Thredbo & the Snowy Mountains

NSW is mostly quite hot; the fact that people ski here at all is remarkable. It must be said that the quality of skiing is probably better in New Zealand than in Australia, but if ski you must, there are few places better in Australia than Thredbo, and none closer to Sydney – although it is still a 500 km drive! Nearby is the equally famous Perisher ski area, with its village of Charlotte Pass. In winter months ski passes can be bought for either set of slopes depending on snowfall, which can be irregular in some years.

Thredbo is situated in the Snowy Mountains range, part of the Great Dividing Range – a long chain of mountains and hills that separate the relatively fertile coastal plains of South Eastern Australia from the dry, hot interior of the continent. Indeed, quite close to Thredbo is Mount Kosciusko, Australia's highest mountain – although at 2228 metres, it is the least tall highest peak of any continent, coming in at less than half the height of the next lowest highest, Vinson Massif in Antarctica…

While skiing is certainly the main game around these parts, with the townships of Thredbo, and Charlottes Pass ghostly in the summer months, for those who are non-skiers the Summer is perhaps the best time to come. The ranges protected as the Snowy Mountains National Park are filled with stunningly beautiful alpine forest.

The area was also home to some controversy when the monumental Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, which caused the damming of the Snowy – a river rich in association in the Australian national psyche. Dive tours of the flooded village of Jindabyne are available at Jindabyne – the rebuilt village! Jindabyne was itself the setting for a beautiful movie, Somersault, which is well worth seeking out if you want to see an excellent Australian film before you come.

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