Departed Wollongong on Friday evening, we arrived at our rental property for the weekend at East Jindabyne just past midnight on Saturday. It was a 7 hour drive from Wollongong to Jindabyne, which includes our dinner stop at Goulburn and ski hire stop at Cooma.
Our road trip map
With four ski fields (Charlotte Pass, Perisher, Selwyn Snowfields and Thredbo) to choose from in New South Wales, we decided to give Perisher a visit as it is Australia's largest skiing resort. The resort is an amalgamation of Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega skifields. After getting our skitube tickets and lift pass from Perisher’s Jindabyne office, …
… we proceeded to Bullocks Flat to catch the skitube.
Entrance to Skitube
Skitube, also known as the Alpine Railway, is a convenient and innovative train ride from Bullocks Flat through the Ramshead range into the Kosciuszko National Park then onto Perisher Valley and Blue Cow Mountain. It is one of the longest underground train tunnels and is also Australia's only underground rack-railway, travelling at a depth of 550m. Since the Bullocks Flat Terminal is well below the normal snow line, the skitube is the best way to get to the snow if you are restricted by your car hire company (Avis for example, does not allow their cars to be driven past the snow line in Winter) or if you are driving without chains.
Our packed carriage
After travelling 8.5km, with 6.3km of underground trip, we arrived at Perisher Valley.
After a quick exploration, …
Perisher’s church, ambulance station (they don’t call it a hospital) and fire station
… we moved on to catch the free shuttle bus over to Smiggin Holes, where our ski lessons will be held after lunch time.
Shuttle bus stop
Departing every 15 minutes, it was a short bus ride over to Smiggins.
Back in the 1840’s, the trampling of hundreds of cattle consuming rock salt that graziers had placed there, caused depressions that filled with water. These depressions were called "the smiggin holes", and hence the place was named after that.
More suitable for beginners, the slopes were not as packed as Perisher Valley. And since its where the Snowsports School is located, you are always in good hands of the instructors (if you are taking lessons). After lunch at the Arcade, …
Our fish and chips lunch
… we gathered at the meeting place for our lessons.
The lessons took about two and a half hours, before we were let off skiing away by ourselves.
Friendly slopes, …
… chair lifts
… and the J-bar.
This is also where I get to see disabled-friendly (wheelchair) skiing.
Soon enough, its closing time but its also where the fun part begins. It started snowing!!
Low visibility while snowing
After playing in the snow and packing up, we hop on board the shuttle bus, making our way back to Perisher Valley to catch the skitube down to Bullocks Flat.
All in all, it was a fun but tiring day!!