Australia ski season 2015 opening weekend: What's on

Australia's ski resort marketers were pulling their hair out last week when a mammoth snowstorm in New Zealand sent social media crazy with snow down to lake level in Wanaka and Queenstown. But then, just like that, less than a week later the snow gods shined upon Australia's ski fields and released buckets of snow from the skies to signal that winter had arrived and all thoughts of New Zealand, for now, were gone.

Up to 30 centimetres fell on Australian resorts only days before the Opening Weekend. The timing couldn't be better. Add a week of sub-zero temperatures to ensure the snow guns for manmade snow and you get both Thredbo and Perisher in NSW opening a day earlier than scheduled.

Word from Thredbo is that the beginner area of Friday Flats and the intermediate Cruiser area will be open on Friday with hope for the intermediate to advanced High Noon run to open by Saturday. Across the range in Perisher they will be opening The Village 8 Express Chairlift and the Perisher Quad Express to mid station.

Down south in Victoria Mt Buller will open the popular Bourke Street from Saturday for skiing and snowboarding. Hotham and Falls Creek will also have lifts turning from Saturday. 

But we all know the Opening Weekend is more about celebration than actual thigh burn. Thredbo has traditionally led the entertainment lineup from back in the Snow Ball days. This year Thredbo welcomes Triple J favourite, The Preatures, who will take their soulful sound to the Village Square on Saturday night, a G H Mumm Long Lunch also in the Village Square and the annual fireworks to launch the ski season.  

Perisher's The Peak Music Festival is a four-day music session across eight indoor venues within the Perisher Valley. Expect 120 performances with big names including Mahalia Barnes, Doug Williams, Soul Safari and Tijuana Cartel. 


The ski season is never considered launched for Mt Buller Melburnians until The Ski Club of Victoria hold its Whitt Ski Season Opening Party.  It is on again this year on Saturday night from 7.30pm till late with The Urban Playboys on the sound stage.  Calling All Cars will play in Mt Buller village with appearances from Winter Olympians including Britt Cox and Anton Grimus​ and Sunday marks the season launch at The Moosehead bar.

The alpine village of Dinner Plain near Hotham is hosting a long-table peasant lunch as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: Roast Collection on Saturday at Peppers Rundells Alpine Lodge. Head Chef Brian Elliot will be serving up a slow-food lunch with local produce from Benambra Welsh Black Beef, Milawa Poultry, Gippsland's Tarago River Cheeses and Billy Button Wines. 


Dinner Plain Village will also be celebrating the golden moments of their mining and high country past with gold panning, stagecoaches, brumbies and a retro disco. Giddy up.

Further up the road at Hotham's General Store local legend DJ Eddy will be spinning discs on the Sunday night while Zirky's Restaurant will celebrate its re-opening with a dinner featuring cuisine from Chef Ian Curley and wines from Brown Brothers on the Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Hotham's sister resort, Falls Creek will have an official welcome to winter ceremony at midday at the Slalom Plaza followed by a free sausage sizzle, toasted marshmallows and local beer and wine tasting finishing up with a fireworks display in the Village Bowl.

Then it's snow business as usual as both Australia and New Zealand skiers and boarders keep one eye on the synoptic charts in the hope for big powder days in the month ahead. Watch this space.

Instagram2Win a ski trip to Whistler

We've partnered up with SkiMax this season for the annual #misssnowitall Instagram competition. You could win seven nights for two at the swanky Fairmont Chateau in Whistler plus lift passes for two people at Whistler Blackcomb for six days and return flights for two from Sydney to Vancouver thanks to SkiMax.  

Just tag your winter-inspired Instagram pics #misssnowitall #skimaxholidays to enter. We'll publish five finalists each week with one winner at the end of the season.

The Fairmont Chateau in Whistler.

The Fairmont Chateau in Whistler.

Pro photographers can win a Sony 4k Action Cam with Helmet Side Mount and Board Mount worth $697 (they are not eligible for the Whistler prize) by tagging their pics #misssnowitall #skimaxholidays #pro. We'll choose one pro shot a week as a finalist with one overall winner at end of season. 

The Sony 4k Action Cam.

The Sony 4k Action Cam.

Click here for competition terms and conditions.

See also: Best ski resorts for singles looking for a date
See also: What's hot this ski season

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