Australia

“Not exactly renowned for a snowboarding destination and a warm weather snap up in the mountains can destroy a season, but they make full use of what they have”

Australia has some nine resorts located on the eastern mountain ranges on the state borders of New South Wales and Victoria. There are also places to ride on the separate southern island of Tasmania. All the main resorts are easy to reach from the two major ports of entry, Melbourne and Sydney.

Overall Australian snowboarding opportunities are no where near as good as what is available in Europe, North America or at nearby New Zealand. Still to make up for dull mountains with below average slopes, the aussies have a reputation for being party animals.

Road travel in Australia is good but with the draw back of having to pay high toll charges at the entry gates to some mountain ski areas. Once through the entrance gate, snow chains must be carried at all times. It is illegal not to have them and could result in a A$200 fine.

There are internal flights from Melbourne and Sydney to airports closer to the resorts, but prices are pretty steep.

If a train ride through the countryside is what you seek enroute to a resort, then central station in Sydney or Spencer Street in Melbourne is where to head for. Melbourne doesn't have any direct train line going to any of the apline regions, however theres a train service direct from Sydney to Jindabyne, the major station for NSW resorts.

Bus companies run daily trips from the major cities to the bigger resorts. Costs vary, but for around you A$55 you can kick back and watch a video while some one else does the driving.

Accomodation will vary depending on your budget. Five star chalet lodges, club lodges and hostels can be found above the snowline but it may be cheaper if a bed is sought in a nearby town.

If you want to spend a season in Australia, it would be best to get here in late April, as this is when resorts start advertising job vacancies. The normal Australian winter season is between June and mid September.