You’re an adventurous family but none of you have skied before. Where to start? Well, Perisher Ski Resort in the Snowy Mountains is an excellent place to begin your great skiing adventure. We’ve highlighted the story of Jo Lodan and her extended family from Sydney, who took the plunge with a toddler and 9 year old twins in tow and gladly jumped right into the experience.
Smiggin Holes for first time skiers and children
Jo quickly learned that when people said ‘Perisher’, they referred to the four awesomely connected ski resorts of Perisher, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega. Perisher Ski Resort is celebrated as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest alpine resort, with the top of Mt Perisher reaching 2,054 metres. It has 47 lifts accessing the resort with plenty of room for everyone.
Guided by recommendations from ski-mad friends, Jo’s family started out from Smiggin Holes, a beautiful little mountain (1,680 metres) within the greater Perisher Ski Resort. Not everyone knows about it, and that makes it a bit of a hidden jewel. Friendly Smiggin Holes ticks all the boxes for :
- families with young children,
- first time skiers,
- families of all ages and,
- those coming up to see and play in the snow for the very first time.
“Smiggins is surprisingly protected from the wind,” says Jo “When there’s all that blow and bluster from the South, it really is the place to be. Chair lifts are well-managed and easy to access. There’s a Perisher lift ticket office there where the staff are friendly and knowledgable, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get started. They were so patient with me with all my questions”.
Skiers and boarders starting at Smiggin Holes can access Perisher, Blue Cow and Guthega, all by taking t-bars and chairlifts. But of course, one must first gain confidence to improve your skiing ability. Lessons can be taken at either Smiggin Holes, Perisher or Blue Cow.
Smiggins Kids programs are designed specifically for kids between 5 and 12 years when the focus is more on snow action (rather than the balance of snow/ indoor activities for the little ones). Smiggin Holes is the ideal spot to perfect your skills on it’s gentle beginners slope. This is accessed by a ‘magic carpet’ (slow moving conveyor belt), hugely popular with first timers.
If you’d prefer to start with your ski lessons at either Perisher or Blue Cow you can specify where you’d like to take your lessons. To get to Blue Cow it’s just a short ski tube (train) ride from Perisher ski tube station, next to the car park. The first time ski lesson area at Blue Cow is right outside the ski tube station. Blue Cow is a very scenic spot and, with a restaurant right above the ski tube station, your friends or family can wait for you there with a hot chocolate and keep snug and happy.
Guests staying just 11km down the road at Ski Rider can hire appropriate warm ski clothes, skis, boots or snow boards.
Ski Rider Shuttle Bus
Ski Rider also has a shuttle bus running between the hotel and Smiggin Holes or Perisher, so you don’t need to drive your own car. Not only does a shuttle bus eliminate worry about driving in snow conditions or what state your windscreen may be in at the end of the day (think icy or foggy windows), the shuttle bus deposits you at key places right outside the main buildings at Smiggin Holes and Perisher.
“The week we were there it was snowing slightly” Jo says. “It didn’t seem to affect the kids’ skiing or keenness to stay out in it. Oscar made so much progress. I could not believe how quickly the kids improved. It was like, every 5 minutes they went up a notch. I really hope we can come again next year”.
Tips for First Timers
- Whether you’ve put a toddler on a magic carpet, hauled kids along or had a go at skiing yourself, you will use muscles you’d never realised you had. Bring along dencorub, or relaxing oils for sore muscles.
- Bring along extra thermal underwear (long sleeve tops or long sleeve pants) in case it’s extra cold. You can always roll thermals up and put gear in your pocket if you need to remove a few layers.
- Reserve your spot in first timer classes and be honest about your ability so you don’t find yourself in over your head.
- Bring loose change for a hot chocolate, coffee, water or beer. Nothing better than treating yourself after a great day on snow.
- Helmets are serious business at the snow. Everyone from professionals to first timers wear them.
- There are lockers available at Perisher and Smiggin Holes for walking shoes, backpacks or cameras.
Ski Rider Deals for Perisher Ski Resort
If you’d like to make life as easy as possible, stay with us here at Ski Rider Hotel. We’re based in Wilsons Valley, on the way up to Perisher and offer all inclusive snow holidays, including Perisher accommodation, meals and après-ski entertainment.
As mentioned previously, ski equipment is also available for hire on site.To get skis, stocks and boots for just one day adults pay $55 and kids $35. Every consecutive day you hire for becomes a little cheaper, so five days is $109 for adults or $75 for kids. *Above prices include a 10% discount if pre-booked at least 14 days prior to arrival.
Here at Ski Rider we also have a Spring special that is pretty hard to beat. From 6th September to 19th September you pay just $420 per person twin share and $102 per extra child, for 3 nights accommodation, including breakfast, dinner and ski hire.
Don’t wait to start your brilliant ski career, call our team at Ski Rider and let us handle everything. Pack your bags, grab your friends or family and get skiing at Perisher Ski Resort.