Keen to make the most of the magnificent snow conditions but have never mastered skiing or snowboarding? Never fear! Kate’s compiled seven ways you can enjoy Australia’s unique snowy landscapes regardless of ski experience!

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Experiencing the snow in Australia is unlike any other place in the world. The alpine landscape transforms when snow covers the ground, but it’s the twisted Snow gums with their iced-over limbs that truly make our country unique.

Many people assume learning to ski or snowboard is the only way to enjoy the Australian Alps, but partaking in downhill sports is not a necessity. In fact, there are plenty of other ways to have fun in the snow, that don’t require strapping two planks to your feet.

Just Come Prepared!

Before visiting the snow fields in Australia, make sure to pack plenty of warm clothes. This includes a waterproof jacket, pants, and shoes, plus gloves, a beanie, and additional mid-layers such as a fleece or puffer jacket. Sunglasses and sunscreen are also essential, especially on clear, blue sky days, as the reflection of the sun on the snow can cause sunburn and snow-blindness.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Budget-Friendly Snow Activities

 

1. Tobogganing

 

 

It’s hard to slide down the mountain on a plastic sled and keep a straight face. Tobogganing will make even the most serious of adults become a child again. The best thing about it is it’s free and takes very little skill to have a good time, so it’s perfect for all ages.

Designated snow-play and tobogganing areas are available at most snow resorts (except for Thredbo, NSW). Remember, always check the run-way is clear before taking off.

Please note: At time of writing all tubing parks are closed at Australian snow resorts.

2. Snowshoeing

 

7 Ways to Adventure in The Snow Without Skis or a Board, kate Donald, snowshoe, snow, person

 

Snowshoeing is just like hiking, but on snow! Whilst it’s come a long way since tying tennis rackets to your feet, it does still require ‘big foot’ like shoes to avoid sinking into the powdery snow. Most ski towns will have an outdoor store that’ll rent out snow shoes.

If it’s your first time in the snow, I highly recommend hiring a guide, as the weather can change quickly and trails are not as obvious during winter. Some outdoor companies, such as K7 Adventures (NSW), even offer snow camping experiences.

Read more: Snoeshowing From Guthega to Schlink Hut

 

7 Ways to Adventure in The Snow Without Skis or a Board, kate Donald, snowshoe, snow, person

Dropping-a-Little-Cash Snow Activities

 

3. Fat Biking

 

 

Let’s be honest, if you’re into biking, winter isn’t the best season. When snows on the ground, it usually means moving the bike to the back of shed to collect dust for a few months. So allow me to introduce fat biking.

Fat bikes are designed for floatation, with the main difference being their wider rim and tyres that have lower inflation. This means the tyres have a larger footprint, providing extra grip on soft surfaces such as snow and mud.

Fat biking is best done on cross-country trails, but there are a few things to know before you go; be sure to stay out of the cross-country track set, and give way to any ski traffic. At Falls Creek Resort (VIC), it’s recommended to only ride when temperatures are below 0˚C to avoid damaging the trails with the wide tires in soft snow conditions.

4. Dog Sledding

 

 

Dog sledding is the closest you can get to running with wolves in Australia. Pulled by Siberian huskies, the sheer joy on the dog’s faces is only matched by those in the sled behind it. Choose to either sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, or some companies even allow you to literally take the reins and control the sled yourself.

Currently offered at Mount Buller (VIC) and Mount Hotham (VIC), dog sledding is one of those adventures that’ll create a core memory. The best part is, most companies will let you pat and cuddle some of the dogs afterwards. Hell yeah.

5. Snowmobile Tours

 

 

Snowmobile tours are for those chasing an adrenaline rush. Similar to a jet ski, a snowmobile (or skidoo) is the mode of transport in the snow for those that like to go fast. Zoom around the resort, then pause at the top of the mountain to take in the spectacular views. Better yet, choose a twilight tour to see the sunset and ride through the mountain landscape at dusk. Offered at Falls Creek (VIC), you can choose to drive the snowmobile yourself, or enjoy the experience as a passenger.

Going-All-Out Snow Activities

6. Igloo Experience

 

 

Have you ever wanted to sleep in an igloo but didn’t know how to build one? Alpine Nature Experience in (Hotham, VIC) has taken out the hard work and replaced it with an unforgettable, glamping experience in the snow.

Read more: Snowcamping – A Beginners Guide

Starting with a sunset snowshoe to a tipi eco-village, the experience includes cheese fondue, a three-course dinner, and of course glühwein and hot chocolate around the fire. With a nice warm belly, simply snuggle into the pre-made snow igloo in a nice warm bed. The trip is complete with a morning, scenic skidoo ride back to civilisation.

(Bookings for the Igloo Experience have closed for 2022, but are now being taken for 2023.)

Read more: How to Build an Igloo You Can Sleep In

7. Helicopter Ride with a Backcountry Hut Picnic

 

7 Ways to Adventure in The Snow Without Skis or a Board, kate Donald, snow, helicopter ride, snowy mountains

 

See the Australian Alps from an entirely new perspective. Soaring above the Snowy Mountains, it’s hard to believe this is Australia. Snowy Mountains Helicopters (NSW) offers an unforgettable experience that includes a scenic flight over Kosciuszko National Park, before landing at a private backcountry hut for a locally-sourced cheese board and champagne.

 

7 Ways to Adventure in The Snow Without Skis or a Board, kate Donald, mountain hut, snow

 

As it comes with a pretty hefty price tag, this is one experience that’s best saved for special occasions; a birthday, an anniversary, or maybe even a proposal (hint, hint).

Soak Up That Snow

So don’t let your pro skiier and snowboarder mates have all the fun! There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the snow. Besides, you can’t let yourself miss out on seeing Australia’s Snow gums covered in white!