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Best Australian Ski Resorts for Families in 2024

Trying to decide where to go on a snow holiday? In Australia, families have a choice of resorts in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, all of which are no more than five or six hours’ drive from the capital cities.

Whether you’re teaching your little ones to ski for the first time or looking to enjoy a cosy mountain retreat, this guide will lead you to the best family-friendly ski destinations across the continent.

SNOWSPORTS LESSON IN THREDBO
Snowsports lesson in Thredbo

Thredbo, NSW

Around a six-hour drive from Sydney, Thredbo is known for its village vibe and family-friendly activities. In fact, it’s been voted Best Australian Ski Resort for Families in the Out & About with Kids annual Readers’ Choice Awards six years running!

From the gentle inclines of beginner’s area Friday Flat to the longest runs in the country, all ages and skill levels will have a blast at Thredbo. Littlies can learn to ski at one of the country’s best snowsports schools, with Thredboland ski lessons starting from three years old, and snowboarding programs from five years and up.

Thredbo fast facts 

  • Elevation: 2037m
  • Skiable terrain: 480ha
  • Runs: 53 (29% beginner, 48% intermediate, 23% advanced)
    Longest run: 5.9km 
  • Lifts: 14 
  • Terrain parks: Four
  • Accommodation: On-snow at Thredbo Village 
THREDBO ALPINE COASTER WINTER RENDER

Family-friendly highlights 

Guests in winter 2024 will be among the first to ride the brand new Alpine Coaster – the only one in the Southern Hemisphere. The 1.5-kilometre track is packed with twists, turns, bridges and tunnels, reaching speeds of up to 40km/h.

The Kids Snow Festival during July and October school holidays adds even more family-friendly fun, including a kids’ flare run, movie nights, live entertainment, face painting and delicious Lindt chocolate firepit s’mores. 

Read our review: A four year old’s first ski trip to Thredbo, NSW 

A family in the snow at Perisher r 1
A family in the snow at Perisher

Perisher, NSW

Australia’s largest ski resort, with 47 lifts across 1245ha, Perisher is around five to six hours’ drive south from Sydney, and six hours from Melbourne. It’s made up of four resort areas – Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega – connected by the Skitube alpine railway. 

Smiggins is ideal for beginners and families, while Perisher Valley has beginner to advanced runs, terrain parks and a half-pipe. Blue Cow features a bistro with outdoor deck and some super fun runs the kids will love, such as the aptly named Rollercoaster. 

Perisher fast facts 

  • Elevation: 2054m
  • Skiable area: 1245ha 
  • Number of runs: (22% beginner, 60% intermediate, 18% advanced)
  • Lifts: 47
  • Terrain parks: Four

Family-friendly highlights

Perisher’s 3 or 5 day Adventure Programs are a great introduction to the slopes. Children as young as three can also take group ski lessons, with snowboarding from seven years of age.

All-ages night skiing is offered at Front Valley on Tuesday and Saturday evenings, followed by a cracker of a fireworks display. Kids have their own nighttime fun on Wednesdays at Smiggin Holes, and there’s also a small snow play and tobogganing slopes near Bullocks Flat. 

Read our review: Taking a toddler to the snow at Perisher Ski Resort 

A family skiing at Charlotte Pass in NSW. Image Destination NSW
A family skiing at Charlotte Pass in NSW. Image: Destination NSW

Charlotte Pass, NSW

The highest village in Australia, Charlotte Pass is a tiny slice of alpine paradise accessible by oversnow transport. This small resort is just 8 kilometres from Perisher and receives some of the most consistent, high-quality snowfall each season. 

As the only completely on-snow resort in NSW, it is very well set up for families and not as busy as some of the other resorts. There’s something for every level of skier and rider at Charlotte Pass (as well as affordable, all-inclusive day trip options).

Charlotte Pass fast facts 

  • Elevation: 1765m
  • Skiable area: 
  • Number of runs: 23 (32% beginner, 32% intermediate, 36% advanced)
  • Lifts: 5
  • Terrain Park: 1

Family-friendly highlights 

Riding the snowcat from Perisher Valley is a memorable experience in itself! Once you arrive, offload the kids at Kosi Kids snowsports program for lessons, games and activities and spend some uninterrupted time on the slopes.

