9 local tips for maximising your snow holiday this winter 2021

This coming snow season is set to bring a record-breaking crowd. With no international travel on the cards, Australians are taking to our home mountains to clear their heads, explore our backyard and experience all of what the mountains have to offer. Jindabyne has experienced a massive summer, the Kosciuszko National Park has been full of campers and adventure seekers, every vehicle driving the Alpine Way is stacked with bikes and set with camping trailers. In-light of the local tourism growth we are seeing, we predict Jindabyne will be bursting at the seams this winter. Now you may be thinking "oh, great! Long lift lines, full restaurants and little affordable accommodation". Yes, it probably will be busy on the hill and you may well need to book a table for your favourite restaurant in advance. However, with a little careful planning and foresight, you can have the best holiday yet in the Snowies this winter. 

Here are our tips and tricks to maximising your time here in the Snowies.

1. When should I start looking for accommodation in Jindabyne for winter?

Book accommodation now! Shop around, call our local real estate's, head to booking.com, Stayz & Airbnb and find something suitable for your family or group's needs. There is no shortage of accommodation here in Jindabyne, just allow yourself the time to find the right accomodation for you. Hot tip; for those of you looking for something well priced with character and a relaxed vibe check out the East Lake Travellers Lodge.

2. What's the best time to come to the snow?

If you don't have a family and can avoid coming in school holidays then do! It's always a good idea to book outside of peak season to avoid crowds. 
Book during the week! Tuesday-Thursday's you are guaranteed smaller lift lines. Why do you think all the locals like to Ski and Snowboard on weekdays?

3. When and where do I book my ski and snowboard rental?

Book your rental before you get here! We have an online rental program launching this May. Stay tuned, efficient online rental booking coming your way!

4. Where should I eat in Jindabyne?

Now you've booked your holiday and you've landed in Jindabyne. Ask your accommodation for some advice on restaurants they might like. There are so many delicious places to eat between Jindabyne, Perisher and Thredbo. So do some research and book your tables for the week. This way you don't have to be let down when restaurants are full. Top foodie tip; Bacco's Italian is currently undergoing a revamp, so watch that space. Cocina and Co have also updated their menu vibe and are serving beautiful tapas made from seasonal local produce. A house favourite for us here at First Tracks is the Persian restaurant, Cafe Darya. Oh, and we can't forget our go to, Takayama for good food, great drinks and a massive atmosphere. 

5. Where do I do my groceries in Jindabyne?

Buy your groceries on the way down! We have one supermarket here in Jindabyne so you can imagine, it gets pretty damn busy. If you don't want to fight the crowds, maybe stop in Canberra or Cooma on your way through. Or, alternatively, do shop here but avoid the hours of 3pm-7pm. If you prefer organics we have a great wholefoods store called  The Market up behind Nuggets Crossing.

6. Where should I eat, drink and slide at Perisher?

Okay, so your accommodation, dining and gear are sorted now down to the real business, skiing and snowboarding! Perisher has released season passes so if you're a Perisher people, get up early for first lifts and avoid the morning congestion. We like to leave early and sit in Aldo's or Brunelli's and have a nice hot coffee while we wait for the lifts to open. Once the lifts are open spread out, head to Blue Cow early as it tends to get busier as the morning goes on. Explore some areas of Perisher you might tend to overlook, possibly Brumby T-bar or North Perisher. It's well worth it for quieter T-bars and faster laps. Have you ever dropped over the back on Mount Perisher to Guthega? Provided you have the ability and it's safe (there will be signage if it's closed), you should! Nothing like a bit of side country to escape the crowds.
Looking to improve your skills? Well, look no further than Perisher parks. With four terrain parks and halfpipe that cover all abilities, progression comes easy!
Hot tip for lunch at Perisher, head to Smiggins Hotel. What you all know as the beginner ski slopes happen to also be where you can get the most delicious, affordable and value-packed lunch for the whole family. 

7. What's happening with Thredbo season passes? 

Thredbo hasn't released information about their season passes yet. If season passes go ahead you can expect crowds however, the beauty of Thredbo is once you get out of initial morning congestion the lines aren't too bad at all. If you're really trying to avoid people stay high and catch the T-bars which not only move quickly, but are nestled in some seriously amazing terrain. If Thredbo doesn't release season passes, yes it will be a bummer and it might cost you a little more than usual but, boy oh boy the bonus of fewer people on the mountain makes the extra spend so worthwhile! If their ticketing system mimics last year, the more tickets you buy the cheaper it gets! All in all, not so bad. Hot tip; it doesn't get much better than following the boundary line of Powder Bowel under Cruiser chair on a powder day. Oh and if you like jumping off stuff, Michaels Mistake is a must!

8. I want to go backcountry in the Snowy Mountains?

Maybe in-resort riding might not be for you this season? Or perhaps you have just always wanted to scope what's beyond the confines of the resort. Well, do it!! enquire about backcountry tours with one of the many tour groups running day and overnight trips around the Kosciuszko National Park. We recommend Wilderness Sports for all your backcountry tour needs. For your splitboard hire stop no further than here at First Tracks. We have well priced splitboard hire and our experienced team will help you get set up and run you through how to use your gear to maximise your fun and performance out the back. 

9. What should I do on my down days in Jindabyne?

Having a rest day? Explore all the shopping Jindabyne has to offer. There is no other place in Australia where you can get the level of expert advice on snow gear than here in the heart of the mountains. Rather than shopping before you get here, come down and speak to the people that live and breathe the lifestyle, us locals. You won't be disappointed with our knowledge and level of service.


Finally, keep a positive attitude. We are all here because we love skiing and snowboarding. Winter is a crazy time and we all want to get fresh pow and maximise our time here in the mountains. This is all made a little easier when people remain relaxed and keep a smile on their dial. Let's remember how lucky we are to wake up in the mountains during winter. Honestly, I for one am grateful every day to live in such a beautiful place.
Written by Ashleigh Bull.