Australia is known for its incredible beaches, endless sunshine and outdoor lifestyle. Popular hobbies in Australia are surfing, scuba diving, fishing….and skiiing! Does it snow in Australia – hell yes?!
Is there snow in Australia?
There absolutely is snow in Australia during winter – in certain places! It can get cold in the winter months in Australia and you can actually find snow in Australia if you fancy trying your hand at a bit of snowboarding near Melbourne or skiing in New South Wales. In fact, the Australian Alps receive even more snow than the Swiss Alps.
It feels ridiculous to be writing about snow mountains in Australia right now during a very hot Queensland autumn (today has been 35 degrees!), but I know now is a time when people begin planning trips for Australia in the winter so it’s useful to share some info about snow places in Australia in case you want to daydream about cooling off during this hot and humid season.
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When does it snow in Australia and when is snow season in Australia?
If you’ve been wondering when does it snow in Australia, this post will give you all of the info you need.
Does Australia get snow and when is winter in Australia?
The winter months in Australia are from June to August. (It takes a bit of getting used to having opposite seasons in Australia – even now eight years after arriving here I still automatically think June is summertime in my head.)
The weather gets cooler in winter but the climates in Australia vary so much across the states and territories as it’s such a vast country. Some destinations in Australia experience sunny and relatively mild winters (this is a big reason we chose to move to Queensland!), while others plunge into much colder temperatures where you get icy frosts overnight and it can actually start snowing in Australia.
I DO NOT miss de-icing my car in winter but I still find it fascinating that while we’re still enjoying an outdoor beach lifestyle in Queensland, other places have snowfall in Australia! Our winter temperatures in Brisbane are between 10 and 22 degrees so we can mostly still wear t-shirts/shorts and wrap up in a hoodie in the early mornings (I think I’ve probably only worn a coat twice since we moved to Queensland and that was purely for night tours in winter in the hinterland!). But does it get ‘cold’ in Australia? Absolutely it does!
In Tasmania, the winter temperature is 4 to 13 degrees, so there you definitely need your snow clothes on – brrr! And snow season in Tasmania isn’t only limited to the winter months – snow can fall between April and October and there are occasions it even snows outside this time period.
If you’re looking for snow in New South Wales and Victoria, the ski season runs from June until late Sept/early October with the best snow for skiing between July and August.
Occasionally small amounts of snow falls in other parts of Australia, but not consistently enough for skiiing or winter sports and it doesn’t tend to hang around for long (although in the ACT they’ve come up with a solution to create a man-made winter wonderland in Australia as you’ll learn below).
So when you ask ‘does it snow in Australia?’, the answer is yes it does. As for where in Australia does it snow, you’re mainly going to have to travel to Victoria, New South Wales or Tasmania to enjoy the Australia snow season.
Snow places in Australia | Where does it snow in Australia?
If you’ve been wondering where does it snow in Australia and you want to hit the slopes for your Australian ski holidays, you’re going to need to get out of the cities in search of snow mountains in Australia. Snow season is only in mountainous regions of Australia – you won’t find snow in Melbourne or snow in Sydney.
Snow season in Australia can be found in the following states and territories: New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.
Snow holidays Australia
If you’re searching for the best snow Australia has to offer for skiing and snowboarding, here’s an overview of some of the best snow resorts in Australia for you to enjoy snow in Australia.
Snow places in Australia | Skiing in New South Wales
There are four ski resorts in Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales with Thredbo and Perisher being the two best-known. Here are some options for where to find snow in New South Wales.
Thredbo is conveniently located six hours from Sydney. It offers a wide range of terrains for all abilities across 1,186 acres. Here you’ll find the longest ski run in Australia, the Thredbo Supertrail, and some exciting vertical runs. Beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers are well catered for. It’s a buzzing resort with plenty to enjoy beyond the snow with shops, restaurants and day spas.
The largest of Australia’s ski resorts (as it’s an amalgamation of four resorts linked together), Perisher sprawls across almost 3,000 acres and offers skiing for all abilities. Again, located six hours from Sydney this resort doesn’t have one central ski village so you can either enjoy your in-lodge entertainment and stay close to the lifts or stay in nearby Jindabyne (about 30 minutes away). There are still plenty of restaurants and cafes scattered around the resort though, so you won’t go hungry!