There are also group or private lessons available, including 1-hour Tiny Tots introductory experiences. Charlotte Pass also has a kids’ flare run every Friday. And if the kids are still talking about that snowcat, book them a one-hour ‘behind the scenes’ snow groomer tour.

Tobogganing at Selwyn
Tobogganing at Selwyn

Selwyn Snow Resort, NSW

Just 2.5 hours’ drive from Canberra, the 40ha Selwyn Snow Resort is wonderful for first-timers and families on a budget. It’s less daunting than the large resorts, with progressive terrain that lets you work your way across the mountain from beginner slopes to intermediate. 

Since its 2023 re-opening, Selwyn has a new centre to house all guest facilities and services in the one building, an upgraded New Chum Chairlift, two snow carpets for beginners and more snowmaking equipment than ever before. 

Family-friendly highlights 

There’s no shortage of winter fun at Selwyn: tobogganing, snow biking, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing are all on the menu. The resort boasts Australia’s biggest toboggan park with a 150m snow carpet for endless sledding fun. 

Beginners will also find Selwyn Snow Sports School an affordable, friendly introduction to skiing (from four years) and snowboarding (from seven). Dedicated lessons for first-timers create a comfortable environment for families to find their snow legs.  

Kids snowboarding at Falls Creek 1
Kids snowboarding at Falls Creek

Falls Creek Alpine Resort, VIC

Fall’s Creek is Victoria’s largest ski resort, renowned for its European-style village and reliable snow cover. Located on top of the Bogong High Plains in North East Victoria, 4.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne, you’ll find some of Australia’s best beginner terrain here.  

As well as Wombat Ramble, the longest beginner run in the country, Falls Creek offers some fantastic runs for intermediate and experienced skiers across its 450 hectares, cementing its appeal for young families. 

Falls Creek fast facts 

  • Elevation: 1780m
  • Skiable area: 450ha 
  • Number of runs: 76+ (17% beginner, 60% intermediate, 23% advanced
  • Lifts: 16
  • Terrain parks: 4

Family-friendly highlights 

There’s plenty for non-skiers here – from bungy trampolines and skate ramps to the free tobogganing slope at Windy Corner. But avid skiers and boarders will also get their fill of the action, with kid-friendly terrain parks like Pete’s Fox Trail and Panorama Progression Park (perfect for teens to hone their skills). 

Twilight Tuesdays are held at the Village Bowl from 3.30pm throughout July and August. There are games, music, fire pits and marshmallows to roast, plus Pete the Snow Dragon loves to make an appearance.

Read our review: A family snow holiday to Falls Creek in Victoria 

Building a snowman at Mt Hotham in Victoria 1
Building a snowman at Mt Hotham in Victoria

Hotham Alpine Resort, VIC

Hotham has spectacular views of the Victorian Alps and Great Dividing Range – in fact, it’s the only mountaintop ski village in the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll find the ‘Aussie Powder Capital’  around 4.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne, packing 320 hectares of skiable terrain for all skill levels. 

A short shuttle bus away is Dinner Plain Alpine Village, a firm favourite of families with little ones. Gentle slopes and snow play areas provide a great introduction for toddlers (and bigger kids on their very first ski trip). 

Family-friendly highlights

Rhe slopes of Mt Hotham offer all the perks you can imagine (and more!), starting with Hotham Ski & Ride School, night sessions and a dedicated snow play park. For something unique, you can book a kids’ snowmobile tour, husky dog sledding experience or an alpine BBQ feast. 

Sing and dance along with Harry the Dragon as he hits the stage outside The Big D beginners’ and ski school meeting area every Wednesday and Saturday from 3.30pm. Shows last for around 20 minutes – and include glowsticks! 

A family on a chairlift at Mt Buller r
A family on a chairlift at Mt Buller

Mt Buller, VIC

Around 3.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne, Mt Buller has the largest lift network in Victoria, with 21 lifts spread across around 300ha of skiable terrain. One of its main attractions, and a delight for kids, is that you can ski straight off the slopes and right to your front door! 

