Considering a trip to the snow this winter? Do it! Pymble mum Maryka Stalley has just enjoyed her first family holiday on the slopes of Thredbo and can vouch for how easy, fun and memorable it can really be…for everyone!
We have just come home from our first family trip to the snow and it has to be one of the best holidays we have done as a family! I never quite understood the hype of heading to the snow every year – for me the thought of going up a mountain and then coming down it all day didn’t appeal to me. A holiday was about relaxing not exerting myself! But I now understand the hype. The enjoyment had by our family for our first ever ski holiday will be etched in my mind forever.
A few weeks before the start of the school holidays we mentioned to the kids that we would be heading down to the snow for a few days. The excitement on their faces said it all – they could not wait!
We left early on Monday morning for the six hour drive to Thredbo. The drive down to the snow was quite tolerable. We left home at 5.30am, stopping for breakfast at Sutton Forest and then drove down to Cooma where we did our second stop to pick up a few snow supplies, reaching Thredbo by 1pm. Our first afternoon was full of excitement, and the look of delight when the kids saw the snow for the first time was priceless.
We headed straight to the beginners area of Friday Flat to explore, have a few snow fights and finalise all our lessons and ski hire. It helped to arrive the afternoon before our first day of lessons/skiing so that we could be organised and beat the queues the next morning. If you’re hiring your skis from Thredbo you can pick them up from 3pm the day before.
We then headed to our accommodation, which was booked through Visit Snowy Mountains. Visit Snowy Mountains is a is a specialist luxury accommodation provider in Thredbo.
We stayed at Knickerbocker A, an amazing two-bedroom chalet that was perfect for our stay at the snow. Forget about keys, a text message with our key code was sent to me when the chalet was ready and we were all sorted!
Set over 3 levels, there was plenty of room for our family of five. The lower level included a kitchenette, bathroom, the kids sleeping area, drying area (the drying room was very large and was a perfect place for all our ski gear!) and the sauna. The middle level was the kitchen and living area and the top level was a spacious sleeping area with a king bed plus a sofa bed with a bathroom with a spa bath.
The Chalet had all the creature comforts of home (plus more!) including a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, outdoor BBQ, Foxtel and underfloor heating and radiators (Hubby, who is from the UK, was so happy to see these!) we were so comfortable during our stay, I couldn’t believe how warm and cosy we were – we even didn’t need to wear our Ugg boots!
The highlight at Knickerbocker was the sauna to relax in after our days of skiing, and the kitchen at the chalet. This included everything and it was so easy to prepare our dinners there. We brought all our food with us as I didn’t want to be heading to the shops after a day skiing (and I knew the kids would be too exhausted) plus I had heard that it is fairly expensive to food shop there. Also, the thought of taking the kids out to eat after a full day of skiing was an exhausting thought on its own. So after dinner each night we had a relaxing sauna and then sat next to the open fire to chill and talk about our day of skiing.
Getting to the Snowfields
The free shuttle bus stop was right outside our chalet that could transport us to Friday Flats – but it was just as easy for us to hop in the car (a 2minute drive) and park near Friday Flats so we didn’t have to lug our skis around. With our car parked in the garage we also didn’t have to worry about frost every morning either.
Skiing and Activities in Thredbo
We had two days of skiing which we all loved! The kids and I had never skied before and hubby hadn’t been skiing in over 20 years.
Prior to heading down to the snow a friend told me about vouchers from Costco for 2 day Beginner Lift & Lesson Pass plus equipment rental! Isabella and Jake (7 & 9) and hubby and I we purchased these – kids were $150 and Adults $215.
For Elliot who is 5, he was booked into Thredboland, an awesome learners ski program for 3 to 6 year olds. This was the perfect program for him where he could learn the ropes of skiing and it was an all day program (8.30am to 3.30pm) that allowed us to ski during the day. Of course the highlight for Elliot was the Thredboland train that took the kids up the mountain to the magic carpet ski area.
After their first 3 hour Freeriders lesson, Isabella and Jake were hooked! They had picked it up so easily and were straight on the lifts and up and down the Easy Does It and Giddy Up runs. It was amazing to watch their confidence grow. Come day 2 we were up the Gunbarrell Express skiing around the Cruiser area! As tired as the kids were they lasted the entire day (both days 8.30 to 4.30pm skiing!). It must have been the adrenaline and thrill of it all that helped them through the days.
There is also night skiing until 7pm at Friday Flat on certain days plus a kids and adult flare fun!
On our last morning before heading back to Sydney we had some fun at the free Snow Park where the kids were able to have some good old fun playing in the snow and Tobogganing. You can hire toboggans and tubes or even bring your own.
When the time came to head back to Sydney were all sad that our first skiing trip had ended but we are already starting to plan next years adventure back at the snow.