Cheap skiing in Aus as snow falls

ROBERT UPE
Last updated 08:54 17/05/2013
Snow_Landscape

Early snows at Perisher after falls over night.

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Things are looking up for skiers and snowboarders with early snowfalls across Australia's mountain resorts.

Now, Thredbo is about to announce its cheapest day-ticket price in four years.

The NSW resort is releasing an A$99 ($119) ticket, the only major resort under A$100 ($120).

A spokesman for Thredbo's closest rival, Perisher, said on Thursday that it has not yet released its day ticket price but ski.com.au has it listed as A$115 ($138). Last winter Perisher's day ticket cost A$112.

The major Victorian resorts - Mount Buller, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham - are charging A$110.

There is a catch with the Thredbo ticket. It must be bought online up to midnight the night before it is used, otherwise the resort's full price of A$110 applies.

Kosciuszko Thredbo general manager Jordan Rodgers said he hoped the 10 per cent price drop would make a trip to the snow more affordable.

"We recognise the idea of a yearly trip to the snow can be costly for Australian snow goers - with some unfortunately missing out on the opportunity to experience it." Mr Rodgers said.

"That's why this year, having listened to our customers, we are leading the industry in cutting the price of Thredbo's day pass as part of a broader strategy to increase the affordability of an Australian snow holiday."

Australia's smaller resorts - including Selwyn in NSW and Mount Baw Baw in Victoria - also have day tickets under A$100. The cost at Selwyn this year is A$82 and Mount Baw Baw is A$50 during the week and A$75 on weekends.

Despite the focus on day tickets, the resorts claim the best value can be obtained in multi-day tickets and lift-lesson-hire packages.

Meanwhile, snow is forecast over the next few days.

"Things are looking really promising for a strong early start to the 2013 season," Mount Buller Ski Lifts general manager Laurie Blampied said.

"Early snow always presents challenges when we are trying to complete preparations for winter, but these are good problems to have."

The snow season officially starts on the Queen's Birthday weekend of June 8-10.

Aussies pile over here each winter for ski New Zealand's alpine fields, but does anyone go the other way? Have you been to Australia for the snow? Comment below.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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