Thredbo is probably the closest thing Australia has to an alpine village. It lies just on the snowline, and has a variety of accommodation, ski lodges, restaurants, and even a heated swimming pool. Accommodation is just a short walk or shuttle bus ride to the ski lifts in the winter, and the town is still alive during the summer months, with bushwalks, mountain biking, and even some snowplay well into summer. By comparison Perisher Valley is a large ski resort, with more lifts and more skiing area during winter. However it is not a summer destination, and all you will see there is a large carpark. There is some accommodation there also, but little alpine village atmosphere.
- The nearest airport with scheduled services is the Cooma–Snowy Mountains Airport (OOM IATA). From there you can hire a car or get a coach to Thredbo.
- Thredbo is about 2.5 hours drive from Canberra, and 1 hour from Cooma, and around 6 hours drive from Sydney. The drive from Melbourne is also around 6 hours via the Alpine Way. A nice drive during summer, but can be subject to snow and ice during winter. Check road conditions.
National park entry fees apply to vehicles and are payable at entrance stations on roads into the park and other locations. There is also a fee for bus passengers. The fee for a car in winter is $27 per 24 hours. In summer it is $16 per vehicle per day. Drive-through (non-stop) passes for the Alpine Way are free.
Chains must be carried during winter, and you must know how to fit them. If chains are required, signs will be placed in the appropriate chain fitting bays, however quite often chains are not required.
Winter timetabled trips:
- Greyhound daily from Sydney and Sydney airport, Canberra and Canberra airport, and Jindabyne.
- Murrays daily from Canberra via Jindabyne, Saturdays from Sydney
- Snow Express Fridays and Sundays from Canberra and Canberra airport
Many skiiers and boarders stay in Jindabyne and travel to Thredbo as a day trip. Services timed for day trips include:
The NSW Trainlink coach services now service Jindabyne all year round. During summer, the final part of the trip to Thredbo is still problematic by public transport. A taxi is a possible, but expensive, option.
Free shuttle buses run around the village on about 15 minute intervals in winter. There are three routes:
- Route 1 (Red): minibuses that run along Crackenback Drive, Diggings Terrace (without stops), and Bobuck Lane, then Friday Drive to and from Valley Terminal and Friday Flat only
- Route 2 (Green): minibuses that run along Diggings Terrace and Banjo Drive, return along the same route, then Friday Drive to and from Valley Terminal and Friday Flat only
- Route 3 (Orange): large buses that run between Valley Terminal and Friday Flat with intermediate stops at accommodation on Friday Drive
The Green and Red routes are designed for visitors staying in accommodation higher in the village. Maps for all three routes can be found at https://www.thredbo.com.au/the-village/road-transport/
It is unusual to drive around the village: there is very little street parking, and so parking can be difficult even during the busier periods in summer and is impossible in winter. Most visitors leave their cars at their accommodation or in the resort car parks.
The distances are walkable, but the village is on a steep hill, most streets do not have dedicated footpaths, and roads may be icy. However, traffic moves very slowly and it is quite common for people to walk to and from the village and their accommodation.
The entire resort is open to both skiers and snowboarders. In 2014, lift passes are available for periods of 1–4 consecutive days, or 5 days in 7, 6 days in 8, or 7 days in 9. Retail prices for 1 day lift passes in 2014 are: $110 adult and $64 under 17 all day, $99 adult and $57 under 17 from 11:30am onwards (available as 1 day passes only) or $69 adult and $40 under 17 from 2:30pm onwards (available as 1 day passes only). Discounts are available for booking more than 7 days in advance and for multi-day tickets. Season passes are $1499 adults, $899 4–17 year olds, $154 over 70 year olds and $54 4 years and under.
There are two points at the bottom of the mountain where chairlifts depart. Valley Terminal is the departure point for lifts to most of the intermediate and advanced terrain. Friday Flat is the beginner area but is also a departure point for intermediate and advanced runs in the north east of the resort. Rental gear and lift passes are available at both Valley Terminal and Friday Flat.
Major skiing and snowboarding areas of the resort are:
- Friday Flat: the introductory area. Friday Flat includes a magic carpet area (Syd's Snowrunner) for first day learners, and a 4-person chairlift to a larger beginners area as beginners progress. It is also the meeting point for all group lessons at any level, and the departure point of the Gunbarrel chairlift.
- Merritts Mountain / Cruiser: a top of the resort area above Friday Flat. It features shorter (1–2km) harder beginner and easier intermediate runs together with a few advanced runs. It is accessed from Friday Flat on the 4-person detachable Gunbarrel chairlift or Valley Terminal on the slow 2-person Merritts chairlift. Merritts is where beginners progress in lessons following Friday Flat. Since descending from Merritts back to Friday Flat is only possible on more difficult intermediate and advanced runs such as High Noon, Dream Run and The Schuss. Thus, downloading (riding down) both the Gunbarrel and Merritts chairlifts is allowed.
- Central Spur: intermediate and advanced runs on the top half of the resort in between the Cruiser area and Crackenback, served by two T-bars: Antons and Sponars. This area can be accessed by reaching either the Cruiser or Crackenback areas from the bottom and then traversing.
