THREDBO, AUSTRALIA

Thredbo, midway between Sydney and Melbourne, is Australia’s best-known ski resort. Home to the five longest runs in Oz, Thredbo is a hit with beginners and intermediates for its long, wide cruisers such as Walkabout, Playground and Ballroom. But it's not just for groomers: Thredbo has the steepest overall terrain of any ski resort in Australia, with natural hits, wind lips and powder bowls to satisfy even the most advanced skiers. The most challenging of Thredbo’s 50 runs is Funnel Web—essentially an ungroomed trail notorious for its near-vertical middle section dotted with bumps and moguls. Despite the resort’s low altitude (4,478 feet), it actually has the country’s highest skiable point (6,683 feet). Skiers needn’t worry about lack of snow on lower runs either as Thredbo has invested $6 million on the largest snowmaking system in the Southern Hemisphere. Thredbo also has several terrain parks to suit varying levels.

When to go: Early June through Early October

Terrain: 1,186 acres: 16% beginner, 67% intermediate, 17% advanced/intermediate

Lifts: Four quads, three doubles, five t-bars and two snowrunners

Longest run: Karels T-bar to Friday Flat3.7 miles

Apres-ski: In addition to big events, each week there is a new schedule of entertainment, from Rekorderlig’s poolside parties to live performances at Lounge Bar, Keller and Schuss Bar, and parties at the Smirnoff Snow Dome.

Resort facilities: The streets are lined with a good selection of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. The Thredbo Leisure Centre has an Olympic-sized heated pool and the sports hall features a climbing wall. All accommodations are within easy walking distance or a quick free shuttle bus ride to the slopes and village. Choose from catered lodges, hotels, luxurious apartments and self-contained units.

Ski pass prices: Daily lift tickets cost $110 (AUD)

Transportation: Fly direct from Sydney or catch a 2.5 hour shuttle from Canberra airport. Entry into the national park is free but if you're taking your own car you'll need to get a permit, which will set you back $27 (AUD) a day. Driving from Sydney or Melbourne will take around six hours.