Corin Forest: The Perfect "First Snow" Experience
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By: Helena Leung, ellaslist explorer
I have always sat and listened with a slight feeling of guilt whenever my friends talked about their amazing ski trips. "Bobby’s been skiing since he was two! He’s a natural!” Hmm. Great. The closest my kids had been to real snow was licking the TV screen during a viewing of Frozen...
Plagued with the thought of expensive accommodation and ski lessons, not to mention the six-hour tedious car trip from Sydney to the Snowies, I thought there HAD to be a better alternative. That’s when I stumbled across Corin Forest. Corin Forest is an outdoor snow park that is only 45-minutes from where we based ourselves in Canberra. They run three snow play sessions every day that last for 2.5 hours; the perfect amount of time for littlies.
We arrived at Corin Forest on a bright, sunny morning. In amongst a forest of green, we suddenly saw two large football field patches of white, dazzling snow! “Real (man-made) snow!” our kids cried! It’s true. When the conditions are right, Corin Forest does actually receive real snowfall. However, they also have snow guns that run overnight, to ensure a constant supply of the good stuff.
The biggest attraction for the kids at Corin Forest is definitely the toboggans. After paying $20 entry per adult and child (cheap as chips!) plus $5 for the unlimited use of a toboggan, we quickly scrambled up the gentle incline and slid down the slope with lots of squeals of excitement! Adults can tandem ride with their littlies, but the bigger kids will be happy to drag and slide their toboggan up and down the slope for 2 hours, no problem.
Classes For Beginners: YES!
Corin Forest's latest addition is their ski and snowboard school. Little ones who have never skied before and adults who might need to work at mastering the basics are all welcome. The ski slope for lessons is custom designed with a gentle terrain, also featuring an easy-to-use 'magic carpet' ski lift. This special skiing area is limited to 150 people per session to keep is safe and spacious- so maybe make a booking. They also offer night skiing including a Thursday night girl's night and a Friday night pizza night!
Snowmen and Igloos
Another reason why Corin Forest appealed to me was that I wasn’t sure if my 4 and 6yo were ready for ski lessons just yet and I didn’t want to fork out good money if all they wanted to do was build a snowman. At Corin Forest, they have a section, just beyond the tobogganing slopes, designated for building snowmen. If you are smart, you can hi-jack someone else’s pre-built snowman and use that as your base. Building a decent snowman is actually a lot of hard work! My 6yo also tested out her engineering skills by building a small igloo. (Engineer Daddy was so proud!)
Corin Forest is fantastic for a first-time snow experience for your kids. It’s small, safe and cheaper than going to the snowfields. This is not for dads who are looking to conquer their next double black diamond run. They will be disappointed. And no, you cannot bring your snowboard. (Had to convince my hubby this was a bad idea).
The Essential Stuff
From June 2020 they will be open 7 days a week.
Snowplay ticket – $20 per person
Toboggan hire – $5 per session (Can be shared within a family)
They have boots available for hire ($15pp); and gloves for sale
Kids ski lessons are $109 per child (aged 4-14).
Ski area passes (not recommended for children under 4 years) are $40 per person for 3 hours. The rentals shop is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions so you must bring all of your own gear, including a helmet which is required on the hill.
Corin Forest Accommodation: You can't actually stay on the "snow" fields but could stay in nearby Canberra (45 mins away). Here is a list of places you can stay near Corin Forest.
What to bring:
• Warm clothing
• Waterproof pants and jacket
• Warm, water-resistant gloves
• A change of socks and dry clothes is recommended for the trip home
June Snowplay sessions are limited to 20 people per session. These sessions will be 1 hour long to accommodate as many guests as possible while still providing value for money. In July sessions will be limited to 50 people per session. These sessions will be 2 hours long.
The Snowsports School is currently closed.
The hire of jackets and pants is suspended for the health and safety of guests. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for further updates on operations.
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