NSW Snowboarding – Thredbo Vs Perisher

For NSW snowboarders typically the two most popular snow fields are Thredbo and Perisher. Over the past few years I’ve visited both and have done a comparison of the two and put together this comparison.

Thredbo Pros

  • Steep
  • Trees
  • Less lines
  • Cheaper on mountain accommodation
  • Overnight parking (freedom camping)
  • Better lift system

Perisher Pros

 

  • Epic pass and epic aus pass
  • Larger
  • Longer season (typically)
  • Ski tube

First things first how do you get there. Both Thredbo and Perisher are the same distance from Jindabyne, Canberra and Sydney and both have good roads and parking. Perisher however does have the ski tube to get there which can avoid buying a national parks pass and snow chains but it’s often much cheaper to drive.

Perisher wins this one, only just.

Terrain

I find Perisher very flat with short runs, even for an Australian field. Without a doubt perisher is bigger but I don’t believe better. Perhaps if you were with children or learning there’s more to explore but without a doubt Thredbo is steeper with longer runs, better laid out and actually has some tree runs that work well. Thredbo has over 650m of vertical drop compared to Perisher with just a little over 300m.

Perisher has more park facilities but Thredbo still produces a wide variety of terrain in that respect.

Terrain goes to Thredbo.

Lift System

Perisher has 47 lifts while Thredbo has 14 this doesn’t mean I’m awarding this one to Perisher, Thredbo’s lifts are strategically placed and majority are detachable express chairs. At perisher I think they just placed the chairs at random and made them very short and slow.

Perisher does utilise the skitube running from Perisher Valley too Blue Cow which is a plus but I’m still giving this one to Thredbo.

Lift Passes

Lift passes are very similar in regards to day passes, advance purchasing, season passes and epic/ikon.

Perisher has the epic Australia pass advantage allowing a full season at Perisher and a decent holiday in the northern hemisphere.

Thredbo offers access to the sports center and a range of summer activities on the premier passes.

I’m declaring this one even based solely on the day passes and advanced purchasing. Each season pass offers activities the other doesn’t so depending on the individual one may be more attractive than the other.

Accomodation

Both offer on snow accommodation and both are a comparable distance to Jindabyne where you would find cheaper accomodation and where most people normally stay. I find Thredbo to have better options at both ends of the scale with luxurious houses, backpackers and everything in between, not to mention overnight parking which allows for freedom camping in addition to the Thredbo leisure centre and there’s your shower.

Thredbo wins this one.

Other Notable Features

Thredbo offers summer activities such as mountain biking, tennis, hiking, golf and more.

Perisher provides a longer season most years (weather permitting)

Thredbo offers better lift assisted backcountry such as Dead Horse Gap.

Thredbo seems to be less exposed to the westerly winds, there’s still exposed areas at Thredbo but it just seems like its easier to escape with the trees and altitude drop.

Thredbo village actually feels like a village not just a few buildings slapped together.

Conclusion

For me it’s Thredbo, my main reasons are the terrain, lifts and accommodation. Nothing beats riding the golf course bowl it almost feels like a long North American run or doing laps of the cruiser chair alternating between the powder bowl and the boundary run. Then at the end of the day taking a relaxing swim and walking to cheap accommodation or the van to recover for the next day of “steep” riding.