This post may end up being an ode to snow and I apologise to those who don’t share my affinity with the cold stuff. I don’t know if it’s got to do with coming from two northern hemisphere cultures (in spite of largely growing up in a city decidedly bereft of snow) but if pushed, I would rather trudge through snow than beach sand.
Fortunately we’ve been able to get a snowy holiday in each year for the last few years. My husband is an avid skier and come July each year, he suddenly finds convenient ways to visit the eastern States for business and slip a few days of schussing in, as you do… No sooner had I hung his freshly washed ski pants on the line than he was on the phone with his ski buddy, plotting and scheming the next trip.
As for me, I did ski while living in Japan but I started snowboarding on my first visit to Perisher back in ’06 and never looked back. I guess those years of skateboarding in my backyard paid off. Unfortunately I never got up to the Super Powder country of Hokkaido but I’m hoping to take the family over in the next couple of years. The food alone is enough of a drawcard for me!
In previous years we stayed and played in Thredbo but having been told many times to try Perisher again, we heeded those suggestions. We got a gorgeous chalet at Lake Crackenback Resort where hubby had stayed on a visit last year. You can stay closer to Perisher (ski in, ski out) but the closer you are to the mountains, the more expensive generally. You can also stay in Jindabyne which makes for a cheaper ski trip but you’ll need to drive around 15 minutes to the Ski Tube station and train it in to the snow. For us, it was a simple matter of getting on a courtesy shuttle bus each morning for the 3 minute ride to the station.
The resort has a restaurant (Cuisine on Lake Crackenback Restaurant) as well as a smaller diner (Alpine Larder) for nights when your aching muscles protest at the concept of cooking. We stocked up on groceries in Jindabyne since as much as buffet breakfasts are lovely (included in the accommodation cost), the morning rush usually sees as downing a cuppa and a slice of toast before catching the shuttle bus. On our last night however, we did indulge in the Truffle Menu which coincided with the Canberra & Capital Region Truffle Festival. Fabulous :)
Thredbo has some pretty good dining options in the village but unless you’re staying there, you must pay the NSW government $27 to enter Kosciuszko National Park. It doesn’t matter what time of the day you wish to enter so just a word of warning. We decided to cop the fees one night to soak up some Thredbo Village atmosphere, and dine at the Brazilian barbecue restaurant, Sante Churrasco. Nothing on the snowy side of Jindabyne is cheap and this is no exception although people with a massive appetite will find $49.95 per head a fair price for all-you-can-eat meats and sides. My main motivation was eating Sante Churrasco’s puffy little cheese bread. I really need to perfect the recipe for home!
Five full days of skiing and riding meant that we mostly weren’t up to doing much more than soaking sore muscles in the bath tub so this wasn’t a huge gourmet holiday ultimately. Lunch consisted of overpriced (but happily quite delicious) canteen fare such as baked and stuffed spuds and hot dogs but hey, we were there to carve up snow, not food!
On the way back to Canberra, we stopped by the Wild Brumby Distillery (butterscotch schnapps in hand!) and the little factory of Snowy Mountain Cookies. The kids were highly amused by the latter where a Godzilla-sized version of my KitchenAid mixer effortlessly churned up some cookie dough. Even I had to ask if the giant block of yellow stuff on the bench was cheese or butter :)
We ran out of time so couldn’t visit the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre in Cooma, and sadly (most sadly!), we didn’t end up going out to dinner in Canberra. I was looking forward to trying Aubergine or Dieci e Mezzo this trip but hubby had to catch up with an old friend he hadn’t seen in 25 years and a tired, grumpy Mum wasn’t keen to take two tired children out. Hopefully next time.
Our trip was wrapped up by visits to the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum. Both were utterly amazing. I am ashamed to say that both attractions were far more interesting than I thought they would be. I could easily visit both again but of course there are so many other galleries and museums to visit in Canberra. I guess we might just have to plan some more trips to the snow?