The Kid-Friendly Guide To Visiting The Snowy Mountains
Fondly nicknamed The Snowies, the Snowy Mountains is NSW’s snowy wonderland and home to Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko. With close to 700,000 hectares of glorious snowfields, glacial lakes, rugged bushland and astonishingly high peaks, the Snowy Mountains is undoubtedly a feast for the eyes.
The stunning alpine region is a year-round hotspot for family holidays, and it’s pretty easy to see why. With an abundance of natural attractions on and off the snowfields, a burgeoning foodie scene, classy accommodation, and a perpetually festive atmosphere, there’s never a dull moment at the Snowy Mountains.
If you’re planning on making the Snowies your next family holiday destination, don’t miss these top kid-friendly tips and attractions.
Getting To The Snowies
Getting to the Snowy Mountains from Sydney is easy and can be done by car, train or aeroplane. Depending on where you plan on staying, a family road trip to the Snowies can be done in as few as 5 to 6 hours if you’re driving to Thredbo, Jindabyne, Mount Selwyn or Charlotte’s Pass. If you’re staying further afield at Perisher, you can expect to drive for at least 7 to 8 hours.
If family road trips aren’t your thing, a flight to the Snowy Mountains via Regional Express (REX) will only take you an hour to get to the closest airport (Cooma), and from there it’s 1-2 hour’s drive to the nearby snowfields.
Where To Stay
Choosing between Thredbo, Perisher, Jindabyne, Charlotte’s Pass, and Mount Selwyn is tricky business. They all offer so much, especially where families are concerned! If this is your first time visiting the snow, you’re probably keen to check out Australia’s (and the Southern Hemisphere’s!) largest ski resort, Perisher. Perisher Valley is perhaps the most popular snowfield in Australia and boasts very family-friendly accommodations and activities. From their Discovery Kids program to Tube Town, daycare facilities and hot chocolate on demand, Perisher sure knows how to keep little snow bunnies happy.
Selwyn Snow Resort at Mount Selwyn is a terrific option for first-time snow experiences as they offer gentle slopes for beginners and have relatively cost-effective accommodations. The Selwyn Snowfields’ Snow World serves up snow fun in droves with tobogganing, snow tubing, and indoor and outdoor activities with their Mini Mites, Mighty Mites, and Mega Mites programs (from ages 18 months up to 7 years).
Home to Australia’s longest ski runs and one of the prettiest alpine villages in the region, Thredbo has a lot to offer keen skiers and family holidaymakers. Their family accommodation packages offer free skiing for the kids from June to September – the perfect stay and ski package for thrifty families! Plus, Thredboland is kiddie heaven for kids aged 3 to 6 years eager to hone their ski skills on the slopes.
Charlotte’s Pass and Corin Forest are other accessible kid-friendly accommodation in the Snowy Mountains – check out our recommendations here.
Kid-Friendly Après-Ski Activities
Surprisingly, visiting the Snowy Mountains isn’t all about hitting the ski slopes! There’s a whole range of kid-friendly activities away from the slopes including horseback riding, mountain biking, scenic drives, hiking, abseiling and more.
If your kids are willing and able, a hike up Mount Kosciuszko (Australia’s highest peak) is a great physical expedition, and the views will be very rewarding. Take the Kosciuszko Express Chair Lift to Eagles Nest to access the boardwalk. If the 13-kilometre walk is too daunting for the little ones just tell them they’ll be literally standing on top of Australia!
The Yarrangobilly Caves are a treasure of the Snowy Mountains and thrilling for little adventurers to explore. The underground limestone caves are located just 7 kilometres off the Snowy Mountains Highway and are open year-round. Bring the kids along to venture below the earth and ogle at stalagmites, stalactites, cave corals and other limestone wonders. Yarrangobilly Caves offer guided and self-guided tours several times a day.
Image Source: Yarrangobilly Caves
Image Source: Thredbo
A trip to the Snowy Mountains isn’t complete without a ride on the famous Thredbo Bobsled! The adrenaline-pumping attraction is fun in both winter and summer and winds down the mountain for a thrilling 700 metres. Children over 9 years are invited to brave the ride alone, but an adult must accompany children under 9. Get ready to line up again and again!
For those with a sweet tooth, a stop off at the legendary Snowy Mountains Cookie Factory is a must. Aside from being incredibly delicious, Snowy Mountains Cookies are 100% free of artificial colours, additives, flavours, and preservatives. A trip to the Snowy Mountains Cookie Factory and a sneak peek into the kitchen is free, and visitors will get the opportunity to buy discounted “imperfect” cookies hot from the oven.
If you’re staying at Perisher resort during snow season (June to October), make sure you don’t miss their famous weekly Perisher Fireworks Display. Every Tuesday night, you and the kids will be treated to magical lights dancing across the sky against the backdrop of the shimmery snowfields.
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