While it is possible to stay on the mountain at Perisher, we have chosen to stay at the Lake Crackenback Resort and commute. It’ a great option for large families with large 3-bedroom self-catered apartments (making it a lot cheaper to feed the hordes in our family). Words: Deborah Dickson Smith.
There are also plenty of activities for those days when conditions are better below the snow line. Mountain biking, hiking, horse riding and even Segway Tours. Segways are strange looking vehicles but surprisingly easy (and fun) to manoeuvre through bumpy terrain if you want to go wombat spotting.
At first it seems fairly easy to get lost at Perisher which now encompasses Guthega, Blue Cow and Smiggins (especially with my sense of direction which I usually leave in the car next to the GPS).
But luckily I have a partner/guide who makes it his mission to tick-off every lift on the map on Day 1. It’s ostensibly to show me how to find my own way round the mountain. So he can go and tick off all the black runs while I tackle the darker-blues and practise my parallel turns.
There are of course a great variety of green and blue runs here to practise on and the best advice I would give anyone coming here is to head out of Front Valley (known to locals as Hamburger Hill) as soon as possible.
It’s a scary thing skiing amongst this many beginners – too many moving obstacles to worry about when you’re a semi-beginner yourself. For nice easy slopes (to practice those turns and bend ze knees!) hop on the Village 8 and head over to Pretty Valley or ride the Forester Quad to the top and head further over to Pleasant Valley.
Being a lover of apps and the use technology for the greater good – one thing that impressed me more than is logical for a skiing holiday, is the Perisher iPhone app and the My Ride ticketing system.
Instead of a laminated ticket attached to your zip Perisher now issues you with a smart card which is scanned automatically at the turnstiles of each lift. And a clever little card it is too. It keeps track of the lifts you ride (and the vertical metres you therefore cover) and you can login in to the website at the end of the day to see how your stats compare.
Better still, couple it with the GPS tracking on your iPhone via the nifty little Perisher app and it maps your downhill runs for you. Which of course you can then share on Facebook and Twitter. I love it.
There are loads of Spring deals for September school holidays at Perisher, and a huge range of accommodation options, staying both on and off the mountain – for budgets and families of all sizes.
For information on all Aussie ski resorts, the Snow Australia website is a really good resource. It’s got video guides and links to all the resorts, snow reports, snow cams and the latest deals.
Deborah’s first trip with a bub of 4 months involved a 26-hour flight with no sleep, which is exactly when she realised travelling would never be the same. This has only been further confirmed as her family has grown. She’s lived in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Edinburgh, London and is now reasonably settled in Sydney’s northern beaches with her Brady Bunch-style combined family of seven — all seasoned travellers.