skiing with family

Discussion in 'Questions & Answers' started by davidftan, May 31, 2012.


    davidftan New Member

    i have five kids and am first time skier which is the better place to go perisher or threadbo
    thanks dt

    Mils Dedicated Member

    hey mate, how old are your kids? Are they are all young and inexperienced?

    If you come in peak season Selwyn might be an option too.

    No doubt this thread will get moved to snow talk or the resorts section [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    MarkGC Dedicated Member

    Ok I'll bite.

    I am assuming this is an actual question and not a beat up. The reason I say this is that there are a bunch of threads on this or similar topics that always seem to descend into craziness.

    In the end it won't matter which you choose if you are a first time skier, you will however form your own opinion after skiing a few times and will probably defend it to the death in the near future.

    Re Thredbo - If you plan to stay at the resort Thredbo is the go, there is a lot more there, Perisher can be a bit of a ghost town once the lifts close. The same advantage serves those members of your party who may choose not to ski all day.

    Perisher is bigger and does not go down as low as Thredbo, so in marginal conditions it can be easier to find a place to ski where you are happy. Its layout can work against it though, becasue the fact that it is the amalgamation of four ski areas, means getting around can be a little confusing for the first timer. Also being a first timer it is unlikely you will be ready to head off into the wild blue yonder.

    More important than the choice of resort is the choice of holiday. Some things to consider (more important than which resort you go to)

    1. Lessons - Just about everyone gets frustrated with skiing on first try. The time that you go from frustration to being addicted reduces dramatically with lessons. Also it can be dangerous, especially if you are trying to teach your kids while you have no idea yourself. First time lesson packages are cheaper and only a muppet would avoid them. I have never seen anyone laugh at a person for taking lessons, I have seen ski patrol tear strips off a guy who had no control and put other skiers in danger.

    2. Ski School - I know that this sounds just like lessons for kids but it is more. You drop the kids off in the morning they are put in a class of kids of similar age and ability and the instructors ski with them all day and provide lunch. The packages at both Thredbo and Perisher are marvellous, and although it costs more the value for money is very high. Plus you get to focus on your own development without worring about the kids. The kids ski instructors will also tell you what level the kids are up to and what they are capable of, listen to what they say, if that means no skiing with you after lessons for the first few days, then just accept it. With kids one bad experience can be enough for them to take a big step backwards.

    3. Don't teach your partner, your relationship is not that good, no ones is [​IMG] .

    4. Hire, especially for the kids. If you rush off to buy stuff at the start you will end up with equipment you may not like after a year or two. So to start with save your coin and put dings in someone elses gear.

    5. If you can avoid the school holidays (its far less crowded) as a general rule August is quite reliable as is late July and early September, but it varies. If you iuntend to go in more marginal times Perisher is a little safer than Thredbo due to the elevation of the beginner slopes, but its not a massive issue.

    Depending on how much money you are willing to spend, with 5 kids you may find a self contained apartment is the way to go (thats what we do), but you will be tired at the end of the day, so think about what you want to cook, so you are not working all the time.

    Another thing to consider is a "fact finding mission" [​IMG] , leave the kids with someone (we have used grandparents well here) and go the first time just with your partner. That way when you go back with the kids you will be more able to help them and you might even enjoy a week away with your partner as a bonus.

    Have fun and welcome [​IMG] .
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    sourmash Active Member

    $ stay at Jindabyne, drive up and ski either
    $$$ stay in Thredbo village with plenty of bars and restaurants. Dump the car for your whole trip, have flexiblility to ski when weather breaks (or not if crap) and have options like sports centre with water slide, climbing wall, table tennis etc.

    Spending big bucks for ski-in ski-out in Perisher will likely have you cooped up in the lodge in bad weather without many other options for entertainment.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013

    qwill Addicted Member

    Hi David, welcome. Does it have to be Thredders or PB?

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    Bear in mind that if you take first time lessons at Perisher, your lessons will be either at Smiggin Holes or Blue Cow.

    Smiggins is lower than the main Perisher complex so snow is less reliable. When snow cover is adequate it offers a good choice of beginner slopes. Smiggins is accessible by car and has a decent carpark close to the slopes. There is a shuttle bus between Smiggins and the main perisher complex that runs every 10-15 minutes all day.

    Blue Cow is higher so should have more reliable snow than Smiggins. You have to take the Skitube to get to Blue Cow however. You can board the Skitube at Perisher if you choose to drive up rather than take the tube from Bullocks Flat. OTOH the Perisher car park fills quickly and you could be in for a long walk (20 min or more) in ski boots & carrying skis to get to the skitube terminal. Some pre-teens find skis heavy and hard to carry, making the walk longer or you end up carrying multiple sets of skis.

    When I took my 2 kids to the snow for the first time I found trying to get to Blue Cow for lessons too hard so chose Smiggins.

    I haven't been to Thredbo yet to compare.

