Time Out Melbourne

With record falls this season, here’s where you should hit the powder before the September finale

Falls Creek, Victoria

The pick of the Australian resorts so far this season, Falls Creek has had a solid base from top to bottom since the first ‘snowmageddon’. The resort offers skiing for all levels and the top runs to date have been Hi Five for beginners, Powder Keg, Quartz Ridge and Scotty’s for intermediates and Hollow and Roller Coaster for advanced skiiers.

At the base of the Falls Express chair, QT Falls Creek is the resort to book a room at. There are ski-in, ski-out facilities and oversized apartments with large lounge rooms, kitchenettes and views of the Kiewa Valley. 17 Bogong High Plains Rd, Falls Creek 3699. 03 5732 8000.

The restaurant at QT Falls Creek, Bazaar, has a gourmet buffet with braised Moroccan lamb shanks, whole crabs and fresh prawns. Next door, Stingray has the atmosphere of a retro ski lodge. Find top Martinis and Old Fashioneds alongside craft beers and nachos. 17 Bogong High Plains Rd, Falls Creek 3699. 03 5732 8000.

It’s vodka aplenty at Astra. Order up a Zubrowka on ice or a nip of Medos honey vodka. 5 Sitzmark St, Falls Creek 3699. 03 5758 3496.

Swing by the Gully, where there are buffalo pelt banquettes, Maidenii vermouth and sausage rolls that you can order by the inch. 3 Sitzmark St, Falls Creek 3699. 03 5758 3496.

Get there
Falls Creek is an 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne. Stop off at the Myrtleford Butter Factory for a coffee and some high-country buttery delights. Great Alpine Rd, Myrtleford 3737. 03 5752 2300.

Thredbo, NSW

Thredbo has one of the top ski schools in not just Australia, but the world. The program is perfect for kids from three years old right through to mature adults. Advanced skiiers, meanwhile, will be busy on black runs around Funnel Web and the Golf Course Bowl.

Score a room at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel. It’s across the road from the Crackenback Chair and has rooms with views of the hill. It’s next to the pool at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel after a long day’s skiing that hits the spot, particularly with a beer in hand. Here there are couches, beanbags, fireplaces and a hot tub. Or head inside to the Lounge Bar, loaded with old-world European charm and martinis. Friday Dr, Thredbo 2625. 02 6459 4200.

The Après Bar at the Denman Hotel is also on the hit list for schnapps, live music and flaming drinks. 21 Diggings Tce, Thredbo 2625. 02 6457 6222.

At Riverside Cabins, Jean-Michelle Gerst’s Knickerbocker restaurant serves up French-inspired dishes with a side of mountain views. Order wild mushroom velouté, prawn boudin and confit chicken leg. 1 Diggings Tce, Thredbo 2625.

Get there
Qantas flies to Canberra from Melbourne. Book a snow-equipped car from Hertz for the scenic 2.5 hour drive down to Thredbo.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Cardrona is a resort that can be both relaxing and challenging. Groomed green and blue runs include Skyline and Westons Trail for beginners, and Highway 89 and Swaggerman for intermediates. Advanced skiiers should head to the Arcadia Chutes. Crown Range Rd, Cardrona. +64 3 443 7341.

Intermediate and advanced skiiers will enjoy groomed runs at Treble Cone. Main Street is a long, groomed, intermediate blue run with views across Lake Wanaka. Mount Aspiring Rd, Wanaka. +64 3 443 7443.

A five-minute drive from the middle of Queenstown, the Rees Hotel features uninterrupted views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. 377 Frankton Rd, Queenstown. +64 3 450 1100.

At Rata, expect top mod-NZ cuisine from land and sea. Right now, we’re into the wild venison, Marlborough king salmon and Northland kingfish. 43 Ballarat St, Queenstown. +64 3 442 9393.

Sasso is a fine taste of Italy in the Southern Alps. Try chef Sal Grant’s burrata, which is chargrilled with pumpkin, thyme and balsamic, or the Cardrona Valley lamb rump. 14/16 Church St, Queenstown. +64 3 409 0994.

Leading Queenstown’s bar scene is Barmuda. Order a Caipiroska, Mojito or 42 Below Martini outside by the fireplace in the courtyard. Searle Ln, Queenstown. +64 3 442 7300.

Get there
Air New Zealand flies to Queenstown with packages available for all budgets.

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Updated on 24 Mar 2015.

By James Wilkinson   |   Photos by Charlie Brown
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