a scar on the side of the Thredbo Valley, it tore through lives and through communities, and that loss resounds to this day.” Unknown
Winter travel insurance guide
It’s important to compare policy options when buying travel insurance for your next ski holiday because, as Finder.com.au explains in this useful guide, a trip to the snow brings specific insurance features, including:
- Emergency transport to hospital in the event of an accident and also helicopter rescue if required
- Extreme weather conditions enable you to recoup prepaid costs and expenses should blizzards and snowstorms force you to cancel your trip
- Cover for expensive equipment hire will ensure that in the event of loss or damage to you ski or snowboard equipment, you will be able to make a claim to cover the costs
- Unused ski passes, equipment or lessons may be covered in the event that you are unwell or due as a result of loss or theft
- Heli-skiing cover will require an additional excess to be paid in the event of a claim but worth it if you plan on using a chopper for your mode of transport
- Piste closures or resort issues that cause you to move to a different are covered by some providers