    SABEL New Member

    For a first timer i would choose Thredbo. I took the family for their first time last year and couldn't fault the Thredboland kids school. We loved is it soo much we will be there in 9 weeks time.
    The advantages of Thredbo is the village and the 'after hours' atmosphere, with a few bars and resturants, its fun to take a walk with the kids to check it out. the wife loved the shops too. I got bitten by the ski bug at Thredbo for those reasons and found that I had a higher chance of getting the family addicted with those reasons too.
    IMHO a first time family ski experience is about the whole package and not just about terrain and snow quality/quantity, at that level it wont make much difference to the person. Once you all can ski comfortably then compare different resorts for terrain, as just now, you will barely get out of green runs.
    I enjoy Perisher for its variety and size but it comes with more traverrsing. I enjoy Thredbo for its vertical, length of runs and village.

    MarkGC Dedicated Member

    Perisher have been spruiking that first time lessons will be available at Front Valley this year.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    That could prove interesting...

    Nowada Active Member

    I believe you are only refering to adult lessons.
    Ski school run all day lessons for 3 to 5 year olds (milo kids) at Perisher. My youngest son did this 4 years ago.
    IMO the Original poster needs to provide ages of his family members, time of season and period of stay, for this forum to provide real options.
    From my own experience only :- For first timer families I would always recommend Selwyn on cost and access issues, for a family of 5 kids. Kids under 7 have difficulty carrying and walking with gear for any distance, this alone has put many kids off (and their worn out parents).
    If money is no object stay at Perisher in the Manor, and hire all your boots and skis from the Perisher centre next door, ski school is in same building, and ski tube is across the bridge, for adult beginners needing to go to Blue cow for lessons.
    At Perisher put kids in all day ski school, they will have a better time and so will you. These places fill up quickly so you have to book fairly early even out of school holidays.
    Going without lessons is counter productive and also leads to bad experiences.

    badabing Active Member

    I would say Thredbo for first timers because:

    1 - The Easy Does It is a very good wide slope for the first time skier/snowboarder with good lessons throughout the season, either private or public. The chair will get you used to the process of getting on and off chairlifts and it is not as fast as the Express chairs (which you may deem good or bad [​IMG] ) Though keep in mind that the Friday Flat area (the place with the Easy Does It) can get crowded so I recommend choosing the time you go carefully when there is less likely to be people. One of the most popular times of the season are the first two weeks of July when Interschool Racing occurs, and is also right in the middle of school holidays. The Milo Thredboland for kids ski centre is very good for kids and they server free milo (fancy that...) and hot food to keep the kids going.
    2 - A first time skier/snowboarder is also unlikely to be skiing all day ever day, and Thredbo has many features for you to enjoy while taking a break from the snow. The leisure centre is great for kids with the waterslide and the :Mission Inflatable;" an inflatable course floating on the water. This can get crowded though. there is also a gym and lap pool at the leisure centre as well as squash courts. Due to the fact that it is a town with a permanent population of 200-300, the apres nightlife is better and with quite a few restaurants.
    3 - Once you and possibly your kids get better you can take a trip up from Friday Flat to the Cruiser area, which is higher up and therefore has more reliable snow. It also has a wider variety of terrain with nice wide runs. A large section of the Cruiser area also has snowmaking, making it even further reliable for having snow in a bad year. Often, the lines aren't as long as they are for the Easy Does It.

    I also recommend staying quite close to Friday Flat so the kids don't have to walk as far. The River Inn is one of the less expensive places to stay but rooms are small. On the plus side it has restaurants and the walk to Friday Flat is connected to the River Inn with a bridge.
    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    Nowada Active Member

    I almost forgot.
    The Smiggins hotel is also on the snow right by the ski school and lifts, ski hire is underneath. Smiggins is probably the largest beginner area in Australia. IMO Smigs hotel is good value for its location.
    Thredbo can be crowded for beginners as, Friday flat, The Basin and Merrits are the only areas suitable for first timers. I would class thredbo terrain more suitable for intermediate and advanced riders.
    Friday flat car park is closer to the ski area, than Perisher car park equivalent.
    My older kids first learnt at Friday flat. The ski school is presumably still as good but the area really is small and crowded, and snow quality at that elevation can be poor.(mostly man made and usually slushy)
    There are lots of for's and against, it really depends on what type of holiday you're after.
    I still recommend Selwyn, for a family with 5 kids staying near and skiing at Selwyn you will save about $500 a day, in accomodation, lifts and lessons, over the big two.

    Nidecker Dedicated Member

    +1 for selwyn, BUT selwyn is not really a place you can plan to go on a particular date. The snow is just not reliable enough, but if you have the freedom to keep an eye on the conditions, and go when its good selywn is not at all daunting for a beginner, it is cheap, stay at providence portal, take your own lunch to the resort, and the whole place has a much more family vibe to it than the big 2 NSW resorts, the staff attitude reflects this. here is my daughters first lesson there [​IMG] fond memories.