- Crackenback: the longest resort runs, accessed by the 4-person detachable Kosciuszko chairlift and 2 person Snowgums chairlift from Valley Terminal, including the longest runs Super Trail (3.7km, rated intermediate) and Village Trail (5km, rated beginner).
- The Basin: a wide area above Crackenback and above the treeline. While rated for beginners and easier than the Crusier area beginners runs, it is only accessible by the Kosciuszko chairlift which does not allow downloading, and thus only used by advanced beginners and up, able to descend Crackenback via the Village Trail or other more difficult runs. It is served by a T-bar.
- Karels: an area accessed by another T-bar above The Basin. The top of Karels is the highest altitude lifted point in Australia. There are several short intermediate runs back to The Basin, and Karels and The Basin together are also the starting point for Thredbo's most advanced runs including Funnel Web and Cannonball, which descend to the side of the Crackenback runs.
Group lessons and children's lessons are available as an add-on to lift ticket purchases, private lessons must be booked separately through the ski school office. For complete beginners, a slightly cheaper "First Timer" lift and lesson ticket is available that restricts your first day to the Friday Flat area.
2 hour group lessons for all abilities meet at Friday Flat at 9:30am, 11:30am, and 2pm. Private lessons meet at either Friday Flat or Valley Terminal. Skiing lessons for children aged 3–6 are available at Thredboland at Friday Flat, either a full day including lunch or afternoon program. Skiing and snowboarding lessons are available on the same schedule for older children aged 7–14 in the Freeriders program, meeting at Friday Flat.
Until 2018, tobaganning was allowed in a dedicated area near the Snowgums chairlift boarding area, but in 2018 resort management banned tobaganning and other snow play anywhere in the resort.
Backcounty ski and snow-shoeing tours are offered by:
- Thredbo Backcountry Tours.
- K7 Adventures, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wilderness Sports, 1 Snowy River Ave, Jindabyne, ☏ .
- Thredbo Leisure Centre, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Varying hours, open every day year-round.. Sports and leisure centre including a 50m lap pool, a waterslide, a gymnasium, a squash court and a sports hall.
- Climb Mount Kosciuszko Australia's highest mountain. Take the year-round chairlift (adult $25 return, $19.50 one way; child $12.50 return, $11 one way) up to Crackenback. From there it is a gradual 6.5 km walk (13km return) with a gradual incline, mostly on metal walkways, to the 2,228m summit of Mt Kosciuszko. There are few continents where the highest peak is so accessible, and a person of moderate fitness can do the return walk easily in a day. Keen hikers can continue to Mt Townsend, the second highest peak, but there is no formed track and it is not such an easy climb so you need to be confident of your hiking and navigation skills. Mt Kosciuszko can also be climbed from Charlotte Pass, where you can park your car, and avoid the lift fees.
- Mountain bike riding
- Bobsled. There is a metal half tube.
- Climbing and abseiling
- Horse riding
- Whitewater rafting
- Thredbo FoodWorks, Thredbo Village Square, ☏ . Monday- Saturday 8am - 5.30pm, Sunday 8am- 3.30pm. Small supermarket with basic supplies, including meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Candlelight Lodge (32 Diggings Terrace), ☏ .
- Cascades Restaurant, Friday Dr, ☏ .
- Central Road 2625, 4/17 Friday Dr, ☏ .
Thredbo accommodation is a mix of hotel rooms, self-catered apartments, and privately and cooperatively owned lodges. Lodges are typically somewhat communal, with shared lounges, and may be a good place to meet fellow travellers. The village is small; most accommodation is within a 1km walk of the chairlifts.
In winter, many accommodation providers only accept bookings from Friday to Sunday (2 nights), Sunday to Friday (5 nights) or Sunday to Sunday (7 nights).
- River Inn, 4 Friday Drive, ☏ . River Inn is the only "ski in, ski out" accommodation in Thredbo, located at the Gunbarrel chair lift. It is very convenient but can be crowded and noisy in peak season. Peak season from $193 per night in a shared room or $275 per night in a twin room.
- Thredbo YHA, 2 Buckwong Place, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a highly rated hostel. Peak season beds in shared room from $82.
- Thredbo Alpine Hotel, Friday Drive, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Peak season twin rooms from $460 mid-week and $600 weekends..
- Karas Apartments, Bobuck Lane, ☏ . Self-catering apartments, all with balconies with a view of the ski slopes. There are studio apartments and 2 and 4 bedroom apartments. Studio apartment from $345 per night and two bedroom apartment from $695 in peak season.
- Boali Lodge, Mowamba Place, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Shared rooms from $225 per night for adults and $130 for children in peak season.
Thredbo skiiers and snowboarders should adhere to the Alpine Responsibility Code.
Assistance in the event of an accident is provided by Thredbo Ski Patrol, ☏ .
Medical assistance is available at Thredbo Medical Centre, Valley Terminal, ☏ . Open winter and school holidays only At other times of the year, the nearest doctors are in Jindabyne. The nearest small hospital with emergency facilities is in Cooma and the nearest major hospitals with specialist care are in Canberra.