What about the skiing at Perisher Valley Ski Resort?
Perisher Valley as you've read in Page 1 of this report, has the most extensive groomed terrain in the country through its 4 interlinked ski regions:
But it lacks an Alpine atmosphere. If you're after a "pretty" winter vacation, this is not the place to visit. But if you're after the skiing, then do consider Perisher Valley.
The Skiing At Perisher Valley Ski Resort
For experienced skiers, you'll have the best skiing at Perisher, down Mount Perisher at Towers, International, Eyre and Sun Valley. The steepest, blackest run is down Olympic, but it's only open at the peak of the season.
Intermediate skiers at Perisher will enjoy exploring the whole valley, but you'll love skiing under the Quad Chair, discovering the Terrain Park around Leichardt lift. For a good stretch, have a go down Eyre bowl. This is just perfect for intermediate skiers.
At the bottom of the Eyre T-bar, is a hut that sells the best egg and bacon rolls.
Beginners, you really are in luck at Perisher. Firstly, the ski school is excellent. You can try your ski legs on Front Valley, then head off to Pretty Valley and Happy Valley. These pistes are wide, broad, well groomed and the gradient very gentle. You'll have a terrific time experimenting on your skis with no worries as to too many people around you.
You can enjoy a nice hot chocolate at the hut at Happy Valley.
Here's the link to Perisher Valley Ski Resort for rates for ski tickets and the weather report.
The main and only building at Blue Cow is the terminal for the train. On the second level is a large cafeteria with a large amount of bench seating. The coffee shop at ground level, "Cowpuccino" is pleasant but understaffed.
Skiing at Blue Cow
At Blue Cow, you'll find decent black runs down Rock Garden and Zali's.
Rollercoaster and Accelerator are exhaustingly long runs suitable for high intermediates.
The international grade moguls course "Toppa's Dream" is accessed from Rock Garden. Named after the local moguls champion and currently coach to Australia's Winter Olympians, International moguls competitions are held on this exceptionally long, hugely steep, highly moguled triple black run that seem to go on forever.
Intermediates will have fun everywhere. There's so much terrain to explore. You could just work your way from one side of the resort to the next.
Pleasant Valley is wonderful for beginners. It is just about flat, very long and the chair lift means you don't need to worry about balancing on T-Bars. You'll find lots of beginners here, as the terrain is exceptionally wide and flat.
The traverse to Guthega is from Blue Cow. This is an easy gentle gradient for beginners and intermediates.
Try skiing across to Guthega. You'll enjoy the views on the way from Perisher, through Blue Cow on your trip to Guthega. You'll really enjoy skiing amongst the Gum Trees here.
Incidentally, when there are white out conditions, Guthega's the place to ski. There's much better definition with the pistes cut through the treed areas.
Guthega is a small resort and ideal for families as the runs are short and you can keep an eye on the kids. The lifts are older but work efficiently and best of all, there are hardly any lift queues.
Our favourite piste is Parachute.
There is one coffee shop at Guthega. For a bigger selection, you'd be best heading back to the cafeteria at Blue Cow.
Smiggin Holes Resort
Beginners will find safe skiing and boarding on the well groomed gentle slopes at Smiggins Holes.
There is a good selection of accommodation here.
When you're ready to explore further, a link lift takes you to Perisher Valley.
Smiggin Holes is a good starting point, with well priced on-snow accommodation and easy access to Perisher and then access to Blue Cow and Guthega.
Getting To Perisher Valley
Jindabyne is about 20 minutes by car from Perisher Valley and you'll need the National Parks Pass to enter the resort. It costs about $27 a day.
Alternatively, drive to Bullocks Flat, a 15 minute journey from Jindabyne and catch the ski tube or alpine train which takes you directly to Perisher and the last stop is Blue Cow. Most skiers prefer to catch the tube as the parking is more convenient at Bullocks Flat and the train takes them directly to both the resorts.
Going by train, means you don't have to worry about putting chains on tyres when the roads are covered in snow or ice.
Which is better?
Thredbo and Perisher Valley Ski Resort are different. Without a doubt, Thredbo is the more charming resort, but, we prefer the greater terrain, the variety and consistency of snow conditions at the Perisher Valley Ski Resort.