May 02, 2016
Where to eat, play and stay, plus what to do in NSW’s hottest skiing destination.
It’s Australia’s answer to the super-resorts of North America and Europe – and it’s over twice the size of our next biggest resort, Thredbo. An amalgamation of four ski villages and located in the Snowy Mountains, Perisher has 1245 hectares of skiable terrain and is even serviced by an underground alpine railway, the Skitube. A resort with seven peaks offers skiers endless options – you could probably ski for an entire weekend without doing the same run twice. Perisher is located around 480 kilometres south-west of Sydney.
While Perisher doesn’t have the village facilities of nearby Thredbo, it’s possible to stay on-snow in style. Take the Skitube up to The Stables (Candle Heath Rd), Perisher’s most stylish on-snow apartments (you’re just a five-minute walk from the chairlift). Here, you can wake up to views over Perisher Valley from your loft, one-bedroom or family apartment.
Perisher operates 47 lifts across four villages and seven peaks and if you can’t find terrain to your liking among all of this, then it’s unlikely you’ll find anything to your taste anywhere in the Antipodes. This is the best resort in Australia for beginners – 22 per cent of its slopes are wide-open, gentle and perfect for first-timers, while a further 60 per cent is designated intermediate terrain. But there are thrills and spills here for daredevils, too, with challenging backcountry to test your mettle, Australia’s biggest half-pipe and more terrain parks than any other Australian resort (there’s five here, with one available under lights two nights a week).
Most visitors to Perisher stay in Jindabyne, a 30-minute drive down the mountain. However, for those who choose to stay on the mountain, Perisher offers a village-lost-in-the-mountains atmosphere (all but those with on-mountain accommodation leave by dark). There’s no shortage of dining choices up here, with the best option being The Man From Snowy River (Kosciuszko Road). Start with cocktails by the open stone fireplace, then take your time over a three-course set menu overlooking Perisher’s Front Valley. Jindabyne offers a variety of restaurants and bars, but don’t go expecting anything too fancy. The Lake Jindabyne Hotel (21 McLure Circuit) is a local institution. Order the juiciest T-bone in town for $22 and enjoy the best views over the lake.