Featuring Australia’s highest lifted point and some of the country’s steepest terrain, Thredbo stands out as one of Australia’s top snow resorts.
Nestled in the heart of the New South Wales Snowy Mountains, this alpine resort town resembles snow towns that you might have experienced elsewhere around the world with a skiing and snowboarding experience like no other Australian resort.
Thredbo not only features the longest ski run in Australia but several of the longest runs, with The Super Trail and The Village Trail from the Thredbo Community Bell at the peak some of the most popular.
While I don’t visit Thredbo every year, I do try to get there every other year (splitting with Perisher), so I know the resort town extremely well. Here is my advice if you are planning on heading to Thredbo for the first time or at least the first time in a while.
Where Is Thredbo?
Thredbo is located in the heart of the Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales.
From Sydney, Thredbo is about a 6-hour drive depending on the traffic, which can build up on Friday afternoons evenings as people flock from the city to the mountain for a weekend getaway over the winter. Particularly on the Monaro Highway and Alpine Way sections.
From Canberra, it will take you about three hours to drive to Thredbo, and from the nearest town, Jindabyne, the resort is just over 30 minute drive away along the Alpine Way.
Just keep in mind that if you are planning on driving all the way up into the resort, parking can be a little limited, especially after heavy snowfalls. So if you get there later in the day, you might need to park in one of the larger car parks further from the mountain.
You will also need to carry snow chains if you don’t drive a 4WD or AWD car (in fact, it might be a good idea to have them regardless). Additionally, you will need to purchase a National Park pass to drive into the Kosciuszko National Park.
Where To Stay When Going To Thredbo
The best part about going to Thredbo is the village around the resort, offering a lot of accommodation options, probably the most within walking distance of the lifts of any snow resort in Australia.
Just keep in mind accommodation in Thredbo can be quite expensive during the snow season and you might find it better value to stay in the nearby Jindabyne instead.
Here are some of my recommendations for places to stay in and around Jindabyne that you might find to be better value than Thredbo.
- Banjo Paterson Inn – Recently refurbished, this is a really good option if you are travelling with a small group of friends. The pub downstairs is massively convenient after a full day on the slopes.
- Lake Jindabyne Hotel – A solid alternative if Banjo’s is booked out; it hasn’t been refurbished (yet) but offers similar convenience.
- Discovery Parks – Jindabyne – A better option if you are travelling as a family and looking for something a little more self-contained.
- Panorama Jindabyne – Offers more of your typical hotel experience, better suited for a more quiet, relaxing trip.
- Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa – The ultimate luxury experience in the NSW Snowy Mountains. Nothing else needs to be said.
How To Get To And From Thredbo
You really only have two options to get to and from Thredbo.
As I mentioned earlier, you can drive all the way up to the township. But that does require a National Park pass, snow chains, and parking could be a challenge, although if you are staying at a hotel, they should have a dedicated space for you.
Alternatively, if you can get to Jindabyne, a bus service has recently been added that links the town with Thredbo.
However, you will likely find that having your car with you is the best option when going to Thredbo.
Food Options In Thredbo
The good thing about a trip to Thredbo is that you have options. Unlike other snow resorts around Australia, where you are limited to what the resort has to offer, a short stroll from the lifts and you’ll be in the village and be able to enjoy the food options there.
That said, the food right across Thredbo is going to be more expensive than what you are used to.
In terms of food options within the resort, the Eagles Nest offers a cafeteria-style restaurant with some very good food options. As does the restaurant and cafe in the main resort building at the base of the mountain.
Where Do You Get Snow Gear For Thredbo
Thredbo has a handful of snow gear shops and rentals within the village, particularly Gravity which also has a demo centre at the base of the Kosciuszko Express and Snowsport if you are looking to buy gear. At the same time, Thredbo’s ski and snowboard rentals can be found at Friday Flats at the bottom of the mountain.
That said, if you are staying in Jindabyne, you can save a bit of money on the rental prices and probably end up with slightly better gear. There are a couple of snow gear stores around the town, but I would suggest either ESS Boardstore or Larry Adler for the best service and friendly advice.
Does Thredbo Offer Ski or Snowboard Lessons
You can absolutely get ski and snowboard lessons at Thredbo and I highly recommend that you do if you’ve never tried it before.
The only thing I will mention is that lessons at Thredbo are typically held on the lower parts of the mountain, particularly around Friday Flats. Snow coverage on this part of the mountain, especially very early and very late in the season, can be quite patchy.
If you are going to the snow for the very first time, you might be better off at Perisher for your first couple of days.
That said, if it’s been a little while since you last skied or snowboarded and you feel you need a little refresher, at hand-day lesson at Thredbo is a good option before heading up to the top for some of the longer runs.
What To Do In The Evenings At Thredbo
Thredbo’s flare run on Saturday nights has been a tradition for over 30 years.
While the public is unable to participate, watching Thredbo’s team of expert skiers and snowboarders make their way down the mountain, lighting up the Supertrail solely with flares is amazing to witness. The whole show culminates in a fireworks display each Saturday night.
On Thursday nights, there is also a kid’s version of the flare run where youngsters are able to do a short run down near Friday Flats with their own “flares” (LED lights).
However, for most people, after a big day of snowboarding or skiing at Thredbo, they tend to make their way to the various restaurants and bars around the village.
The Local Pub, right behind the Thredbo Information Center, is a very popular option. But there are several in and around the village that tend to change ownership from year to year, all within a short walk of each other.
While down at Jindabyne, you are spoilt for choice; my quick picks are the Banjo Patterson Inn or Lake Jindabyne Hotel. But for full recommendations, check out this post.
Spending Time in Snowy Mountains Before or After
The main reason for visiting Thredbo during the winter is the snow, but that doesn’t have to be the only reason.
If you are planning on spending a week in the snow, I recommend that you give yourself at least one day somewhere in the middle to rest up and recover. Those steep long runs do take a toll on the body, after all.
Now there are a few things to do around Thredbo village that don’t involve strapping on the skis or snowboard, including Thredbo Leisure Centre and Thredbo Alpine Museum. However, there is plenty more to discover in the Snowy Mountains region that I’ve already detailed in this post.
The best thing about Thredbo is heading up to the top of Karel’s T-Bar to the Thredbo Community Bell at the peak of the mountain, looking out at the view and appreciating the scale of the Snowy Mountains. On a clear bluebird day the view is unforgettable.
The steeper terrain also means if you are an experienced skier or snowboarder you’ll enjoy the challenges that Thredbo presents. And the longer runs will definitely get the legs burning. While the beginners tend not to head to the upper elevations of the mountain.
Just keep in mind that with fewer lifts and much more confined ski areas to some of the other resorts around Australia, the lift queues can get quite long. But the trade-off is the longer runs.
If you are heading to the snow for the first time and not sure if you should learn to ski or snowboard, let me help you out.
Learning to ski is easier. You can learn the basics of skiing in as little as a day, and you’ll be able to get down most slopes, albeit slowly. However, if you decide you want to pursue skiing more regularly, then you need to relearn everything slightly differently so that you can really make the most of your skis on any terrain.
Learning to snowboard is a little more difficult. It’ll take you about three days to get comfortable on a snowboard. But once you’ve learnt, there is nothing else left to learn. The rest is just confidence in using the skills you’ve developed on any terrain.
But as I mentioned earlier, Perisher might be a better option if it’s your first time in the snow and you are heading to the Snowy Mountains at the beginning or end of winter.
For more information about Thredbo, visit the resort’s website.
For more travel tips, make sure you check out the rest of my blog posts as well.
And if you have a travel-related question that you would like me to answer, head over to my contact page to get in touch and let me know.