Charlotte Pass NSW

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Charlotte Pass Ski Resort
Charlotte Pass Ski Resort
The historic Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel
The historic Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel
Charlotte Pass Village in the background
Charlotte Pass Village in the background
Charlotte Pass NSW
Charlotte Pass NSW
Charlotte Pass Snow Resort
Charlotte Pass Snow Resort
Charlotte Pass Ski Resort Australia
Charlotte Pass Ski Resort Australia
Charlotte Pass is accessible via oversnow transport
Charlotte Pass is accessible via oversnow transport

Charlotte Pass NSW

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Charlotte Pass

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Charlotte Pass Snow Resort

Charlotte Pass is an alpine village and ski resort near Mt Kosciuszko. Charlotte Pass is car-free and snow bound during winter, sort of like the Falls Creek village is supposed to be except that it is much more likely to actually be snow covered because it has the highest base elevation of the Australian ski resorts at 1,765 metres. What also sets Charlotte Pass Snow Resort apart from Falls Creek is that the only access to the base during winter is via oversnow transport.

Pros and Cons of Charlotte Pass

Pros 
  • The Charlotte Pass snow is usually pretty good by Australian ski resort standards because it has the highest base elevation.
  • Day tripper packages for the Charlotte Pass Ski Resort are inexpensive and a lift pass, oversnow transport and lunch costs less than what you’d pay for just a lift pass at Perisher or Thredbo. On some midweek days the deal gets even better whereby the second ticket costs just a couple of dollars.
  • The slopes are uncongested and there are usually no lift queues (assuming that all the lifts are running).
  • The mellow terrain is ideal for beginners and lower intermediates, and combined with the lack of crowds, it’s a relatively safe place to learn and improve your skiing or snowboarding.
  • Charlotte Pass Ski Resort is popular with families because you can let the kids run wild without the fear of losing them, although besides skiing and snowball fights, there aren’t many kids activities.
  • Much of the lodging is conveniently ski-in ski-out.
Cons
  • Charlotte Pass is a small ski resort with very little variety and short runs.
  • There is negligible terrain at Charlotte Pass Snow Resort to keep advanced or expert riders entertained for very long.
  • The lift infrastructure is rudimentary, and the lifts only work some of the time. Combined with other service issues like restaurants running out of food, the place is a bit like Fawlty Towers.
  • No tobogganing is allowed.
  • Other than day tripper packages, oversnow transport rates are quite expensive and charged per person.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • It takes a lot of effort and logistics to get to Charlotte Pass Ski Resort by the time you drive, catch the skitube train, then wait for oversnow transport for the long trip to Charlotte Pass. The upside is that it helps keep visitor numbers low. Another plus is that it really makes you feel like you’re in a serene remote locale.
  • Lift tickets are inexpensive compared to the major Australian ski resorts, but you don’t much value for your money.
  • Charlotte Pass is a step back in time, with a relaxed vibe and rustic amenities.

Charlotte Pass Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Charlotte Pass Ski Resort is small with just 50 hectares of skiable terrain, sub 200 metres of vertical, and 25 trails, most of which are rather short. There are 5 lifts which are a fixed grip triple chair, 2 pomas (one that’s supposedly high speed), a T-bar and a magic carpet. The lifts are not renowned for being reliable.

The official trail stats are 30% beginner, 50% intermediate and 20% advanced but the ability ratings are exaggerated to boost the ego of beginners and low-end intermediates. Not all the green and blue runs are groomed, and the resort may groom a couple of the black runs. Sometimes the Charlotte Pass Resort forms a couple of small terrain parks but don’t expect Shaun White will be visiting anytime soon.

For advanced riders there is a little bit of off-piste terrain, albeit short and mellow. Guthrie’s offers some sub-alpine and treed off-piste, and with a bit of a boot pack, a few short chutes. Out skiers’ right of the resort you can ride amongst the well spaced trees down behind the lodges.

Charlotte Pass Snow

Like the other NSW ski resorts, Charlotte Pass doesn’t track its average annual snow accumulation, but rather relies on snowpack depth at nearby Spencer’s Creek. Being an Australian ski resort, the snow volumes are not huge yet perhaps more than low elevation Victorian ski resorts such as Mt Baw Baw or Mt Buller. There are a few mobile snowmaking guns that supplement the natural snowfall to get trails open in the early season.

As to be expected for an Australian ski resort, snow quality can vary significantly. The slopes are mostly east facing, whilst the high elevation of the base is a plus for the snow quality.

Where is Charlotte Pass NSW?

Charlotte Pass Snow Resort is located in the Kosciuszko National park, not far from Mount Kosciuszko. Charlotte Pass is in the Snowy Mountain of New South Wales.

Charlotte Pass is only 41km west of the town of Jindabyne and 8.5km from Perisher Valley of the Perisher Ski Resort, yet the road between Perisher Valley and Charlotte Pass is closed to cars during the winter.

Getting to Charlotte Pass requires a 45 minute oversnow ride from the Perisher Valley Skitube Terminal. Day trippers could drive to Perisher, yet because there is no overnight parking at Perisher Valley, multi-day guests of Charlotte Pass need to park down at Bullocks Flat Skitube Terminal and get the train up to Perisher Valley before travelling onwards to Charlotte Pass. Baggage restrictions apply to the oversnow and additional charges apply for excess baggage, and to add to the already tricky logistics, there are certain hours of the day that baggage is not allowed on the skitube.

See the travel to Perisher page for information on driving to Perisher and the Skitube.

Charlotte Pass Accommodation

Charlotte Pass doesn't really have much of a village but rather a collection of two hotels and a dozen club lodges, some of which allow non-members to stay. The accommodation sits at the base of the ski resort and a few of the lodgings are truly ski-in ski-out whilst others are ski-out. Some of the lodges have week-long stays or other minimum night requirements.

The historic Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel is considered the primo ski-in ski-out spot to stay at Charlotte Pass. The rooms offer lovely views, and there are communal spaces for socialising, two bars, a café and a fine dining restaurant. Hotel packages are half board and you can have high tea and other niceties.

The Stillwell Hotel is ski-in ski-out and sits adjacent to the chair lift. It’s an old school hotel and offers rooms for 2 guests as well as family rooms. The deck is a popular spot to sit and watch everyone ski or snowboard down.

Lucy Lodge offers affordable accommodation in rooms for up to 2 or 4 people. Packages are generally 2 night (on weekends), 5 nights (Sunday to Friday) and 7 nights (Sunday to Sunday or Friday to Friday).

Facilities & Activities

Charlotte Pass Snow Resort has a shop for ski and snowboard rentals, and as to be expected, the equipment is biased towards those learning to ski or ride. Charlotte Pass has a snowsports school and for kids aged 3 to 12 it’s an all day program. Child care is available for guests of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel and there are usually babysitting options.

Charlotte Pass has a few bars and a few options for restaurants open to the public.

Cross country skiing is popular from Charlotte Pass, although it’s mostly backcountry style skiing and not for newbies. Otherwise activities are rather limited to snowshoeing or groomer tours.
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