Snow holidays Australia | Skiing in Victoria
It’s amazing that you can find snow near Melbourne for day trips and weekend snow breaks. Snow in Victoria is exciting and varied with plenty of options of ski resorts. I have lots of friends who go to the slopes for a weekend of skiing – my friends swear it’s the place to enjoy the best snow holidays for families in Australia!
Here are a few of the options to enjoy snow in Victoria:
A three-hour drive from Melbourne, Mount Buller is a great place to ski near Melbourne making it an ideal option for day trips and short ski trips from the city. Because of this, it can get very busy. With more than 740 acres of mixed terrain, plus a vibrant resort atmosphere with lots of restaurants and cafes, there is plenty to keep you entertained.
Four-and-a-half hours from Melbourne, Falls Creek is a ski-in/ski-out resort. Victoria’s largest ski resort offers a mix of terrains and caters well for families as well as more experienced skiers.
Also, four-and-a-half hours from Melbourne, Mount Hotham can be found perched on a spectacular mountain ridge and it is well-suited to intermediates to advanced skiers although there is a separate beginner’s area.
Skiing in Tasmania
Although not as popular as skiing in New South Wales or skiing in Victoria, Tasmania also offers two small ski resorts. Tasmania gets a lot cooler than mainland Australia, so it’s a great place to see snow in Australia!
This rustic resort is less than two hours from Launceston in the Ben Lomond National Park. It’s the larger of Tasmania’s ski resorts (the other being Mount Mawson). It offers a fun alpine village atmosphere and Tasmania’s second-highest peak. The most popular of Tasmania’s ski resorts, Ben Lomond offers a mixed terrain and affordable skiing. To get there, you’ll drive through Jacob’s Ladder – a sharply winding road that might have you reaching for the travel sick tablets!
Skiing in Australian Capital Territory
Pitched as the most accessible and most affordable alpine resort in Australia (offering the closest snowfields to Sydney and Canberra), Corin Forest is a little different to the other ski resorts. Corin Forest receives a handful of snowfalls a year so, rather than relying on Mother Nature, they make their own snow! It’s a cold location with temperatures dipping as low as -10 on some nights so they use snow guns to create a winter wonderland in Australia. The snow is then transported around the hill and smoothed ready for skiing. At three-and-a-half hours from Sydney, it’s doable as a big day trip or weekend break.
Best snow in Australia | Snow cams Australia
A fun way to keep an eye on snow fall in Australia and keep an eye out for the best snow in Australia is to check out the snow cams! Australia Ski.com.au has a link to so many snow cams! Check them out here.
Does it snow in Australia? | Where to shop for snow gear Australia?
To visit the snow in Australia, you’re going to need snow clothing! Think snow boots, jackets, layers, gloves and all the things. Remember, unless you’re planning on being a regular taker of snow holidays in Australia, you might not want to spend too much on your snow clothes, especially for kids who will grow out of things quickly. Another top tip is that Aldi often offers great value ski clothes ahead of Australia’s ski season.
For kids, you will also find that they outgrow their snow clothes quickly and as snow in Australia is quite limited in terms of its season you find that second hand snow clothes are usually great quality and barely worn. We actually bought lots of second hand snow clothes from Facebook Marketplace when we went back to the UK last year and we found we could pick up snow jackets for $5 – 20 for the kids that were in perfect, as-new condition so definitely shop around for snow clothes and look out for sales!
Where is the best snow in Australia?
If you’re really looking for the best snow in Australia for winter sports, you need to head to New South Wales or Victoria. Both offer snowy mountains, incredible alpine scenery and fantastic ski and snowboarding opportunities. You don’t have to make it a ski holiday though – these locations all offer many other activities and winter sports in Australia from hiking and husky rides to spa days and helicopter flights. I have to admit, as someone who is prone to breaking bones the idea of learning to ski now in my 40s terrifies me but I love the idea of being at a ski resort and enjoying the atmosphere, food, surroundings and non-skiing snow activities!
Next winter, get out there and enjoy the snow fields in Australia. And if you’re reading this in summer as the temperature is hitting close to 40 degrees, I hope this post about does it snow in Australia has inspired you to dream about cooler times and snow fall in Australia!