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Ultimate Travel Guide: Snowy Mountains, Australia

Snowy Mountains, Australia. Photographed by Alexandra Adoncello. Image via Destination NSW

Looking for a last-minute winter getaway in New South Wales? Let Australia’s Snowy Mountains be the weekend wonderland you need in 2021.

The most notable ski resorts in Australia are located in the Snowy Mountains – also known as Kosciuszko National Park. And while there are plenty of snowy slopes to trundle down and heaps of activities to undertake, the hardest part about holidaying in the Snowy Mountains, Australia is finding the best accommodation, dining and things to do.

Do you want to stay onsite at four of the major ski resorts or do you prefer to lodge just outside the Snowy Mountains? Do you want luxurious dining or casual hearty meals in cruisey restaurants? Whatever your prerogative, we’ve got all the knowledge you need to make those crucial decisions with our ultimate travel guide to the Snowy Mountains.

In this comprehensive travel guide to the Snowy Mountains, Australia, we’ll show you the ultimate accommodation options as well as the best places to grab a bite and warm your loins. We’ll start with the Snowy Mountains and then work on the next best option: Jindabyne.

What is the best time to visit the Snowy Mountains, Australia?

The best time to visit Australia’s Snowy Mountains is July and August for peak skiing conditions. Otherwise it is perfect to visit year-round for other outdoor activities.

The Best Accommodation in the Snowy Mountains, Australia:

There are four main ski resorts at Snowy Mountains, Australia, with three including onsite accommodation. Selwyn Snow Resort does not have onsite accommodation, but it is a great family-friendly resort aimed at teaching beginners how to ski while giving kids a perfect spot to toboggan. Other than that, there are plenty of lodgings to stay at, with most of them located within the three other main ski resorts.

Perisher Ski Resort
Image supplied via Destination NSW

Perisher Ski Resort

Perisher Ski Resort is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and the most revered in the Snowy Mountains. It’s a giant web of skiable terrain, which adds up to well over 3000 acres. It contains four resort areas: Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggins and Guthega — each containing a selection of gorgeous accommodation options, as well as plenty of eateries and bars to sink your teeth into. Choose to stay in luxury at Marritz or Boonoona Ski Lodge, or go for cool and casual like The Stables or The Man From Snowy River.

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Kosciuszko Rd, Perisher Valley, NSW 2624
Thredbo Ski Resort
Image supplied via Destination NSW

Thredbo Ski Resort

The second largest ski resort in the area is Thredbo, and is continuously voted the best in the Snowy Mountains, Australia. It won the World’s Ski Awards’ Best Ski Resort medal in 2018, and just last year, they updated their Merritts Chairlift into a high-speed gondola ride. But you don’t have to wait until winter to visit because Thredbo is an allrounder destination. Go for historic luxury at Thredbo Alpine Hotel, strive for cool and cosy at The Riverside Cabins or just go simple and effective at Mowamba Place. All accommodation in Thredbo is mashed together in a neat bundle, meaning wherever you stay you’ll be part of the action in no time.

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Friday Dr, Thredbo, NSW 2625
Charlotte Pass Ski Resort
Image supplied via Destination NSW

Charlotte Pass Ski Resort

Charlotte Pass in the Snowy Mountains is Australia’s highest resort, set at 1765 metres above sea level. It’s also just as good to visit in winter as it is in summer, offering plenty of sprawling views of the valley. Choose from a handful of lodges and hotels – 11 in all – each depending on your tastes; from the rustic vibes of Snowbird Lodge to the homey world of Arlberg Ski Club. Now you just have to consider which slope to go on first.

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Charlotte Way, Charlotte Pass, NSW 2627

The Best Places to Eat and Drink in the Snowy Mountains, Australia:

High Ground Coffee Bar
Photographed by Nathan Dumlao. Image via Unsplash

High Ground Coffee Bar

Don’t go the low road, aim high and go to High Ground Coffee Bar for a hearty morning wake up or lunch to fill up that grumbling belly. We’d even say they serve the best hot chocolate, but, let’s face it: all hot chocolates are amazing in the dead of winter. Go all out and get a Guinness Pot Pie, the perfect filler on a cold winter’s day.

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6/9946 Kosciuszko Rd, Perisher Valley, NSW 2627
Alpine Eyre
Photographed by Milada Vigerova. Image via Unsplash

Alpine Eyre

Alpine Eyre is a hidden gem in the Snowy Mountains, serving up a wonderful collection of hot beverages to warm your loins. Because it’s a hidden gem, you won’t get a boisterous crowd, making it a classic spot to really chill out. Many locals consider this spot to be the best burger joint in Perisher, and we couldn’t agree more. For a relaxing escape from the crazy world of skiing, head over to the Alpine Eyre.

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Base of Eyre T-Bar, Perisher Valley, NSW 2624
Thredbo Burger Bar
Photographed by Ikhsan Baihaqi. Image via Unsplash

Thredbo Burger Bar

Sticking with the burgers, another popular burger joint in the Snowy Mountains, Australia is Thredbo Burger Bar. Serving the best burgers in Thredbo, they’ve got seven angus beef burgers, four chicken burgers, and two vegetarian burgers, with the option of making them nude (bunless). And what goes best with burgers? Beer, of course! These guys house a wonderful selection for your puckering lips.