    If you are ever going to spend a week in the snow, book and pay early for charlotte pass in August or early Sept you get quite a decent discount, it's a great place for families, not so many out of control bogans as other front valleys, also smiggins is definitely worth a look as the kids improve.

    thats my 2¢ worth [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
    Piste Again

    Piste Again Addicted Member

    With that many, a self-catered self-contained apartment would probably be by far the cheapest option.

    For mine you can't go past Thredbo Alpine Apartments. The big red bus to the first-timers area stops out the front, the supermarket's out the back and the pub and the pizza shop are 50 metres away.

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Holder

    hi david, i'd recommend Thredbo, purely on the basis that it offers a lot more to do if your 5 kids dont feel like skiing/boarding on the day or the weather sucks.

    There's a great range of shops, movie theatre, museum, swimming pool, gym, squash courts

    Not knowing their age, but they will all progress at different rates, depending on age and natural competence.

    We've got 4 kids and on any given day, we often end up all heading off in different directions - and we can all meet up for coffee or lunch etc, and no need to buy on-mountain food, just head back to the apartment for food.

    stsying in jindy will give you better flexibility to visit any of the resorts, but you have to travel every day and if the snow is great, the parking is crap.

    There's a significant cost difference for accommodation between Jindy and Thredbo, but if thats not so important, then stay on snow and have a far better holiday. you can still jump in the car and spend the day at Perisher of Charlotte Pass, with a 45 minute drive, or a drive to the skitube and treat the kids to a train ride

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo

    Stay at Jindy and day visit both. Do not ski. Do some snow activites. If everyone likes it. Then make your own mind up.

    2 adults and 5 kids, first time skiing, will cost $3-4k for a weekend. More if your not careful.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013

    dawooduck Pool Room

    They are both very excellent for families. Perisher being a little more lift trail connected for beginners and intermediates with Thredbo having their beginner areas in two unconnected specific locations.

    Your skiing destination choice will mostly depend on the accommodation you choose.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013

    Retro New Member

    I am staying at Aspen Ck in a couple of weeks for 5 nights with my first time wife and 7 yr old daughter because it is across the road from Friday Flat and will be easy for them to get to and from lessons.

    I took them to Baw Baw last year for snow play and see if they enjoyed that. This year is ski time. I booked 28 days ahead and got a great deal on accommodation and lift and lesson packages, just hope this year will be a great snow year and comes early to Thredbo. As long as we all can slide it should be a great holiday.

    I have always skied Thredbo (driving down from Brisbane and staying at Alpine Gables in Jindy) but after moving to Melbourne skied last year at both Buller and Falls and much prefer Thredbo for the family holiday.

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Thredbo would be nice as the isolation at Perisher -could- put them off. However I spent a week in north Perisher 20 years ago at Barakee lodge and I have to say the hosts made the place. Found out years later the rock group The Angles and channel 9 stayed their around the same time not while we were there but there was something good going on there. And I'm sure still is.

    But yeah, you're right if you get epic snow, you'll be laughing. Though, without trying to sound blunt, it's only you that would be peeved if the snow doesn't do it's thing. The family probably won't know the difference if they are only going to be hanging out in Friday. They'll have fun no matter what.

    Enjoy your trip, man and savour the time with your family in the snow. I know your kid will be grateful in years to come.

    And let it snow!

    Mils Dedicated Member

    Smiggins is a nice quiet(ish) place for a family too. lots of green runs

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    But an unfortunate place to be stuck because your family wants to see you around lunch time. Just sayin'
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013

    Kash Active Member

    Dont write Selwyn off completely if you want to save some coin skiing with a family of 7. Just depends on whether you think youll pick it up quickly or not. If you are a natural, you'll be bored after 2 hours there on your first day but others will be more than happy for a whole weekend.

    Id point first timers to Perisher due to the higher base and genuine snow experience. Skiing man made slush at the bottom of Threadbare is hardly the way you want to start your first snow experience (and the 1 lift at Merrits is usually carnage queue wise).

    currawong Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Also consider Charlotte Pass. It's not cheap but it is a fantastic place for families of beginners and less experienced skiers/boarders. Being small makes it much less daunting. You can pretty much see the whole resort from the tables out front of the pub. It's uncrowded and very friendly

    When SIC (the annual get-together of people from these forums) was held there in 2008 we were all charmed by the place.

    Mils Dedicated Member

    I also agree with Selwyn for learning with kids.

    I think its $17 for a lift pass for kids under 7.

    Its down side is a lack of snow. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    Froops New Member

    It was $12 for under 7s last year. We have taken the kids to selwyn for the last 3 years. They loved it. Now they are a bit more competent, we will pay the big bucks and take them to perisher.

    Mils Dedicated Member

    yeah sorry I just checked its $11!

    Froops New Member

    Whatever the price its good value!

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator

    davidftan...where are you ?????? Lots of good information here for you.