The resort is a popular day trip and weekend destination for families thanks to its close proximity to the city. Getting from village to village is made easier for families with the free intra-village bus service.

Mt Buller fast facts 

  • Elevation: 1780m
  • Skiable area: 300 ha 
  • Number of runs: 85 (25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced)
  • Number of lifts: 19
  • Terrain parks:

Family-friendly highlights 

With several fantastic terrain parks, junior snowboarders can nail their jumps and slides.

Off the slopes, Mt Buller’s Air Zone is also a hit with the kids, with Olympic-sized trampolines, a climbing wall and a foam pit. You might even find yourself bouncing next to a winter Olympian, as Australia’s freestyle team trains for aerials and moguls at Mt Buller. 

Mt Buller also has Australia’s highest cinema, which screens mainstream movies during winter as well as events such as the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.

Kids playing in the snow at Mt Baw Baw
Kids playing in the snow at Mt Baw Baw

Mount Baw Baw, VIC

The closest downhill ski resort to an Aussie capital city, Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort is a quiet achiever with affordable family packages. With seven lifts spread across 35ha, there’s enough excitement to satisfy snow hounds of all ages and experience levels. 

Around 2.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne in West Gippsland and just an hour from the Latrobe Valley, it’s close enough for a weekend trip. Winter season highlights include events like Christmas in July, Pride and the annual Bollywood Weekend.  

Family-friendly highlights 

A highlight of any visit is meeting the resort’s two resident alpine dingoes, Warragul and Rowdy, at the Dingo Resource Centre. You can even take them for a snowshoe walk during the winter season!

Baw Baw’s family lessons cater to mixed skill levels and disciplines so everyone can learn together. Kids will also love the upgraded Frosti Frog Toboggan Park, snow play area, and the Frosti Fun Club, which runs school holiday activities for children aged 5 to 12 years. 

kids playing in the snow at lake mountain
Kids playing with their dad in the snow at Lake Mountain

Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, VIC

Lake Mountain Alpine Resort is the closest snow resort to Melbourne – in two hours’ drive you can go from the city to a winter wonderland, making it popular for a family day trip or weekend getaway. 

Through the winter months, the resort promises excellent conditions for snow play, tobogganing and making your own snowman (thanks to round-the-clock snowmaking machines). For families who have never seen snow or aren’t ready for a ski holiday, Lake Mountain is a great taster that even the littlest kids will love. 

Lake Mountain fast facts 

  • Elevation: 1480m
  • Skiable area: 45ha (cross-country) 
  • Runs: 3 toboggan slopes 
  • Highlight: Over 30 kms of cross country trails to explore
  • Childcare: N/A
  • Accomodation: Nearest in Marysville (25-30km) 

Family-friendly highlights 

Though not a downhill skiing mountain per se, Lake Mountain is a stellar family-friendly (and budget-friendly) destination for cross-country skiing, tobogganing, snow-shoeing and snow play. If you’ve never had a snowball fight, now is the time! 

Tobogganing is an absolute must at Lake Mountain, with three runs to choose from (including one free run, when natural snowfall permits). Kids under five can also ride the Village and Mini toboggan runs free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Try tobogganing at Corin Forest near Canberra r
Try tobogganing at Corin Forest near Canberra

Corin Forest, ACT

For your little ones’ first taste of the snow Corin Forest, just 45 minutes’ from Canberra, is sure to satisfy. State-of-the-art snow-making machines create a winter wonderland for kids within easy driving distance of several capital cities. 

While you won’t find any thrilling runs here, it’s the perfect amount of white powdery goodness to delight and amaze the kids. All gear can be hired here (besides gloves), including jackets and boots, so it’s a great way to ‘visit the snow’ without all the overheads. 

Family-friendly highlights 

Corin Forest has a lovely snow play area for tobogganing, snowman building and snowball fights. There’s also a dedicated zone for ski and snowboard lessons, available for ages five years and up.If you’re gearing up for a ski trip next winter, it’s a gentle introduction to the snowsports experience. Afterwards, warm up with a hot chocolate in the lodge, where you can sit and toast marshmallows around the central fireplace. 

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