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1 Diggings Terrace, Thredbo, NSW 2625
Merritts Mountain House
Photographed by Jonny Caspari. Image via Unsplash

Merritts Mountain House

High on the hill is the Merritts Mountain House, ready to serve you up some mouth-watering dishes. Refuel your empty tank with some classic European pub fares, from lamb shanks to goulash, while saving some room for cakes and slices made in-house. Cosy up inside or head out for a fresh tang of sun, and warm up with a classic hot chocolate.

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Top of Merritts Gondola, Thredbo, NSW 2625

The Best Accommodation in Jindabyne, New South Wales:

Jindabyne is a haven for frugal families, offering plenty of spots to stay outside the confines of the snowy ski slopes. There’s also a level of versatility here, with plenty of dining options to consider, which could also include cooking at home. The list below is the top hotels and inns to stay in and doesn’t include the dozens of bed and breakfasts and single-house villas that are on offer in the small town of Jindabyne.

Full Circle Apartments
Image: supplied

Full Circle Apartments

Full Circle Apartments offer a variety of apartments to suit all sizes, from small families and couples to large groups. All apartments include heating, dining room, kitchen, with linen and towels included as part of the fee. Plus, so you can upload all of your pictures on the go, Full Circle Apartments also offers free WiFi.

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36 Townsend St, Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Lake Jindabyne Hotel Motel
Photographed by Taras Vyshnya. Image via Shutterstock

Lake Jindabyne Hotel Motel

As well as having luxury rooms that include views of the glorious Lake Jindabyne, this hotel motel is also a wonderful place to party on the weekend. Welcome to Lake Jindabyne Hotel Motel. After hitting the slopes all day, come back to reality with a wild night of DJs and alcohol. And then there’s the traditional pub fare that is sure to keep you stocked up all the way to bedtime.

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21 McLure Cct, Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Rydges Horizon Snowy Mountains
Image: supplied

Rydges Horizon Snowy Mountains

Rydges is a well-known international hotel-chain, so it’s no surprise they end up on our list. At Rydges Horizons Snowy Mountains, you’ll not only gain access to cosy and warm self-serviced apartments, but also The Fireside Lounge, McEvoys Restaurant and Squires Tapas Bar. There’s also an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a games room.

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10 Kosciuszko Rd, Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Jindy Inn
Image: supplied

Jindy Inn

Jindy Inn. It’s so Australian, isn’t it? We love it! Jindy Inn is a serene home-away-from-home, featuring in-house restaurant and bar, and simplistic Victorian-inspired rooms. Each room includes WiFi, air conditioning, central heating, a fridge and a flat-screen TV. There’s also a communal kitchen and laundry to utilise on your stay.

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18 Clyde St, Jindabyne, NSW 2627

The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Jindabyne, New South Wales:

Rokits Edibles
Photographed by Nathan Dumlao. Image via Unsplash.

Rokits Edibles

Rokits Edibles is a Jindabyne local favourite. Their cafe-style menu aims for contemporary while offering their own little pizzazz to each dish. The menu also includes a daily-changing specials selection, so expect the unexpected! Our favourite special for today is a Peppered Steak Sandwich with camembert cheese, slow-roasted tomato, beetroot relish and rocket salad. Yum!

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15 Crawford St, Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Cocina Grill & Cantina
Photographed by Nathan Dumlao. Image via Unsplash.

Cocina Grill & Cantina

If you’re wanting a true taste of Mexico, why not come to Jindabyne? Well, if the hot chocolates and liquor choices don’t warm you up, then Mexican fiesta will definitely do the job! And what’s more? They’ve got a new cocktail bar for guests to enjoy. Margarita anyone? Aribba!

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33 Kosciuszko Rd, Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Birchwood Cafe
Image supplied via Instagram

Birchwood Cafe

Birchwood Cafe is the ultimate in rustic dining, featuring off-white walls and earthy tones. This simplicity is channelled through their love for wholesome and healthy food, serving up nutritious meals for breakfast and lunch, catering to most dietary requirements. And if that doesn’t satisfy your tastebuds, then maybe their tasty collection of hot beverages will!

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3 Gippsland St, Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Jindabyne Brewing
Image supplied via Instagram

Jindabyne Brewing

What better way to end this ultimate travel guide to the Snowy Mountains than with a brewery? Welcome to Jindabyne Brewing, serving up five of their own unique beers to the wintery region of southern New South Wales. Across the other end of this tiny town is Kosciuszko Brewery, as well, but Jindabyne is unique to the town. Get adventurous and go with their seasonal ale. Oh, and don’t forget their tapas-style menu!

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5 Nettin Cct, Jindabyne, NSW 2627

Love the cold? Here are 6 Perfect Places to Enjoy Snow in Australia this Winter 2021. Or, for some other rustic accommodation, settle in at one of these 10 Best Luxury Farm Stays around Australia.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Ngarigo Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Feature image: Photographed by Alexandra Adoncello. Image via Destination NSW
This article was first published on May 22 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on June 17 2021.
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