First snowfalls in Australia

14th May 2011, by Chris Gill

First snows   [Chris Hocking]

First snows [Chris Hocking]

Winter is on the way in Australia, with the first notable snowfalls arriving for resorts in Victoria and New South Wales.

Resorts such as Perisher, Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Mt Buller have all benefitted from an unusually cold May weather front sweeping through the region. In fact, for Melbourne the weather reports say the city has already exceeded its average May rainfall – which translates to colder, wintry weather on higher ground.

So could the southern hemisphere see a bumper early start to winter, as happened in Europe’s Alps? It’s early days, of course, and there is another month to go before the ski season starts out there.

Perisher resort has already fired up the snow-guns in response to the cold snap, though, with 10-15cm natural snow falling this week too. Falls Creek also got 15cm and at Mt Hotham it is still snowing on Saturday – 30cm so far, settling to 700m.

Video of Mt Hotham enjoying its first snowfalls – [Herald Sun]

Perisher – one of Australia’s largest resorts – has announced its improvements for winter 2011:

The resort has teamed up with Thredbo (another New South Wales main resort) to offer guests the chance to ski both areas on one lift pass.

With the SuperSki 5-day pass, skiers and boarders can choose to spend a minimum of three days at Perisher and two in Thredbo – or vice versa – with the first day being redeemed at their ‘nominated’ home resort.

The pass costs $499 for adults, which will save over $40 on purchasing individual day tickets.

The two resorts are about an hour apart, via the scenic Kosciuszko National Park and town of Jindabyne.

In other improvements to the ski area, Perisher has equipped its freestyle facilities with floodlighting and music for night boarding and skiing. And beginners are getting a brand new 145m long moving carpet to replace old rope tows.

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