Perisher, in New South Wales, is the largest resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Four areas—Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega—provide a variety of terrain for all skiing levels. What really makes the resort stand out is the abundance of entertaining activities for the whole family, from night-time skiing to a free fireworks display every Thursday. New for the 2013 season is the Mini Half-pipe at the Yabby Flat Terrain Park which will allow beginners to safely learn the basics of half-pipe riding before moving onto the Front Valley pipe. The Snowy Daycare also caters to groms as mini as six weeks old.
When to go: Early June through Early October
Terrain: 3,076 acres: 22% beginner, 60% intermediate, 18% advanced
Lifts: One eight-seater chair, six quads, four doubles, two triples, 34 surface lifts
Longest run: 1.8 miles
Apres-ski: Choose from a number of lively bars. Try the locally-distilled Wild Brumy Schnapps at the Top Spot Bar with its spectacular views or enjoy the DJ and acoustic sessions at the Overflow Bar. The Snow Gums Restaurant at the Perisher Valley Hotel offers signature gourmet buffet dinners Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Resort facilities: Ski school, retail outlets, village bars, on-mountain restaurants, a restaurant/cafe at each of the four mountain bases, supermarket, ATM, police station, medical center, post office and pharmacy. There are 28 accommodation options in Perisher, including hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and chalets.
Ski pass prices: Daily lift tickets cost $112 (AUS).
Transportation: Perisher is a six-hour drive from Sydney via Canberra and Cooma or seven hours from Melbourne